Voted one of the best places to live in the USA and one of the best places to retire by U.S. News & World Report, Nashville is known for its music-filled streets, delicious barbecue, booming healthcare industry, and diverse culture. Music City is the biggest city in Tennessee (with a metro population of 1.9 million), and it’s one of the top places to live in the South, drawing singles, young professionals, families, and retirees alike. If you’re thinking about moving to Nashville, here are 10 things to know!
An Economy on the Rise
Looking for an affordable place to live with great job opportunities? Nashville just might be the place for you! Cost of living is 2% lower than the national average, and the unemployment rate is around 3%. In addition, Nashville has experienced one of the fastest job growth rates in the country, thanks in part to its prospering healthcare industry. According to the Nashville Health Care Council, there are nearly 400 healthcare companies operating out of the metro, generating around $40 billion for the local economy each year. Among Nashville’s top healthcare employers are HCA Healthcare Inc., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Saint Thomas Health, and Community Health Systems.
Cool Places to Live in Nashville
Unique architecture, friendly communities, and plenty of things to do—that’s what you’ll find among Nashville’s diverse neighborhoods. Founded by German immigrants, Germantown was one of the city’s first suburbs. Today, it’s home to the Nashville Farmers Market, the city’s Oktoberfest celebration, and a variety of bars and taphouses, making it a popular spot for singles and young professionals. Along the borders of Germantown is another one of Nashville’s best neighborhoods, Salemtown. This family-friendly area combines an urban feel with front-porch friendliness and offers a good mix of new construction and historic single-family homes. And you can’t forget The Gulch, an urban district in the heart of Downtown Nashville that’s popular among all demographics. With great shopping, eclectic dining, and easy access to the city’s museums and concert venues, it’s one of the best places to live in Nashville!
Top-Rated Public & Private Education
Whether you’re headed to college or searching for good K-12 schools for your kids, Nashville has you covered on the education front! Public schools like Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School and Kenrose Elementary School and private schools like University School of Nashville and The Ensworth School are top picks in the Nashville area among parents. And there are plenty of excellent universities and colleges throughout the metro where residents can earn degrees! Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, and Aquinas College are notable private colleges; Tennessee State University is one of the area’s best public universities; and Nashville State Community College offers more than 80 programs across six campuses.
Discover the Magic of Music City
No city does music like Music City! One of the best things about living in Nashville is being surrounded by musical history and culture. The city is home to the annual Country Music Awards, legendary venues like Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry, and country music artists like Billy Ray Cyrus, Chris Stapleton, and Lady Antebellum. But Nashville isn’t just country music—it’s also the songwriting capital of the world! Music City hosts the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival every year, features up-and-coming songwriters at the famous Bluebird Cafe, and is a top recording destination for musicians across all genres. It’s hard to find other U.S. cities that appreciate music more than Nashville!
Welcome to the Athens of the South
You may have heard Nashville referred to as the “Athens of the South” before and wondered why. Most of the nickname’s history comes from Nashville’s focus on education and culture during the 1800s. However, today, the nickname is more associated with the fact that Nashville is home to a full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon temple. Located in Centennial Park, the Parthenon replica was built in 1897 for the city’s centennial celebration and houses a 42-foot statue of the Greek goddess Athena. The Nashville Parthenon also has an art museum in its lower level, so visitors can check out permanent and rotating art exhibits.
Visit Some of Nashville’s Best Attractions
Nashville has a lot of great landmarks worth checking out! Take a tour of the Belle Meade Plantation to see the Antebellum mansion and learn more about its role in the area’s history of slavery. Make your way to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in SoBro to see exhibits honoring various country music artists throughout the years. View the largest collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia at the world-renowned Johnny Cash Museum. Bring the kids to the Adventure Science Center, where you can catch a show at the planetarium or get hands-on with interactive exhibits. Visit the Nashville Zoo to see exotic animals like kangaroos, tortoises, parrots, and pythons. Or if you can’t decide which sites to check out, hop onto a Nashville trolley sightseeing tour to visit historic spots, museums, restaurants, and more!
Get Your Pick of Local Sports
If you’re a football lover, a baseball follower, a hockey enthusiast, or a racing fan, Nashville has the pro sports for you! Watch the Tennessee Titans (NFL) at Nissan Stadium. Catch a Nashville Sounds (MiLB) game at First Tennessee Park. Find the Nashville Predators (NHL) on the ice at Bridgestone Arena. Grab tickets for the All-American 400 or stock car races at Fairgrounds Speedway. And there’s even a new Major League Soccer team coming to Music City soon, so keep an eye out!
Whiskey for the Win
Are you a whiskey connoisseur? Then you’ll love living in Nashville, where the whiskey flows like water! Stop by The 404 Kitchen, which has one of the largest whiskey collections in the South and earned a spot on the best whiskey bars in America list compiled by Travel + Leisure. Make a trip to Corsair Distillery to sample their Quinoa Whiskey or Triple Smoke small batch, or head over to Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, where you can taste their sour mash Tennessee Whiskey. Enjoy flights of bourbons and whiskeys along with burgers at The Stock & Barrel, or order a New Fashioned whiskey concoction at Whiskey Kitchen. If you want to continue your whiskey journey, there are tons of Tennessee distilleries in and around the Nashville area that you can visit!
Enjoy Down-Home Southern Cooking
Nashville might be better known for its music and its whiskey, but this Southern city also knows how to make excellent comfort food. Looking for a literal “hot spot” in Nashville? Local-turned-national chain Hattie B’s Hot Chicken serves up spicy fried chicken that’s ideal for a quick lunch or dinner. Want the best barbecue in town? Locals might argue about which is the best Nashville BBQ restaurant, but you can’t go wrong with Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Edley’s Bar-B-Que, or Hog Heaven. For a Southern farm-to-table restaurant with a frequently rotating menu, check out Husk. Or if you need a great Sunday brunch spot, The Southern Steak & Oyster and Biscuit Love can hook you up with breakfast favorites like hotcakes, grits, or biscuits and gravy! No matter what you’re in the mood for, Nashville has the perfect dining spot for you!
Spend a Night on the Town
It should come as no surprise that Music City has awesome nightlife (especially when it comes to music)! Sip on a prohibition-style cocktail while listening to jazz and blues bands at Rudy’s Jazz Room. Settle in for bluegrass and Americana jams at the cozy Station Inn. Or discover new singer-songwriters and indie bands at The Basement. Searching for a more traditional clubbing experience? Order bottle service and dance the night away at The Back Corner. Want Nashville nightlife that’s great for group outings? Head over to Play for incredible drag shows and themed parties, or gather some friends for dueling pianos at The Big Bang.
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