Travel Like a Pro: 10 Packing Tips for Flying at Nashville Airport

It’s the night before your flight. You’re scrambling to pack your bag for your weekend getaway, but you’re not sure how much you want to take. Are you going to pack light and only take a carry-on, or are you going to go big and pack a bag that’ll need to be checked at the gate? Packing can be one of the most stressful parts of a trip, but unless you plan to buy everything once you land, it has to be done. Here are 10 packing tips that every traveler should use when flying at Nashville International Airport:

packing trips nashville airport

1. Follow Airline & TSA Guidelines

The most important thing to do before you begin to pack for your trip is to make sure you have luggage that is approved by your airline. If your luggage is too big, your clothes may not be making it to your final destination. Most airlines have a standard size limit on carry-on and checked bags, but always make sure to check your airline’s luggage size limit. And don’t forget to check TSA’s website to make sure you’re compliant with the 3-1-1 rule and other regulations.

2. Don’t Check a Bag at the Airport

Although it’s not always possible to pack light, it will definitely save you time and money in the long run. If you’re only going on a short trip, try to pack everything in a carry-on bag. This will not only save you the $25+ baggage fee, it will save you from having to wait in line to check-in and wait at the baggage carousel when you land.

3. Roll Your Clothes

If you must check a bag, you can save room by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. This space-saving technique can almost double the amount of clothes you’re able to pack and may save you from having to check a second bag – which airlines charge an arm and a leg for!

4. Make Use of Your Personal Item

In addition to your carry-on bag, most airlines now allow passengers to bring one personal item when flying. According to TSA, a personal item can be a laptop computer, briefcase, purse, small backpack, or camera case. Find ways to make good use of your personal item and save room in your carry-on, like packing those bulky hiking boots or heavy winter coat in a backpack.

5. Weigh Your Bags

If you check a bag that’s over 50lbs, most airlines consider this to be “overweight,” and although they will let you fly with an overweight bag, you’ll be paying a hefty fee. Southwest charges $75.00 for overweight bags, while Delta charges up to $200 for an overweight bag. To avoid these high costs, always weigh your bag before you leave the house. A simple way to weigh your bag is to stand on a scale while holding your bag, then simply subtract your weight to calculate the weight of the bag. You can also purchase scales that are specially made for weighing luggage.

6. Plan Outfits

We all like to have options when it comes to our wardrobe, but when you’re traveling, try not to over-pack. Instead of throwing a bunch of tops and bottoms into a suitcase, try packing an outfit for each day of your trip. There for three days? Then just pack three outfits. You’ll still have options of what to wear on each day, but planning your outfits in advance will save lots of room in your luggage, which means more room for souvenirs!

 

7. Consider Shipping Gifts

When you’re heading out of town and need to bring a gift, consider shipping the gift before you fly. Not only will this give you more room to pack in your suitcase, it could also save you the time and money of having to check a second bag. It’s often cheaper to ship a gift than to have to pay for checked baggage. And if you’re staying at hotel, just call ahead and let them know you’re shipping a package to the hotel. They’ll have it waiting for you when you arrive.

8. Put Luggage Tags on Everything

We all hope it never happens to us, but unfortunately this happens every day, and on almost every flight – lost luggage. When the airline loses your luggage, there’s not much you can do but sit and wait. Most of the time, the airlines are able to track down your luggage and get it to you within a day or less. In case your bag is ever lost, always make sure to put a luggage tag with your contact information on every bag.

9. Buy Toiletries After the Plane Lands

If you’re trying to travel light, packing all of your toiletries isn’t always an option. TSA only allows for liquids under 3.4oz in carry-on bags, meaning you can’t take a regular sized can of shampoo, hairspray, toothpaste, etc. Instead, try buying toiletries once you land. Another option if you’re only traveling with a carry-on is to purchase travel sized toiletries.

10. Put Identifiable Object on Travel Luggage

Many bags look alike, and when you’re in a hurry at the airport, it’s easy to grab the wrong bag. To help identify your luggage, try putting an identifiable object on all of your bags, such as a ribbon or bandana. This also makes it much easier to identify your bag on the carousel at baggage claim.

Before you get packed and ready to go on your trip, make sure to secure your airport transportation and your ground transportation in advance. When flying in and out of the Nashville International Airport, always choose Grand Corporate for your transportation needs, needs.

Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it driving. Instead, rely on Grand Corporate, our on-call and worry-free business option that allows you to focus on your work, not the wheel. Whether we’re transporting you or your clients to and from the airport or serving as your mobile office for a long-distance drive, count on us to ensure you can get down to business.

Book your airport transportation with Grand Avenue. Transportation for a 24/7/365 business world.

Subscribe to The It City Blog:



Uniquely Nashville Restaurants

While Nashville has long been known for its music scene, our culinary scene is garnering attention of its own.

Unique Nashville restaurants

Food & Wine highlighted the “booming Music City food scene,” Food Arts Magazine noted the “emerging culinary scene putting Nashville on the gastronomic radar,” and Local Palate featured the “impressively diverse culinary scene busting at the seams.”

You can find Nashville’s authentic flavors in many areas of town such as Germantown, East Nashville, The Gulch, Midtown, 12South, Downtown, and Hillsboro Village. Each neighborhood has its own personality and welcome all walks of life.

Start your day in Hillsboro Village with breakfast at Taylor Swift’s favorite spot, Fido, a funky coffeehouse that features breakfast all day long, or venture down the block to the famous Pancake Pantry where a menu of 21 melt-in-your-mouth pancake selections await you.

If you’re on the search for a good weekend brunch spot, try the red velvet waffles and blood orange mimosas at Tavern in Midtown or head to East Nashville where Marche Artisan Foods and Margot reign as the ever-popular weekend brunch spots. Other brunch favorites include the 1808 Grille at the trendy Hutton Hotel, or check out where the singers and songwriters have been hanging out for over 30 years at The Row.

If you’re still in need of a caffeine jolt, there are a plethora of latte sipping options at the dozens of local coffee shops around town. Places like Bongo Java, Nashville’s oldest coffee company, Frothy Monkey, a 12South and soon-to-be downtown favorite, and Barista Parlor, located in a former car repair shop, are some of the best places to fill your caffeine needs and get a sense of the local scene.

Many great local restaurants are located a little off the beaten path, so get out the GPS or a map, if those even still exist! For a hearty lunch, try the popular Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden in East Nashville that boasts an impressive selection of German wurst and bier, as well as an old-school soda fountain. Next door is a local favorite, Mas Tacos, which has been described by many as “the best thing since country music in Nashville.” The 12South district features the upscale burger joint Burger Up that has an ever changing menu of locally sourced ingredients, 12South Taproom offers 22 different beers on tap, and Edley's Bar-B-Que - Uniquely Nashville RestaurantsEdley’s Bar-B-Que, a fast casual eatery, serves up smoked pork, chicken, turkey, brisket, ribs, wings, and much more. The Flipside is a fun, local restaurant with a style of their own. They feature Jack's Chicken which is chicken breast pounded thin, seasoned bread crumbs, and then pan sauteed in extra virgin olive oil. They have a tons of different styles to choose from plus an amazing selection of local beers and craft cocktails.

For Southern fare, take a trip downtown to Cummins Station to grab a bite at M. Restaurant and Bar, where you'll have to choose between the Blue Plate special, a pork belly BLT, or the Jack Daniel's Chocolate Pecan Pie. Head for the heart of the burgeoning SoBro district and try a favorite among locals and visitors alike, The Southern. The Southern burger, fresh oysters and mahi-mahi will have you planning your next trip back. For a treat make sure to stop by the Goo Goo Shop and try the world's first combination candy bar founded right here in Nashville. Right down the road located on Lower Broadway is ACME Feed & Seed featuring a menu filled with southern classic cuisine. The restaurant creates a uniquely ‘Nashville’ atmosphere that honors the unparalleled character of the city’s past, present and future. Of course, Nashville hasn’t forgotten its roots. Two popular traditions are still all the rage at Meat & Three restaurants and hot chicken “shacks.” Meat & Three restaurants are a Southern staple in which you pick one meat and three vegetable side dishes. Some of our more famous meat & threes are Puckett’s, and Arnold’s. When speaking of Southern cuisine, one can't forget to mention the Loveless Cafe. For over 60 years, they've been getting up at the crack of dawn to make classic Southern food entirely from scratch in Music City. Nashville’s most notable contribution to Southern culinary culture, hot chicken, can be found at places that let you choose the level of spiciness of your chicken. Make sure to check out Hattie B’s over in Midtown, offering some amazing "Nashville Style" hot chicken. Choose your heat level with their selection of southern, medium, hot, or shut the cluck up. Another hot chicken joint is Party Fowl over in the The Gulch. They specialize in Nashville hot and Southern fried chicken but offer a much broader menu with local brew, craft cocktails, and a wine list.

To cool off from the hot chicken you may need a trip to one of Nashville’s sweet treat spots. Ranked No. 3 on Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Cities for Ice Cream”, Nashville has the famous Mike's Ice Cream on Lower Broadway. During the summer, lines are a familiar sight as visitors wait to get that perfect scoop of handmade ice cream. Nashville also boasts Pied Piper and Jeni’s Ice Cream which has unique flavors like Seven-Layer Bar, Milkiest Chocolate in the World, and Dark Milk Chocolate.

 Another must-visit is Las Paletas, an authentic Mexican Popsicle shop that makes mouth-watering fruit and creamy Popsicles from old family recipes. Don’t be afraid to try unusual flavors like avocado, hot chocolate, or cantaloupe!

Bang Candy Company in Marathon Village uses high quality ingredients and imagination to create gourmet marshmallows half dipped in Belgian chocolate and rolled in your favorite topping, while The Cupcake Collection in Germantown will sprinkle your day with joy with their homemade cupcake creations.

As they say Nashville is a drinking town with a music problem, start your night off with an artisan cocktail or hand-crafted brew at several spots throughout the city. Try an artisan cocktail at East Nashville’s Holland House, where their creative drink catalog is served up by expert bartenders, or at Midtown’s The Patterson House which offers a vibe and drink menu that suggests a throwback to the pre-Prohibition era. Carve out an evening for a trip to Kix Brooks’ Arrington Vineyards and sample award-winning wines, listen to live jazz music and take in the spectacular vineyard views.

If beer is more your flavor, discover your next favorite from the many fine breweries located in Music City!

The Black Abbey Brewing Company strives to supply liquid refreshment that is greater than some of its fine parts. It's created, not made, right here in Nashville. Also, located Downtown-SoBro is Tennessee Brew Works where you can find a production microbrewery and tasting room dedicated to producing & enjoying high quality craft beer, while appreciating music and the many other fine traditions of Tennessee.

Dinner is a perfect time to explore more of Nashville’s taste buds. Lockeland Table in East Nashville is located in a former beauty-parlor-turned-photo-gallery and is a home for creative, chef-driven cuisine in a comfortable neighborhood vibe. Consistently named among the best restaurants in the nation, The Catbird Seat is a 32-seat restaurant that features an ever-changing, nine course menu of seasonally inspired dishes.

Let's not forget about Prima which features European cuisine infused with South American and Latin flavors. Not only are the dishes amazing, but everything from the decor to the lighting has been designed to provide the ultimate experience.

The 8th Avenue neighborhood is home to a mix of restaurants perfect for lunch or dinner. Try the Sinema Restaurant & Bar that offers a dining experience that hinges on impeccable service. The eclectic American menu is unique to Nashville, with emphasis on classically inspired dishes with a modern spin.

While Nashville will always be Music City, it’s clear that the creative energy and talent in the city extends far beyond music and into a flourishing culinary scene that is worth a visit all on its own.

While in Nashville explore everything, not only the cuisine. Take a Civil War Tour, The Johnny Cash Tour, A Taste of the Bourbon, a Tennessee Wine Tours take a Nashville Tour in style.

Experience Nashville in Grand style. Large or small, whether one person or an entire convention, we invite you to the beautiful grounds of Arrington Vineyards, to see the landmarks from Johnny Cash's life in Hendersonville, or head up to the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky. Fans of ABC's Nashville will want to check out the real house in Belle Meade where Rayna James lives or drive out to Juliette Barnes rented mansion. Grand Avenue's tours are different; view landmarks from the comfort of a Sedan, SUV, Mercedes Lux Coach or any other vehicle in the fleet.

Grand Avenue has become synonymous with customized transportation. Let us show you all Nashville has to offer. Call 615.714.5466 or email at info [at] grandavenueworldwide.com to book your tour.


Outsource the Routine to Make Business Travel Less Hectic

The book "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich" by best-selling author Timothy Ferris educates busy people to offload or outsource their routine to someone else. Outsourcing daily, weekly and monthly routines, allows professionals to get back to what made them successful in the first place.

 Nashville business travel

Offloading the Mundane in Favor of the Creative

Let's face it, if we truly take a look at our day to day routine, we are quite sure we can find something that we do that has become rote and if you look hard enough, that rote routine was probably at one time something you had to learn and was probably hard. Human nature is a funny thing, once we learn something new we get comfortable and add that task to the many other things we do which in turns robs us of precious time.
Our goal in life is not learning new things to move us forward in our business, but to learn new things and once we mastered it teach it to someone else to do it for us so we can move on the more cerebral things like brainstorming new products or services to give us an edge over our competitors.

Tiny Steps Can Lead to Big Results

You are probably asking yourself if you could automate or outsource what are you doing will it free up your time to pursue and reach your goals faster? Let’s start small. For example, if you grocery shop weekly, change it to 2 weeks and free up a good 4 hours a month.  Also look at what you buy often and start ordering through Amazon's subscribe and save program and start receiving items on auto-ship. Not only that this will free up more time, you no longer pay sales tax on those items and receive 15% discount for ordering 5 or more items, a win win.

Outsource Your Business Travel Planning

If you have a personal assistant, make sure that you are utilizing that assistant to take as much of the mundane off your shoulders as possible. If you do not have an assistant, you may want to consider a virtual assistant to handle as much of your business travel itinerary as possible.
When you come to think of it, using corporate transportation limousine service, in and of itself, is also a great time saver, especially if you have a long commute from the airport or even your job. Yes, driving is mundane so let someone else do it.

Corporate Transportation by Grand Avenue

Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it driving. Instead, rely on Grand Corporate, our on-call and worry-free business option that allows you to focus on your work, not the wheel. Whether we’re transporting you or your clients to and from the airport or serving as your mobile office for a long-distance drive, count on us to ensure you can get down to business.

The Destination

Expert transportation and navigation. Grand Avenue is prepared to take you anywhere and get you there on time. We guarantee it.
An international network. Grand Avenue seamlessly arranges global transportation in more than 550 cities around the world.

 

The Service

A dedicated account manager. He or she will work in tandem with your team to meet all your transportation needs.
Customized service. Grand Avenue will attend to your requirements, your tastes and your schedule.
Unrestricted access. Grand Avenue’s highly trained, responsive and efficient staff of professional chauffeurs and organizers is available to you.

The Fleet

The most diverse fleet in Nashville. From shuttles to vans, motor coaches to sedans, SUVs to limousines, Grand Avenue will accommodate your large corporate event or small team gathering.
The latest in-vehicle technology. Wi-Fi and GPS tracking is standard in every vehicle, ensuring the latest technology is working for you while you work.

The Perks

Our Grand Rewards program. Membership in Grand Corporate means automatic enrollment in Grand Rewards, ensuring you or your company earns points toward free travel every time you reserve with us.
Reduced administrative costs. Grand Avenue provides only point of contact for every ground transportation request.
Customized reporting. Grand Avenue helps you control expenses and access your billing online, or we will deliver invoices in any format you request.
Grand Avenue. Transportation for a 24/7/365 business world.


4 Unique Nashville Venues for Non-Traditional Weddings

Looking for the perfect, quirky venue for your unique Nashville wedding? Keep reading.

Planning a wedding is stressful, especially when your ideas for the celebration are outside-the-box.

In a city like Nashville, your wedding can be anything you want it to be: a traditional church event, a sprawling outdoor occasion or a festive experience in a funky venue.

unique nashville wedding venues

Nashville has it all, from amazing caterers and unique venues to world-class wedding transportation.

If you’re looking for amazing, unique Nashville wedding venues, this is the blog for you. We’ve listed a few of our favorites below.

The Factory

This unique set of spaces is located in picturesque Franklin, just a short drive from Nashville. The Factory offers several different spaces that can accommodate a lovely Nashville wedding: The Heritage Room, with its stages and expansive square footage, and the Jamison Hall, perfect for your wedding reception with its ambient lighting and nice dance floor.

The Commons Area, with its exposed beams and skylights, is the perfect space for a unique reception. The Factory offers historic flavor with modern amenities, allowing you to create the unique wedding of your dreams.

Ruby

Touted as a “Boutique Nashville Event Venue,” Ruby is a new space that pays special attention to providing a unique experience for those who book.

Housed in a 70-year-old church in the historic Hillsboro Village, Ruby provides all-around views of Nashville’s popular Dragon Park.

The outdoor experience is important to Ruby’s venue team; they offer park views from virtually every location in their space. The Main Room features sprawling floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed beams and an earthy, historic-chic ambiance. The Front Courtyard is a gorgeous space for a unique wedding ceremony, complete with a tree canopy and standard string lights.

Houston Station

This three-year-old spot in Nashville has quickly become a popular site for unique weddings and receptions. Exposed brick and exposed beams make this former factory a rustic, yet charming spot for your unique wedding. Tons of space for dancing and reception festivities, Houston Station adds a hint of industrial chic beauty to every wedding it hosts.

City Winery

Another new Music City venue destined to become popular among brides is City Winery, a unique space envisioned for entertainment, wine tastings, and delicious cuisine. Your small wedding ceremony and reception can be held in the venue’s main seating area; the atmosphere surrounding City Winery is electric, as the venue is located just a short walk from downtown Nashville.

From car service to the perfect venue, planning your wedding should be enjoyable and memorable. At the end of the day, you should have the wedding of your dreams to look forward, with minimal stress and anxiety. Whether you choose one of the venues from our list or have your own Nashville-area venue in mind, we hope your wedding is an as unique as you are.

Grand Avenue Worldwide

Corporate, special occasion and customized transportation

Welcome to Grand Avenue. Your ground transportation partner. Our diverse fleet — from motor coaches to vintage classics, sedans to limousines — easily accommodates a couple or a crowd. Our professional chauffeurs are attentive to your every request, while our experienced customer service representatives develop and execute precise travel plans tailored just for you.

Experience the Grand Difference - Grand Occasion

You've been waiting your whole life to celebrate your wedding. Let Grand Avenue elevate your celebration with one of our package selections. Sit back and leave the driving to one of our professional chauffeurs. Choose the best Nashville Wedding Transportation.

Ready to book? Grand Avenue's Wedding Professionals are here to help with all of your transportation needs. You have other things to worry about on the big day. Contact us today.

Customer Service Representatives are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help with your transportation needs.


25 Things You Should Know About Nashville

It may be known as Music City, but Nashville can do a lot more than just carry a tune. It’s a leading healthcare provider, a foodie destination, and a must-see for history buffs. It’s also the only place in the world where you’ll find a full-size replica of The Parthenon—and in a city park, no less. Here are a few things you might not know about the Tennessee capital.

25 Things You Should Know About Nashville

1. It’s named after Francis Nash, who was one of the few Patriot generals killed during the American Revolution. Among the early pioneers who settled Fort Nashborough, as it was first known, was a young Rachel Donelson, the future wife of President Andrew Jackson.

2. General William Driver retired to Nashville in 1837 and every morning would run up an enormous American flag he called “Old Glory” outside his home. After rumblings about secession began to spread, he hid the flag by sewing it into a coverlet. When Nashville fell to Union troops in 1862, Driver marched out and cut open his coverlet in front of General William “Bull” Nelson. The regiment ran up Driver’s flag at the capitol building and proclaimed their new motto “Old Glory.”

3. Historians credit The Battle of Nashville, fought in December 1864, as one of the greatest tactical victories for the Union Army during the Civil War. Fifty thousand Union defenders smashed one of the Confederacy’s largest armies at the time, the Army of Tennessee, and sent them retreating south to Mississippi.

4. Downtown Presbyterian Church, built in 1851, is one of the few examples of Egyptian Revival architecture in America.

5. Nashville’s musical reputation began with the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, an all-black a cappella group that toured the nation during the 1870s to raise money for the university. Their 1909 recording of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” was among the first inductees to the National Recording Registry, in 2002.

6. In 1892, salesman Joel Owsley Cheek convinced the food buyer for Nashville’s prestigious Maxwell House hotel to offer patrons his unique coffee blend, which he’d perfected by roasting over his mother’s stove. The coffee was such a hit that the hotel’s manager let Cheek sell it under the Maxwell House name. In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt paid a visit and, after drinking a cup, supposedly proclaimed it “Good to the last drop.”

7. In 1912, the Standard Candy Company came out with the Goo Goo Cluster, a candy bar filled with peanuts, marshmallow nougat and caramel. It was the first candy bar to combine more than two ingredients, and is still a favorite in Nashville and throughout the South.

8. The Grand Ole Opry, the country’s longest-running radio show, began in 1925 as the WSM Barn Dance. Appearing on the WSM radio station (the call letters stood for sponsor National Life & Accident Company’s slogan, “We Shield Millions!”), the featured performer was a fiddle player named Uncle Jimmy Thompson. Two years later, the show’s announcer, George Hay, came on the air following a classical music program and famously said, “For the last hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from grand opera and the classics. We now present our own Grand Ole Opry.”

9. During Prohibition, print shops along Printers Alley ran a collection of bars that became the city’s not-so-secret secret bar scene. After Prohibition was repealed, many of the bars stayed open, and several are still in business today.

10. Its well-known nickname was first uttered in 1950, when WSM announcer David Cobb proclaimed Nashville “Music City, USA.”

11. Nashville’s WSM radio station received the first FM radio license in 1941. Most listeners weren’t aware of the change beforehand, but they immediately took note of the clearer signal.

12. RCA Studio B, located on Nashville’s Music Row, is lit with red, blue, and green lights year around to commemorate an Elvis Presley Christmas album. While recording the album in July, The King had his crew put up the lights, along with a Christmas tree, to help get him in the holiday spirit. He also turned up the air conditioning full blast.

13. From February through May 1960, African-American college students staged a series of sit-ins at stores and restaurants throughout downtown. While these weren’t the first such displays of nonviolent protest, they were some of the most successful, leading to Nashville becoming the first Southern city to desegregate public establishments.

14. Oprah Winfrey spent part of her childhood in Nashville, where her father Vernon lived. At age 19, she took a job with WTFV-TV and became the city’s first female African-American news anchor.

15. Nashville’s capitol building, built in 1859, is one of America’s oldest capitol buildings still in operation. Its architect, William Strickland, modeled it after the monument of Lysicrates in Greece, and he considered it the greatest achievement of his career. When he died suddenly during construction in 1854, he was entombed in the building’s north façade.

16. In 1927, after reading a magazine article about guide dogs in Switzerland, a blind Vanderbilt student named Morris Frank traveled to Europe to train with a German Shepherd named Buddy. Morris returned less than a year later and founded the first seeing-eye dog training school in the U.S.

17. Nashville has the world’s only full-scale replica of The Parthenon. It’s located in Centennial Park and houses the city’s art museum. There’s also a 42-foot-tall statue of Athena inside.

18. In the late ‘50s, a group of country music producers, including the legendary Chet Atkins, began eliminating fiddles, steel guitars and other honky-tonk elements from recordings in order to update country music for modern audiences. Their efforts paved the way for contemporary country ballads, and became known as the “Nashville sound.”

19. Unsurprisingly, Nashville has the highest concentration of music industry employees of any city in the world, with nearly 60,000 total.

20. The music industry’s got nothing on the healthcare industry, though. Vanderbilt University, as well as Hospital Corporation of America and more than 300 other healthcare establishments account for more than 200,000 local jobs.

21. Nashville has the largest Kurdish community in North America, with more than 13,000 Kurds living and working in the city. Drawn by the low cost of living and available jobs, many arrived in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s after fleeing Saddam Hussein’s cultural genocide in Iraq.

22. There are more than 150 live music venues in Nashville. Those that feature live music four or more nights a week get to display a special sign shaped like a guitar pick.

23. Home to such down-home dishes as hot chicken, hot fish, and meat and three, Nashville is also a destination for refined palates. Travel + Leisure named it number 13 in its list of snobbiest American cities.

24. The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s estate, features a driveway shaped like a guitar. The design was meant to help carriages maneuver easily through the grounds, though Nashville residents like to think it was a good omen for the city’s future.

25. The Blue Room, a live venue located inside rocker Jack White’s Third Man Records, is the only venue in the world that records music directly to vinyl record.

Grand Avenue Tours

Experience Nashville in Grand style. Large or small, whether one person or an entire convention, we invite you to the beautiful grounds of Arrington Vineyards, to see the landmarks from Johnny Cash's life in Hendersonville, or head up to the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky. Fans of ABC's Nashville will want to check out the real house in Belle Meade where Rayna James lives or drive out to Juliette Barnes' rented mansion. Grand Avenue's tours are different; view landmarks from the comfort of a Sedan, SUV, Mercedes Lux Coach or any other vehicle in the fleet.

Grand Avenue has become synonymous with customized transportation. Let us show you all Nashville has to offer.

Call us at 615.714.5466 to book your tour!


3 Tips for better Corporate Travel

Corporate travel is a part of our lives that is always changing, with new technology, airline policies and budget restrictions coming in and going out. One thing about corporate travel that doesn’t seem to change is how stressful it can be. Keep reading for easy ways to improve your corporate travel experience.

3 Tips for better Corporate Travel

Make the leap for corporate Car Service

If you’ve been relying on rental cars, cabs, public transit or ride-sharing services until now, you need to finally opt for superior transportation.

How can corporate car service dramatically improve your next business trip?

Corporate car service provides chauffeurs instead of drivers; chauffeurs are professional, well-trained, drug-tested, background-checked, and have local expertise.

Corporate car service companies are attuned to the needs of the business travel far better than a cab company or ride-sharing service

Corporate car service provides you with a virtually stress-free commute; no driving, hunting for parking or contending with the craziness of other drivers. Just a peaceful ride while someone else drives, parks and negotiates pick up and drop off times.

Ground transportation is one of the most important parts of the business travel puzzle.

Know your technology

Every year, there are new apps for improving and managing your corporate travel experience. Find the apps that will benefit you most this year. Check out some of our favorites:

DUFL: This app is truly revolutionary, allowing business travelers to go luggage-free. Simply set up your DUFL account and create a virtual business wardrobe. DUFL will retrieve, store, clean and dispatch your luggage to you in your destination city. All you have to do is choose the clothes you want to wear. Learn more at dufl.com.

Concur: 2016 is the year to finally let go of traditional expense reporting and get on board with Concur. From the convenience of your smartphone, you can export your expense reports straight to the office, sync your phone with your office account for necessary approvals, and easily keep track of every dime you spend.

Doodle: This group schedule-maker is the perfect solution to any business traveler’s meeting woes.

Squeeze in more leisure time

More and more business travelers are opting to squeeze in some leisure time on top of their business demands, and it makes sense. You’re already in a destination city—why not spend some time enjoying its features and attractions?

Leisure time is also beneficial in avoiding burnout. If all you do for 72 hours is stare at documents and discuss projections, your brain is going to go into a rut. Heading out to see a movie, visit a museum or relax in a park can help break up the monotony and recharge your batteries.

Another benefit of leisure time? It can help you get familiar with the home city of an important client. Remember: good client relationships depend on more than just business. Learning about their home city could help you make a personal connection with them, which is highly valuable in continuing relationships.

Corporate Transportation

Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it driving. Instead, rely on Grand Corporate, our on-call and worry-free business option that allows you to focus on your work, not the wheel. Whether we’re transporting you or your clients to and from the airport or serving as your mobile office for a long-distance drive, count on us to ensure you can get down to business.

The Destination

Expert transportation and navigation. Grand Avenue is prepared to take you anywhere and get you there on time. We guarantee it.

An international network. Grand Avenue seamlessly arranges global transportation in more than 550 cities around the world.

The Service

A dedicated account manager. He or she will work in tandem with your team to meet all your transportation needs.

Customized service. Grand Avenue will attend to your requirements, your tastes and your schedule.

Unrestricted access. Grand Avenue’s highly trained, responsive and efficient staff of professional chauffeurs and organizers is available to you.

The Fleet

The most diverse fleet in Nashville. From shuttles to vans, motor coaches to sedans, SUVs to limousines, Grand Avenue will accommodate your large corporate event or small team gathering.

The latest in-vehicle technology. Wi-Fi and GPS tracking is standard in every vehicle, ensuring the latest technology is working for you while you work.

The Perks

Our Grand Rewards program. Membership in Grand Corporate means automatic enrollment in Grand Rewards, ensuring you or your company earns points toward free travel every time you reserve with us.

Reduced administrative costs. Grand Avenue provides only point of contact for every ground transportation request.

Customized reporting. Grand Avenue helps you control expenses and access your billing online, or we will deliver invoices in any format you request.

Grand Avenue. Transportation for a 24/7/365 business world.


6 Must-see Nashville Attractions for Country Music Fans

When the Grand Ole Opry came on air for the first time on November 28, 1925, country music history was being made. Up to that point, country music didn’t have a “home,” but the weekly radio show would soon change that.

Over the years, in large thanks to the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville has become the home base for the country music industry, producing country music superstars like Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Dolly Parton. When planning your next trip to Nashville, TN, here are the must-see country music attractions you won’t want to miss!

Grand Ole Opry

1. Grand Ole Opry

Known as “the show that made country music famous,” the Grand Ole Opry should be the first stop in Nashville on every country music fan’s list. This weekly live country music show, which is broadcast nationally via WSM Radio, features live performances from country music greats and newcomers.

There are typically 3-4 live shows a week from the Grand Ole Opry House at Opry Mills, with a different lineup every night. In the winter months, the Grand Ole Opry moves from the Grand Ole Opry House to the historic Ryman Auditorium for “Opry at The Ryman.” Before you head out to the show, make sure to take a guided tour of the Grand Ole Opry which takes you backstage, onstage and in the spotlight at the show that made country music famous.

2. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The current home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum sits at 222 5th Ave S in downtown Nashville and holds more country music history than any other place on the planet! This is a must-see for any country music fan wanting to get an in-depth look into the country music industry. A walk through the museum will take you back in time to the roots of country music, as well as showcase exhibits of the great artist and songsmiths of the 21st century.

Remember Elvis’s gold Cadillac? The Country Music Hall of Fame has got it! It’s open seven days a week and is closed on all major holidays.

3. The Ryman

One of the most recognizable landmarks in Nashville, Tennessee, The Ryman Auditorium is downtown Nashville’s premiere music venue. The Ryman originated in 1892 as a place of worship, but in the 1900’s, the building began hosting secular events such as concerts, boxing matches and other attractions. What really made the Ryman Auditorium world-famous was the Grand Ole Opry, which was held at the Ryman from 1963–1974.

After the Opry left the Ryman in the 1970’s, the venue remained mostly vacant until its renovation in 1994. Since then, the stage of the Ryman has been graced by some of the biggest names in modern music history. The Ryman Auditorium features live performances and events weekly and also offers daily tours of the venue and backstage areas, which are both adorned with memorabilia from over the 100-year history of the auditorium.

4. Broadway Honky Tonks

Stepping onto downtown Nashville’s iconic Broadway Street will take you back to a simpler time when 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots reigned supreme. Broadway (as the locals call it) is home to Nashville’s honky tonks and sometimes even an Elvis Presley impersonator or two.

If you want to see live country music at its best, Broadway is the place to hear it. The bands get started around 10am and go until last-call. Some of country music’s best got their start singing at the honky tonks, so pay attention because you may just be listening to the next great country music star. And don’t forget to check out the world-famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Legend has it, this is where country music artists would hang out after their gigs at the Ryman (located right behind the bar).

5. Bluebird Cafe

When you hear a country music song on the radio, chances are that song was written or co-written by one of Nashville’s top songwriters. Songwriters are the staple of the country music industry and are often lesser known than the artist who sings the songs they wrote. The Bluebird Cafe is a music venue that celebrates the songwriter and on any given night, you’ll be serenaded by the guys and gals who pinned your favorite country music songs. Writers who perform at the Bluebird Cafe often show up with only their guitar and sing songs next to 2-3 other writers in a format Nashville has dubbed “in the round.” Make sure to book your reservation in advance because this intimate venue only has 100 seats and sells out almost every night. And if you plan on attending a show at the Bluebird Cafe, dress accordingly because you have to wait outside to be seated!

6. Music Row

On a map of Nashville, they may be called 16th and 17th Avenues South, but locals refer to this area as “Music Row.” These two streets are home to many of the record labels and recording studios that have made country music what it is today. Every major country music artist has spent time on the row, and if you’re lucky, you just may see your favorite country music artist going in or out of a business meeting.

On Music Row, you’ll see historical sites like RCA’s famed Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded more than 260 songs! Music Row is also home to Sony Music Nashville, Warner Brothers, Curb Records, ASCAP & BMI (music rights organizations), Ocean Way Recording Studio, and pretty much every music publisher in town!

When you come to Nashville, Music Row is a definite MUST on your list.

Grand Avenue Tours

Experience Nashville in Grand style. Large or small, whether one person or an entire convention, we invite you to the beautiful grounds of Arrington Vineyards, to see the landmarks from Johnny Cash's life in Hendersonville, or head up to the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky. Fans of ABC's Nashville will want to check out the real house in Belle Meade where Rayna James lives or drive out to Juliette Barnes' rented mansion.

Grand Avenue's tours are different; view landmarks from the comfort of a Sedan, SUV, Mercedes Lux Coach or any other vehicle in the fleet.

Grand Avenue has become synonymous with customized transportation. Let us show you all Nashville has to offer.

Call 615.714.5466 or e-mail info@grandavenueworldwide.com to book your tour.


How Executives Can Enjoy Air Travel

Even if you’re flying first class, long flights can be an uncomfortable experience. As often as executive’s travel, it’s important that flights are as pleasant as possible. Without trying to produce the luxury experience of a private jet, let’s looks at a few ways executive travelers can improve their flying experience.

Executive Travel

Seat Selection

Although you may be flying first class, not every seat has the same comfort level. Be sure to think about if you prefer a window seat over an aisle seat. If you’re looking to catch some sleep on the flight, the window seat might be most appropriate because you’ll be able to lean against the fuselage, plus you won’t have to worry about being constantly bumped by people walking though the aisle. If you’re looking for optimum leg room, the aisle seat would be your best choice. Also consider the location of the seat in relation to the bathroom. If your seat is right next to the bathroom, expect to have people walking past you constantly during the flight.

Comfort Items

Depending on the airline, the complementary comfort items can vary. Sometimes airlines provide a complimentary pillow or blanket, but these items are often low quality and are not comfortable. If you are looking to get some rest on the flight, you want to think about bringing your own head rest and blanket. If you forget to bring these items to the airport, you can often buy them in a travel shop inside the terminal.

Early Check-in

One way to avoid the airport rush is to check-in early online. Most airlines offer this luxury and it’s an easy way to save time on the day of the flight. Checking-in online allows you to bypass the long check-in lines and arrive at your gate in plenty of time.

Entertainment Items

Depending on the length of the flight and the airline, sometimes movies and TV are offered during the flight. However, not all airlines provide complimentary headphones, so make sure to bring a pair of your own just in case. The entertainment options are usually limited, so be sure to bring your personal electronic devices such as iPods, iPads, and CD players as a backup.

Blocking Out Distractions

It’s impossible to control the passengers around you on a flight, so sometimes noise can put a real damper on your comfort level. Make sure you come prepared with eyeshades and earplugs to block out the distractions around you. Sometimes these little items can have a big difference on your travel experience.

Also, if you’re someone who needs the help of sleeping medicine to assist you with your in-flight rest, make sure to bring the appropriate medicine. Depending on the length of your flight, this can have a big impact on your overall comfort during a flight.

There are many things executive travelers can do to improve their flying experience. From bringing headphones and pillow to eyeshades and sleeping medicine, make sure you bring the appropriate items to make your executive travel experience a breeze.

 

We don’t know how much this can change your air experience but we know that we can change the travel transfer experience.

Don’t waste it driving, after you have landed, Instead, rely on Grand Corporate, our on-call and worry-free business option that allows you to focus on your work, not the wheel. Whether we’re transporting you or your clients to and from the airport or serving as your mobile office for a long-distance drive, count on us to ensure you can get down to business.

The Destination

Expert transportation and navigation. Grand Avenue is prepared to take you anywhere and get you there on time. We guarantee it.

An international network. Grand Avenue seamlessly arranges global transportation in more than 550 cities around the world.

The Service

A dedicated account manager. He or she will work in tandem with your team to meet all your transportation needs.

Customized service. Grand Avenue will attend to your requirements, your tastes and your schedule.

Unrestricted access. Grand Avenue’s highly trained, responsive and efficient staff of professional chauffeurs and organizers is available to you.

The Fleet

The most diverse fleet in Nashville. From shuttles to vans, motor coaches to sedans, SUVs to limousines, Grand Avenue will accommodate your large corporate event or small team gathering.

The latest in-vehicle technology. Wi-Fi and GPS tracking is standard in every vehicle, ensuring the latest technology is working for you while you work.

The Perks

Our Grand Rewards program. Membership in Grand Corporate means automatic enrollment in Grand Rewards, ensuring you or your company earns points toward free travel every time you reserve with us.

Reduced administrative costs. Grand Avenue provides only point of contact for every ground transportation request.

Customized reporting. Grand Avenue helps you control expenses and access your billing online, or we will deliver invoices in any format you request.

Grand Avenue. Transportation for a 24/7/365 business world.

Contact Grand Avenue today and choose to be driven.


Exploring Nashville

Heralded as Music City, U.S.A., and the country-music capital of the world, Tennessee's fast-growing capital city also shines as a leading center of higher education, appropriately known as the Athens of the South. Nashville has prospered from both labels, emerging as one of the South's most vibrant cities in the process. The District, the downtown area along 2nd Avenue and historic Broadway, has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, with restaurants, specialty shopping, and entertainment options. The historic sites throughout the city—such as the Hermitage and the Belle Meade Plantation—add another dimension.

Exploring Nashville

Because there are many interesting and amazing things to see and experience in Nashville, today we give a first short list of must see’s

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

One of the world’s largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American music, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-see for everyone visiting Nashville. The museum has amassed one of the world’s most extensive musical collections since its charter in 1964. The museum immerses visitors in the history of sounds of country music, its origins and traditions, and the stories and voices of many of its architects! In addition to the galleries, the museum has the 776-seat CMA Theater, the Taylor Swift Education Center, and multi-purpose event rental spaces. The museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm. This is one museum you don’t want to miss out on visiting!

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium is a 2,362-seat live performance venue best known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. Built in the 1880s, the Ryman Auditorium is named in honor of the man who built the Nashville landmark. As the largest structure in the area, the Ryman Auditorium soon became a popular place for community events, political rallies and popular turn-of the-century entertainment including operas, symphonies, bands, ballets and theatrical productions. While the Ryman was gaining recognition as an entertainment site, George D. Hay was creating a radio show that would become an international phenomenon - the Grand Ole Opry®. In 1943, with crowds too big and too rowdy for other Nashville venues, the Opry found a home at the Ryman. For the next thirty-one years, the Ryman served as the premier stage for the Opry’s live radio shows, which included such legends as Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline and Roy Acuff. There is something truly special about visiting and catching a performance at the Ryman Auditorium, which makes it an extremely popular Nashville landmark!

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art

This privately-funded 55-acre estate on the western edge of Nashville was formerly the residence of Nashville’s prominent Cheek family. Converted into a museum in 1960, this gorgeous Georgian-style mansion is a must-see. Cheekwood’s art collection was founded in 1959 upon the holdings of the former Nashville Museum of Art and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The core holdings include broad collections of American art; American and British decorative arts; contemporary art, especially outdoor sculpture acquired for the Woodland Sculpture Trail. Extending across the grounds from the Museum of Art, the Botanical Garden encompasses the entire 55-acre (22 ha) site with an emphasis on display, education, and study.

 

Centennial Park and Parthenon

The Centennial Park is a large urban park approximately two miles west of downtown Nashville. This gorgeous park was originally farmland that had belonged to Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill, the first teacher in the state. In 1897, it was the site of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition and was renamed Centennial Park. Most of the buildings and exhibits were dismantled after the exposition ended, with the exception of a full-scale model of the Athenian Parthenon. The Parthenon replica, built largely out of plaster as a temporary exhibit building began to fall into disrepair and was proposed for demolition on several occasions, but public sentiment in favor of this symbol of Nashville as the "Athens of the South" precluded this. Finally, in the 1920s it was agreed to replace the temporary plaster building with a permanent, concrete and steel replacement which remains today and has been refurbished on several occasions. Today, the Parthenon functions primarily as an art gallery. It contains a statue of Pallas Athena, said to be the largest indoor sculpture in the Western world.

Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion, also known as Acklen Hall, and originally known as Belle Monte, Belle Mont or Belmont, is a historic mansion located in Nashville, Tennessee on the campus of Belmont University that today functions as a museum. In 1849, Adelicia Hayes Franklin married Joseph Alexander Smith Acklen, a young attorney from Alabama, and they immediately began construction of Belle Monte (Belmont) on 180 acres (73 ha) in Davidson County. It was completed by 1853 as an Italian villa style summer home. Months before her death, Adelicia sold Belmont, and the surrounding land, to Lewis T. Baxter for around $54,000. In 1890, it opened as a women's academy and junior college. The school merged with Ward's Seminary in 1913 and was renamed Ward-Belmont. The Tennessee Baptist Convention purchased the school in 1951, and created a four-year, coeducational college. In 2007, Belmont University separated from the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Today the mansion is owned by the Belmont Mansion Association and Belmont University while it is operated and preserved by the Belmont Mansion Association. Gilt frame mirrors hang over marble mantels reflecting the elaborate gasoliers and elegantly furnished parlors. Much of the original Venetian glass still adorns the windows, doors, and transoms of Belmont. The Grand Salon is considered by architectural historians to be the most elaborate domestic interior built in antebellum Tennessee. The gardens are now maintained as part of the University campus, including five cast iron gazebos. The 105-foot (32 m) water tower remains on the grounds and today serves as a Bell Tower for Belmont University.

Not sure what to do in Nashville?  Choose Grand Avenue Tours

Experience Nashville in Grand style. Large or small, whether one person or an entire convention, we invite you to the beautiful grounds of Arrington Vineyards, to see the landmarks from Johnny Cash's life in Hendersonville, or head up to the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky. Fans of ABC's Nashville will want to check out the real house in Belle Meade where Rayna James lives or drive out to Juliette Barnes' rented mansion.

Grand Avenue's tours are different; view landmarks from the comfort of a Sedan, SUV, Mercedes Lux Coach or any other vehicle in the fleet.

Grand Avenue has become synonymous with customized transportation. Let us show you all Nashville has to offer.


Posted by: Grand Avenue - Valerie
05/20/2016

Executive Travel
Nashville
Nashville Airport
San Francisco

I Left My Heart (and cocktail) in San Francisco

I Left My Heart (and cocktail) in San Francisco

When United Airlines and the Metro Nashville Airport Authority announced a nonstop flight to San Francisco, they opened the press conference at Nashville International Airport with a trio of Victorian era carolers who sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. The announcement was applauded by a large (very happy) group, led by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

This follows a string of recently announced new nonstop service from Nashville International Airport including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, Oakland and Indianapolis. BNA is currently served by 10 airlines and offers 390 daily flights. Nashville International Airport provides nonstop air service to more than 50 destinations.

The 5h 5m daily flight to SFO began on May 5, 2016. This is Nashville’s only nonstop flight to the Golden Gate City. In 2011, SFO was the 8th busiest airport in the U.S. and 22nd busiest in the world, handling over 40.9 million passengers. I’d be curious to know what that number is today.

San Francisco is known for many things -- its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridgecable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal PenitentiaryFisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district.

One thing not listed on The City by the Bay’s Wikipedia page is their famous cocktail scene. See below for a list of 10 of hottest spots according to cocktail expert, Camper English.

 The Bar Report: San Francisco

By Camper English, August 5, 2015 -DEPARTURES

San Francisco's greatest cocktail bars, from the classics that keep us coming back to the brand new spots we find most impressive.

Long at the cutting edge of the craft cocktail renaissance, San Francisco’s beverage scene has now settled into a comfortable middle-age in which every new bar and restaurant hosts a quality drink list. Because the average cocktail program is of such high caliber, it's hard for the visitor to know which members of the old guard are as exciting as ever, and which new venues are worth making a trip to visit. Enter our cocktail expert (and San Francisco native) Camper English: Here, he highlights the top five longstanding cocktail spots in the city, as well as the most promising new additions to the landscape.

NOPA

The massive, bar-centric restaurant NOPA has been doing cocktails so right for so long it’s fallen off the media’s radar; but as the throngs of patrons prove, locals still line up for their unique creations. Always ahead of the trend, the bar championed once-esoteric ingredients like shrub syrups, sherry, and vermouth-based cocktails long before the cocktail cognoscenti widely adopted them, and began emphasizing low-proof, food-friendly drinks on their menus while other bars were still promoting boozy “brown, bitter, and stirred” classics. Drinks here can be a touch obscure for the budding cocktail enthusiast but the bartenders are there to guide you toward options that suit your mood. The former bank building features an impressively long bar where many patrons choose to dine with their drinks; it's especially delightful to grab a seat here for brunch, when the sun streams through the massive wall of windows. 560 Divisadero St.; 415-864-8643; nopasf.com.

 NOPA San Francisco

@Alanna Hale - NOPA

Bar Agricole

Fine dining meets farm-to-glass at Agricole, where the world’s most meticulous recipe and ingredient sourcing is par for the course. Take, for example, the House Old Fashioned—what you'd assume to be a simple drink. Based on a private-barrel cognac procured in France by the bartenders on a research trip, the drink is made of a dry rye gin plus a spoonful each of a locally made gomme syrup and a maraschino liqueur developed in partnership with the bar owner; two different housemade bitters, which take up to two months to infuse; served over hand-cut ice in a delicate tempered Japanese glass. Each cocktail on the list is given this much attention, and everything Bar Agricole does is utterly deserving of yours. 355 11th St.; 415-355-9400; baragricole.com.

Comstock Saloon

The most popular order off Comstock’s short-and-simple drink menu isn’t a cocktail at all, but rather the option to let the bartender create something à la minute. Order the Barkeep’s Whimsy and specify something bourbon-based and effervescent, for example, and the bartender might recreate a classic or invent something totally original. Bars around the country have adopted this system, but that no place does it as well as Comstock. The bar’s two rooms have restored or recreated accents from the 1907 building (built, as most things in this part of town, after the Great Quake of 1906), including the tile floors, horizontal chain-pulled ceiling fans, and under-bar spittoon trough that is, thankfully, not in active use. Don’t pass up the Barbary Coast-era fare (pot pie, oysters, chicken livers, and the like), and cross your fingers that your visit coincides with the live, old-timey music performed from the tiny balcony. 155 Columbus Ave.; 415-617-0071; comstocksaloon.com.

Trick Dog

A remarkable balancing act between quality, speed, and fun, Trick Dog remains a destination cocktail bar that—despite its location slightly off the beaten path in the Mission District—is (nearly) always busy. Its menus, which change twice annually, are a thing of legend: once the drinks were listed on an album’s inner record label, another time on a Pantone color strips; and a third in the style of a Chinese restaurant menu, complete with pictures and numbered cocktail names. Drinks contain tiny amounts of exotic ingredients like balsam fir, raisin liqueur, and walnut-infused Fernet Branca. With the bustling crowds and remarkably speedy bartenders, drinkers usually breeze into Trick Dog for a few quick cocktails then head elsewhere: Thanks to the great service, it’s a quick visit but one that always leaves a lasting impression. 3010 20th St.; 415-471-2999; trickdogbar.com.

Smuggler's Cove

This three-level, but ultimately tiny, tiki bar will forever stand in the shadow of the magnificently grandTonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel, but the opposite can be said of the cocktails. The roughly 80 drinks on the list are constructed by several of the world’s best bartenders (objectively speaking), who throw together rounds of eight-ingredient cocktails like they’re mixing vodka sodas. Accordingly, Smuggler's Cove is the only San Francisco establishment consistently placed on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Waits can be long and no reservations are accepted, so the regulars here know to arrive early and, importantly, to eat first: The rum is strong and the drinks are so good, it’s hard to get your sea legs once you’ve found reason to leave. 650 Gough St.; 415-869-1900; smugglerscovesf.com.

 Smugglers Cove San Francisco

@Allison Webber - Smuggler's Cove

Dirty Habit

Despite its slightly unappetizing name, Dirty Habit—located at the site of the former Fifth Floor restaurant in the Hotel Zelos—serves up some of the city’s most impressive cocktails and cocktail-friendly food. The multi-environment space includes several lounge and restaurant areas, barstools, and an outdoor patio—parts of which are often cordoned off for private cocktail parties. The drink list is one of the longest in San Francisco and emphasizes fresh ingredients like rhubarb, pear juice, baked apples, and carrots, so let seasonality be your guide. There is a short list of shareable beverages, too, which are ideal for small groups at happy hour. 12 Fourth St.; 415-348-1555; dirtyhabitsf.com.

Dirty Habit

Despite its slightly unappetizing name, Dirty Habit—located at the site of the former Fifth Floor restaurant in the Hotel Zelos—serves up some of the city’s most impressive cocktails and cocktail-friendly food. The multi-environment space includes several lounge and restaurant areas, barstools, and an outdoor patio—parts of which are often cordoned off for private cocktail parties. The drink list is one of the longest in San Francisco and emphasizes fresh ingredients like rhubarb, pear juice, baked apples, and carrots, so let seasonality be your guide. There is a short list of shareable beverages, too, which are ideal for small groups at happy hour. 12 Fourth St.; 415-348-1555; dirtyhabitsf.com.

 Pabu

A decadently huge, modern Japanese izakaya by chef Ken Tominaga in partnership with Michael Mina (whose namesake restaurant is located across the street), Pabu has quickly become one of the most grand and exciting dining and drinking spots in the city. The cocktails, available at the large square atrium-enclosed bar or while dining, reflect the restaurant’s philosophy of refined subtle simplicity: a drink may contain gin, citrus, and lavender-wasabi salt, and come served with hand-cut ice with flowers frozen inside. Japanese ingredients including yuzu, tea, and sake are featured, and the Japanese whisky selection is one of the best in town—if not the country. 101 California St.; 415-668-7228;pabuizakaya.com.

Dirty Water

Situated within the large atrium inside the Twitter building on Market Street, Dirty Water (apparently San Francisco really has an issue with naming its bars), opened as an all-purpose, all-day bar-cum-restaurant last year. The food program now includes brunch, a late night menu, and a more expanded lunch menu, and the roomy lounge area is equipped with over 100 wines by the glass and more than 50 beers on tap. The cocktail menu lists thirteen classic and original drinks but a wide range of additional offerings are listed on an iPad, along with the complete wine and beer lists. Early stand-outs include the earthy Long Strange Trip cocktail with candy cap mushroom–infused rye whiskey, as well as The Bank Exchange with its combination of pisco and ginger beer. 1355 Market St.; 888-393-0530; dirtywatersf.com.

ABV

In the guise of an easygoing, friendly Mission neighborhood watering hole, this bar runs one of the tightest ships in town. All of the bartenders at ABV work a shift on the floor each week, so everyone on staff is able to expertly guide patrons through the exotic-sounding cocktails on the drink list, organized by base spirit. Strongly flavored, high-proof cocktails are the specialty of the house (the name is the acronym for “alcohol by volume”), but those seeking a little less kick can opt for the bucket-sized Michelada, or the rose wine on tap. With probably the best (and speediest) bar food in town (the quarter-pound pimento cheese burger is a particular favorite) there are plenty of alcohol-absorbing bites to keep you steady while you work your way through the cocktails. 3174 16th St.; 415-400-4748; abvsf.com.

http://www.departures.com/travel/best-bars-in-san-francisco-classic-spots-and-new-places-to-drink/13