Distance from Atlanta: 250 miles northwest; 4 hours
Nashville is, in many ways, Atlanta’s slower, nicer cousin, where people are genuinely cool and random amazingness can happen at any moment. Obviously, you could ruin it by spending the whole time wandering up and down Broadway or Music Row, but that’d be like taking selfies on Peachtree Street and telling everyone you’ve mastered Atlanta. Everybody loves music, though, so start your visit at Station Inn for bluegrass, or Nashville Jazz Workshop for, well, duh, and leave the country stuff for more touristy types. Nashville’s also got great golf courses, and they’re relatively inexpensive: McCabe is just $13 for nine holes on weekends and its driving range has 27 hitting stations. For more outdoor activity, walk the trails of Radnor Lake State Park near downtown, or go all Man of the Woods at Long Hunter State Park, about a half-hour outside of town. And sure, there are night clubs all around, but real locals will salute you for visiting The Gold Rush, one of the city’s oldest bars, and ordering the kind of drink that has one or two ingredients, with either a bean roll or chicken tenders to soak it up. No, it’s certainly not fancy, but that’s not why you’re here -- it’s real Nashville. Oh, and since you’re coming from ATL, and you know how much we love Nashville’s hot chicken, you might as well taste the real deal at Prince’s -- make no mistake, that’s where this whole thing started. Oh, and pancakes are big in Nashville, but you can actually make your own, right at your table, at The Pfunky Griddle. Or just hit the new location of Sean Brock’s Husk and let the serious professionals handle the cooking.