There are about as many neighborhoods in Nashville as there are honky-tonks. In other words, a lot. The large number of the two is certainly not a bad thing, however.
While all of Nashville’s best neighborhoods have a rep for being friendly, beautiful, and filled with opportunity, each is unique. Don’t worry too much about finding the perfect spot, however. You just need to know what you want and where to look to find the perfect balaclava for you and yours.
There is probably no cooler place in Nashville than The Gulch, provided you can afford to live there. This LEED certified neighborhood was the first of its kind in the South. Residents love its pedestrian character, access to public transportation, and its generally great location. In fact, it’s only a few blocks from the Music City Center and is right on the edge of the city’s business district. The shopping, dining and entertainment in the area is incredible. Heck, you could just stay outside and have a good time, the community is so vibrant.
Small in size, but mighty in nature is the eclectic neighborhood of 12South. At just half a mile in length, 12South is so concentrated in a small area that it seems 10 times the size. On 12th Avenue South in the city, this neighborhood is a melting pot of everything that makes Nashville special. The shops sell unique products and the barbecue is one of the coolest in the City of Music. Now that says a LOT.
If you are more of a city dweller than a country person, downtown Nashville is the place for you. The area has one of the highest walking scores on our list at 88, useful as there is so much to do.
You do not know where to start ? Take a walk to Nissan Stadium to watch a Tennessee Titans football game or other event. Or take a kayak and paddle the Cumberland River. Artistic types may prefer a show at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). Whichever you choose, there is something for everyone downtown. Even if you don’t like country music, stop by the Honky Tonk Highway to experience it at least once. If nothing else, it’s great people watching.
Just a hop, a hop and two steps to Broadway is the Midtown neighborhood of Nashville. Next to prestigious Vanderbilt University, Midtown residents enjoy easy access to all that Nashville has to offer. The restaurants in this region offer quality food and offer some of the most unique dining experiences in the region. There is also a thriving LGBTQ scene in Midtown. Two of the main hot spots are Play Dance Bar and Tribe Nashville.
Another in the ooh-la-la category, the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville is pricier than some. That said, many residents swear it’s worth it. A little southwest of the city, the affluent neighborhood is full of everything upscale, from boutiques to designer stores. Many of them can be found at The Mall at Green Hills, arguably the most popular shopping site in the entire region. Green Hills is also home to the famous Bluebird Cafe, where musical talent is often spotted and propelled to stardom.
Nashville’s quaint Germantown neighborhood is located on the banks of the Cumberland River. This is probably the main reason why this is one of the best bike-friendly neighborhoods on our list. Germantown’s Victorian architecture has been lovingly restored over the past decades. The Nashville Farmers Market is extremely popular, as it is regularly stocked with all kinds of local food.
Right next door is Nashville’s West End, whose crown jewel is Centennial Park. The immaculately maintained green space includes a large dog park. Also on site is the Parthenon, a life-size replica of the historic attraction of the same name in Greece. West End style spans the gamut, from affluent homes to ultra-hip rock clubs. In fact, it is the proud home of Elliston Place, a beloved micro-neighborhood known as “Rock Block”.
Just south of – you guessed it – Broadway, Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood is decidedly more modern than other areas of the city. It is home to a hugely successful convention center. Also in the neighborhood is the antique-looking Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which is actually only about 15 years old. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is also located in this popular sub-district!
About 10 miles east of downtown Nashville is the Donelson / Hermitage neighborhood. Besides too many super fun stuff, also home to the international airport. No doubt, this is a big plus for people who travel a lot, whether for business or pleasure. Lush Stones River Bend Park is another perk of living in the area, as is access to the Cumberland River and all the outdoor fun that it entails. More suburban than most of the other neighborhoods on our list, this one nonetheless has everything a city dweller could want.
A little southwest of downtown is Nashville’s Music Row neighborhood. Located along 16th and 17th Avenues, it’s hard to find a more legendary location in the Cité de la Musique. This is because Music Row is the aptly named site for many top country music labels and recording studios. It’s still a great place to live, even if you don’t care too much about the music. The neighborhood is extremely walkable, with a score of 85. It is also close to jobs, other neighborhoods / attractions, and tons of entertainment.
Are you looking for the perfect blend of historic and modern? West Nashville is the place for you. Located on Charlotte Avenue, West Nashville is one of the area’s historic gems, but still modern. The neighborhood has seen tremendous growth and development, with many mixed-use communities dotting the area. It is also an ideal place for sportsmen who wish to take advantage of the various climbing rooms, sand volleyball courts and others.
Clair across town is the equally popular East Nashville neighborhood. Known for its decidedly laid-back and artistic vibe, this neighborhood is about as diverse as the region. He was also one of the early pioneers of the Nashville food scene. That reputation continues today with a variety of cuisines and prices scattered all over the place. Everyone can feel right at home in this sought-after neighborhood.
Antiques lovers love the Melrose district, as it is home to excellent antique shops. It’s also a musically inclined area, with plenty of venues of all genres to choose from. There’s even a music school for low-income kids to learn the craft! Although Melrose is only a small slice of the neighborhood along Franklin Pike, he clearly has big, big dreams.
For students and employees of Vanderbilt University, there is no more convenient place to live than the Vanderbilt neighborhood of Nashville. While there are college kids and associated noises, Vandy isn’t any louder than other parts of town. Many healthcare professionals choose to live here because it is close to work and great facilities.
It’s hard to know where to start with North Nashville as there is so much to say about it. The neighborhood has three historically black universities to its credit (Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University). Because of this long tradition, many consider North Nashville to be the centerpiece of the region’s black community. It’s also very artistic. The Buchanan Arts District has many craft stores, not to mention the artisan workshops all around.
Those looking for a quieter vibe should consider the mellow community of Sylvan Park. Just southwest of the city, the neighborhood has beautiful architecture and lots of green space to enjoy. McCabe Park and its associated golf course are popular with residents and nearby Nashvillians. The Richland Creek Greenway (pictured above during winter) is useful for walkers, cyclists, and runners. Plus, it connects Sylvan Park to nearby entertainment and shopping in other neighborhoods.
A little – you guessed it – south of the city is the South Nashville neighborhood. Completely filled with beauty and charm, this community is a great place to live. The Tennessee State Fairgrounds is there and offers a full calendar of events ranging from races to wedding shows and. Best of all, South Nashville is still an affordable community near the city, which is hard to find. This is expected to continue to thrive, so get in there while it’s going.
Just off Music Row, Nashville’s Edgehill neighborhood is over 200 years old. Traditionally populated by low-income residents, it has been favored in recent years by the Edgehill Neighborhood Partnership. The group seeks to reduce disparities in education and opportunities. The partnership is also working with other entities to revitalize the region, providing jobs and valuable dollars to restore the neighborhood to fair glory.
Also known as Dickerson Pike, this booming neighborhood is located a few miles north of the city. The neighborhood languished for years as metropolitan areas began to revitalize. Today, Dickerson Road is the city’s Next Big Thing. To be fair, this could be an unwelcome change for local residents and businesses who don’t want to see prices go up.
The 8th Avenue South neighborhood between Melrose and the Gulch has a pretty posh position in Nashville proper. In fact, 8th Avenue is where people flock to the famous Zanies Comedy Club for a laugh, while 8th Avenue Antique Mall is another regular place to find amazing deals on jaw-dropping pieces. It’s also close to almost everything, making it a snap to get around.
Refine the Nashville neighborhood search
Overwhelmed by the options of Nashville’s best neighborhoods? You’re not alone. Use the ApartmentGuide listings to browse Nashville apartment rental listings. Or, if buying is more your thing, press the Red end site to see what’s on the market.