You’ve moved to Nashville and you’re all settled into your new city. Now what should you do first?!

Not unlike other towns, Nashville has a vibe that is all its own! Expect it to take some getting used to, especially if you’re new to the ways of the South. After moving to Nashville, I now drink sweet tea on a semi-regular basis, I’m convinced I spot Taylor Swift at least once every other month, and I have come to the realization that there are in fact more hipsters than cowboys in this city. But there is so much more one has to do to achieve ‘native’ status after moving to Nashville.

So without further ado, here are five things to try when you’re new to Music City and looking to earn your local card:

1. Get some sizzle on your tongue by eating Nashville hot chicken.

If there’s one thing that you can only find in Nashville (even though KFC is trying to take it nationwide)  – it’s hot chicken. Hot chicken is spicy, hot, seasoned fried chicken, and this stuff is dangerously spicy and delicious (seriously – many joints won’t even sell their ‘extra hot’ version to you if they know you’re a first-timer). You can get your fix at either Hattie B’s (the newer kid on the block) or the original, old-school Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Both restaurants’ super secret spice blends will make you cry tears of pure joy, or maybe pure pain and joy! Prince’s is touted as the granddaddy of hot chicken, but Hattie B’s is a recent local and tourist favorite with spice levels ranging from Southern (no heat) to Shut the Cluck Up. If you’ve ever wondered where hot chicken came from, local folklore claims that the prototype hot chicken was created as punishment by the girlfriend of Prince’s founder, Thornton Prince III. Thornton was a rooster that was mighty fond of the hens and after staying out too late one night, his girlfriend decided to teach a lesson that involved a ridiculous amount of chili pepper in his fried chicken.Turns out that he loved it so much he started selling it. #plottwist.

2. Get your honky tonk on.

Yep, we admitted it. Although natives will avoid downtown Broadway like the plague (because it’s apparently illegal for you to go unless you’re with a bachelorette party), hitting up the famous honky tonk and dive bars is an absolute rite of passage after moving to Nashville. So throw on some cowboy boots and head down to the legendary Tootsie’s and Wildhorse Saloon for some bluegrass, bottomless beers, and shambly karaoke (that didn’t start with a b – oops). If you missed your workout for the day, consider going on a Pedal Tavern tour through downtown Nashville with a group of friends. You literally hop on, pedal, and drink beer. Cardio and carbs never looked so good.

3. Get Yourself at Least One Hatch Show Print to hang in your new home.

Or at least have one safely tucked away in a safe place. Pro tip: A home or office in Nashville without a Hatch Show Print hanging on its walls is either a travesty or belongs to a newbie, so go get yourself a one-of-a-kind poster to put the cherry on top of your move to Nashville. Hatch Show Print One of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America. They still craft their posters by hand downtown and if you see a show at the Ryman (see #4), you’ll find posters for each show there. Didn’t you need something “Nashville” to start collecting?? If you want something of your very own, Hatch also does custom work for weddings, schools, and various other events too (housewarming party invitations, maybe?).

4. See a show at the Ryman Auditorium.

If you’re saying to yourself, “But I don’t like country mus–”, stop right there, bucko. I was once guilty of vehemently opposing country music as a whole genre too – that is, until moving to Nashville and going to a show at the Ryman. Said Ryman Auditorium is the most famous venue in Nashville and home to the Grand Ole Opry, or “the show that made country music famous.” It was built as a church in in 1892 (hence its nickname – “Mother Church of Country Music”) and has hosted some of the biggest country music stars in history. With incredible acoustics and exquisite architectural details, the Ryman is world famous – just like Hatch Show Print – and will send you away humming into the sweet southern night. You just tour it as a museum during the day, but seriously, go see a show and thank me later.

5. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Nashville’s finest guilty pleasures.

Nashville’s hundreds of fine restaurants are more than fine and dandy, but we all know what newcomers to a city are really secretly searching for… That’s right – where they can quench their sugary cravings. I recommend getting a scoop (or two, or three) of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Jeni’s gets the award for the most creative (and delicious) flavors out there, with names like Brambleberry Crisp, Churro, Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, and Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk. For some out-of-this-world pastries, hit up Five Daughters Bakery for their famous 100-layer donuts that they make from scratch every morning. If you really don’t have a sweet tooth (which is crazy), here’s a definitive list of where to get the best tater tots in Nashville instead. You’re so welcome.

If you’re moving to Nashville a need a hand with the heavy lifting, just call us! If you’re moving to Nashville and want to know more about what you should do when you get here, just stayed tuned and we’ll keep the good advice coming!