View of the façade and entrance of the public library in one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville

13 Best Nashville Neighborhoods in 2023 (A Local’s Picks)

One of the best things about Nashville neighborhoods is that each one has its own distinct character and atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the nightlife, bring your family to a park, or spend time in a trendy, artsy area, Nashville has something for you.

Nashville has a large number of neighborhoods, but this list covers some of the most popular areas along with a few underrated neighborhoods. I’ve lived in a couple of different neighborhoods and spent time in many more.

Nashville is growing rapidly and areas are constantly changing. Here are some of the neighborhoods in Music City that are likely to become your favorites, some of which coincide with where to stay in Nashville. Let’s dive in!

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13 Best Neighborhoods in Nashville


A historic neighborhood that’s easily walkable and has one of the best food scenes in Nashville.

View of people enjoying the outdoor dining area of Red Bicycle Coffee and Crepes in Germantown
Red Bicycle Coffee in Germantown

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Germantown Inn

Right next to Downtown Nashville, Germantown was one of the city’s original suburbs. The area is a popular place to live thanks to its combination of historic buildings, great restaurants, and cute shops. I go to Germantown pretty often for dinner because the area has some of the best restaurants in Nashville.

Housing options include individual homes, townhomes, and apartments. The neighborhood is near the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and it’s easy to walk to locations within the neighborhood itself. The area hosts the Nashville Oktoberfest and plenty of other fun events throughout the year.

Pros of Germantown

  • Family-friendly atmosphere
  • Relatively walkable area
  • Beautiful historic architecture

Cons of Germantown

  • Little nightlife after midnight

The Gulch

A trendy, walkable neighborhood with upscale restaurants, an art museum, and beautiful murals.

View of the façade and the huge rose sculptures outside of The Frist Art Museum in The Gulch neighborhood
The Frist Art Museum

📍 Google Maps | The Gulch Website | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: W Nashville

Right in the heart of Nashville, this lively neighborhood is just a couple of blocks from downtown and has plenty of attractions. You’ll find rooftop bars, cool coffee shops, and the Station Inn, a bluegrass listening room.

If dining is important to you, you’ll love being able to walk to trendy neighborhood staples. The Gulch is also home to the Frist Art Museum, which is one of my favorite things to do in Nashville.

The Gulch neighborhood is LEED-certified and has a sustainable design that prioritizes walkability and public transportation. If you’re looking for an exciting big city feel, then the Gulch is a great place to be.

Pros of the Gulch

  • Lots of attractions
  • One of the most walkable areas in Nashville
  • Easy access to downtown
  • Trendy vibe

Cons of the Gulch

  • Prices can be high
  • Limited access to parks

Sylvan Park

A family-friendly neighborhood with beautiful outdoor spaces and one of the city’s best weekly farmer’s markets.

View of the empty playground at Richland Park
The playground at Richland Park

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Best Western Plus Belle Meade Inn and Suites

Full of historic homes with inviting front porches, this west Nashville neighborhood has a small-town feel but is only minutes away from all the action downtown. There are no Nashville hotels directly in Sylvan Park, and the area tends to get fewer tourists than other parts of Nashville.

The neighborhood has some of the best Nashville parks. The Richland Creek Greenway is a paved walking path that circles McCabe Park and the McCabe Golf Course. There’s also Richland Park, which hosts a farmers market every Saturday during the spring and summer.

Sylvan Park mostly consists of single-family homes, but there are a few apartment buildings and other living options. This is the neighborhood I lived in when I first moved to Nashville. It’s still one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. 

Pros of Sylvan Park

  • Family-friendly atmosphere
  • Several walkable areas
  • Quiet and residential

Cons of Sylvan Park

  • Not much nightlife
  • Housing is typically higher priced


A lively neighborhood that’s home to a university and a great local nightlife scene.

Panoramic view of Nashville’s Parthenon in Centennial Park across the water
The Parthenon in Centennial Park

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Hyatt House Nashville at Vanderbilt

Just southwest of downtown Nashville, Midtown is full of action. This area includes Vanderbilt University. The mix of students plus the location means that Midtown has the best local nightlife scene in the city. 

Besides bars, the area has a few notable culinary experiences like the Patterson House and the Catbird Seat. It’s also home to Centennial Park. Many events, including the free concert series Musician’s Corner, take place at the park. 

Most of the housing in this area is condos and apartments. If you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, Midtown is a good option.

Pros of Midtown

  • Can walk downtown from certain areas
  • Lively nightlife scene
  • Lots of casual restaurants

Cons of Midtown

  • Not always quiet

East Nashville

One of Nashville’s rapidly growing neighborhoods, a large area with a little bit of everything unified by a quirky, artsy atmosphere.

View of the beautiful murals on the exterior of Grimey’s New and Preloved Music in East Nashville
Grimey’s New and Preloved Music in East Nashville

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: The Gallatin Hotel

The East Nashville area is one of the city’s most eclectic neighborhoods. East Nashville covers a large area and is made up of several smaller neighborhoods. You’ll find everything from historic mansions to cozy craftsman bungalows to towering new construction here. 

East Nashville’s restaurants and shops are also a mix of a little bit of everything. There are laid-back eateries like Five Points Pizza and Mas Tacos Por Favor as well as high-end restaurants like Audrey. 

The area has a reputation for being home to Nashville’s artists and musicians. If you want a neighborhood that’s a bit quirky, you’ll enjoy this area.

Pros of East Nashville

  • Unique character
  • Multiple smaller neighborhoods to choose from

Cons of East Nashville

  • Walkability differs in areas
  • New developments force out long-time residents in some areas

The Nations

A neighborhood with an industrial vibe that’s poised to become the next hot spot.

A dreamy interior of tiffany blue bar stools hung pastel balloons, and tussles in The Milkshake Bar in Nashville
Gracie’s Milkshake Bar at L&L Market in the Nations

📍 Google Maps | The Nations Website | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Best Western Plus Belle Meade Inn and Suites

An old working-class neighborhood that’s quietly developing into one of Nashville’s hottest neighborhoods. Even though tourists may not know much about the Nations, it’s becoming Nashville’s next hip spot. In the Nations, you’ll find a mix of breweries, bars, and coffee shops alongside yoga studies and wellness clinics. 

The neighborhood has single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments. There is a lot of newer construction in the area after properties were flooded in 2010. The area seems to be especially popular with young professionals, but it’s near Richland Park which has a library and playground that’s perfect for families.

Pros of the Nations

  • Few tourists
  • Cool hangout spots
  • Easy access to other parts of Nashville

Cons of the Nations

  • Flooding could potentially be an issue in the future

Berry Hill

A quiet, separately incorporated area with a surprising number of good restaurants.

📍 Google Maps | Berry Hill Website | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: The Iris Motel

Berry Hill is a small separately incorporated city in the south part of Nashville. The small one-mile area has some of the city’s best locally-owned businesses and great dining options. Berry Hill has a quiet atmosphere compared to some other neighborhoods in Nashville.

Many homes in Berry Hill date back to the 1940s. The bungalows around the neighborhood add to the charm of the area. If you’re looking for a neighborhood that feels more like a small-town community than an urban suburb, Berry Hill is a good choice.

Pros of Berry Hill

  • Small town atmosphere
  • Locally-owned shops

Cons of Berry Hill

  • Little nightlife


A relatively affordable suburban neighborhood with a mix of popular tourist attractions and great local spots.

View of the red tent-like exterior of Uncle Bud’s restaurant in Donelson on a gloomy day
Uncle Bud’s, a popular catfish restaurant in Donelson

📍 Google Maps | Donelson Website | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: DoubleTree Suites Nashville Airport

Visitors to Nashville may be most familiar with Donelson for its close proximity to the Nashville International Airport, but the neighborhood has much more to offer. 

Donelson is located east of downtown Nashville. During the summer and fall, Donelson hosts a weekly farmer’s market with local produce and live music. The neighborhood offers outdoor attractions including two parks, a golf course, and a water park.  

The area includes a smaller neighborhood called Music Valley where the Grand Ole Opry House and Opry Mills Mall are located. Donelson is a popular choice for young adults and young families. 

Pros of Donelson

  • Access to parks and a greenway
  • Strong sense of community

Cons of Donelson

  • Noise from the airport in some areas
  • Not as close to downtown


A family-friendly area with a suburban atmosphere on the east side of Nashville.

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: The Gallatin

Inglewood is a popular neighborhood within East Nashville. The homes in the area have a bit more of a suburban feel–there’s a little more space between houses and the streets aren’t all in a grid. 

The neighborhood has a few shops, restaurants, and other attractions. The local library branch is easily accessible and so is the trail for the Shelby Bottoms Greenway. Plus, the neighborhood is home to Sip Cafe, one of the few local coffee shops in Nashville with a drive-thru.

Inglewood is a perfect choice if you want an area that is quiet and peaceful while still enjoying East Nashville’s signature eccentric characteristics.

Pros of Inglewood

  • Quiet atmosphere
  • Several great restaurants

Cons of Inglewood

  • Little nightlife

Green Hills

A beautiful neighborhood with great shopping options.

View of the displayed books on the tall shelves in Parnassus Books in Green Hills
Parnassus Books in Green Hills

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public School | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Hilton Nashville Green Hills

Green Hills is Nashville’s hub for businesses and shopping. The area has everything from the Green Hills Mall filled with luxury retailers to locally-owned Parnassus Books to Fox’s Donut Den which has been open for around half a century.

While the shops and boutiques draw crowds, most of the neighborhood is much quieter. Green Hills is, in fact, quite green. At Woodmont Park, locals enjoy the public walking path, tennis courts, and playgrounds.

The area is family-friendly. Living options in the neighborhood are mostly homes with a few apartments and condos available.

Pros of Green Hills

  • Lots of shopping
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Spacious lots

Cons of Green Hills

  • Main streets can be crowded
  • Relatively high priced

Hillsboro Village

An area that’s been popular for years with students and young families.

View of the beautiful pink tulips at the Vanderbilt University campus in spring
Vanderbilt University’s campus (photo:  Bo Shen / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Moxy Nashville Vanderbilt

If you’re looking for a laid-back, relaxed neighborhood with plenty of cool spots, check out Hillsboro Village. Right between Belmont University and Vanderbilt University, this area has great brunch spots like Pancake Pantry as well as boutique shopping.

The area is walkable, and families especially will love the easy access to Fannie Mae Dees Park, also known as the “Dragon Park.” It’s one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids

Hillsboro Village has single-family homes, apartments, and condos. It’s popular with college students, families, and anyone else who enjoys a friendly, urban atmosphere. The only downside is that since the area has been cool since the 90s, it sometimes gets more visitors than other residential neighborhoods.

Pros of Hillsboro Village

  • Walkable
  • Family-friendly
  • Great restaurants and businesses

Cons of Hillsboro Village

  • Main areas are busy on weekends


An up-and-coming neighborhood with a cool, artsy scene.

Entrance view of the Pink Door Cookies in Wedgewood-Houston
Pink Door Cookies in the bottom of a hotel in Wedgewood-Houston

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: BentoLiving Chestnut Hill

Just a few miles south of downtown, Wedgewood-Houston is quickly becoming a popular neighborhood. The area sometimes referred to as WeHo, has a reputation for attracting artsy residents (and visitors). The WeHo Art Crawl is one of the best free things to do in Nashville.

The formerly industrial neighborhood is home to an excellent restaurant and bar scene. Geodis Park is located in the area. This stadium hosts Nashville’s soccer team as well as concert tours.

Pros of Wedgewood-Houston

  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Access to restaurants, bars, and entertainment
  • Cool, industrial vibe

Cons of Wedgewood-Houston

  • Crowds on game days

Downtown Nashville

Nashville’s most busy neighborhood with honky tonks, live music, and great dining.

View of Downtown Nashville from the Cumberland River on a gloomy day
View of downtown from the Cumberland River

📍 Google Maps | Downtown Nashville Website | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown

When most people think of Nashville, they think of downtown. This area is the reason Nashville has gained the nickname “Nashvegas.” With honky tonks playing country music, rooftop bars, and trendy dining spots, there’s always something going on downtown.

Downtown Nashville is very walkable, and you can easily make your way to Nashville’s music venues, the downtown library, and upscale boutiques. There are also green spaces and parks.

Options for housing are mostly high-rise condos and apartments. This is not the place for those looking for quiet or those with a tight budget. If you’re looking to be just a step from all the action, though, Downtown is the place to be.

Pros of Downtown Nashville

  • Many popular attractions
  • Walkable
  • Some historic buildings are beautiful

Cons of Downtown Nashville

  • May still need a car if you leave downtown frequently
  • Can be noisy and busy

12 South

A charming neighborhood with independent shops and a peaceful park.

Exterior view of the Five Daughters Bakery in 12 South
Five Daughters Bakery location at 12 South

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Metro Nashville Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Belmont Boulevard Bed and Breakfast

12 South is one of Nashville’s best-known neighborhoods thanks to its unique boutiques and restaurants. You’ll find a mix of visitors, college students, artists, and families around on any given weekend.

The beautiful neighborhood is home to charming local coffee shops, upscale dining, and even Reese Witherspoon’s flagship Draper James location. Outdoorsy residents will love nearby Sevier Park. There’s space for walking and playing, and the 12 South Farmers Market takes place here on Thursdays in the summer.

Pros of 12 South

  • Strong sense of community
  • Able to walk to nearby neighborhoods
  • Nice park

Cons of 12 South

  • Crowded on weekends
  • Street parking fills up in some areas

FAQs About Nashville Neighborhoods

Where is the best neighborhood in Nashville?

For family-friendly Nashville neighborhoods, Sylvan Park, Hillsboro Village, and Green Hills are popular. For nightlife, Downtown Nashville and Midtown are good options.

Which area of Nashville is safest?

Most of Nashville is safe. Just like in any city, you should be aware of your surroundings.

What is the hipster part of Nashville?

East Nashville is generally considered the hipster part of Nashville neighborhoods. However, Wedgewood-Houston and The Nations seem poised to be the next hip spots.

What is the most walkable area in Nashville?

Downtown Nashville is one of the most walkable areas in the city. Other neighborhoods including Germantown, 12 South, Sylvan Park, Midtown, and Hillsboro Village are either walkable or have sections that are walkable.


Thanks for reading my guide to the best Nashville neighborhoods. Before you head to Music City, make sure to put your Nashville packing list together!

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