The 7 Best Places to Live in Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed “music city”, is world-renowned as the heart of country music. Famed for its vibrant cultural scene, Nashville is a city that provides a unique blend of traditional Southern charm and modern urban living to both visitors and new residents alike. With its booming economy, thriving job market, and rich arts and entertainment offering people from all walks of life are drawn to this vibrant, growing city.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll visit the best places to live in Nashville, exploring each neighborhood’s distinct personality, available amenities, and why it might be the perfect fit for your family’s next home. We’ll also provide specific neighborhood suggestions for dog parents, shopping enthusiasts, and also for arts and music lovers. Nashville is truly the town with a little something to satisfy everyone!

I. The 7 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Nashville

Nashville’s neighborhoods are as diverse as they are numerous, providing potential residents with multiple neighborhood options to choose from. Each area offers its unique pros: whether you’re looking for the excitement of urban living, the antique charm of historic neighborhoods, or the laid-back tranquility of suburban life, you’ll find it here in Nashville!

Nashville’s neighborhood variety ensures there’s a corner of this city where everyone can feel at home. Here are the 7 very best places to live in Nashville:

  1. 1. East Nashville: A Haven for Creatives and FamiliesEast Nashville is a diverse, historic area known for its strong sense of community, eclectic local businesses, and vibrant arts scene. With an array of charming bungalows and Victorian homes, the neighborhood caters to a mix of families, young professionals, and artists. It’s a place where the music scene is as alive in backyard gatherings as it is in the famed venues.
  2. 2. 12 South: Trendy and Walkable Urban LivingThe 12 South district is a trendy neighborhood known for its walkable streets lined with high-end boutiques, coffee shops, and some of the city’s most Instagram-worthy murals. With a mix of older homes and modern apartments, it offers urban living with a small-town feel, making it a magnet for young professionals and those seeking a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly environment.
  3. 3. The Gulch: Upscale and On-the-GoFor those seeking an upscale, fast-paced urban experience, The Gulch is the neighborhood of choice. This LEED-certified community boasts luxury condos, high-end restaurants, and a bustling nightlife. It’s a prime spot for upwardly mobile professionals and those who want to be at the heart of Nashville’s urban renaissance.
  4. The 7 Best Places to Live in Nashville, Tennessee

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  5. 4. Green Hills: Suburban Comfort with Urban FlairGreen Hills provides a more suburban setting without straying far from the urban core. Known for its upscale shopping centers, including The Mall at Green Hills, and its proximity to prestigious universities like Vanderbilt and Belmont, Green Hills is ideal for families and professionals seeking a quieter lifestyle without sacrificing convenience or luxury.
  6. 5. Bellevue: Family-Friendly with a Touch of NatureBellevue is a great neighborhood for families looking for a balance between city life and the great outdoors. With affordable housing options, good schools, and ample parks, Bellevue offers a more relaxed pace of life while still providing easy access to the downtown area.
  7. 6. Germantown: Historic Charm Meets Modern LivingGermantown, one of Nashville’s oldest neighborhoods, boasts beautifully restored homes, cobblestone streets, and a burgeoning food scene. It’s a neighborhood that respects its roots while embracing the future, making it an alluring spot for those who appreciate historic charm blended with modern amenities.
  8. 7. Sylvan Park: A Cozy Community with Urban PerksSylvan Park is characterized by its cozy bungalows, friendly atmosphere, and a great sense of community. With an abundance of local restaurants, parks, and a convenient location that’s just a stone’s throw from downtown, Sylvan Park is a draw for families and young professionals alike.After evaluating the needs of yourself and your family, you’re sure to find a place to live in Nashville in one of these great neighborhoods.

II. What makes Nashville Tennessee such a special city to live in?

Nashville, Tennessee, celebrated as the capital of country music, radiates a unique energy that makes it an exceptional place to work, play, and live. The city’s soul is deeply intertwined with its musical legacy, home to legendary venues like the Grand Ole Opry and the historic Ryman Auditorium. It’s a magnet for musicians and artists, fostering a creative culture that thrives in its diverse yet lively neighborhoods.

Beyond its melodic heart, Nashville celebrates a rich tapestry of cultural events, from art exhibitions to food festivals throughout the year, that contribute to a vibrant community life.

The city is also a hub of economic activity and educational excellence. Nashville’s economy is booming, with significant growth in sectors like healthcare, technology, and education, which draws talent to the city from all over the world. Universities such as Vanderbilt and Belmont add to Nashville’s intellectual capital, offering cutting-edge research and learning opportunities.

Additionally, the city’s reputation for warm Southern hospitality stands true, with friendly locals who are quick to welcome new residents, giving the metropolitan-sized city a welcoming small-town feeling.

Nashville’s appeal is rounded out by its relatively affordable cost of living, especially when compared to other major urban centers. While the cost of living is rising in Nashville, the rate of increase is slightly less than in other metropolitan areas.

Residents enjoy a variety of outdoor activities thanks to the region’s mild climate and proximity to scenic nature areas, like the flora-rich Cumberland River and the beautiful green rolling hills of Middle Tennessee. Moreover, sports enthusiasts can satisfy their craving in the city’s thriving professional and college sports scene.

These attributes together weave the distinct fabric of Nashville, making it not just a place to live and work, but a place for people to thrive.

III. Quick tips for choosing the best place to live in Nashville

Everyone considering a move to Nashville, including families, singles, professionals, or retirees, should evaluate various factors to ensure the city meets their needs and expectations. There may be additional factors you need to consider that are specific to your own family.

Additionally, there may be specific things you need to research about the street or neighborhood you move into, such as checking the sex offender registry or making sure that there aren’t plans for a garbage dump (or a casino or something else unsightly) being installed in your new home’s backyard.

The essential factors you should consider before moving to Nashville include:

  1. Neighborhood and Community: Researching the various neighborhoods to find one that offers the right community feel and amenities you want is crucial. Consider factors like safety, proximity to parks and recreational areas, and the sense of community. Drive through the neighborhood you’re looking to move to several times at different times of the day and maybe even talk to some of the neighbors.
  2. Schools: Look into the local schools’ performance and reputation in the area you are considering. School performance data is public all across the US. Decide if you prefer public, private, or charter schools and what educational opportunities are available for your children. You could even tour some of the schools to make sure that you’re going to have your educational needs met.
  3. Cost of Living: Nashville’s cost of living has been on the rise, so assess housing affordability, including property taxes, utility costs, and general expenses for your family’s budget. Compare Nashville’s cost of living to your current city’s cost of living to get a feel for how different your budget might need to be.
  4. Healthcare Facilities: Given that Nashville is a healthcare hub, you’ll likely find good healthcare services, but it’s still important to check that there are quality medical facilities and pediatric care near where you plan to live if that’s something important to you. If someone in your family has special medical needs, and you will need a given type of medical facility near your new neighborhood.
  5. Employment Opportunities: Job opportunities are often what bring someone to a new city and can stop someone from moving there if there aren’t opportunities. Consider job prospects in your field and the economic stability of the region. Nashville’s job market is diverse, with a strong presence in healthcare, education, music, and technology. Do a job search online to check for positions relevant to your field’s strength in the area. Even better, have a job lined up before you move there.
The 7 Best Places to Live in Nashville, Tennessee

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  1. Traffic and Transportation: While Nashville is working on expanding its public transportation, it is still a city reliant on cars. Look at the traffic patterns and commute times, especially if you’re working outside the home. Commute times at certain times of the day, with traffic interference, are published online so you can plan your transportation needs (and costs) before moving.
  2. Local Amenities and Services: Evaluate the availability and quality of amenities such as grocery stores, shopping centers, restaurants, libraries, and other services. Do you like living close to a shopping center or out from the stores in a quieter part of town? Evaluate your current lifestyle and how you might like your life to shift as you move to Nashville.
  3. Family Activities and Entertainment: Nashville is rich in cultural and recreational activities. Make sure there are ample opportunities for your family’s preferred outings and if appropriate, children’s activities like sports, arts, and educational programs. The music and art scene is vibrant, and there is always something fun to attend in Music City, so you probably won’t have any trouble finding activities and entertainment.
  4. Weather: Be prepared for hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters, with a moderate chance of snow. Consider how the climate may affect your lifestyle and activities. Your travel might be limited in the winter time or you may need to winterize your car once a year. In the summer, you may have a few long days where it’s too hot to do anything. How different is this from your current climate?
  5. Tax Structure: Tennessee does not impose a state income tax, which can be a welcome financial benefit. However, be sure you research all the other applicable taxes, such as sales tax and property tax, that may affect your budget more than the rate you currently pay.
  6. Social Environment: If you value a community with cultural diversity, a vibrant arts scene, or specific social values, investigate the social fabric of the neighborhoods. Many Nashville neighborhoods are socially tight-knit and provide extra support to neighbors due to the Southern nature of hospitality across the city. Other neighborhoods are more competitive and perhaps better suited for the up-and-coming arts and music talents of tomorrow.
  7. Long-Term Prospects: Consider the city’s growth and how it might change in the next 5-10 years — from development plans to potential shifts in housing and living costs. Nashville and many neighborhoods publish these development plans online. It is strongly recommended that you review these plans if you are going to buy so that you know how your future property values could be affected.

Taking the time to consider all of these factors thoroughly will help ensure that your family’s move to Nashville is a successful one, maximizing your start to a fulfilling life in lovely Music City.

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IV. Why move to Nashville TN?

Nashville is an attractive place to live for a variety of reasons, appealing to a wide range of people, from young professionals to families to retirees, and everyone in between. It’s especially a hot place for musicians and artists to reside, in one of the city’s many quirky, diverse neighborhoods.

Here are some of the key lifestyle points why someone might want to call Nashville home:

  1. Cultural Richness: Nashville is renowned for its music scene, not just in country music, but also in genres like rock, pop, blues, and classical. The city hosts live music events, cultural festivals, and is home to the famous Grand Ole Opry. Other than its musical heritage, Nashville is also home to many museums and cultural attractions.
  2. Economic Growth: With a booming economy, Nashville has a thriving job market. It’s a hub for the healthcare industry, education, technology, and, of course, music and entertainment.
  3. Educational Opportunities: The city boasts numerous higher education institutions, such as Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, and Tennessee State University, making it a great place for educational pursuits and employment.
  4. Food Scene: Nashville’s culinary landscape goes far beyond its iconic hot chicken, with a growing food scene that features everything from high-end dining to local food trucks to craft breweries. There’s a little bit for everybody if you’re a foodie living in Nashville.
  5. Outdoor Activities: Nashville offers a variety of outdoor spaces like parks and greenways. The city’s proximity to lakes and rivers also provides opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports. There are also low-cost yet high-value city recreational programs available for your family to get involved in.

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  1. Cost of Living: While Nashville’s cost of living has been rising (as of 2024), it is still relatively affordable compared to other major urban centers, especially those located on the east or west coasts. The city offers many attractions and amenities for such an affordable residency value. Tennessee also has no state income tax, which is appealing from a financial standpoint.
  2. Friendly Atmosphere: The city is often praised for its friendly and welcoming community, embodying the warmth and hospitality the South is known for. Neighbors still help neighbors and there are many local social programs available for those who may need additional assistance.
  3. Healthcare: Nashville is a healthcare industry hub, offering excellent medical services with facilities like Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  4. Sports: For sports enthusiasts, Nashville has professional teams like the Tennessee Titans (NFL) and Nashville Predators (NHL), along with several minor league and college sports.
  5. Transportation: While Nashville is a car-dependent city, efforts to expand public transit and improve walkability in many neighborhoods are underway, aiming to create more sustainable connectivity.
  6. Neighborhood Variety: From the urban excitement of downtown to the peaceful suburbs, Nashville offers a range of neighborhoods to suit different life seasons, personal preferences, and your desired amenities.

Each of these important factors contributes to Nashville’s reputation as a lively, engaging, and hospitable place to live. Whether one is drawn by career opportunities, the music and arts scene, the desire for a high quality of life, or a touch of Southern charm, Nashville presents a strong contender for anyone looking to set down permanent roots.

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V. School rankings by Nashville neighborhood

For the most accurate and recent information on school rankings (as of 2024), you should look at a combination of resources, such as the Tennessee Department of Education’s report card, which provides detailed information on school performance, GreatSchools.org, or local school district websites.

Keep in mind that school rankings are based on various factors, including test scores, student growth, and college readiness. Visiting schools and speaking with parents in the community can also give you valuable insights beyond the numbers.

School rankings can vary widely and change from year to year, however, here are some general insights into the reputations of schools in Nashville’s neighborhoods:

  1. East Nashville: This area has a mix of public and charter schools. Some of the schools have strong community support and have been improving, while others may face challenges typical of urban school districts.
  2. 12 South: As part of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, this area’s schools have diverse student bodies and resources that range widely in terms of performance metrics.
  3. The Gulch: Being a primarily urban and commercial area, The Gulch doesn’t have its own schools within the neighborhood, but nearby public and private schools serve residents. The zoned schools would share rankings with the larger Nashville district.
  4. Green Hills: This area is known for having some of the better schools in the district, including Julia Green Elementary and John T. Moore Middle School. There are also prestigious private schools such as Harpeth Hall and Montgomery Bell Academy.
  5. Bellevue: The schools in Bellevue, such as Bellevue Middle School, have a reputation for being solid, community-oriented schools. They may not top the rankings charts, but they are considered good options for families in the area.
  6. Germantown: The schools serving Germantown, like those in many urban neighborhoods, can be a mix, with some charter schools and magnet programs standing out for their academic achievements.
  7. Sylvan Park: Sylvan Park is home to Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center, a well-regarded public school with a unique teaching approach. It tends to be viewed positively by the community.

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VI. What Nashville neighborhoods are recommended for dog owners?

Are you an owner of a four-legged, fluffy fur friend? For dog owners, finding the right spot in Nashville means looking for pet-friendly neighborhoods with plenty of green spaces, dog parks, and a community that embraces four-legged residents.

Here are some of the best places to live in Nashville for dog owners:

  1. 12 South: This area has a friendly atmosphere and is known for its walkability, which is great for daily strolls with your dog. Sevier Park is a local favorite, offering green space for dogs to enjoy.
  2. East Nashville: With its laid-back vibe, East Nashville has several parks, like Shelby Park, which includes vast areas for walking and playing, as well as off-leash areas for dogs.
  3. West Nashville: The Sylvan Park neighborhood has access to the Richland Creek Greenway, providing beautiful trails for dog walking, and McCabe Park, which includes a community center and open spaces.
  4. The Nations: This up-and-coming area has become more dog-friendly, with new establishments catering to pet owners. England Park offers a space for dogs to play and is close to other amenities.
  5. Germantown: The historic streets here are perfect for walks, and the nearby Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park provides open space, although it’s not specifically a dog park.
  6. Bellevue: Bellevue is another great option for dog owners due to its more suburban feel and access to parks like the Warner Parks, which offer extensive trails and natural areas for exploration.

When choosing a place to live in Nashville as a dog owner, look for neighborhoods with easy access to dog parks, pet-friendly cafes, and pet stores. Additionally, it’s important to consider whether the housing in the area is accommodating to pets, such as apartments or rentals with pet-friendly policies, and ideally with enough space for your dog.

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VII. What are the best places to live in Nashville if you’re a music and arts enthusiast?

Being world-known for its music and arts, it’s no mystery that Nashville is a popular residency for all kinds of people involved in this industry. If your passion is music and arts, Nashville offers several neighborhoods that resonate with creative energy and provide a multitude of cultural experiences:

  1. Downtown Nashville: Living downtown means you’re in the heart of the music scene, just steps away from iconic venues like the Ryman Auditorium, the Bridgestone Arena, and countless honky-tonks and bars featuring live music nightly. There’s also a range of art galleries and museums, including the Frist Art Museum.
  2. East Nashville: Known for its eclectic and artistic community, East Nashville is home to many musicians, artists, and creatives. The area hosts numerous art shows, live music performances, and cultural events throughout the year.
  3. Midtown/Vanderbilt: This neighborhood offers a vibrant mix of cultural experiences due to its proximity to Vanderbilt University and its fine arts scene. The area boasts live music venues, theaters, and arts spaces.
  4. The Gulch: The Gulch is a trendy, upscale neighborhood with a focus on design and style. It’s home to the Station Inn, one of Nashville’s most famous venues for bluegrass and roots music, as well as art galleries and chic boutiques.
  5. 12 South: This is a walkable, laid-back neighborhood with a strong sense of community. It’s close to Belmont University, known for its music business program, and offers a variety of venues where up-and-coming artists perform.
  6. Berry Hill: Although technically its own city within the Metro Nashville boundary, Berry Hill is a music hub with over 40 recording studios and music publishers within its less than one square mile. This neighborhood is also known for its quirky shops and eateries.

For anyone with a love for music and the arts, Nashville as a whole is a haven, but these neighborhoods, in particular, provide an environment where one can immerse themselves in the city’s famous cultural scene. Whether you’re seeking live music, opportunities for artistic collaboration, or inspiring cultural events, these areas are where you’ll likely find like-minded individuals and an arts-friendly atmosphere.

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VIII. Best places to live in Nashville if you’re a shopaholic.

For a shopping enthusiast, the best places to live in Nashville would be neighborhoods that offer a mix of high-end shopping, boutique stores, or multi-store malls.

Here are some top neighborhood picks for shopping enthusiasts:

  1. Green Hills: This area is known for the Green Hills Mall, which is one of the more upscale shopping destinations in Nashville, featuring a variety of high-end retailers. There are also numerous boutiques and specialty stores in the surrounding area.
  2. The Gulch: The Gulch offers a trendy shopping experience with chic boutiques, home decor shops, and upscale fashion stores. It’s a walkable area, so you can easily spend a day browsing a variety of shops.
  3. Downtown Nashville: For those who love to be in the center of the action, downtown has a number of shops catering to a variety of tastes, including souvenir stores, fashion boutiques, and artisan markets.
  4. 12 South: This neighborhood is great for those who enjoy a more laid-back shopping experience with local boutiques, vintage shops, and designer stores, all within walking distance.
  5. Hillsboro Village: Close to Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities, Hillsboro Village is known for its quaint and quirky shops. It’s a great place to find unique clothing, gifts, and Nashville-themed memorabilia.
  6. East Nashville: For a more eclectic shopping experience, East Nashville offers vintage stores, local artisan shops, and record stores that cater to the alternative crowd.

Living in these areas would provide a shopaholic with plenty of retail therapy options, from luxury goods to one-of-a-kind treasures. Each neighborhood offers its own charm and selection of stores, making Nashville an excellent shopping destination.

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IX. The worst places to live in Nashville, Tennessee

It’s important to approach the topic of “worst places to live” with sensitivity and care. What might be considered less desirable for some may not be the case for others due to varying priorities and personal perspectives.

The areas detailed below are less recommended due to crime rates, economic challenges, or lack of community resources. In any city, these conditions can change over time due to development and community efforts.

Areas in Nashville that have been facing challenges and might be less desirable for some residents include:

  1. Certain Parts of North Nashville: Some neighborhoods in North Nashville have historically had higher crime rates and economic challenges, although there are community initiatives and redevelopment efforts underway, as of 2024.
  2. Some Areas of South Nashville: Pockets within South Nashville have also struggled with crime and may lack the amenities found in other parts of the city.
  3. Parts of East Nashville: While East Nashville is popular for its arts and culture scene, some of its areas, particularly those undergoing rapid change, can have issues with gentrification and rising living costs that may not appeal to everyone.

When considering these areas, it’s crucial to look at current and timely data and to visit in person, as neighborhoods can evolve quickly. Community engagement, new businesses, and development projects can significantly change an area’s desirability.

If you’re considering a move to Nashville, it is best to always consult with a local real estate expert, check the recent crime statistics, and do a little more research to learn about the important differences of each neighborhood. It’s also a good idea to consider your priorities, such as schools, job opportunities, and lifestyle preferences when choosing where to live.

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Conclusion

Always evaluate what’s most important to you—be it nightlife, family-friendliness, arts and culture, or quaint peace and quiet—and visit a few of the neighborhoods prior to a decision to move so you can get a true feel for them. Your best place to live is one that aligns with your lifestyle and feels most like home.

Nashville is not just a one-note city but a symphony of diverse neighborhoods, each offering its own niche lifestyle and amenities. From the historic streets of Germantown to the upscale living in The Gulch, the best places to live in Nashville cater to a wide range of preferences, whether you’re after the vibrancy of urban life or the tranquility of a suburban retreat. As you consider making Nashville your home, each neighborhood is worth exploring to find the perfect match for your unique lifestyle.

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