The Places We Return To: Nashville

Alice Gao has the job everyone on Instagram can only dream of—she gets paid to travel the world and take pictures. So far that job’s taken her from Iceland to Jamaica (and she’s still just getting warmed up). She also chronicles her personal travel and still life B-roll on Lingered Upon, her cult-beloved photo site where inspiration is literally everywhere. Here’s a quick debrief on her recent trip to Nashville.

As far as U.S. cities go, I don’t think of others as fondly as I do Nashville. It has a small town feel, but there’s still a lot to do. It’s a very manageable city where you’re never bored. Everything is very close and reasonably priced. It’s perfect for a weekend trip in the winter when you want 65 degree weather that’s only a two-hour flight away from New York.

Last time I went, I stayed in this boutique hotel called the 404 Hotel with really well-curated and beautiful loft-style rooms. For coffee, the largest shop is Barista Parlor but my favorite spot for coffee, dinner, or drinks is Pinewood Social on Peabody Street. Go to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken for their signature hot chicken; it’s pan-fried with a cayenne pepper paste and comes out a brick red color. Rolf and Daughters is another restaurant with cleverly named cocktails like ‘Silence of the Lambrusco’ or ‘Nothing Camparis 2 U.” There’s also great shopping. I love the cult-favorite denim shop Imogene + Willie and visiting designer Elizabeth Suzann‘s studio space. I haven’t really explored the music scene as much, which is crazy because that’s what Nashville is best known for.