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- Nashville at-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Nashville
- Economy and job outlook in Nashville
- Real estate, cost of living in Nashville
- The top neighborhoods in Nashville
- How to get around in Nashville
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Nashville
- 10 can’t-miss things to do in Nashville
Tennessee’s capital is home to over 2 million people, with more choosing to settle down here each year. And with its flourishing job market, mild weather and eclectic vibe, who wouldn’t want to find themselves living in Nashville?
While it may not be in the “Deep South,” this city has no shortage of southern charm. It’s full of diverse, picturesque neighborhoods and an abundance of green space for those who love to walk, bike or jog. Nashville is also just west of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, close to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and far enough north that it gets stunning fall foliage.
Music and food are of course a huge deal here, with country tunes and hot chicken beloved by locals and visitors alike. But the city is also becoming more known for its great craft beer scene and hosts plenty of amazing festivals like the Nashville Film Festival, Oktoberfest, Fashion Week, CMA Fest and the Nashville Whiskey Fest.
More of a sports person? Fans of the Tennessee Titans (NFL) and Nashville Predators (NHL) pump the city full of competitive energy on game days. If you prefer baseball or soccer, the city is also home to the minor league baseball team Nashville Sounds and the Nashville SC (MLS).
Check out our guide for a few more things to know before moving to Nashville.
Welcome to Music City, U.S.A.
Nashville, also known as the capital of country music, is renowned for its sounds. It was the Grand Ole Opry that kickstarted the name Music City in 1925, launching a broadcast that secured the city’s reputation as a worldwide music hub. People still flock to Nashville every year for shows and a taste of music history.
But there’s more to Music City than country. The scene here is full of rock, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, R&B and more, with local artists performing and recording right in the city. Whether you’re down for a honky tonk, a jazz room or a night at the Nashville Symphony, your ears will have their fill of beautiful tunes in Nashville.
Nashville Boasts a Resilient Economy and Strong Job Growth
The Wall Street Journal named Nashville the top job market in the U.S. in 2023, thanks to the city’s thriving tourist industry and lower cost of living as compared to other large metropolitan areas. The city also rests on a solid economic diversity, contributing to its low unemployment rate of just 2.7 percent.
Although it is known as a destination for music lovers—especially country music fans—leisure, hospitality and the local recording industry are only a piece of what fuels Nashville’s economy. Information and technology, manufacturing, publishing, health care and education all take a piece of that pie. In fact, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the area’s top employer.
Just a few of the other major employers include Nissan North, Amazon, HCA Healthcare, Asurion and General Motors.
You’ll Save on Everything but Housing
The median household income here is just $65,565, but thankfully folks living in Nashville enjoy a cost of living that is below the national average, due in large part to lower costs for utilities, food, healthcare and transportation seen throughout the state. The housing market, however, beats the national average by 6 percent and the state average by a chunky 32 percent. Perhaps this is because Nashville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., with that popularity keeping the housing situation competitive.
There’s good news though! Home prices are starting to come down and homes are staying on the market longer, giving buyers more opportunities to find and make an offer on their dream home. In May 2023, the median sale price in Nashville was $445,000, reflecting a 5.3 percent decrease year-over-year.
For those who will be renting, rent prices are also slightly above the national average but still affordable, with median rents of just $1,281 for a one-bedroom place, or $1,443 for a two-bedroom as of July 2023.
Nashville’s Neighborhoods Are Distinct and Full of Life
Nashville is an eclectic city and its neighborhoods reflect that in their distinct atmospheres. Among the laid-back smalltown vibes and the trendy, high-rise-filled areas, there’s a perfect spot for everyone. Check out these highly recommended neighborhoods for those moving to Nashville:
This family-friendly neighborhood gives that quiet, smalltown vibe that isn’t always easy to find in a big city. The neighborhood also has some of the city’s best parks and a lovely farmers’ market.
University students and families alike will appreciate this lively, safe neighborhood next to Belmont University. With cafes, vintage shops and cute bars, there’s plenty to do. Homes range from affordable single-families to pricey estates.
Full of local amenities like coffee houses, bakeries, bars and boutiques, this neighborhood is one of the city’s most walkable and is considered a great choice for young professionals and families.
Young professionals will thrive in this trendy neighborhood a stone’s throw from downtown. Full of rooftop bars, coffee shops, music venues and more, it’s the prime spot for those seeking hip luxury.
This is the heart of Music City. If you’re looking for great eats, a solid nightlife and the ability to walk to whatever you want, look for a spot in one of Downtown’s new high-rise apartment complexes.
Other neighborhoods to include in your Nashville home search:
- East Nashville
Traffic Isn’t the Worst, But Maybe Take the Bus
Although a car is considered the best way to get around Nashville due to its neighborhoods being spaced out, the city is far from being the best for traffic and road rage. If you would rather keep your cool, Nashville’s MTA (known WeGo Public Transit) offers 26 local bus routes and eight regional routes, as well as an hourly connection to the Nashville International Airport.
If you’re sticking to downtown, the city also offers the Music City Circuit, a free bus service with three routes running every 15 minutes, six days a week. The BCycle bike share program also recently relaunched its fleet, bringing electric, pedal assist bikes to the city.
Education Opportunities in Nashville
The Metro Nashville School District serves nearly 80,000 K-12 students in its 155 schools. Although in the U.S. Tennessee ranks in the middle for education, Nashville is among the state’s lowest public school districts. If education is an important factor in your move, neighborhoods such as Nolensville, Franklin and Brentwood feature some of the city’s best public schools. Parents who want to consider a private school education for their kids have nearly 80 schools to choose from.
Nashville happens to be home to one of the best global universities. Vanderbilt is consistently in the top 100 of over 2,000 universities ranked around the world and is renowned for its research. Those seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree can also check out Belmont University, Tennessee State University and Fisk University.
A Moderate, Four-Season City
Nashville sees all four seasons and, despite its humid subtropical climate, is considered by many to be temperate. Its springs bring beautiful wildflowers, with autumn full of stunning foliage. Summers can be hot and humid, juxtaposing cold, wet winters. Thankfully, Tennessee is one of the least snowy states, with Nashville getting only about 4 inches of the white stuff each year.
You’ll still want to bundle up, especially in January when temperatures can dip below freezing to about 27 degrees Fahrenheit. July on the other hand will have you in shorts and tees with highs hitting an average 89 degrees.
10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Nashville
Nashville is known for its music—country, jazz, blues and more—so you’ll find no shortage of music history and venues to enjoy. But the city has plenty of beautiful spaces, galleries and other fun things to do, too. Here’s a list of 10 must-dos in Nashvegas:
- See a show or take a tour at the world-famous home of country music, the Grand Ole Opry.
- Tour the full-scale replica of the Parthenon. This homage to Nashville’s nickname “Athens of the South” features a replica of the statue of Athena, as well as an art gallery featuring American artists.
- Explore one of the world’s largest country music museum collections at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Downtown Nashville.
- Take a stroll through the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, a year-round favorite that promises a new experience with each season.
- Bite into Nashville’s official candy, the Goo Goo Cluster, a round bite of nuts, caramel, nougat and milk chocolate.
- Gain a greater understanding of the influence of African Americans on popular music genres, including gospel, hip hop and jazz, at the interactive National Museum of African American Music.
- Experience the music of Music City at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, a Nashville institution and iconic honky tonk.
- Grab the kids for a day at Adventure Science Center, where you can walk through the giant replica of a beating heart or mess around in the tinkering garage.
- Shop around Marathon Village, a former automobile plant that has been turned into a four-block complex featuring shopping, artist galleries and studios, distilleries, a deli and more.
- Get that perfect photo of you with your angel wings at Kelsey Montague’s famous “wings mural,” located in the Gulch.