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17 Things to Know About Living in Nashville

Moving to Nashville? Music City is a great place to call home, and it’s one of the fastest-growing areas in Tennessee, thanks to its live music scene, delicious barbecue, budding healthcare industry, and diverse culture. Check out these 17 things to know about living in Nashville!

An Affordable Spot for Young Professionals

Nashville is frequently recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S., but did you know that it’s also one of the best cities for young professionals? Residents between the ages of 25 and 34 actually make up the largest demographic in Nashville. And with a cost of living that’s 4% lower than the national average, a median home price of $174,600 and median monthly rent of $902, and a growing job market, it’s easy to see why Music City is a hot spot for young adults looking for affordable housing and employment opportunities!

Find a Job in Nashville

Looking for job opportunities in Nashville? This Tennessee city has an unemployment rate of 4.6% and has experienced so much job growth in the last few years that it now ranks as one of the hottest job markets in the U.S. Headquartered in Franklin, Nissan North America is one of the largest employers in the Nashville metro. There’s also a large healthcare industry in Music City, with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and HCA Healthcare employing thousands locally. And since Nashville has recently become the “Bachelorette Party Capital” of the U.S., the local tourism and hospitality industries are seeing major growth as well.

Higher Education at Its Best

Exterior of Vanderbilt University. Photo by Instagram user @caroline.gray_

Photo via @caroline.gray_

Home to several great universities and colleges, Nashville has tons of options available for students seeking higher education. Study early childhood education, music, nursing, and more at Belmont University. Choose from law, engineering, medical, or art degree programs at Vanderbilt University. Get a degree in elementary education, philosophy, theology, or history at Aquinas College. Sign up for classes at Tennessee State University, where you can learn more about agricultural sciences, business information sciences, or computer science. Or earn your associate degree or certificate in culinary arts, retail management, or hospitality management at Nashville State Community College.

Get Around with Public Transportation

Public City Bus in Nashville. Photo by Instagram user @wegotransit

Photo via @wegotransit

The City of Nashville offers several convenient public transportation options. Hop on WeGo Public Transit at one of its 50 stops to travel throughout the Nashville area. Ride your own bike or rent an electric bike with BCycle for an eco-friendly commute around Nashville—which is also one of the most bike-friendly cities in the South! Planning on traveling between Nashville and its nearby suburbs? Catch a ride with Music City Star, a commuter train that allows residents to go between seven Tennessee cities, including Nashville, Donelson, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Martha, Hamilton Springs, and Lebanon.

Discover the Magic of Music City

Photo from Outside of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Photo by Instagram user @opry

Photo via @opry

No city does music like Music City! One of the best things about living in Nashville is being surrounded by musical history and culture. Watch the biggest music stars walk the red carpet at the annual Country Music Awards. Stop by the famous Bluebird Cafe, where you can listen to up-and-coming country music artists get their start in country music. Or see country music stars like Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, and Carrie Underwood perform at the legendary Grand Ole Opry. But Nashville isn’t just country music—it’s also the songwriting capital of the world, and the city hosts the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival every year!

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Welcome to the Athens of the South

The Nashville Parthenon at Dusk. Photo by Instagram user @mrvccc

Photo via @mrvccc

Often, Nashville is referred to as the “Athens of the South.” This nickname goes back to the early 1800s during the period of time when Nashville was the first Southern city to establish a public school system and many higher education institutions. 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.

Check Out the Kid-Friendly Activities

Leopard on a Branch at the Nashville Zoo. Photo by Instagram user @nashvillezoo

Photo via @nashvillezoo

Looking for fun things to do with kids in Nashville? Bring your family to the Adventure Science Center, where you can catch a show at the planetarium or get hands-on with interactive exhibits. See exotic animals like kangaroos, tortoises, parrots, and pythons while visiting the Nashville Zoo. Check out Wave Country, Nashville’s only wave-action swimming pool! Ride and tour historical passenger trains at the Tennessee Railway Museum. Sign the kids up for drama camp or see kid-friendly musicals at the Nashville Children’s Theatre. Make a stop at Loretta Lynn Ranch, where you can camp with your family and see the Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum and Loretta’s Frontier Homestead. Or tour the original farmhouse and home of President Andrew Jackson at Andrew Jackson Hermitage.

Visit Nashville’s Best Attractions

Johnny Cash's Gold Record for Walk the Line at the Johnny Cash Museum. Photo by Instagram user @cashmuseum

Photo via @cashmuseum

There are tons of great landmarks in Nashville worth checking out! Tour the Antebellum Mansion and learn about its role in Nashville’s history at Belle Meade Plantation. Spend the day walking the 55-acre garden and historic estate of Cheek family at Cheekwood Estate & Garden. Make your way to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in SoBro to see exhibits honoring the best country music artists throughout the years. View the largest collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia at the world-renowned Johnny Cash Museum. Discover more about famous musicians and artists like Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, or Barbara Mandrell at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum. Or if you can’t decide which sites to check out, hop onto a Nashville trolley sightseeing tour to visit all kinds of historic spots, museums, restaurants, and more!

Explore Nashville’s Arts & Culture

Nashville is home to an incredible arts and culture scene! Admire paintings, sketches, and sculptures from renowned artist from all over the world at Frist Art Museum. Grab some popcorn and see independent new releases, documentaries, foreign, or classic films at Belcourt Theatre. Get tickets to dance performances, musical performances, or art shows at OZ Arts Nashville. Attend the symphony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home to Nashville’s Grammy-Award winning symphony. See performances from three resident companies: Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, or Nashville Repertory Theatre. Or enjoy popular plays and musicals, or watch the biggest names in music perform at Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Attend Nashville’s Annual Events

Carrie Underwood Singing On-Stage. Photo by Instagram user @theedwardjames

Photo via @theedwardjames

Want to live in city with fun festivals and events? Nashville is the place for you! Celebrate the German culture in Nashville by listening to live music, watching the brat eating contest, and trying beers from local breweries at Oktoberfest. See a variety of classic cars while attending Nashville Auto Fest. Catch the latest fashion trends walk the runway at Nashville Fashion Week. Enjoy live music, Japanese foods, martial arts performances, and more at Nashville’s Cherry Blossom Festival each spring. Grab your blanket and gather in the park that showcases the work of Shakespeare at The Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Or gather to listen to the biggest names in country perform over four days at the CMA Fest hosted by the Country Music Association!

Get Your Fill of Local Sports

Luke Kunin After a Game Winning Goal. Photo by Instagram user @predsnhl

Photo via @predsnhl

If you’re a football lover, baseball follower, hockey enthusiast, or racing fan, Nashville has the pro sports for you! Join the packed house at Nissan Stadium to cheer on the Tennessee Titans (NFL). Take the family to a ball game at First Tennessee Park to root for the Nashville Sounds (MiLB). Find the Nashville Predators (NHL) on the ice at Bridgestone Arena. Cheer on Tennessee’s professional soccer team, the Nashville SC (USL), at Nissan Stadium. Or experience the ultimate adrenaline rush by watching car races like the All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway.

Spend the Day Outdoors

Aerial Photo of the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville. Photo by Instagram user @sumsnet

Photo via @sumsnet

Looking to spend time outside in Nashville? The city is full of outdoor recreation! Spend the day strolling through Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Downtown Nashville. Watch wildlife, go hiking and biking, or have a family picnic along the Cumberland River at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area. Take your horse out on the trails, let your furry friends loose at the dog park, or go mountain biking at Warner Parks, which spans more than 3,100 acres. Watch the kiddos climb on the playground as the large mosaic serpent slithers throughout the landscape at Fannie Mae Dees Park, known as Dragon Park. Or head to Music City Walk of Fame, a landmark honoring all genres of music that have made a significant contribution to Nashville.

Enjoy Down-Home Southern Cooking

There’s no shortage of amazing Nashville restaurants! Order Biscuit & Sausage Gravy or the Southern Benny paired with a side of Cheese Grits at Biscuit Love. Visit local-turned-national chain Hattie B’s Hot Chicken for spicy fried chicken that’s ideal for a quick lunch or dinner. Pick up classic barbecue dishes like a Pulled Pork Platter, Dry Rubbed Ribs, or BBQ Sandwich at Peg Leg Porker. Check out Husk for a Southern farm-to-table restaurant with a frequently rotating menu. Visit The Southern Steak & Oyster for Sunday Brunch, where you can order a Southern Fried Egg Sandwich or Breaux Bros Gumbo. Or try the BBQ Nachos, Brisket Sandwich, or Baby Back Wings at Edley’s Bar-B-Que.

The Vegan Food Scene Is Growing

Grilled Mushroom Po Boy from The Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant. Photo by Instagram user @thewildcow

Photo via @thewildcow

Nashville’s foodie scene is rapidly growing with a great selection of vegan restaurants! Chow down on gourmet plant-based foods like Oven Fries, Buffalo Quesadilla, or Mac & Chorizo at Graze. Stop by The Southern V, where they serve up plant-based entrees like the Hot Chik’n Sandwich and Chickpea Tuna Melt. Head to The Wild Cow for a Gyro Pita Sandwich, Veggie Burger, or Portabella Tacos. Fill up on meals made with locally-sourced ingredients like the Zucchini Pasta or Raw Pad Thai at AVO. Eat a Banh Mi Style Burger or a Southern BBQ Style Burger made with a veggie pattie at Sunflower Cafe. And for even more vegan dishes, check out Nashville Vegfest!

Head to Honky Tonk Highway

Located on Lower Broadway is Nashville’s hot spot for live music and drinks—Honky Tonk Highway! Grab your cowboy boots and enjoy a night of dancing with friends, live music, and great drinks at country bar The Stage on Broadway. Pick from a variety of beers and great food options while listening to country music from local bands at Roberts Western World. Get your fill of live music from country and bluegrass bands while sipping on drinks at one of Nashville’s Original Honky Tonk, Layla’s Honky Tonk. Snack on BBQ favorites while watching sports on the big screen or relaxing on the roof top deck at Rippy’s Honky Tonk. And don’t forget to visit Nudie’s Honky Tonk, where you’re bound to have a good time!

Pour Some Whiskey

Are you a whiskey connoisseur? 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, earning a spot on the best whiskey bars in America. Make a trip to Corsair Distillery to sample their Dark Rye or Triple Smoke Whisky. 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. Order a New Fashioned whiskey concoction at Whiskey Kitchen. And 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 a Night Out

Photo of Joshua Black on Stage at Zanies Nashville. Photo by Instagram user @sirjoshuablack

Photo via @sirjoshuablack

Nashville has excellent nightlife spots that are worth visiting! Experience a night of live music and great food at Nashville Night Life Dinner Theatre. For an evening full of laughter, catch a standup comedy show at Zanies. Catch up with friends while listening to live music and sipping Bells Two Hearted Ale at Alley Taps, a speakeasy in Downtown Nashville. Sip on a prohibition-style cocktail while listening to jazz and blues bands at Rudy’s Jazz Room. Or 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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Moving to Nashville? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facilities throughout the Nashville area, so we can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

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