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DESTINATIONS
EXPERIENCE
Thinking about moving to Nashville? Here’s what you need to know about Music City.

What It’s Like Living in Nashville

BY LILY HANSEN
Gritty honky tonks and sleek cocktail bars, long-time locals and brand new transplants, classic music and contemporary tunes — Nashville is a hipster haven with a country vibe, homey but with an edge. And a happening place to move to. The Nashville metro area’s
population is expected to grow
by more than half a million people over the next 20 years.
Thinking about joining that movement? Here’s your unofficial guide to what it’s like living in Nashville.

LIVING IN NASHVILLE: THE BASICS

There’s plenty to love about living in Nashville.

NASHVILLE’S VIBE IS…

…down for a good time, always. The party town’s vibrant nightlife ranges from
legendary music venues
to some of the country's poshest bars and restaurants. That draws in lots of visitors (including a surprising number of bachelor and bachelorette parties) who want to partake in Nashville’s version of fun.

THE WEATHER IN NASHVILLE IS…

…one of the city’s biggest perks. Temperatures are fairly
mild year-round
, although the heat can be oppressive during the summer months. Spring is extra special: flowers and trees begin blooming and the sun comes out every day, making it the perfect time for a patio beer or backyard hang. Spring and fall see the occasional tornado warning, but the locals are so used to them that they often still go out and party. 

NASHVILLE WILL SURPRISE YOU WITH…

…the sheer density of talent concentrated in one city. Nashville has long attracted brilliant artists in droves. Walk into a coffee shop and you’ll see musicians, filmmakers, writers, and painters chatting about their latest projects and making magic together.

COST OF LIVING IN NASHVILLE

Since it was coined the "
it city
" by the New York Times ten years ago, Nashville's popularity as a place to call home has boomed. While housing prices and rental rates are steadily going up along with the rest of the U.S., the quality of life — including a
solid job market
and
plenty to do
— and newer accommodations are hitting a sweet spot with creative professionals who want walkable city-center locations with great amenities. And, though some aspects of Music City may be more expensive than
other Southern destinations
,
rent.com
notes that the cost of living in Nashville is still lower than the national average. 

THE BEST NEIGHBORHOODS IN NASHVILLE

Our pick for the best neighborhood in Nashville? SoBro, of course.
The best neighborhoods in Nashville depend on your lifestyle. If you're looking for walkability, energy, and networking SoBro (home to the stylish
Sentral SoBro
), the Gulch, and Church Street are where it's at, while Madison is the current fave for up-and-coming musicians and producers. Families tend to gravitate towards the Westside where houses are plentiful, and there are parks to let their little ones run around in.

TRANSPORTATION IN NASHVILLE

Nashville is a car city through and through, and the highways are often a spider web of traffic. (Take the side streets!) Don’t want to deal with owning a car? Your best bet is to live in a neighborhood where everything is within walking distance, like SoBro (with a “very walkable”
Walk Score of 84
), the Gulch, or downtown. Fortunately, Ubers are everywhere and relatively affordable — perfect for when you plan on going out out. 
As far as public transportation,
We Go Public Transit
buses crisscross the city and are cheap, though they have a bit of a reputation for running late. Longstanding efforts for a light rail line to better connect popular neighborhoods have yet to bear fruit. 

ART AND CULTURE IN NASHVILLE

Music City is aptly named. The birthplace of country music has a truly impressive live music scene across all genres: No matter what venue you go to, the music will be top-notch. Nashville also has a dynamic arts community, with marquee galleries like
Julia Marin
and
Red Arrow
showcasing innovative artists, both homegrown and imported. In recent years, the city’s cultural institutions have also leveled up, with the
Frist Art Museum
hosting high profile exhibitions from Picasso to Frida Kahlo, and the
National Museum of African American Music
opening right downtown. The
Country Music Hall of Fame
is always worth a visit to learn about the city’s storied music history. Meanwhile,
Cheekwood
, a gem of a botanical garden and art gallery, is a great escape from the bustling pace of city life. (Find even more local recommendations of where to go and what to do in our
Insider Guide to SoBro Nashville
.)

FOOD AND DINING IN NASHVILLE

Food and dining in Nashville is *chef’s kiss*. Once a city where the only options seemed like casual family eateries Shoney’s or Bricktop’s, Nashville has embraced its local culinary traditions and attracted creative chefs looking to flex their gastronomic muscles for a curious and always hungry crowd. You’’ll find everything from down-home joints serving up Nashville signatures like hot chicken and meat-and-threes (a protein plus three sides) to ambitious tasting menus that riff on Southern recipes. Plus, Nashville’s ever-growing clutch of cocktail bars serve up hand-crafted concoctions, with a spotlight on regional spirits like bourbon.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS IN NASHVILLE

The harder a city parties, the more it seems to be obsessed with its health. The influence of the Nashville entertainment industry also pushes locals to be very conscious of how they look. Working out is big here, with spots like
Barry's Boot Camp
packed morning, noon, and night. At the
Downtown YMCA
, entrepreneurs, politicians, and people network between barre and kickboxing classes.
Yoga studios
are big here, too, though many Nashvilleans follow their downward dogs with coffee or cocktails — “detox and retox” in the local lingo. Of course, if fitness plays a key part of your lifestyle, it’s also a possibility to live in an amenity-rich community that offers a state-of-the-art fitness center. (At
Sentral SoBro
, you’ll even find a dedicated yoga and cycling studio.)

WHERE TO GET OUTDOORS IN NASHVILLE

There are plenty of parks in Nashville within walking distance of downtown or just a short drive away.
Getting outdoors is currently the cool way to hang in Nashville. Parks within Nashville city limits, like
Richland Park and Shelby Park
, provide places to jog, bike, stretch, and forest bathe.
Radnor Lake
has a high cool factor, popular with local hipsters, influencers, and even celebs (keep your eyes peeled for Nicole Kidman). If you really want a break from the city, head to the
Percy and Edwin Warner Parks
— 3,195 acres of natural park land featuring hiking and running trails, recreation areas, historic sites, a dog park and more.

SPORTS IN NASHVILLE

Even those you wouldn't think would be into sports watch all the big games in Nashville. The 1999 opening of the beautiful Nissan Stadium, home to the NFL’s
Tennessee Titans
, marked a true turning point for downtown. Along with football, the city is also obsessed with hockey, thanks to the NHL’s
Nashville Predators
, whose games sell out in seconds. If you can’t score tickets, head to any local sports bar on game day, where locals come in droves to drink beer and argue about their favorite players. Hit up
Bakersfield
, directly across from the Bridgestone Arena downtown, to see what we mean.

APARTMENTS IN NASHVILLE

A designer furnished apartment in Nashville at Sentral SoBro.
Ready to make the move and looking for apartments in Nashville? Sentral SoBro puts you right in the center of Nashville’s most walkable ‘hood, complete with unfurnished and designer furnished apartments, dedicated pet amenities, and more. 
Click through to learn more and book a tour at
Sentral SoBro
.

ABOUT THE WRITER
Lily Clayton Hansen is an author, TED-x speaker, and actor who has written two books about Nashville, including the best-selling Word of Mouth: Nashville Conversations. During her eight years as a SoBro resident, Lily lived at the Ryman Artist Lofts beside a dynamic mixture of artists, musicians, and performers.

MORE TO EXPLORE:
An Insider Guide to SoBro Nashville
5 Reasons Why a Month-to-Month Lease May Be Right for You
4 Things To Look For When Renting With Pets