Neighborhoods 2017-03-21T03:21:53+00:00





With the state capitol, the Tennessee State Museum, the Tennessee Center for the Performing Arts, the Tennessee Convention Center, and the Ryman Auditorium, downtown Nashville is a surprisingly vibrant area for a small Southern city. However, this is still almost exclusively a business and government district, and after dark the streets empty out, with the exception of the area known as the District.

With restored buildings housing interesting shops, tourist restaurants, nightclubs, and bars, this downtown historic district (along Second Ave. and Broadway) is the center of Nashville’s nightlife scene. With each passing year, it becomes a livelier spot; pickup trucks and limousines jockey for space at night along Second Avenue. On Friday and Saturday nights, the sidewalks are packed with partiers who roam from dive bar to retro-disco to line-dance hootenanny.

A few blocks northwest of downtown lies the charming historic community of Germantown. Named for the European immigrants who first started settling here in the mid-19th century, the 18 square blocks are bounded by Jefferson Street to the north, Rosa Parks Boulevard on the west and Third Avenue North on the east. On the National Register of Historic Places, the once-blighted area has become a benchmark for urban redevelopment in recent years, with new loft condos, cafes, shops, and professional offices.

Next to Germantown, stretching west along Jefferson Street, is an area known for some of the city’s best soul food spots and African-American-owned businesses. This section of Nashville is home to historic Fisk University as well as Tennessee State University. Front-yard tailgating before college football games is a popular past-time here.

Just south of downtown lies this once-abandoned industrial area that’s become the hottest real estate in Nashville. Old warehouses are being razed and revamped, and gleaming high-rise condos and lofts are being developed, as upscale new hotels, restaurants, and clubs compete for space here.

Just south of downtown and the Gulch, Eighth Avenue is an emerging district lined with antiques shops, corner cafes, and family-friendly eateries. If you’re into leisurely bargain-shopping or are on a hunt for a one-of-a-kind antique, this no-frills, nontouristy area is great for browsing.

What would have been unthinkable only a few years ago has come to pass. A once-blighted area south of downtown and the Gulch is enjoying a renaissance. Idealists, entrepreneurs, and young adults with dreams have been buying up and restoring old houses to set up shop. As a result, an interesting, off-the-beaten-path array of quirky boutiques and happening restaurants and night spots now dot the area roughly bordered by Linden and Kirkwood avenues.

Recording studios and record companies make this neighborhood, located around the corner from 16th Avenue South and Demonbreun Street (pronounced “De-mon-bree-in”), the center of the country-music recording industry. Driving down the tree-lined boulevards, you’ll see stately homes converted into the offices of country music publishers, public-relations agents, and the occasional gated recording studio. Although Music Row is a distinct district, the general area between the edge of downtown and the West End is also sometimes referred to as midtown.

While tourists and barflies congregate in the District, the moneymakers and musicians of the Nashville scene gather in the West End, referred to by locals as the intellectual side of town. Located adjacent to Vanderbilt and Belmont universities, this upscale neighborhood is home to many small shops, lots of excellent (and often expensive) restaurants, and several hotels. Also known as Hillsboro Village, the area has a lively late-night dining scene fueled by the college crowd and well-heeled locals looking to see and be seen. At the edge of the West End is the affluent Belle Meade community. Mansions abound in Belle Meade, and country stars own many of them. Two such historic mansions — Belle Meade Plantation and Cheekwood — are open to the public.

Across the Cumberland River from downtown Nashville is this laid-back enclave of bars, coffee shops, and funky boutiques. Many homes in the area, which date back to the early 1900s, are being preserved and renovated by young families attracted to the area. Increasingly, culturally diverse East Nashville is also home to some of the locals’ best-loved restaurants, such as Marché Artisan Foods.

This area on the east side of Nashville is where you’ll find the Opryland Resort, the Grand Ole Opry House, Opry Mills shopping center, and numerous other country-themed tourist attractions. There are very few decent restaurants in the area (except within Opry Mills and the Gaylord Opryland Resort itself).

Upscale shopping, chain restaurants, and affluent residential areas define the suburban enclave of Green Hills. Among Nashvillians, Green Hills is considered to be a lively, desirable neighborhood. Tourists might visit the Mall at Green Hills, the go-to, shop-’til-you-drop spot that anchors the area. The famed Bluebird Cafe, home to up-and-coming songwriters, is also out in this neck of the woods.





Franklin is famous for its beautiful historic homes, its town square and surrounding area, its Civil War battleground; for antique shopping, art galleries, bakeries, and a variety of excellent restaurant dining opportunities. Money magazine recently listed Franklin among its 100 Best Places to Live. In the midst of the history, there is an ongoing growth in residential building in Franklin.

There is always something special and fun to do in Franklin – the annual calendar of events includes such things as the Main Street Festival in April, a Rodeo in May, the Heritage Foundation Town and Country Tour of Homes in June, an Independence Day Celebration – “Franklin on the Fourth” in July, the Franklin Jazz Festival in September, a Southern Folklife Festival at the Carnton Plantation in September, Pumpkinfest in October, and the Anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Franklin in November. And that all leads up to a spectacular December, including the Franklin Christmas Parade, the Carter House Candlelight Tour of Homes, and a Victorian holiday festival called “Dickens of a Christmas.”

Franklin has an eclectic atmosphere where “brand new” is adjacent to “historic old” — if you visit the town square, you will find pick-up trucks parked right next to Jaguars. Franklin literally glows with antique lampposts, chandeliers, and candlelight – the warmth of the town is palpable. Ask anyone who lives in Franklin, and they will tell you they are thankful to be in such a special place!

Brentwood is the Williamson County community that is closest geographically to Nashville, and, as such, is known as Nashville’s premier “bedroom” community. Brentwood boasts magnificent million-dollar homes with stately black gates and wide manicured lawns. Brentwood families enjoy centrally located parks, a world-class new library, upscale stores and hundreds of shopping opportunities at nearby Cool Springs retail center. Ask anyone who lives here what makes Brentwood tops, and you’re sure to hear about its excellent Williamson County public school system whose children consistently score at the top among Tennessee’s students. Brentwood also contains first-class office and business space at Maryland Farms, and construction of a new town center is underway which will create a true downtown identity in the heart of Brentwood.

More rural and further removed from city-life, little Leiper’s Fork has definitely emerged as the new “place to be”. Painters, musicians, craftspeople, sculptors, and photographers have discovered Leiper’s Fork. With its sense of privacy, peace, and quiet, it is a perfect place for artists of all kinds to work. Although no longer a secret, Leiper’s Fork remains a sleepy little farm community where overalls are the standard uniform for the locals.

Puckett’s Grocery hosts early rising day laborers and artists at breakfast, serves lunch to tourists, and presents down home live music, performed by hit songwriters and recording artists, on weekend evenings. In spite of the tourists, this is the place where local folk gather to greet their neighbors.

The rolling hills and horse farms that surround the Leiper’s Fork community speak of traditional, old-fashioned country life. If you want some acreage and a sense of tradition, this is a wonderful place to call home.

As growth in Williamson County heads east, Nolensville is experiencing a boom. This is an “up and coming” community! A home-building explosion is going on in historic Nolensville, however homes are being built with an eye to a community lifestyle of sidewalks, front porches, and designed open space. Efforts are underway with the use of berms, trees, and landscaping to keep this area scenic in spite of the overwhelming growth. Homes here are a little more affordable than in some other Williamson County neighborhoods. This is a perfect place for families with small children to own “starter homes” and take advantage of solid schools and the happy blend of rural and urban life.

Nolensville has a particularly attractive location, near Cool Springs with its vast array of shopping and restaurants, and convenient to Interstate access.

With the county’s most affordable housing and a relatively undeveloped small town atmosphere, Fairview is another good Williamson County choice for young families. Homes here may contain more acreage than in some other county communities where land is becoming pricier. Not to be outdone by the attractions of some of the other towns, Fairview boasts the Bowie Park and Nature Center with more than 700 acres of forests, lake, and trails.

Thompson Station, the county’s smallest city, is another “find” for affordable housing for those willing to drive a little farther south from Nashville. This area is a mix of young, first-time homeowner families and retired empty nesters. Subdivisions have been carved out of pastureland, and residential building continues at a rapid rate. Home buyers can find new homes on smaller lots than in some other communities, and they will quickly see that they can get “a lot of house for the money” in rural Thompson Station.

The community of Spring Hill overlaps Williamson and Maury Counties and is one of the fastest growing cities in Tennessee. Residential development is booming in Spring Hill, and commercial development is picking up the pace to support the housing boom that has continued here for over a decade.

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