Over the recent years, Nashville has been become a popular destination for singles, young professionals, and music lovers. As Nashville natives, we know the best neighborhoods in Davidson County. Below, we outline the best places to live in Nashville.
(Looking for the best places to live in Nashville suburbs? Scroll to the bottom of this post!)
Nashville is a great place to live, but there are a few things you should know — the cost of living has skyrocketed over the past decade, as well as, the amount of traffic. We also have tornadoes and the occasional snow (which resembles nothing of a snow in the North). Nashville is also the windiest city — even beating out Chicago!
Nashville gives people the chance at Southern living while not compromising on art and entertainment. It’s a great place for young professionals, country music fans, and young families.
There is something for everyone here. If you’re into sports, you’ll love the Nashville Predators or catching a Tennessee Titans game!
If you’re a foodie, you have to try the signature Nashville hot chicken, and there are several great local restaurants and coffee shops in many of the neighborhoods.
And if you’re a music fan, you’ll be in the heart of the music industry. Nashville has dozens of live music venues and dive bars.
Many residential areas also have good public schools, green spaces, and house many local artists.
With 80 to 100 people moving to the city a day, the cost of living and traffic is drastically different than 5 to 10 years ago. With so many people looking for a new home, our real estate market – especially in Davidson county and Nashville suburbs — is crazy right now.
What Nashville Neighborhood is Right for You?
Downtown Nashville / SoBro
Nashville’s downtown area is home to the infamous honky tonks on lower broadway and offers close proximity music venues like the Ryman Auditorium and Bridgestone Arena.
The neighborhood also includes the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, the Frist Art Museum, boutique hotels, and dozens of music venues.
We also love Riverfront Park when the weather is nice.
There is also the Music City Center for conventions in Downtown Nashville and dozens of restaurants to try!
It’s also the place first time visitors spend a lot of their time and probably the nastiest part of the county.
Over the past decade, SoBro (short for South Broadway) has just gotten dirtier and crazier. This area is not for families or introverts.
It’s definitely earned it’s name for “Nash Vegas,” and there are so many drunk people out starting early in the evening. It’s the one place I’d never, ever live. Visit, sure. Live, no.
The Gulch is just south of Downtown Nashville and more of a trendy, high-end neighborhood.
Lots of young professionals and singles live there because it’s close to everything and offers upscale options.
The neighborhood is small but is packed with restaurants, bars, shopping, fitness clubs, and music venues. It also has its own grocery store.
You’ll find high-rise apartments and swanky condos in this area making it a great option for young people.
Just a little ways from the Gulch, Midtown offers a laidback feel with bars and restaurants. It’s home to the iconic Losers bar, as well as, a unique speakeasy – the Patterson House.
The area is less touristy than Downtown and still offers nightlife options. It’s a great place to young people or singles, but it wouldn’t be great option for families.
Like the Gulch, you just have a selection of condos and apartments.
Germantown is pretty electric with historical homes, as well as, new buildings and homes. It also has some walkable neighborhood areas, but it is still a little rough in parts.
The neighborhood is home to Christy Cookies and the Farmer’s Market, as well as, several top restaurants and bars.
Unlike many Nashville neighborhoods, you’ll find single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses — along with condos and apartments.
Oktoberfest is also hosted in the neighborhood — which is unique and fun each October.
East Nashville is known as the hipster area, but most of the hipsters have now aged into being a family. Which makes the neighborhood just across the Cumberland River a great mix of trendy, quirky, and historic.
Fiver Points and Shelby Bottoms Park are popular spots within the neighborhood, but there are fun coffee shops, bars, and restaurants throughout. It’s also convenient to go to a concert or football game at the Nissan Stadium.
East Nashville is artistic and sort of similar to Austin, TX. It was an up-and-coming neighborhood about a decade (or two) ago, and now it’s extremely sought out for it’s unique charm.
With single family homes, townhouses, duplexes, and apartments, it’s a great place for any age or life stage. We love that many of the houses have yards as well!
Music Row / Edgehill
Music row is a small neighborhood, but it’s also been named the heart of the city. It’s home to many recording studios, record label offices, and radio stations.
If you can find a spot to live, it’ll probably be a single family home, but the area’s housing options are limited. That’s why we also paired it to Edgehill Village.
Edgehill is between Music Row and the outskirts of the Gulch. It offers a variety of different types of homes, and they have a cute street of restaurants and shops. Just like anywhere in the city, you’ll want to be careful in certain areas though.
This neighborhood is going to based more on your interests than stage of life.
This gem sneaks in a small-town feel minutes just from downtown. So if you’re looking for a place where you get to know your neighbors and possibly start or grow a family — this may be your neighborhood of choice.
There are several homes with larger yards and apartment complexes in the neighborhood. People also enjoy the park and sidewalks and are considered super friendly in this area. There is also a nice golf course, McCabe, in the area.
Hillsboro Village / Belmont
Another artistic, small neighborhood is Hillsboro Village. It homes Belmont University, which is known for its music business program. It’s also close to Vanderbilt University’s campus.
Needless to say, this area is packed with college students. You’ll find a mixture of homes, apartments, and condos in this area.
They have a really cute strip of shops and restaurants as well, but the real treat is the Belcourt Theatre. It’s a restored, historic theater, and they show both new movies and classics.
West End Avenue
West End Avenue extends from downtown all the way to The Nations and Nashville West. Depending on where you are, the neighborhood will vary a lot.
If you’re within the main part of the city, you’ll be close to Vanderbilt University and Centennial Park. The park houses the Parthenon and also hosts movie nights and Shakespeare in the park in the Summer.
Parts of the area are really pretty, but other parts still have a very corporate feel. Out of everywhere in Nashville, it has the most chain restaurants and feels the most like Nashville back in the 90s or early 2000s.
While there are a variety of people living in West End, it leans more to the ambitious young professional than anything. The Nations and Nashville West are more family-friendly with single family homes.
Neighbors to Belmont University, 12th South has an artistic, small-town vibe to it. It has a variety of cute stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.
It’s not a large area, but it’s quiet while still offering a few spots to go after work. It has both apartments and homes.
Melrose / 8th Avenue South
Just east of 12th Avenue is a growing neighborhood — Melrose or 8th Avenue South. Young adults and families love this neighborhood because it’s close to downtown, but it also has enough bars, restaurants, and a grocery store to not need to go downtown.
The neighborhood used to be just beautiful, old homes, but now there are also some condos.
Southwest of downtown Nashville is Green Hills. When you think of this area, think of historic homes and rich, older people. With that said, there is still crime in the area.
The traffic used to be really bad, and it still is — but it’s no worse than many of the other Nashville neighborhoods now.
While Green Hills has some local businesses and flavor, you can also expect to find upscale chains like True Food Kitchen, Whole Foods, and Pottery Barn in this area.
The area has apartments, homes, and condos, and it’s home to both singles and families.
While Music Valley may sound charming, it’s anything but. The area is where Nashville’s theme park, Opryland USA, used to be. It was torn down in the 90s to become a large mall, Opry Mills.
Besides seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry or going to see the Christmas lights at the Gaylord hotel, it’s an area worth skipping. It’s one of the highest crime areas, and it’s kind of ugly without offering much of a local feel.
Maybe one day it’ll change as the city grows, but for now — avoid it.
If you love the Nashville area, but you want a small town feel, there are several great neighborhoods to choose from in the surrounding area. Below are our favorite Nashville suburbs.
Belle Meade is an affluent suburb with easy access to the big city. This isn’t the only great suburb to live in though. There are several great Nashville suburbs to pick from!
Forest Hills is another nice area just outside of Nashville. Its residents are mostly older and retired.
Radnor Lake borders it and offers great views and outdoor fun.
The most expensive and sought after suburbs are found in Williamson County. It’s known for some of the best schools, historic homes, and polished, but rural feel.
Brentwood and Franklin are two of the popular areas for families.
Spring Hill is just a little further out than Franklin, but it’s home price is a bit lower. It is an ideal place to raise a family, but you can expect a bit of commute into town.
Thompson’s Station is absolutely gorgeous and one of the best suburbs.
Mt. Juliet is probably the best Nashville suburb if you’re looking for low crime rates and new construction.
While prices are soaring in the county, it still offers a low cost of living compared to Davidson or Williamson County.
With that said, the city planners are pretty much approving new homes and business left and right. While this could lead to more job opportunities, it is creating a traffic nightmare.
Lebanon and Watertown are the other two suburbs, but they are both more rural than Mount Juliet.
Hendersonville is Taylor Swift’s hometown and a great place for families.
If you’re looking for an affordable college close enough to go into the city, you could look at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
Murfreesboro is also a great place for families because of all the shopping and food options.
It also has several golf courses and is home to the Stones River National battlefield. It also has several grocery stores to choose from and quick access to shopping.
Nashville Crime Rate & Living Stats
Nashville’s crime rate is above the national average though. A study showed that violent crime grew nearly 29% year over year, and the crime rate is above the national average.
A WalletHub study ranked Nashville 2nd in the economic well-being category and 18th in affordability. With that said, the city came in at 27 for quality of life and 30th for health and education.
According to Metro Police, the most high crime areas include:
- Opry Mills
- 3rd and Broadway
- East Thompson Lane
- Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville is definitely a popular area now! We hope this breakdown of each neighborhood helps you find the best area for you and/or your family.
You may also like our Nashville reviews:
- Top 14 Nashville Wine Festivals 2022 & What to Expect
- Nashville Secrets from 2 Natives Podcast
- Deacon’s New South Review
- Favorite Hotel in Nashville: Kimpton Aertson in Midtown