travel blog

Shopping in the Gulch & Centennial Park

BY CAILIN BURKE

After our brunch at Biscuit Love, we headed down the street for a little shopping at Two Old Hippies. We loved how cool and unique all of the items were and it was awesome that the store not only had the nicest clothes, but had tons of home goods, and a whole room for guitars and ukuleles. They also double as a music venue! Only in Nashville can you find a hybrid of a performance venue, clothing, decor, and guitar store!  (With a Volkswagen parked in the middle of the shop no less!)

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Farmer’s Markets + Family Style Eats at Monell’s

BY CAILIN BURKE

While in Nashville, we wanted to make sure we got a meal at Monell’s, because their whole dining experience is so unique and nothing like a restaurant we had ever been to!
Their concept is family style dining with the slogan, “Enter as strangers, leave as friends.” But unlike typical family style, your group doesn’t get its own table with just larger portioned shared foods — you actually share a table with several other groups of people! I think there were about 13 people at our table and after saying hello to your new tablemates, food just starts coming around the table.

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A Day of Nashville Staples

BY CAILIN BURKE

After we got our fix of the Nashville skyline and remembered the country music greats at the Walk of Fame Park, we went straight to Broadway for some cowboy boot shopping! There are a ton of stores that have aisles and aisles of boots so if you’re looking for some, why not get them in Music City!? They were all so fun and intricate, but they had some great classic pairs too. The shops we went to definitely had the most unique cowboy boots I’ve seen – so they were the perfect place to find those statement boots. Tara found a pair that looked so good on her, but they were all super expensive to no surprise, so we mostly window shopped.

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East Nashville’s Best Eats

BY CAILIN BURKE

After our morning of traveling, shopping and checking out some of the city’s coolest street art, we headed to Barista Parlour for much needed coffee and snacks! If you’ve checked out our blog at all, you know we love discovering and hanging out in new cafes. Most Nashvilians raved about Barista Parlour and we liked that it had such a cool cafe space and motorcycles just chilling out front. And of course, the coffee!

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Exploring East Nashville

BY CAILIN BURKE

Even though we all had traveled and just arrived to Nashville that morning, we wanted to make the most of our day and check out our new stomping grounds! We got an Airbnb in East Nashville and it was an adorable house near a huge park and conveniently 5-15 minutes from everything. A lot of the other houses in the area, like the one below, were super colorful and almost every one seemed to have an adorable porch swing! We personally love staying in Airbnbs because it’s cool to be in a more residential area and get a glimpse of how a Nashvillian lives! We picked one in East Nashville because we had heard the area was growing and had a lot of cool spots, but was outside of the toursity areas.

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Well what we heard was true — because East Nashville quickly became one of our favorite pats of the city! After stopping into our house to get the Greyhound off of us, we headed to Five Points to walk around, see some street art, and shop! Five Points is the center of East Nashville in terms of food and businesses! Right away we stumbled upon a huge few walls that had a bunch of murals and grabbed some photos.

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Arriving in Nashville & Heading Straight to CREMA

BY CAILIN BURKE

A few months back we went on a six day visit to Nashville, Tennessee for a girl’s trip! We had always wanted to go to Nashville to eat amazing food, try out their cool coffee shops, and of course… hear some live music! When we discovered that we had a Greyhound Road Reward to take a free bus ANYWHERE, we wanted to get the best value and chose Music City! With all the public transportation and crazy long commutes we’ve done in the past, we knew we could handle the 24 hour bus ride. After several transfers, sitting in bus terminals, and long naps — we arrived!

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We started our Nashville visit with caffeine and food of course! Straight from the bus terminal we walked to CREMA, a really cool cafe and artisanal coffee roaster that we heard amazing reviews of! We each got an iced chai latte, and they were amazing! They were pretty spicy which I really enjoyed, and unlike the normal chais I’ve had in the past. Since being home, I’ve found myself craving one of these again but can’t find a place that makes them the same!

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Must Visit: Cha Cha Matcha

BY CAILIN BURKE

I’ve expressed my love/obsession for matcha in numerous posts, so when we heard a new ALL MATCHA EVERYTHING MATCHA place was opening, we were so excited to go! Not only does Cha Cha Matcha focus on the greatest drink/flavor ever, but when we saw photos of how cute the place was, we were sold! We headed there crossing our fingers to find seats on a Saturday afternoon (this place gets crowded) and strolled right in to find adorable bench seating available!

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Feature Friday: Hostelgeeks

Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re doing something a little different and are featuring HostelGeeks, a travel blog dedicated to letting you know about the amazing hostels you can book during your travels. We almost always stay in hostels when we travel, but oftentimes we want an upgrade from the typical dorm experience that comes to mind when you think of hostels. A lot of our favorite hostels actually contributed to how great our trip was whether it was the excellent staff, peaceful ambiance, cool decor or opportunities for social interactions with the other guests. This makes HostelGeeks an excellent resource for us and for anyone looking for hostels that are a step above the rest. Read on to learn more about what you’ll find on the HostelGeeks page!

Castle Logo: Tell us about Hostelgeeks?

Screenshot (5): Hostelgeeks is the niche travel blog of Anna & Matt. At Hostelgeeks we collect 5 Star Hostels from all over the world, based on transparent criteria. Every 5 Star Hostel fits the 5 Star Hostel criteria of

1) ecofriendly

2) superb design

3) uniqueness

4) social character, and

5) great staff

By ticking these boxes and by meeting the transparent criteria, we make sure our fellow-travelers stay only at great Hostels. Simply put: We are the shortcut to awesome Hostels! As for booking, we recommend to check out the official website of the hostel, as we do not offer any booking service on our website. Also, we just launched an eBook based around the Greatest Hostels in Europe. Within this eBook we included up to 10% discount for all these fantastic Hostels in Europe. Additionally, we share our secret tips about the destinations we visit. We have friends in Paris and New York and we have befriended fellow-bloggers in Tokyo, Sydney and Dublin. This way we have access to some really secret tips for these destinations. We share them through our so-called Geeky Guides, which you can download for free on hostelgeeks.com. Take Dublin for instance. Here we share with you 5 hidden gems of Dublin, such as where to take a dip in the sea at 7am in the morning, and where to score a great, personal recommended restaurant. Travel recommendations by friends for friends.

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Beach Hopping the Nicoya Peninsula

BY CAILIN BURKE

For our last few days in Costa Rica we wanted to just relax on the beach after packed days of rainforest hiking and adventure activities. So we headed to the Nicoya Peninsula on the Northwest Coast which is known for their beaches. Basically every town on the coast has it’s own beach so we wanted to visit as many as possible and ended up hitting three of them! We started at Playa Brasilito which was the longest beach and perfect if you want to walk all along the shoreline (which is what we did during the sunset!) Connected to Playa Brasilito is Playa Conchal so it was easy just to go from one to the other!

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Horse Back Riding to Epic Waterfalls

BY TARA BURKE

Another thing that we really wanted to do in Costa Rica was go horse back riding. A lot of my friends tease me for being a horse girl even though before this trip I had never ridden a horse. I watched one series where I learned more about horses and whenever any topic about horses came up I’d always have something to say about it, so from then on I was horse girl, haha! So as many can attest, I was excited to actually ride a horse and to a beautiful waterfall nonetheless!

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