The downtown Nashville skyline seen from across the Cumberland River just after sunrise.

Here Are the Best Neighborhoods in Nashville for Your Move to Music City

Nashville Tennessee

by Shannon Jacobs Posted on May 13, 2024

Newcomers have poured into Nashville in record numbers over the past decade — and not all of them are starry-eyed songwriters looking for their big break. Drawn by a thriving business climate, a vibrant arts and dining scene, and, yes, the spirit and mystique of Music City, new residents are moving here from all over the U.S. and discovering the charm of the best neighborhoods in Nashville. 

Planning a move to Music City? Start by getting a quote from PODS

Millennials, young professionals, families, and retirees find Nashville’s energy irresistible. The city — and many others in Tennessee, for that matter — is rich with recreational options: The mighty Cumberland River flows from the suburbs all the way to downtown, and nearby lakes like Percy Priest, Old Hickory, and more lure boaters, canoers, and kayakers when the weather’s nice. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also less than a four-hour drive east, and Florida beaches are within easy reach, as well.

And despite its “NashVegas'' reputation as the bachelorette party capital of the country, Nashville has plenty to offer beyond the honky tonks and tourist crush of Lower Broadway. So if you’re considering making Music City your home, too, read on for a look at the best areas to live in Nashville and some scoop on what it’s like to move to this historic hotspot.

The Best Neighborhoods in Nashville

Variety is part of the charm of the best Nashville neighborhoods. On a 20-minute drive across town, for example, you’ll go through neighborhoods of gorgeous estate homes, contemporary high-rise condos, and historic bungalows — with a few rambunctious tourist districts along the way.

And when you’re exploring where to live in Nashville, you’ll find that the city has a lot more to offer beyond music. But where are the best of the best neighborhoods to live in Nashville? Here are some of our favorite Music City areas. 

Aerial view of downtown Nashville as the sun sets out of frame.

Just a few blocks from downtown Nashville’s raucous tourist mecca of honkytonks, you’ll feel like you’re in any other vibrant, fast-growing urban core with high-rise condos, apartments, and lofts. 
(Source: Mike Fox via Unsplash)

1. Downtown Nashville 

Bustling doesn’t begin to describe the vibe in Downtown Nashville. Businesspeople mingle with tourists — lots of them — for an eclectic experience every day of the week. However, many locals vow never to go near Lower Broadway, a strip of clubs, shops, and restaurants known as LoBro, the Honky Tonk Highway, and other terms of endearment. If you’re not into loud music, raucous “transportainment” (think party buses), and sloshy vacationers, you’d be wise to follow locals’ lead and find another one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville to call home. 

But just a few blocks off Broadway, you’ll feel like you’re in any other vibrant, fast-growing urban core. High-rise condos and apartments have risen into the skyline, competing with the famous “Batman” building — the AT&T tower, Tennessee’s tallest — for dominance. Historic businesses are now home to condos and lofts. And with the growth of the past decade has come amenities like supermarkets (Publix and Whole Foods, for example) and a trendy food hall in the Fifth + Broadway complex. 

Luxury apartments Alcove and Prime, at 34 and 38 stories, respectively, are among Music City’s newest skyscrapers, with rentals starting around $1,750 for a studio. Another option at 1200 Broadway offers apartments starting at $1,425 per month for a studio and up to $10,000 per month for a three-bedroom penthouse, as of May 2024.

A historic home with a wraparound porch in Nashville’s East End Neighborhood.

Many East Nashville neighborhoods have retained their original vibe during the gentrification era, with generations of families sticking around through all the growth. 

2. East End/East Nashville

A handful of distinctive neighborhoods make up the expansive area known collectively as East End or East Nashville, from the stately homes in Lockeland Springs to the bungalows of Inglewood. Lovely tree-lined streets and wide sidewalks make these neighborhoods a favorite for young families, with hiking trails, tennis courts, and ball fields just a short drive away at Shelby Park and Bottoms.

Sprinkled throughout the area are plenty of apartments and houses that are home to musicians, artists, and other creative types — initially drawn a decade or so ago for cheap rent, which is now mostly a distant memory, thanks to gentrification. But you can still find some great fixer-uppers on the east side. And many districts have retained their original vibe, with generations of families sticking around through all the changes in Nashville neighborhoods. 

Five Points is the music and restaurant hub of East Nashville, walkable and always buzzing with live bands, outdoor dining and drinking, and occasional street fests. The 5 Spot and The Basement East are local haunts that also bring in national acts (this being Nashville, local and national are often one and the same). And foodies thrive here: Among the dozens of East End hot spots are Folk, a cozy spot in one of the best Nashville neighborhoods, and Lyra, which serves delish Middle Eastern dishes in a casually elegant atmosphere. 

Q: What is the hippest part of Nashville?
Hip is in the eye of the beholder, but generally speaking, music lovers are hip — and they’re in heaven in downtown Nashville. The historic Ryman Auditorium, reverently referred to as the Mother Church of country music, hosts hundreds of intimate live performances every year, including an annual autumn residency with Jason Isbell and New Year’s Eve with Old Crow Medicine Show. A block away, the National Museum of African American Music welcomes guests for a fascinating trip through the rich history of Black music in the United States. But numerous neighborhoods across the city are hip, too — particularly East Nashville. Check out the Basement East (which was rebuilt after the deadly 2020 tornado and the pandemic era) for live music and Grimey’s New and Preloved Music for an amazing selection of records, CDs, and tapes in every genre.

Side-by-side three-story brownstones in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee.

Germantown’s refurbished homes and cobblestone sidewalks have a distinctive historical flavor. 
(Source: Zeitlin Sotheby's International Realty via Facebook

3. Germantown

Just north of downtown, this historic neighborhood is known for its mix of charming 19th-century architecture and sleek new condo developments, many of which are built in refurbished factories. Werthan Mills Lofts, for example, located in a converted cotton mill’s four buildings, retains many original details, including exposed brick and high ceilings. And at Gramercy, luxury townhomes mimic the Flemish architecture found in Germany and the Netherlands, with patios and rooftop decks adding a luxurious, contemporary touch — not to mention awesome views of the iconic Nashville skyline. Like much of Germantown, these condos have a distinctive historical flavor, but with plenty of modern, upscale amenities. 

As for single-family homes, beautifully preserved and restored Victorian elements like ornate woodwork and wraparound front porches are the hallmarks of the neighborhood, which is one of the best places to live in Nashville for young adults. The houses in Germantown are generally fairly close together, which fosters a sense of community — but privacy and expansive, lush lawns? Not so much. 
Narrow, tree-lined streets and cobblestone sidewalks lead to some of the finest restaurants and shops in all of Nashville. The award-winning Rolf and Daughters, now a Nashville classic and just as popular after more than a decade, welcomes guests for modern Italian in an industrial-chic atmosphere. And Geist Bar + Restaurant, which closed briefly following the 2020 tornado that ravaged the city, now features outdoor dining in a divine champagne garden — a far cry from the site’s original duty as a blacksmith shop.

A small white brick home in the Music Row neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee.

Music Row is one of the best places to live in Nashville for young adults, with a variety of housing options from historic bungalows to contemporary rentals.
(Source: Sotheby’s International Realty)

4. Music Row

Bungalows and larger homes converted into recording studios and record labels characterize Music Row, the storied sites of too many dreams-come-true to count. A stone’s throw from the beautiful campus of Belmont University, the neighborhood is the epicenter of the country music industry — and it’s not called Music Row for nothing: A literal row of music businesses lines the twin one-way main streets, Music Square East and Music Square West. 

The district also features shops, restaurants, bars, and, like most college neighborhoods, lots of student-focused apartments. Moving to Music Row can be a double-edged sword, though. Obviously, industry professionals likely appreciate living in the heart of Nashville’s music business. And the neighborhood is one of the best places to live in Nashville for young adults, with a variety of housing options from historic bungalows to contemporary rentals, meeting every budget and taste. 

But thanks to all the commercial activity, Music Row tends to have a lot of traffic — even by the standards of the notoriously congested Nashville — and is somewhat noisy. And parking is a competitive sport. Still, there’s a certain appeal to this historic neighborhood where icons like Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn recorded their hits — a vibrancy and excitement that you just won’t find in the ‘burbs. 

A two-story Victorian-style house with a shady front yard in Nashville’s Watkins Park neighborhood.

Watkins Park is home to families who’ve lived in the neighborhood for generations.

5. Watkins Park 

Like much of Music City, the west side of town has experienced new development and an influx of residents into its neighborhoods. But unlike a lot of Nashville, Watkins Park has not been fully gentrified. Instead, the area remains home, in large part, to families who’ve lived here for generations and spend time together at sports events, street fests, and community yard sales

With deep roots in the Black community of Nashville, the area has played a crucial role in the cultural and social fabric of the city. Residents are aiming to preserve and honor that history with initiatives like the North Nashville Heritage Project, a community-driven effort to document history through oral histories, workshops, and public art. But as new development continues in the best neighborhoods in Nashville, there’s always the risk of history fading away. 

And new development is ongoing, to be sure. Still, housing costs in Watkins Park are generally affordable, by Nashville standards, with plenty of opportunity for investment — first-time homebuyers and families looking for more budget-friendly options in pricey Music City are finding the area attractive. And its proximity to Fisk University and Tennessee State University,  distinguished HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) with their own rich history, makes it an appealing home base for the school’s faculty, staff, and their families.
Q: Where do the rich live in Nashville?
In a word, everywhere. The really rich tend to prefer the gated estates and enclaves of Brentwood, where privacy is honored and home values rocket into the multi-millions. But if you’re looking for even more room to roam, check out the beautiful horse country and farmland south of Nashville around the tiny burg of Leiper’s Fork, where country music stars like Chris Stapleton, Loretta Lynn, and countless others have lived over the years. It’s also where the priciest home in Tennessee is located: Twin Rivers Farm, currently on the market for a cool $65 million. Not bad for a 384-acre estate, right?

A newly constructed two-story home on an incline residential street in Nashville’s Hope Gardens neighborhood.

Hope Gardens remains richly diverse, with generations of families, many of whom with business roots in the once-thriving Jefferson Street district, still calling the neighborhood home.
(Source: Sotheby’s International Realty)

6. Hope Gardens 

This in-town neighborhood between Germantown and downtown Nashville has experienced the same wave of gentrification that’s transformed much of Music City’s historically Black urban core. But Hope Gardens remains richly diverse, with generations of families, many of whom with business roots in the once-thriving Jefferson Street district still calling the neighborhood home. 

Restored houses designed in the Victorian and Queen Anne styles share streets with newcomer condos, houses, and apartments. At 909 Flats, for instance, studios and larger apartments are home to a mix of young professionals and families seeking the convenience of downtown Nashville along with the abundant mix of nearby attractions. 

The area is home to First Horizon Park (not technically within the boundaries of Hope Gardens, but neighbors can hear the roar of the crowd on summer nights), where minor league baseball team the Nashville Sounds play; Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and site of dozens of major concerts every year; and beautiful green spaces like Morgan Park, with playgrounds, sports fields, and a community center.

Twilight view of The Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee.

Walkable and lively, The Gulch has a cosmopolitan flavor, characterized by high-rise apartments and condos — many with spectacular views of the city skyline.
(Source: Twelve Twelve via Facebook)

7. The Gulch 

The odd name of this upscale Nashville neighborhood comes from an actual dip in the topography where Music City’s railroad yard once stood. But today, there’s nothing odd about the area, a vibrant, trendy neighborhood bustling with shopping and dining — and, it must be noted, traffic. Tourists love the Gulch, not least for Biscuit Love, once a food truck and now a coveted restaurant where you’ll unfailingly find a line of hopeful breakfasters waiting as long as it takes for a table.

Crowds aside, the Gulch is one of the best places to live in Nashville for singles — and anyone, for that matter. Walkable and lively, the neighborhood has a cosmopolitan flavor, characterized by high-rise apartments and condos — many with spectacular views of the city skyline. A standout is Twelve Twelve, a mix of units for sale ($550,000 up to the $2.5 millions) and rent (around $2,500), with amenities including a 24-hour concierge, a private gym, and a rooftop pool. 

Besides all the Music City attractions within a short Uber ride, the Gulch is also home to a bustling retail mix of chic boutiques and well-known chains. For the musician in your household, Carter Vintage Guitars is a must-visit-often. And for essentials of the everyday variety, residents of the neighborhood turn to the beloved Turnip Truck, Nashville-owned and health-focused, with a robust selection of organic and locally sourced goods and groceries.   

A quaint single-story home in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee.

Although phases of growth and decline characterized the district for decades, it’s been firmly on the upswing along with the rest of East Nashville since about the early 2010s.

8. Cleveland Park 

Cleveland Park has been discovered anew by Nashvillians and newcomers drawn to the convenience and community vibe in this historically Black, middle-class neighborhood. Although phases of growth and decline characterized the district for decades, it’s been firmly on the upswing along with the rest of East Nashville since about the early 2010s. Even so, you can still find an affordable fixer-upper in Cleveland Park — but act fast. 

Amid the pockets of retail and restaurants in the neighborhood are local gems — old and new, some hidden, some not. For instance, All People Coffee, a cozy storefront in a new-ish apartment building of Airbnb rentals, opened in 2022 at one of Cleveland Park’s most notoriously under-construction intersections. Just down the street is Vernon Winfrey’s Barber Shop, the longtime business of Nashville Councilman and, notably, Oprah’s father, who died in 2022. 

Other local hotspots include Nashville favorite Mas Tacos Por Favor, a tiny cash-only restaurant with the most delicious Mexican cuisine in the city. And across the way is The Pharmacy Beer Parlor and Beer Garden, where fans can get boisterously fun during sports events televised on the restaurant’s many screens — especially if one of the teams happens to be the Predators, the Titans, or the Tennessee Vols.

Aerial view of a portion of the Salemtown neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee, with downtown Nashville in the distance.

As is the case in many of the best neighborhoods in Nashville, a mix of old and new architecture is the hallmark of Salemtown.

9. Salemtown

Just up the hill from Germantown and 1.5 miles from downtown’s Lower Broadway, this cozy community calls itself a “front-porch neighborhood.” Longtime residents are proud of its history — particularly the pivotal role of the Fehr School in Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement — but welcome the recent revitalization, which has included new multi-family housing and an influx of shops and dining. 

As is the case in many of the best neighborhoods in Nashville, a mix of old and new architecture is the hallmark of Salemtown. Victorian and cottage-style homes share the area with condos and townhomes adjacent to the formerly industrial-chic business area of neighboring Germantown.

Local brunchers flock to Roasted Salemtown, another line-around-the-block hotspot for delicious Southern cuisine envisioned by owner Chef Ericka Fizer, known as Chef E. Live music takes over on weeknights at this eatery that’s attracting hungry guests from all over town.

Bonus Highly Rated Nashville Area: Brentwood

 A very large luxury home in Brentwood, Tennessee, outside of Nashville.

The gated estates of Brentwood are a haven for many of Music City’s superstars, who value the privacy and room to breathe this Nashville suburb offers. 

10. Brentwood, TN

Okay, okay, so Brentwood isn’t exactly a Nashville neighborhood — it’s a suburb. But you can’t talk about living in Nashville without mentioning Brentwood. You see, in Nashville, it’s not unusual to run into music superstars at the local supermarket. And in Brentwood, your chances are even better. Residents of this elegant, upscale suburb include Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Sheryl Crow, Dolly Parton — and many more. 

Known for its gently rolling Tennessee hills, gated estates, and easy access to the airport and downtown Nashville, Brentwood is a haven for wealthy residents who want privacy. It’s also popular among (mostly affluent) young families and outdoor lovers, with about 70 parks in the area, including Radnor Lake State Park, a local favorite with a nearly eight-mile hiking trail; a separate path for runners, bicyclists, and pet-walkers; and several educational centers dotting its almost 1,400-acre footprint.

Single-family estates are the most common home style in Brentwood, consistently named right up there with the best Nashville neighborhoods to live in — and top places to retire. And those homes are costly: The average home lists for almost $1.3 million — which is double the average price in the neighborhood just six years ago. And only about 9 percent of households are renter-occupied, with an average one-bedroom apartment going for around $1,750 a month

Other Nashville Suburbs Worth Checking Out:

  • Nolensville, TN
  • Franklin, TN
  • Thompson’s Station, TN
  • Mount Juliet, TN

A couple standing in front of their loaded PODS container with their arms around each other.

A moving and storage company like PODS provides the flexibility and convenience you need.  

Planning Your Move to Music City

No matter what city you’re moving to, it’s never too soon to start planning. And flexibility is important, because no matter how thorough you are, unforeseen events always pop up that require a change in dates or moving needs. That’s why finding a moving and storage company that understands the need to move at your own pace and to plan for that unpredictability can make all the difference in a smooth move. You know what else will make your Music City move a success? Getting insider tips on the most efficient ways to pack up your belongings. For more tips and tricks, visit the PODS Blog.

Shannon Jacobs is a Tampa-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS Blog. She has lived in Atlanta, the Berkshires, and Nashville, but always returns to the warmth of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

Get a Quote

Choose the service you need


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment * Comments are required.
Name * Name is required.Name can't be more than 50 character.
Email * Valid Email address is required.

Reply to

X Cancel Reply
Comment * Comments are required.
Name * Name is required.Name can't be more than 50 character.
Email * Valid Email address is required.
An error has occurred please try again later