Are you coming in town for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and 1/2? Not sure what to do while you’re visiting one of the most popular cities in the nation? We’ve got you covered! In this Visitors Guide to Nashville: St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Edition, we’ve laid out some helpful hints, places to stay, carb-loading hot spots, top restaurants, and a list of five things you can’t leave town without doing!
Visitors Guide to Nashville:
St. Jude Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Edition
Where to Stay in Nashville
First things first, you need a great place to stay. Check out our Best Hotels Guide and Where to Stay Guide for hotel and vacation rental recommendations. Here are some Downtown and SoBro options to get you started.
Best Hotels in Downtown / SoBro:
- Westin Nashville
- Hilton Nashville Downtown
- Omni Nashville
- Renaissance Hotel
- Sheraton Nashville
- Hilton Garden Inn
- The Capitol Hotel – *cheapest*
Best Vacation Rentals in Downtown / SoBro:
- Spacious Upscale Apartment – 2 bedroom / 2.5 bath – Sleeps 6-8 – 40+ Five Star Reviews
- The Music Loft – 2 bedroom / 2 bath – Sleeps 4-6 – 35+ Five Star Reviews
- Printers Alley Penthouse – 2 bedroom / 2.5 bath – Sleeps 6 – 20+ Five Star Reviews
- Honky Tonk Apartment – 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath – Sleeps 6-11 – 15+ Five Star Reviews
Hotel Snacks, Athletic Shops & Getting Around
Most people will probably arrive in Nashville on Friday and want to stay healthy and low-key until after the race. If you want some healthy snacks and water for your hotel room, head to The Produce Place or Turnip Truck (there are two locations in The Gulch and East Nashville). Both places have organic options and are locally-owned.
Getting around Nashville is easiest using a car-sharing program like Lyft. New Lyft users can get a discount using promo code NASHVILLEGURU. Also check out the free bus and JoyRide for easy ways to get around downtown.
Carb-Loading Restaurants in Nashville
If you want to carb-fill with Italian cuisine before the big race, below are some carbalicious restaurants all within several miles of Downtown Nashville. We’ve included links to their neighborhood as well, which are worth exploring, too.
- Pastaria | West Nashville / Sylvan Park area
- Demos’ Restaurant | Downtown Nashville
- Moto | The Gulch
- Nicky’s Coal Fired | The Nations
- Bella Napoli | Edgehill Village
- MAFIAoZA’s | 12 South
- Caffe Nonna | Sylvan Park
- Pomodoro East | East Nashville
- Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen | East Nashville
Great Neighborhoods to Explore
- Downtown Nashville (especially, Broadway)
- The Gulch
- 12 South
- East Nashville
- Hillsboro Village
All of the neighborhoods are fun to explore, but you have to make your way down to Broadway at some point, particularly at night. Broadway is located in Downtown Nashville, and the really fun stuff is located between 1st and 5th Avenues. You will be running on Broadway first thing on Saturday, but you should also try to see it when you aren’t racing down it. Broadway is known for the honky tonks, which are bars with country music blaring. Broadway is also full of souvenir shops, photo ops with a big boot or Elvis statue, and the beautiful Riverfront Park at Broadway and 1st Avenue. It will be hopping on Saturday night with all the runners in town. Check it out on Friday while you’re staying low-key or grab a beer or two after the race on Saturday!
Best Places to Eat & Drink in Nashville
Once you get the race over with, you will be starving! We recommend going to one of the well-known Nashville staples for a big meal. Loveless Café is worth the drive and Pancake Pantry is worth the wait. Below we’ve listed some of our guides to eating and drinking your way through Nashville. Be sure to check them out for more ideas!
- Best Breakfast
- Best Brunch
- Best Lunch
- Best Dinner
- Best Mexican Restaurants
- Best Pizza Places
- Delicious Burger Joints
- Top Vegetarian Restaurants + Dishes
- Best Rooftop Bars
- Best Patios
- Nashville Hot Chicken
After your taste buds are happy, just enjoy the city! With so many people in town for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon, you won’t have a hard time staying entertained. If you’re going bar-hopping, check out Midtown or jump on a party bike! If you have a big group, hitch a ride on the Honky Tonk Party Express.
Don’t Leave Town Without:
- Seeing Broadway at night (Top stops: Acme, Tootsies, Paradise Park, Robert’s, Honky Tonk Central)
- Hearing live music (Listening Room Cafe, The Sutler, 3rd and Lindsley)
- Eating Southern style (Puckett’s, The Southern, Loveless Cafe, Pancake Pantry, Arnold’s, Hattie B’s, Rotier’s)
- Drinking a locally-brewed beer (local breweries)
- Telling us what you love about Nashville in the comments section below!