Romantic Nashville

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Romantic Nashville
Nashville brings on the romance with its myriad nightlife and music options. But it also offers ways for couples to connect over good food, scenic views, and outdoor events.
By Jennifer Justus, AFAR Local Expert
Photo by age fotostock
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    Alfresco Dining
    Thanks to pleasant temperatures in spring and fall, Nashville restaurants have open outdoor seating for several months of the year. A few rooftop restaurants and bars offer an especially romantic view. Try L.A. Jackson at the Thompson Hotel in the Gulch neighborhood or Virago sushi bar's rooftop patio, which looks out at the twinkling lights of downtown. For a fun and casual encounter, visit the open-air beer garden on the top floor of Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint downtown—you might also be serenaded by local musicians.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Live Music for Lovers
    The city packs in a plethora of music venues, with the most romantic offering dim lighting and cozy seats for enjoying the show. Popular choices include the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium. If you prefer violin to fiddle, get tickets to a performance at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. And for a variety of acts, from country star Suzy Bogguss to a Beatles revue, check out 3rd and Lindsley.
    Photo courtesy of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
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    Cozy Cocktail Bars
    A dark corner and a cocktail can heat up a romance, and Nashville’s booming craft-cocktail culture allows for lots of choices. City House and Rolf and Daughters—both restaurants in the Germantown neighborhood—have some of the best cocktail menus in town. The Patterson House is a sexy little speakeasy in Midtown where hosts lead you behind a velvet curtain and into a cozy room perfumed with house-made bitters. Go subterranean at the historic Hermitage Hotel's Oak Bar downtown, or settle into a corner banquette at No. 308, across the river in East Nashville. Old Glory is Nashville's most stunning space for cocktails, with three intimate, candlelit levels overlooking a brick-walled 1920s boiler room.
    Photo courtesy of Oak Bar/The Hermitage Hotel
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    Fireside Dining
    The restaurateurs at these establishments know that a dinner by the fire is the perfect setting for a romantic night. The Tin Angel, a West End neighborhood institution since 1993, has a freestanding brick fireplace to warm you as you come through the door. Old-school steakhouses like Sperry’s and Jimmy Kelly’s also have comfortable fireplaces, as do the streamlined outdoor patios at trendy Virago and Whiskey Kitchen. Sitting at the chef’s bar near the brick ovens that fire up pizzas and oysters also brings the heat at both City House and Lockeland Table.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Outdoor and Park Events
    Nashville’s myriad parks and outdoor spaces provide backdrops for romantic picnics, nature-watching, and moonlit strolls. Spread a blanket on the lawn to catch a show at Ascend Amphitheater, with the downtown skyline lighting up the stage. Find live music at Musicians Corner in Centennial Park on Saturday afternoons in early summer and fall. Or, pick up picnic provisions on a stroll through the 12 South neighborhood ending at Sevier Park.
    Photo courtesy of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
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    A Hard-Won Triumph
    Scoring a reservation for one of the top tables in the country can go a long way to convincing your honey that you mean business. Chef Sean Brock's Husk is not just a local favorite—it receives regular coverage in the national food press. And with good reason: A meal in this restored 19th-century house is a delicious celebration of Southern cuisine and Southern ingredients. At the Catbird Seat, dinner comes with a show—diners are seated around an open kitchen in which the starring role may be played by one of a rotating roster of thrilling chefs who have been hired for extended gigs.