Long known as Music City, Nashville is one of the best places to live, work and play in the United States. But you may not realize this city also has a rapidly-growing restaurant scene, fabulous shopping destinations and countless opportunities to get active. Combine those advantages with Nashville’s friendly population and affordability, and it’s easy to see why the city is drawing—and retaining—so many newcomers.
Still need convincing? Read on to learn more about Nashville, and keep these tips in mind if you’re planning to move here.
1. There’s much more to Nashville than country music.
Yes, there are plenty of honky-tonks where you can listen to country tunes, but there’s so much more to Music City than this genre. Pop, rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, rap—you name it, we have it.
2. We have unlimited access to live music.
And in addition to those honky-tonks, most of which are on Lower Broadway, there are plenty of entertainment venues hosting shows on a near-nightly basis. With a combination of large venues like the Bridgestone Arena and small spots like The Basement and 3rd & Lindsley, the city sets the stage for the world’s best performers.
3. We’re also a healthcare hub.
Many people don’t realize the Nashville area is a hotspot for healthcare, but it is home to more than 300 companies in the industry including Vanguard Health Systems and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).
4. The Titans and Predators are a big deal.
Even if you’re not into sports, you’ll want to get familiar with these teams. Nashville’s NFL team, the Titans, pack the Nissan Stadium, while the city’s NHL team, the Predators, take the ice at the Bridgestone Arena.
5. We care about minor league baseball, too.
The Nashville Sounds, a Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, play home games at the newly-constructed First Tennessee Park downtown. The team draws thousands of fans each season, and in 2015 the Sounds played to 19 sell-out crowds at home.
6. Most people wearing cowboy hats and boots are tourists.
This especially applies downtown, but it’s true all over the city. Keep this in mind when a salesperson in one of the many tourist shops tries to convince you to fork over your hard-earned cash for a pair of shiny cowboy boots and a 10-gallon hat.
7. We’re not NYC or LA, but our fashion scene is top-notch.
Nashville is a pretty fashion-forward place, and we have more than enough options when it comes to quality shopping. If you don’t mind parting with your paycheck, head to the Mall at Green Hills, but for more affordable options, visit some of the locally-owned boutiques dotted across the city.
8. Nashville is a foodie paradise.
There are dozens of wonderful restaurants serving delicious cuisine in Nashville, and more are popping up all the time. From our famous hot chicken to fine dining and everything in between, the city’s dining scene has it all.
9. There’s no reason to go to Starbucks.
Nashville also has dozens of can’t-miss coffee shops, many of them independently-owned and known for brewing up concoctions that put chain coffee to shame.
10. Craft beer and fancy cocktails are everywhere.
Yazoo Brewing Company, Fat Bottom Brewery and Tennessee Brew Works are just a few examples of the many craft breweries Nashville lays claim to. Prefer liquor? The city serves up tasty, unique cocktails at places like Bar No. 308, The Patterson House and Pinewood Social.
11. You’ll need a car.
Nashville is pretty spread out, and unless your workplace is in your neighborhood, you’ll want a ride if you plan to get there safely and on time. Public transportation is an option, too, as well as ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, but most of us have cars of our own.
12. But traffic can get pretty bad.
It’s especially bad during the morning and afternoon rush hour. If you must be out and about between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 and 6:00 p.m., make sure you have a full tank of gas, and be prepared for lots of stop-and-go traffic.
13. If it snows, you don’t want to leave home.
The city basically shuts down when it snows, so it’s best to stay off the roads until everything melts, which usually happens in a day or two. Even if you know how to drive in the white stuff, please understand that most of us do not, and those of us who are out in our cars are probably just sliding around and panicking. Stay home.
14. Making eye contact with strangers and saying ‘hi’ is acceptable.
In fact, it’s expected. This is the South, after all! Don’t be afraid to wave, offer a greeting or strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know.
15. Staying fit is easy.
Nashville’s parks and trails are perfect for outdoor activities like running, hiking and biking, while its many gyms and boutique fitness facilities offering group classes make indoor fitness easily accessible.
16. We’re called the “Athens of the South.”
Nashville earned this nickname in the mid-1800s due to its abundance of colleges and universities and because it was the first southern city to establish a public school system. In addition, Nashville’s Centennial Park has a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon from Athens as well as a 42-foot Athena statue.
17. Each neighborhood has a distinct vibe.
For example, East Nashville and Hillsboro Village draw hipsters in droves with their cool nightlife spots, while Belle Meade and Green Hills are known as wealthy parts of town. It’s a good idea to do some research before signing a lease or purchasing a home.
18. The weather is unpredictable.
It’s not uncommon to experience balmy weather in January and near-freezing temperatures at the end of March. You just never know around here, so it’s smart to wear layers and listen to the weather report before leaving home for the day.
19. Most Nashville residents lean to the left.
Davidson County, which encompasses Nashville, is one of the only counties in the entire state to prefer Democratic candidates. We’re a little island of blue in a big sea of red, and that’s not likely to change any time soon.
20. You can probably afford a house.
This may not be true for long as Nashville is continuing to grow in popularity, but for now, homes are still relatively affordable compared to other large cities in the United States. According to Forbes, the median home price in Nashville is $172,100—not bad, especially when the median household income is $53,463.