As of late, we at Bored in Nashville have been daydreaming of palm trees swaying in a warm breeze and waves lapping a white sand beach as we sip on some Mai Tais from a pair of hammocks with the sweet, sweet sound of steel drums playing off in the distance more than we feel comfortable to admit. Yet here we are, apparently comfortable enough to admit it!
Maybe it’s because we’ve found ourselves in the thick of yet another wet and dreary Nashville winter, or maybe it’s because we’re subliminally longing for our hometowns in Southern California. Whatever the reason (perhaps a mixture of the two?), we could certainly use some respite from this weather-related BS.
After some honest-to-goodness reflection on the whole thing, we realized that we actually have all the tools we need for a tropical reprieve right here in Nashville! We know!! It came as a shock to us, too. So save yourself the jaw-dropping cost of airfare and take yourself on a little holiday around the city with these island-inspired haunts. Like any good beach day, this Bored in Nashville guide goes well into the night and ends with a little (or a lot of) dancing.
Time: ~4-5 hours (we recommend starting later in the day)
Neighborhoods: East Nashville and Wedgewood-Houston
Walkability: Rideshare recommended!
STOP 1 — Pearl Diver
Grab a pupu platter and a daiquiri and let’s get this luau started! Pearl Diver is an exotic cocktail bar and restaurant in East Nashville and it’s where we’re kicking things off today. They’ve got a mouthwatering menu of classics like pina coladas, margs, and mojitos, and original concoctions like the self-titled Pearl Diver and the East Park Swizzle. Plus, they’ve got plenty of yummy options to get you fueled up as you get going – enjoy everything from oysters and wings to fish tacos and a good ol’ Cubano!
STOP 2 — Chopper
Just down the road in East is our second stop on this tropical tour, Chopper. Chopper is not your average Tiki bar. No… no it’s a robot-themed Tiki bar. And if you haven’t been and you’re scratching your head as to how this comes even close to working as an aesthetic, just trust us. Their menu of exotic drink options changes seasonally, but you can almost always guarantee that you’ll be sipping out of a Tiki-themed cup with a cocktail umbrella. If you’re fully committing to the day ahead, we recommend one of their drinks that includes a fire feature – something like the Scorpion Bowl (for sharing!) or the Robo Zombie.
STOP 3 — Bar 1281
This surf bar brings the aloha spirit straight to the heart of Wedgewood-Houston! Bar 1281 is your next stop over on the west side and it has all the fixings you need to keep going strong into the night. Refuel with their wide assortment of delicious options served hot from their food truck (ramen, Yakitori, bowls, and pupus YES), then get back into it with one (or many) of their unique cocktails – Pele’s Offering, anyone?! As you kick back and enjoy your picks, tune into one of the many surf videos playing on loop behind the bar and escape a little.
STOP 4 — Flamingo Cocktail Club
After you’ve had a chance to regroup and recommit to your day-long tropical holiday in Nashville, your fourth and final stop stands at the ready just down the road. Flamingo Cocktail Club is a spicy Miami-inspired spot with cabanas outside when the weather permits, and plenty of dancing inside (disco ball included) to carry you through the night and into the morning.
Tell us: How do you escape when it’s winter in Nashville?