When visiting Nashville, all out-of-towners flock to Lower Broad. It’s inevitable. And while locals may not get it (there’s so much more to this city than downtown, right?), like it or not, the neon lights, honky tonks and, yes, tacky souvenirs are all part of the “Nashville” experience. But lest we give guitar-shaped salt and pepper shakers and bedazzled Nashville t-shirts one more minute in the spotlight, it’s time that we start spreading the gospel of where to find Nashville souvenirs that aren’t lame. So whether you’re buying a Nashville-esque gift for a friend or just doing your part by steering a poor, lost tourist in the right direction for memento shopping, here’s where to shop for tasteful Nashville souvenirs as well as a few examples of what you’ll find at each. Giddyup!
224 Fifth Ave. S., Nashville • 615-577-7710
You’d be hard-pressed to find another place that is so quintessential Nashville when it comes to look, feel and products made. One of the oldest letter press businesses in the United States, Hatch is housed just outside the entrance to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and is a great place to pick up fun prints for around the house, select gifts for fans of the city and even spend a little time learning about the craft of letter press printing. Plenty of pre-printed posters are perfect for framing, or choose from postcards, t-shirts, glassware, hats, bumper stickers and so much more!
250 Fifth Ave. S., Nashville • (615) 761-3532
Right next door to Hatch is Five and TENN, a fabulous gift shop located in the Omni Hotel. Sure, you have your Goo Goo Clusters and your Jack Daniel’s items at the ready, but you’ll also find higher-dollar items with a Nashville or Tennessee theme. Peruse the jewelry, guitar art and other food items that are created right here in Middle Tennessee, like Bang Candy syrups. On top of that, you’ll find high-end leather goods (did someone say Lucchese boots?), accessories and more. [SB TIP: It wouldn’t be Nashville without live acoustic performances, which you can enjoy at Five and TENN Tunes every Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.]
222 Fifth Ave. S., Nashville • (615) 416-2001
Located inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Circa is a fairly large gift shop that has everything from Christmas ornaments to Stetson hats. And while there are indeed some stereotypical souvenirs available (shot glass, anyone?), there are some equally intriguing items that you’d be proud to pick up. Example: Coop’s Nashville-style Hot Chicken Paste captures the hot chicken trend in a jar. DIY hot chicken? Yes, please!
501 Broadway • (615) 259-4747
Since you’re in the area, swing by the Nashville Visitors Center located in the cylindrical glass space attached to the Bridgestone Arena. A smaller retail outlet, it’s no less “Nashville” than some of the bigger souvenir destinations we’ve covered. You’ll find an array of items, all locally made, including M.Florita jewelry, Music City Suds soaps with fun, kitschy names like “A Bar Named Sue,” ice-cold drinks for the super-humid summer days as well as tees, hats and the like.
900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. • (844) BATCH-01
Housed in the ever-popular Nashville Farmers Market, Batch Nashville is a clearinghouse for all-things-Nashville. Whether you’re in search of something locally made or want something that shows your Nashville pride, Batch is the place to go. Food, jewelry, canvas bags, field guides and even baby items are all available. It’s a local love fest!
300 Broadway • (615) 259-9777
On the corner of Third Avenue and Broadway sits Opry Originals, a retail location for all-things-Grand Ole Opry. T-shirts, mugs, music, books, you name it, it’s all there. It’s definitely got a commercial feel, but there are still great buys to be had. And, well, since you’re in the neighborhood, it’s silly not to stop in!
116 29th Ave. N. • (615) 327-9894
We’d be remiss if we left out Anderson Design Group’s Spirit of Nashville collection. Much like Hatch Show Print, ADG’s Spirit of Nashville designs are easy to spot and definitively Nashville. Plenty of ready-to-frame prints are available, and if you check out the Music City Maker’s Market, you’ll find even more Nashville-made, Nashville-centric wares to snatch up … food, aprons, books, calendars, magnets, all with that certain Nashville touch.
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