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May 31, 2013 10:35 PM

Planning a trip to Nashville and Memphis over Thanksgiving... will everything be open?

Here's a look at the food and sightseeing itinerary - we're not necessarily going to be eating and doing all, it's just a list of things of interest.

As the title states, we're planning to visit over Thanksgiving weekend and it's my wife's first time in both cities. She's very excited, however I'm concerned that we may be limiting our experience by visiting over the holidays.

Based on the following, could you please advise whether most of what we plan to do and see will be open over the majority of our trip? We also hope to do some shopping (records, clothes, etc) and catch lots of shows. I'm open to switching the dates up if there's any point in which we'll be stuck due to restaurant and attractions closures. We're only visitng for a short window of 5 days in each city and want to make the most of it...

Thanks for the feedback!!


Nashville, TN - Hermitage Hotel - Deluxe King / Jr. Suite (4/5 Nights)

To Eat

• Breakfast at Pancake Pantry
• Breakfast at Loveless Cafe
• Sunday Brunch at Monell's in Germantown
• Lunch at Arnold's Country Kitchen
• Lunch at Swett's (and/or) Silver Sands
• Lunch at Eastside Fish
• Lunch at Ed's Fish House
• Lunch at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack (and/or) Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish - (Original Main St. Location!)
• Lunch at Fat Mo's
• Lunch at Brown's Diner
• Lunch at Poe Boy Luncheon
• Ice Cream & Fountain Drinks at Elliston Place Soda Shop
• Dinner at Bobbie's Dairy Dip
• Dinner at Jack's Bar-B-Que
• Dinner at Rotier's Restaurant
• Dinner at Capitol Grille + The Oak Bar
• Cocktails at The Patterson House
• Cocktails at Holland House Bar & Refuge
• Cocktails at Merchant's Restaurant & Bar

To Do

• Downtown Nashville
• Printer's Alley
• Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
• RCA Studios
• Ryman Auditorium
• Grande Ole Opry
• Schermerhorn Symphony Center
• General Jackson Showboat (?)
• Centennial Park - The Parthenon, Lake Watauga, etc.
• Tennessee State Capitol
• The Hermitage
• Frist Center for Visual Arts
• Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art
• Tennessee State Museum
• Franklin Theatre
• Hatch Show Print
• Union Station Hotel
• Vanderbilt University
• Historic Carnton Plantation
• Belle Meade Plantation
• Radnor Lake State Park

Memphis, TN - The Peabody - Jr. Suite (4/5 Nights)

To Eat

• Breakfast at Arcade Restaurant
• Breakfast at Bob's Barksdale Restaurant
• Breakfast at Blue & White Restaurant
• Breakfast at Blue Plate Café
• Lunch at The Little Tea Shop
• Lunch at Gus's World Famous Hot and Spicy Chicken (Front St)
• Lunch at The Germantown Commissary
• Lunch at Payne's Bar-B-Que
• Lunch at Cozy Corner Restaurant
• Lunch at A&R Bar-B-Que (Elvis Presley Blvd)
• Lunch at Leonard's Barbeque
• Lunch at Alcenia's Desserts & Preserves
• Fountain Drinks at Wiles-Smith Drugs
• Dinner at Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous
• Dinner at Interstate Bar-B-Q (3rd St)
• Dinner at Dyer's Burgers
• Dinner at Coletta's Italian Restaurant

To Do

• National Civil Rights Museum - Lorraine Motel
• Sun Studio
• Graceland
• Stax Museum of American Soul Music
• Beale Street - A. Schwab's, Historic Daisy Theater and The New Daisy Theatre, Handy Park, W.C. Handy Historic Home, Blues Clubs and Cafes, etc.
• Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
• Orpheum Theater
• Levitt Shell
• Cardinals at AutoZone Park
• Shelby Farms Park
• Paddle Boat on the Mississippi River
• The Cotton Museum at The Memphis Cotton Exchange
• Elmwood Cemetery
• Victorian Village Historic District: Woodruff-Fontaine and Mallory-Neely House
• Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium
• Memphis Zoo
• Burkle Estate Museum - Slave Haven
• Dixon Gallery & Gardens
• Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

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  1. I don't have time to carefully consider each item for Nashville, but ...

    Hermitage Hotel is fabulous.

    Things are generally open around Thanksgiving except for the day itself. Your best bet for meals on that day are going to be in the hotels, i.e., Capitol Grille. Also look at the new Mason's in the Loewe's Vanderbilt Plaza. There will also be a few regular restaurants that will be open but they usually don't start announcing that until a week or two before.

    Bobbie's Dairy Dip is only open in the summer.

    There's more than a few good BBQ places in town. Jack's is fine, but it probably wouldn't be my first choice. I'd do Edley's or the new Peg Leg Porker, OR head down to Nolensville for Martin's.

    You've picked some odd choices and left off some obvious spots. It looks like you're trying to do "dives." I'd be curious as to your criteria & where you got your recs. You've picked a lot of places that are really old-school Nashville -- Rotier's, Brown's, Elliston Place -- that I would say probably have their best days behind them. The ambiance and historical status is going to be the main selling point. I'm guessing you've spent a lot of time on Just keep in mind that just because a restaurant is well-reviewed on their site doesn't mean they've been there in the last decade.

    Also, if you're going to see Franklin Theater & Carnton, you might as well plan to spend an afternoon / evening in Franklin and eat dinner there. Look at Cork & Cow or Red Pony or Puckett's. Spend time wandering the square and the few blocks on all sides.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TLF

      We've just recently been to Brown's and Rotier's. We really liked Browns for it's simplicity and diviness but loved Rotier's.


    2. Thoughts for Memphis -

      Re: breakfast, Arcade and Blue Plate make sense because they are relatively close to the hotel. I don't think Barksdale is worth the drive to midtown. Haven't been to Blue & White (the place in Tunica ?), but find it hard to believe it'd be worth the drive unless you're staying a night at the casinos. If you want to drive to a local, southern style breakfast spot, I'd suggest Bryant's at Summer & Graham over Barksdale.

      Otherwise, wow, that's a lot of barbecue. I would probably skip Leonards, Rendezvous, Interstate, and A&R, but that's just me. If you are looking for another one or two, I would suggest Barbecue Shop on Madison in lieu of one of those. Central Barbecue downtown is another one to consider - and fairly close to your hotel.

      I would drop Coletta's.

      If you are looking for dive-y/road food-y kind of stuff, would suggest you take a look at Lunchbox Eats (downtown, near FedEx Forum) and Deja Vu (awesome cajun/creole just south of downtown) for lunch one day.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bulldogx2

        I would 2nd most of this. I don't think driving to Barksdale would be really worth it. And I love Blue & White Cafe, but that's quite a drive, and, like BDx2 said, unless you're staying at a casino or something, there's really nothing else there, and it just doesn't seem like the best use of your time. Whatever you decide, I would strongly suggest that, closer to your trip, you email or call most places to get a sense of their Thanksgiving hours. Or, since you're staying at the Peabody, you could contact them and ask them to do it for you. Their customer service has always been outstanding IME. Good luck!

      2. So far, you're seeing cities, but not seeing Tennessee. If you get a sunny day in either city, you might want to pick up a picnic lunch and in Nashville go out to a park next to the lake east of Town and enjoy the peace of a lake setting.

        In Memphis, at least a trip to the river front to watch the barge traffic go by. (Although going to Memphis without visiting Reelfoot Lake, created by the major New Madrid Earthquake and eating catfish cooked locally ....our faults are different in what they do than your California quakes.)

        1. Are you still coming to town? I love Nashville. Like someone else mentioned, I was surprised at some of your choices. For starters I would definitely check some of the boards on here for recs. I haven't been to all of your choices, but most I have and I would leave off Jacks and Fat Moe's for sure and probably a few others, but I know that you may want to hit the traditional touristy places. I'm not sure what will be open on T-day, but Capital Grille is wonderful. YUM. Most of your places are dives/tourist/meat and 3 type places which may be what you are wanting. Just so you know. There are just so many more great places, it just depends on the type of food you are wanting to eat. You may want to look at what you are going to do for the day and plan accordingly for food. I hope you have a wonderful trip! Please let us know what you decide.