Are you moving to Nashville, but don’t know where to begin? Figuring out what each unique area in Nashville has to offer can be hard. This Moving to Nashville Guide was designed to make your decision about what area to live a little easier!
The guide focuses on the main areas in and around Downtown Nashville, within about 10 miles of the heart of the city. If you want to be close to all the great things happening in Nashville, these are the top neighborhoods to research. Keep in mind, living this close to the city means higher cost of living. For decent homes, condos, and apartments, you should expect home and condo prices to start at $300,000+ and rent to start at $1,000+, regardless of size. Of course, there are places available for less or more, so be alert and persistent!
We do not focus as much on the suburbs of Nashville, such as Brentwood, Hendersonville, Hermitage, or Franklin in this article, however, these areas are also worth looking at, if you don’t mind being on the outskirts of Nashville. More information on these areas are at the end of the article.
Visiting Nashville Before YOU mOVE
If you’re serious about moving to Nashville, we highly recommend visiting and exploring like a local. The honky tonks are fun, but once you move to Nashville, they won’t be at the top of your list anymore. You’ll probably be more concerned about things like grocery stores, shopping, exercising, schools, safety, and transportation.
Due to their central location, the ideal neighborhoods to stay during your visit are Midtown and West End. Midtown and West End have everything you need, including convenient stores, restaurants, shopping, bars, and entertainment. It’s easy to grab transportation, whether it’s a cab, bus, pedi-cab, Uber, Lyft, ZipCar, or b-cycle, and walking is always an option.
When it comes to location, great amenities, and nice rooms, the Marriott at Vanderbilt is hard to beat. The hotel is on West End across from Centennial Park, so there is a lot to do and it’s easy to get around. The hotel is centrally-located, which makes it ideal for exploring all of Nashville’s neighborhoods. Remember to visit a lot of different areas of the city — you will like some neighborhoods better than others.
Urban & Walkable NEIGHBORHOODS
The Gulch is located a little bit south of Downtown Nashville and has an upscale, trendy vibe. The Gulch is extremely walkable because it’s located between several different areas. You can walk to shops and restaurants in the Gulch as well as other areas such as Downtown Nashville, Demonbreun and Midtown. The Gulch is a small area with the only housing being highrises and apartment buildings. The Gulch is not ideal for families, but rather for young adults or people who want to be in the heart of the action in Nashville.
There are over fifteen bars and restaurants, one grocery store, a yoga studio, two music venues and four clothing stores in the Gulch. There are two condo buildings and five apartment buildings, which you can see here. The Gulch has very upscale living options, restaurants and shopping. The future of the Gulch is expansion and growth with a Greenway in the city plans!
Zip Code: 37203
Downtown Nashville is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. With the famous “honky tonks” on Broadway and 2nd Avenue, which feature live music every day of the week, and the constant events going on at Bridgestone, LP Field, the Ryman, and Riverfront, Nashville has earned the nickname “Nashvegas”. If you live in Downtown Nashville, you can definitely walk everywhere in the vicinity of “downtown” and maybe to a few of other areas such as The Gulch, Demonbreun and Midtown, but it is a bit of a hike to get to any other area. One great thing is that you can jump in a taxi for a cheap fare and get to the other amazing areas. You should expect to be a part of the tourist scene in Nashville and you will be affected by many of the events going on downtown.
Downtown Nashville is not good for families, but is great for people who are new to Nashville and want to experience what Nashville is known for. If you have already experienced Nashville, either as a local or a passionate tourist, you may want to opt for living in another area so you can choose when to experience the Nashvegas energy. Downtown Nashville has well over sixty bars and restaurants varying from local hotspots to national chains. Shopping in Downtown Nashville consists mainly of boot shops, western wear, souvenirs, and music stores. As for living in Downtown Nashville, there are mainly highrises and apartment buildings. Downtown Nashville has an Art District on Fifth Avenue, which expands annually. Also, the brand new Music City Center is bringing new people, events and opportunities to downtown.
Zip Codes: 37201
Hillsboro Village is urban, walkable and has more housing options than the Gulch and Downtown Nashville. Hillsboro Village is located between Belmont University and Vanderbilt University. You will see a lot of college students, young adults, and families. Hillsboro Village tends to be more family-friendly due to the amount of single-family homes available. Since Hillsboro Village is right between Downtown Nashville and Green Hills, you are really close to everything, but you may drive more than you would in other areas.
If you live in Hillsboro Village, you can enjoy over 15 bars and restaurants including Nashville staples like Pancake Pantry and Fido. Hillsboro Village also has some great shopping including several unique boutiques and a local bookstore. It is home to the Belcourt Theatre, which is a theater house with productions like classic, independent and foreign films, musical performances, and live theater. Although you can walk to restaurants, the theatre, and shops, you would probably have to drive to get to a grocery store and the other areas around Nashville.
Zip Code: 37212
Residential & Unique Culture
Germantown is one of the oldest areas in Nashville with an awesome, eclectic vibe. The area is fairly small and is undergoing a neighborhood revitalization, so be sure to check it out before you make your move. Germantown is known for its annual Oktoberfest, when the entire city shows up for tours of the historic churches, German traditions, and live music.
Germantown offers several different types of living options such as single-family homes, townhouses, duplexes and lowrises. Germantown is a slightly cheaper area to live compared to others, though upscale options are available. Germantown has over 10 restaurants, including local gems like City House, Rolf & Daughters and Germantown Cafe. The night scene in Germantown is mild with most of the restaurants closing by 10:00pm. There is very minimal shopping. People who live in Germantown love being near the Nashville Farmers’ Market and being able to exercise at the local state park, Bicentennial Capitol Mall.
Zip Code: 37208
Sylvan Park is so cool and has a great “know your neighbor” culture. People who live in Sylvan Park tend to be very involved in the community and are very supportive of their neighborhood businesses. Of course, it’s easy to support your neighborhood businesses when they rock! A few Nashville favorites in Sylvan Park are Local Taco, Park Cafe, and Star Bagel. There are about ten bars and restaurants in Sylvan Park, but from the coffeehouse to the romantic restaurant, they are all incredible. There are also a couple shops, a natural foods market, and a salon.
If you are an active person, Sylvan Park may interest you. With the McCabe Community Center, Climb Nashville, the Richland Greenway, and the proximity to Centennial Park, there is some serious exercise potential. From Sylvan Park, you can walk to West End, but would have to drive to the other areas in Nashville. Sylvan Park is wonderful for families of all types or single people wanting to be in a more residential area.
Zip Code: 37209
Belmont Blvd is a beautiful, mainly residential area located right next to Belmont University. Nestled between Hillsboro Village and 12 South, Belmont Blvd proves to be a desirable, central location in Nashville. From incredible million dollar homes to more affordable fixer-uppers, you will see all types of people along Belmont Blvd. This area is great for anyone, although, you do see a lot of strollers and tricycles in front yards. Belmont Blvd is a mile strip with wide sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the road making it superb for walking, jogging or biking.
Belmont Blvd has about five restaurants including the well-known coffeehouse and roaster Bongo Java, which has a huge patio filled to the brim when the weather permits. There is also a great local clothing store, a salon, flower shop, and animal hospital. The mix of people on Belmont Blvd creates a great, energetic culture that keeps you guessing. If you choose to live on Belmont Blvd, you can walk to 12 South and Hillsboro Village pretty easily, but plan to drive to most of the other areas.
Zip Code: 37212
12 South is a great area comprised mainly of young families and free-spirited individuals. You will find freelancers and musicians at the local coffeehouses and moms with strollers walking to the nearby Sevier Park. There are some awesome restaurants in the 12 South area including Burger Up, Sloco and Frothy Monkey. There are two main places that make up the “late night” action in 12 South including Mafiaoza’s and 12 South Taproom. 12 South also has several apparel shops that sell everything from vintage to modern styles. From 12 South, you can walk to Belmont Blvd, but would need to drive to the other areas in Nashville. There is one apartment building called 12 South Flats, but most people live in houses along the perpendicular side streets of 12 Avenue South.
Zip Code: 37204
Edgehill Village is an up-and-coming area located parallel to Music Row. This is one of the smaller areas in Nashville with only a few eateries and shops, including popular spots like Taco Mamacita and Bella Napoli. There is a coffeehouse, dessert shop, yoga studio, personal training studio, salon and spa. The housing around Edgehill Village varies greatly, but is comprised mostly of single-family homes. This area would be suitable for young couples or singles looking for a good central location and more affordable living options. Edgehill Village focuses mostly on commercial space and less on residential living, but if you can find a nice home in this area, you can enjoy the location and awesomeness in Edgehill Village.
Zip Code: 37212
Demonbreun (sometimes lumped in with Midtown) is a small area of town located adjacent to the Gulch and just South of Downtown Nashville. The area is only about a quarter mile long with big outdoor patios hooked to most of the restaurants and bars. When the weather is nice, the patios fill up and create a fun city energy. Demonbreun is most well-known as the “going out” spot for college students and young adults, who stay out late and sometimes overindulge on beverages at local hotspots like South, Dan McGuinness and Tin Roof. There are several bars and restaurants, most of which are open until 3:00am. Demonbreun also has a two salons and a spa. The only living option right now on Demonbreun is the Rhythm, which is a very upscale condo building. There are apartments currently being built at 1505 Demonbreun. This area is ideal for young adults who don’t mind the party atmosphere and want to be able to walk Downtown, Midtown and the Gulch.
Zip Code: 37203
Midtown is definitely a bar-hopping mecca, but has also recently added some culinary treasures. There are over 15 bars and restaurants, with at least seven of the bars staying open until 3:00am. Midtown gets a lot of attention thanks to Patterson House’s speakeasy theme and the unique dining concept at The Catbird Seat. The vibe in Midtown is a little more relaxed and less touristy, and is a popular area for locals that enjoy a vibrant night scene without mingling with the honky tonking visitors. As far as living, Midtown has two condo buildings and one apartment complex. Midtown is not ideal for families, but would be great for young adults or single people still partying from time-to-time.
Zip Code: 37203
Have it All
Out of the other areas mentioned, Green Hills is located the furthest south of Downtown Nashville. Green Hills is an area you can live in and not have to leave. You can’t walk to any other area from Green Hills very easily, but you can walk around most of the Green Hills area. This is one of the bigger areas in Nashville that has pretty much everything you need, from restaurants to grocery stores to clothing boutiques. The area is well-known for its high-end shopping scene due to the designer-filled shopping mall and The Hill Center, a development in Green Hills with local boutiques and well-known clothing stores such as Anthropologie and Johnston Murphy. Every type of person lives in Green Hills, but the majority seem to be wealthy families and adults. Living options are mostly single-family homes, condos and apartment complexes.
Zip Code: 37215
East Nashville also has everything you could need, but is the polar opposite of Green Hills. East Nashville is probably Nashville’s most eccentric and liberal area, especially embraced by artists and musicians. The area has undergone extreme revitalization over the last decade, drawing a lot of attention to an assortment of newcomers who enjoy a laid-back community and culture. East Nashville has a huge list of amazing businesses, from restaurants to shops, that are undoubtedly some of the best in Nashville. So many people live in East Nashville, but expect to see mostly young, hip adults and families at the local spots. There are all types of properties including houses, townhouses, duplexes and small apartments. Walking from East Nashville to the other areas is pretty much out of the question, so be prepared to stay on that side of the river or be willing to drive a little.
Zip Codes: 37206 & 37216
Other Areas Outside of Downtown Nashville
We get emails every day asking about affordable, safe neighborhoods near all the action with great schools. Unfortunately, it’s hard to have it all, especially without paying the price. If you’re willing to live outside of Nashville, though, you tend to get more for your money in terms of square footage, acreage, safety, and schools.
Some other areas to consider outside of the downtown Nashville area include:
- Brentwood | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Crieve Hall | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Belle Meade | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Franklin | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Donelson | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Mount Juliet | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Hermitage | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Hendersonville | See Real Estate / See Rentals
- Bellevue | See Real Estate / See Rentals
Nashville’s Best Schools
If you’re looking for an area with the best schools, including elementary, middle, and high school, we recommend using this handy mapping tool by GreatSchools.org. Here’s the map of Nashville showing each school and its rating. You can quickly pinpoint a nearby neighborhood based on the school’s location. Most real estate and rental listings also include the GreatSchools.org rating information.
Nashville Crime Rates
Safety is almost always a concern. With any city, crime rates are generally higher in and near the city than in the suburbs. One of the best tools for checking nearby crimes is CrimeMapping.com, which uses Nashville Police records to populate crimes. You simply enter the street address of your potential home or apartment, and you can see crimes that have occurred nearby. Adjust the date range to 6 months or more so you can see the kind of criminal activity that has happened over a longer timeframe. If you notice a lot of activity compared to other parts of the map, it’s probably not the safest part of town. Click here to view the Nashville crime map.
Is Nashville Right For You?
Making the move to Nashville can be scary, especially if you aren’t familiar with the city. But there is one amazing thing about Nashvillians — we’re very welcoming! To get a better understanding of Nashville and all that is has to offer, we highly recommend going through our neighborhoods section, checking out the events page, and keeping up with us on Facebook and Instagram to get a glimpse of what Nashville has to offer. Nashville is an awesome city, and we’re convinced there’s something for everyone.