Wondering if moving to Nashville from Chicago is right for you? Read on to learn all you need to know before making the big move. From the typical temperature to the ideal commute time, we’ve got you covered!
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Related: Best Apartment Coworking Spaces in Nashville
On the shores of Lake Michigan sits the beautiful skyline of Chicago. This bustling city is known for its architecture, iconic skyscrapers, stellar food scene, and brutal winters. Nashville may not be known for its architecture, but creatives are flocking to this Southern haven for work opportunities, nature, and a food scene to match.
Chicago and Nashville are both surrounded by quiet suburbs, where locals and tourists alike can easily escape into nature when needed. There is plenty to do in both cities, so the change in lifestyle won’t be drastic.
The biggest difference might just be the Southern temperatures— which, after surviving a few Chicago winters, will be a welcomed change.
When it’s time to let loose, you can find an amazing meal accompanied by live music at almost any establishment. And don’t forget karaoke! Practically all nights in Nashville end in karaoke, so polish up those singing skills.
As Nashville grows, so does the diversity of career opportunities. With tech companies popping up right and left, the work opportunities are rapidly expanding outside of the music industry. That being said, many rising stars still flock to Nashville to make it big.
Chicago is filled with highrise and mid-rise luxury apartments, most of which have floor-to-ceiling windows, stellar views, and restored, historic brick facades. Residents can live where they please, as Chicago’s superior public transportation system provides a quick and easy commute.
On the other hand, Nashville melds city living with a small-town feel in the best way possible. You can make yourself at home in a luxury high-rise condominium, or just as easily find a 1920’s Tudor.
That said, the most significant change might be finding the right neighborhood that suits your weekday commute. Nashville is fairly spread out and best-suited for traveling by car, so finding a home in Downtown, Midtown, or Germantown is your best option if you’re working downtown.
Chicago winters can be brutal— cold and snowy, with temperatures dipping as low as -27°F. Longtime residents will tell you the only way to survive the dreaded season is through preparation.
Long, thick parkas and a plethora of indoor activities will bide your time until the warmer weather returns— and when it does, it’s worth the wait! Summers in Chicago are full of lakefront activities, outdoor concerts, and plenty of other activities.
In comparison, Nashville’s weather is mild and fairly pleasant year-round. While Nashville does get a decent amount of annual rainfall, showers are usually hard and quick, and fortunately, don’t stick around for long.
All of this rainfall results in beautiful Springs, green Summers, and stunning waterfalls that locals will say are a must-visit. The Southern humidity can be brutal during 100-degree summers, so make sure you are prepared (both physically and mentally) for them. Water sports, breathable clothing, and good AC are crucial!
Owning a car in Chicago is optional and often unnecessary— but in Nashville, cars are the primary mode of transportation. Chicago locals have convenient access to an efficient and widely used public transit system, the Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA.
This convenient alternative to owning a vehicle, along with sparse (and expensive) parking options, makes owning a vehicle in Chicago non-essential.
However, in Nashville, the public transportation infrastructure has quite a way to go to catch up with the growing population. Most popular neighborhoods are about 15 minutes apart, so driving is generally the preferred way to get around.
If the thought of owning a car doesn’t appeal to you, rideshares are accessible and affordable in Nashville, and public transportation is still an option.
Chicago is a bustling city, and the locals’ work ethic reflects it. From Fortune 500 headquarters to tech startups, many businesses call Chicago home. While Nashville’s grind might feel slower in comparison— the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in this growing city.
Musicians and rising stars have always flocked to Nashville in search of their “big break,” but many other career paths and booming industries can be found in Music City. As Nashville grows, large headquarters are opening offices here, creating jobs in vast and varied industries.
Start-ups and tech jobs are becoming increasingly common; however, the creative scene is not to be overlooked. There is a very tight-knit community of photographers, stylists, vintage dealers, sound techs, and so much more.
Advice for Moving to Nashville from Chicago
Even though each city has its own vibe and unique flair, Nashville and Chicago are both filled with a caring community, buzzing activities, and plenty of delicious food. Whether you’re a musician, software developer, or just trying to figure out your next stage in life– Nashville will welcome you with open arms.
Before you make the big move, make sure you read our article on everything you need to know before moving to Nashville and check out a few of our favorite luxury apartment options! Check out our full Nashville blog here.
If you’re planning on moving to Nashville from Chicago for a change of scenery and new growth opportunities, give AptAmigo a call to find the perfect place in this buzzing city.
There’s no need to spend your precious time apartment hunting when you can have apartment experts do the hard work for you. Our team of apartment experts will help you relocate with zero stress! The best part? It’s absolutely free.
Taylor Small is a New York transplant now residing in Nashville, TN, with a background in social media, public relations, and marketing. She freelances and runs her own interior plant design business, Oasis Design. On the weekends she can be found riding around in her 1971 Ford searching for the best antique mall or hiking with her dog, Oliver.