All Sorts of Nashville Souvenirs
Don’t settle for a Music City ashtray made in Taiwan when you can take home souvenirs genuinely crafted in Nashville or the midstate. I’ve categorized them for easy shopping–and added a section of airport gift shops at the end for those last-minute purchases on your way out of town.
Wide selection shops
Sure, you’ll find shirts as well as ball caps, aprons, buttons and much more. Some allow you to buy online, saving you the hassle of lugging things home.
They find all kinds of Nashville goodness and–wait for it–batch them together for you. Everything from cookbooks to cocktail mixers. Find them online or visit their booth in Nashville’s Farmers Market adjacent to the Bicentennial Mall.
Ilex and Sarah Pounders search the state looking for quality products that represent Tennessee well–and stock them in their three stores–L&L Marketplace in The Nations, 12South, and in The Factory in Franklin.
Although a general merchandise store, this East Nashville shop has a sizeable inventory of Nashville-centric items including home decor, coasters, mugs, magnets, postcards, Christmas ornaments, caps, and more.
It’s kind of an all-in-one destination for wearables as well as mugs, placards and guitar picks. Two locations right in the thick of things: Bridgestone Arena and Fifth and Broadway, and another at the airport.
Contrary to the name, you’ll also find Grand Ole Opry branded merchandise as well as items connected to the Ryman Auditorium and Ole Red. There are gift shops in all these locations as well as the Nashville airport.
Technically, it’s not a tourist store but boy, do tourists flock there for their eclectic collection ranging from housewares to pricey clothing accessories. Owned by singer/songwriter Holly Williams, it’s self-described as “a general store for the modern tastemaker.” Local stores in 12South, Green Hills, Belle Meade and Franklin.
These folks put NASH on all kinds of things–shirts, hats, drink koozies, water bottles, purses, baby clothes–to tell the world you’ve been here.
Most of their wares are local food items including artisan baked goods, spices, butter and such but they also stock homegoods and other items by grassroot entrepreneurs in the area. It’s located in oneCITY, a development between Centennial Park and Charlotte Avenue.
“Eclectic” seems to be a fitting description for this East Nashville gift shop where you can buy books, wall art, refrigerator magnets, t-shirts and a “I brake for opossums” bumper sticker. The address: 1006 Fatherland Street, Suite 305A.
Although not specifically a souvenir shop, you’ll find an assortment of items with Nashville connections–“Have a Holly Dolly Christmas” sweatshirt, a soy candle which claims to be scented with “music, whiskey, good times,” soaps, an assortment of seasonings and dry food mixes.
The designers at Anderson Design Studio created a wildly popular series of posters celebrating many aspects of Nashville. These days its designs are incorporated into t-shirts, playing cards, postcards, calendars and journals. Some items can be found in stores; all are available online and at their store at 116 29th Avenue N., near Centennial Park. (top photo: Anderson Design Studio)
Hatch has been smashing ink to paper on a letterpress, the old-school way, since 1879. Lots of cool, classic designs. Located in the hallway that connects the Country Music Hall of Fame with the Omni Hotel.
On the upscale side of souvenirs, check out I+W’s tailored-to-fit denim at a price of, say, $275. People say they feel great, look great. I’ll trust their refined sensibilities. Other garments and accessories too.
Boy howdy, do we have boots! Click on “Cowboy boots” and you’ll head to everything you need to know about buying them.
You can order shirts, caps, mugs and glasses online or visit their outpost in Marathon Village.
Nashville’s signature candy bar, you’ll find them at souvenir shops, hotel lobbies, grocery stores and their dessert boutique at 116 3rd Avenue, S. FYI, this lil chunk of heaven is chocolate enveloping layers of marshmallow, caramel and peanuts. Made nationally famous as an Opry sponsor, “Go get a Goo-Goo, it’s good.”
Folks, this ain’t Willy Wonka-land. This artisan shop proudly declares itself Tennessee’s only bean-to-bar chocolate maker. They’ve been lauded in Bon Appetit, Southern Living, and Garden & Gun. (I do not lie.) Tours available.
It all started when McKenzie Colt, a former member of the “Hee Haw” cast, decided to shift from the cornfield to the kitchen. First came Colt Bolts, peanut butter and almonds surrounded by chocolates. Now there are all sorts of divine desserts.
Pralines, turtles, caramels, dental floss. Okay, not the last one. This fourth-generation confectionary could launch you into one delirious sugar rush–but what a way to go. Located inside Bull’s Run Breezeway on 2nd Ave. N. near the Wild Horse Saloon.
What started as gourmet handmade marshmallows is now an entire line of confectionery delights.
Bacon brittle, need I say more? Okay, there’s also peanut brittle, pecan brittle and cashew brittle. Gluten-free and lower in sugar than what Grandma made.
Doubletree Hotels place these signature cookies on pillows instead of mints. Made with real everything. Now there’s a retail outlet at their factory in Germantown, near the Sounds stadium. Take home a tin or order online.
His ad copy nails it: crisp like a cookie, chewy like a brownie, looks like a cupcake. You’re not just buying a treat. You’re connecting to a Tennessee legend. The owner, ironically named Jeff, will thank you for keeping the legend alive. Available in lemon, vanilla and other flavors.
Confession: I like cupcakes but not the mondo-sized/mountain of icing versions. Enter Cupcake Collection in Germantown. For under $2, you can delight yourself with one of their mini-sized cupcakes with a rotating cavalcade of flavors including strawberry lemonade, coconut creme, wedding cake and key lime in addition to old faithfuls like chocolate. Take a seat on the front porch with your cup of coffee and eat souvenirs to your heart’s content. Note: they are closed on Saturday.
Toffee popcorn? Yes, please. Or almond toffee made with milk chocolate or dark chocolate. All created in a certified-Kosher kitchen.
A taste of Nashville
Famous for their biscuits, they sell biscuit mix, preserves, country ham and more. What’s on the table can be in your suitcase going home. My recommendation: the peach preserves.
I walked by their little restaurant/shop in Berry Hill recently and apparently it’s a hit with visitors because not a single car had a Tennessee license plate. I gave their strawberry jam to family members one Christmas. If you’re stopping by for gifts, you might as well have a delicious breakfast or lunch.
Take some heat home with you. It’s a lot easier to pack than a 2-piece meal from one of our many hot chicken joints. Available in stores as well as online.
For sippable souvenirs, consult Distilleries and Breweries.
Airport gift shops
All of these vendors have significant local connections.
The ARTS District Market Nashville food and gift items as well as travel essentials. Concourse A.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Music, clothing, furnishings and more. Central Marketplace,
Draper James Fashion and housewares emporium founded by Reese Witherspoon. Central Marketplace.
Johnston & Murphy Did you know this storied shoemaker is headquartered in Nashville? Central Marketplace.
The Music City Shop Clothing and accessories by Nashville-based vendors. Central Marketplace,
Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum Music across a variety of genres as well as collectible shirts and such. Concourse B
Nashville Jam Session Musical instruments, wearables and more. Central Marketplace.
Nashville Threads A unique marketplace of items created and offered by the minority community. Concourse C.
The Opry Shop Pretty self-explanatory name for items related to the legendary radio and live show. Concourse C.
Parnassus Books The Nashville connection? It’s co-owned by locally based, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett. Central Marketplace.
Smashville Your one-stop shop for Nashville Predators gear.
Tennessee Tribute News and Gifts Named for our most prominent African-American newspaper, you’ll find reading material, snacks and drinks as well as local gift items. Pre-Security and C/D Connector.
Tennessee Whiskey Company Something to sip and savor when you get home.
True to Tennessee Items sourced from throughout the state including clothing, accessories, and gift foods. Concourses C and D.