Nashville, also known as Music City, has gained popularity over the past ten years— and for good reason. This city is no longer just for music aficionados, but for anyone looking to relocate to a burgeoning city. With a stellar food scene, endless entertainment options, and a bit more space to breathe, living in Nashville appeals to all walks of life. Here, we give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to call Nashville home.
If you’re looking to move to Nashville, reach out to AptAmigo. We’ll set you up with one of our apartment experts that will help you find a place with zero stress. The best part? It’s completely free.
Related: Is Nashville a Good Place to Live?
What Makes Living in Nashville the Best?
There is No Shortage of Fun
Catch a live show, cheer on a Titans football game at Nissan Stadium, and have a world class dinner at Germantown’s gem, Rolf & Daughters. The night doesn’t usually end at dinner— from honky tonks to dive bars, Nashville has a rowdy and well-known nightlife scene.
So, yes, Summer in Nashville is unbearably hot and humid, but the other seasons definitely make up for it. Fall is simply gorgeous, and can really just be referred to as a more bearable Summer. As soon as Spring rolls in, the city is bursting in green and the temperatures are idyllic.
Access to Nature
While Middle Tennessee is fairly flat, the access to water and nature is aplenty. The Harpeth River and kayaking outposts are a mere 30 minute drive from Downtown, and is the only way to survive the scorching Summer heat. You can also catch breathtaking views of the Cumberland River without even leaving the city.
Food and Drink
Nashville’s popularity is largely attributed to the extraordinary food and beverage establishments that have popped up over the years. Locals and tourists alike flock to restaurants like Catbird Seat, Lyra, and Folk. Regardless of neighborhood, there are a variety of options that have likely made Eater’s hot spot lists.
So Why Doesn’t Everyone Live Here?
Yep, you’ve guessed it: it gets HOT in Nashville. And not the kind of dry heat you hear your grandparents in the middle of California complaining about; Summer in Nashville is quite comparable to being wrapped in a giant, wet blanket.
Traffic and Limited Public Transportation
You can expect the first topic of conversation with a local to be traffic. With growth comes more people, more cars, and of course traffic on roads that weren’t constructed to sustain it all. The limited options for public transportation certainly don’t help; and while certain smaller neighborhoods are walkable, Nashville in general is not.
Nashville’s growth isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and neither is the housing market. With the never-ending build of what locals call, ‘tall and skinnys’, comes endless noise and surging real estate prices in neighborhoods that have historically been ‘more affordable’.
Things Locals Know that You Might Not
Broadway doesn’t need to exist (but Robert’s Western World can stay)
Ask any local and the only reason to endure the onslaught of screaming bachelorette parties is for the rare trip to Robert’s Western World. Other honky tonks don’t share the same history that Robert’s does; a time capsule that has played host to the biggest names in country music. Big Ben Keith of Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Don Warden, Dolly Parton’s manager; and many, many others have stepped foot in this Nashville classic. Enjoy a Recession Special— a fried bologna sandwich, PBR, bag of classic Lay’s and a moon pie— while enjoying the sweet crows of a man celebrating his 89th birthday with the pipes of a choir boy.
Everyone Will Argue Where the Best Hot Chicken is
Spoiler alert: it isn’t Hattie B’s. While delicious, Hattie B’s has tough competition from some of the older favorites, Prince’s Hot Chicken and Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish. Locals pride themselves on knowing the best hot chicken spot, even though they can’t agree on one. We put together a list of our favorite options just for you.
It’s Not All Country Music Out Here
The music scene in Nashville is extremely diverse— from punk, to folk, jazz and rock. While country music blossomed here, so many genres of music flood out into the streets from bars and locales. Many will also encourage you to attend shows at smaller venues, increasing your likelihood of catching a rising star before they’ve been given their ticket to fame.
Finding a Nashville Native Can be Rare
Depending on the neighborhood you find yourselves in, it’s unlikely you’ll run into someone that is born and raised in Nashville. The city has become a melting pot of transplants from all over the world. When you do run into a native however, they’ll let you know.
There are Vintage Shops Galore
Nashville has no shortage of antique malls, flea markets, and amazing hole-in-the-wall shops where you can score a set of Breur chairs for much less than you might have paid elsewhere. Plus, Nashville’s’ eclectic sense of style makes thrifting the favored way for locals to spruce up their wardrobes without breaking the bank.
Preferably something built before 1980, but one with working air conditioner is really the superior choice (Like we said before: it gets HOT.) With so many driveable neighborhoods in Nashville, finding a parking spot won’t be an issue.
Proper Two-Stepping Shoes
A trip to Nashville requires stepping back in time for a moment, or longer, and taking your chances on the honky tonk dance floor. Finding the perfect pair of boots will secure your local status.
Arguably, all the best bars in Nashville still allow smoking indoors. 3 Crow Bar, Red Door Saloon, and Beyond the Edge are all bars you’ll find people lighting up at.
Patience and a Smile
If you’re not from the South, this may come as a shock, but Southern hospitality is real. Strangers in the grocery store genuinely care [and expect a detailed answer] when they ask, “how are you today?”
A Statement Hat
And no, not the kind you buy on Broadway but the type that looks as though it belonged to generations of hat-wearers before you.
Things You Don’t Need
A Statement Hat
Did you just buy that thing on Broadway, newbie?
A ‘Real’ Winter Coat
If you have experienced even the mildest of temperatures in the Northeast, winter in Nashville requires a heavy fleece. Although, you will see locals in a floor length down jacket as soon as September rolls around.
The Choice is Yours
Nashville is a varied mix of classic craftsmans, tudors, brick and stone family homes amidst new apartments and condominiums. Pending the neighborhood of choice, this will greatly influence the choices you have. Not sure where to get started? AptAmigo can help.
The Real Estate Market has Certainly Become More Competitive
Areas like Madison and Donelson are where many ex East Nashville residents are flocking due to rent and housing spikes. This trend is widespread and doesn’t seem to be slowing.
Nashville isn’t Your Typical Large Metropolitan
Other than Downtown and what can be coined as ‘the city’, Nashville has a lot of charming areas with character and history. It really isn’t a city of skyscrapers.
Find Your Dream Nashville Apartment
Now that you have the inside scoop on living in Nashville, make it your new home! Moving just got a whole lot easier with AptAmigo. With our insider information, local expertise, and access to all the best deals, you’ll find the apartment of your dreams in no time. Just reach out and let us know your preferences, favorite neighborhoods, and budget and we’ll send over a list of buildings that are perfect for you. Choose your favorites and we will schedule a whole day of tours and personally assist you throughout the entire process. Did we mention it’s completely 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.