Any Nashvillian will testify to the fact that Music City has much more to offer than the thriving and historic music business which put the town on the map decades ago. The city has long been known as an academic metropolis and a center for healthcare and industry. Nashville is also a city with rich neighborhood culture—and it’s a place where, within the span of a 15-minute drive, you can see three different cities.
This is an effect of the radically different, yet harmonious, industries that have settled in Tennessee’s capital. Whether you’re a doctor or a singer-songwriter, here’s which Nashville neighborhoods could be right for you.
One of the benefits of living in a big city is that they usually come with exceptional healthcare choices, and Nashville stands out with some of the region’s best healthcare providers.
Hillsboro Village is home to Nashville’s most well-known and respected research hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center where doctors and nurses from across the country come to work on the most cutting-edge medical challenges. The neighborhood is also just minutes away from Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, the area’s largest not-for-profit community hospital.
Hillsboro Village is beloved by residents because of its copious dining options tuned to the round-the-clock shifts worked by people in the healthcare industry. Need a 7 a.m. coffee and pastry to start a long day? Fido is the place to fetch it. A midnight slice after working late? Pizza Perfect has you covered.
Many area physicians, like Dr. Frank Fish, will testify to the benefits of living in Nashville’s surrounding communities rather than in the center of the action. One such community is Donelson, a formerly sleepy suburb of Nashville that has seen many new residents in recent years.
Located about 20 minutes to the east of the city center, Donelson provides opportunities for both first-time homebuyers and veteran homeowners looking to upgrade for more space. According to Neighborhoods.com data, home prices here have grown by almost $100,000 since February 2018. But even so the median home price is in the mid $200s, making the community accessible to a variety of homebuyers.
Located centrally among the Tri Star family of hospitals between TriStar Summit and TriStar Southern Hills, Donelson is a great option for working healthcare professionals who are looking for a suburban experience away from the glow of city lights.
Behind Nashville’s reputation as the Athens of the South, there’s a rich history including such prestigious institutions as Vanderbilt University and Fisk University. Schools like Belmont University and Lipscomb University are rising stars with campuses that have truly boomed in the last decade.
The place to be for academics in town is a neighborhood that takes its name from the university at the end of its meandering boulevard, Belmont. A historically protected neighborhood, the tree-lined streets and early 20th century architecture give this neighborhood a hint of the Ivy League qualities that might make a homeowner want to install some built-in bookshelves.
Located in Nashville’s academic center of town, Belmont is a bit pricey for the average academic with median home prices in the high $500s, but that’s what tenure is for.
There’s a worthwhile distinction in the world of music that every new resident of Nashville must eventually learn—the difference between the music industry and music culture. One refers to the universe of record labels, publishing houses, lawyers, publicists, producers, and managers who are essential to the commercial function of music. The latter refers to the world of artists, collaborators, venues, and creators. Being Music City, of course, Nashville has room for both.
Music Row is a 1930s-era neighborhood turned capital of country music—most of the offices along 16th and 17th avenue are renovated bungalows.
For a long time this conversion from residential to commercial space meant that people in the industry looked elsewhere for housing, but with Nashville’s real estate development boom has come new housing options for residents who want to live and work at the center of the action. Buildings like The Adelicia offer buyers upscale city living within walking distance of some of music's biggest movers and shakers.
In recent years, East Nashville’s musical offerings have expanded. New cutting-edge venues emerged alongside a community of artists who collaborate to make alternative music in Nashville. One of East’s crowning achievements has been the indie supergroup formed by Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard, Bermuda Triangle, that gained notoriety in 2018.
The area is also rich with live music venues, like The Basement, which give artists an opportunity to showcase their work. East is geographically large, and its sprawling footprint means that home prices have remained stable with a median sale price planted squarely in the mid $300s. This makes it an accessible option for new musicians as well as more established artists who want to live in the beating heart of Nashville’s indie scene.
While Nashville’s reputation as an urban center grows, so too does the quality of its restaurants and hideaways. While Nashville has long been home to quality southern food like hot chicken, the fine-dining scene is now nationally known.
To be sure, most of the city's best dining is located near Downtown, but if any neighborhood is known for a culinary culture it’s Germantown.
Germantown has long been known as the home of Nashville’s culinary vanguard. New high-concept restaurants like Henrietta Red and Geist have taken root in this historic neighborhood. Rolf and Daughters and City House put the neighborhood on the map among chefs and restaurant owners. Even the coffee shops here are inventive. After nearly a decade of sustained success, the future of food in Germantown looks good.
The area’s relatively small footprint puts space at a premium, but considering the picturesque rowhouses and historic streets, prices in the mid $400s are well within reason. The inventory mostly consists of high-end condos and townhomes—many built in the last five years—plus some renovated single-family homes.