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 in 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 top things happening in Nashville, these are the best neighborhoods to research. Keep in mind, that living this close to the city means a higher cost of living.
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 is 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.
DOWNTOWN-AREA HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS
When it comes to location, great amenities, and nice rooms, these are some notable hotel options in the Downtown area:
- The Joseph Nashville
- Virgin Hotels Nashville
- JW Marriott Nashville
- Westin Nashville
- Dream Nashville
- Fairlane Hotel
- Bobby Hotel
- Hilton Nashville Downtown
- Hotel Indigo Downtown
- Omni Nashville
- Sheraton Nashville
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Hutton Hotel
- Aloft Hotel
- Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
- Marriott Vanderbilt
NASHVILLE NEIGHBORHOOD MAP
Since you may not be familiar with Nashville neighborhood names or locations, take a quick glimpse at the map below. We’ve provided you with a general location of each neighborhood.
Keep in mind, that some of these neighborhoods are small and side-by-side with other neighborhoods, so they are often interchanged or lumped together. For example, Midtown technically encompasses Demonbreun, Elliston Place, and West End, but locals often refer to these areas separately.
URBAN & WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOODS
Zip Code: 37203
The Gulch is located a little bit south of Downtown Nashville. The small area has an upscale, trendy vibe and is packed with things to do. 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 not ideal for families, but rather for young adults or people who want to be in the heart of the action in Nashville.
The Gulch has everything you need to maintain a walkable lifestyle, including restaurants, bars, grocery stores, fitness studios, clothing stores, music venues, apartments, and condos. There’s also a new greenway, bike path, and walkway to Capitol View.
When it comes to living in the Gulch, there are only high-rise apartments and condos.
Real Estate + Condos:
Downtown Nashville & SoBro
Zip Code: 37201
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, Nissan Stadium, the Ryman, and Riverfront, Nashville has earned the nickname “Nashvegas.” If you live in Downtown Nashville or SoBro (South of Broadway, which is really just the southeastern portion of Downtown), you can definitely walk everywhere in the vicinity of downtown and maybe to a few 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 get a ride via Lyft (use this link for a free credit) or Uber and get to the other neighborhoods. You should expect to be a part of the tourist scene in Nashville and be affected by many of the events going on downtown.
Downtown Nashville is not ideal 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 mostly of boot shops, western wear, clothing stores, and souvenirs. Make sure to check out Fifth + Broadway for a variety of shopping and dining options!
As for living in Downtown Nashville or SoBro, there are mainly high-rises and apartment buildings.
Downtown Apartment Communities:
SoBro Apartment Communities:
Zip Code: 37212
Hillsboro Village is urban, walkable, and has ample housing options. 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 20 bars and restaurants including Nashville staples like Pancake Pantry and Fido. Hillsboro Village also has some great shopping including several unique boutiques. 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.
Hillsboro Village has a mix of townhomes, houses, duplexes, and mid-sized apartment communities. You won’t see many high-rises in this neighborhood.
West End & Elliston Place
Zip Code: 37203
West End (or West End Avenue) is one of the main streets in Nashville. It’s essentially the continuation of Broadway to the west side of the city. Technically it runs through the center of Midtown, but most locals refer to anything off West End Avenue as “West End.” This area is best known for Centennial Park and The Parthenon. Sidewalks line the street, making it walkable from end to end as well as to other areas like Downtown and Midtown.
West End has plenty of dining and shopping, though you’ll see more chains than local spots. Nevertheless, West End has some good local bars and restaurants, too. A wide variety of people live off West End, from wealthy professionals to college students.
Elliston Place is a small segment off of West End that has its own hip vibe and culture. With local music venues like Exit/In and The End, this is an area suitable for music lovers. The Elliston Place demographic leans younger and hipper, especially with its close proximity to the Vanderbilt campus.
Living options on West End are primarily apartments and condos.
Melrose & 8th Avenue South
Zip Code: 37204
Melrose is a small neighborhood south of downtown and just east of the ever-popular 12 South neighborhood. Melrose’s main road is Franklin Pike, which turns into 8th Avenue South as you head north towards downtown. Franklin Pike is a main artery to the city, so the area is always bustling with traffic. The neighborhood doesn’t have any high-rise buildings, so it feels less urban than some of the other neighborhoods. Melrose attracts young adults and families due to its close (but not too close) proximity to downtown and nearby restaurants and bar scenes.
There’s a sidewalk along Franklin Pike and many of the side roads, making walkability easy. In addition to some of the city’s best restaurants and bars like Sinema, there are salons, shops, convenience stores, and a grocery store. Sevier Park is just a short stroll away, too. Melrose is one of the few remaining areas of Nashville that still hasn’t been completely redeveloped, so more growth and change are expected over the next few years.
RESIDENTIAL & CULTURE-RICH NEIGHBORHOODS
Zip Code: 37204
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, Urban Grub, and Frothy Monkey. There are a few main places that make up the “late night” action in 12 South including Mafiaoza’s, 12 South Taproom, and Bottle Cap. 12 South also has several shops that sell everything from vintage finds to modern apparel. From 12 South, you can walk to Belmont Blvd, but would need to drive to the other areas in Nashville.
There are a couple of apartment options, but most 12 South residents live in houses along the perpendicular side streets of 12th Avenue South.
Zip Code: 37208
Germantown is one of the oldest areas in Nashville with an awesome, eclectic vibe. The area is fairly small and is undergoing major development, 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 German beer, German traditions, and live music.
Germantown has some of the city’s favorite restaurants, including local gems like City House, Rolf & Daughters, and Germantown Cafe. The night scene in Germantown is mild with most restaurants closing by 10:00pm. There are a few boutiques, including local favorite ABEDNEGO. People who live in Germantown also love being near the Nashville Farmers’ Market and local state park Bicentennial Capitol Mall.
Germantown offers several different types of living options such as single-family homes, townhouses, duplexes, and low-rises.
Zip Code: 37203
Wedgewood-Houston is one of the fastest developing neighborhoods in Nashville and is home to local favorites like Bastion, Diskin Cider, Jackalope Brewing Company, E+Rose, and Flamingo. The buzz surrounding this area has even attracted international brands like Apple Music and SoHo House, the members-only club and hotel.
While the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood has almost always been older single-family homes, numerous apartment complexes and condominiums are either completed or under construction. New and modern homes are also popping up in former lots.
Wedgewood-Houston is especially suitable for young professionals who like walkability to bars and restaurants without being overwhelmed by tourists.
Sylvan Park & Sylvan Heights
Zip Code: 37209
Sylvan Park has a friendly “know your neighbor” culture. People who live in Sylvan Park and Sylvan Heights 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 Neighbors, Park Cafe, and Star Bagel. With Sylvan Supply now open, there are a variety of different cuisines available close by.
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 and The Nations, 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.
Sylvan Park’s living options are mostly single-family homes, but apartment communities are popping up nearby.
Zip Code: 37209
The Nations is currently one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in Nashville. Over the past few years, a variety of restaurants, salons, skincare studios, and fitness destinations have opened within the area. If you’re a beer lover, you’re in luck! We recommend checking out Czann’s Brewing Company, Fat Bottom Brewing, Harding House Brewing Co., and Southern Grist—all are pretty close to one another!
The Nations is primarily occupied by young couples and families who are looking for more of a residential feel. This west side neighborhood offers several different types of living options such as single-family homes, townhouses, and some low-rise apartments.
Zip Code: 37212
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 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 several 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 flower shop and animal hospital. The mix of people on Belmont Blvd creates an 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
Edgehill Village is a small “village” located parallel to Music Row. This is one of the smaller areas in Nashville but still has a few shops and several eateries, including popular restaurants like Barcelona Wine Bar and Bella Napoli. 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.
Zip Code: 37203
Demonbreun or Demonbreun Hill (sometimes lumped in with Midtown or Music Row) 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 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 in beverages at local hotspots like Tin Roof. There are several bars and restaurants, most of which are open from 1:00am to 3:00am. This area is ideal for young adults who don’t mind the party atmosphere and want to be able to walk to downtown, Midtown, and the Gulch.
Demonbreun is all commercial buildings, so housing is limited to apartments and condos.
Midtown & Music Row
Zip Code: 37203
Midtown is definitely a bar-hopping mecca but has also recently added some culinary treasures. There are a lot of bars and restaurants, with most 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.
Midtown is not ideal for families but would be great for young adults or singles who enjoy plenty of nightlife options and dining out.
As far as living, Midtown has a nice selection of condos and apartments.
HAVE IT ALL NEIGHBORHOODS
Zip Code: 37215
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 with local boutiques and well-known clothing stores such as Anthropologie and Lulu Lemon.
Every type of person lives in Green Hills, but the majority seem to be wealthy families and adults. Living options include single-family homes, condos, and apartment complexes.
Zip Codes: 37206 & 37216
East Nashville also has everything you could need, but it is the polar opposite of Green Hills. East Nashville is probably Nashville’s most eccentric and progressive 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 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.
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.
Popular Areas Outside of Metro Nashville:
- Franklin | See Real Estate
- Brentwood | See Real Estate
- Crieve Hall | See Real Estate
- Belle Meade | See Real Estate
- Smyrna | See Real Estate
- Mount Juliet | See Real Estate
- Hermitage | See Real Estate
- Hendersonville | See Real Estate
- Bellevue | See Real Estate
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.
Top-Rated, Nonsectarian Private Schools in Nashville
The following schools are some of the top-rated, nonsectarian private schools in the Nashville area.
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- University School of Nashville
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- Harding Academy
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- Harpeth Hall
Nonsectarian, girls only
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- Montgomery Bell Academy
Nonsectarian, boys only
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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 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 it 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.