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Nicknamed Music City, Nashville is filled with a buzzing atmosphere that makes it a terrific city to explore. With all the music industry history soaked into each corner of Nashville, this city is an essential pilgrimage for any fan of music, culture, and of course great food. Much like different genres of music, the areas of Nashville that make up the city are unique and varied. If you want to learn what makes each neighborhood special, this is the Nashville Neighborhood guide for you. 

Musical History

The connection between Nashville and music dates all the way back to the 1700s. The first star to come from Music City was none other than folk hero Davy Crockett. His fiddle playing captured early America’s interest and started a rich history of folk and country music in Nashville. Country artists like Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Tim McGraw rose to stardom in this city.

While it’s known for country music, Nashville is a hub of all sorts of genres. You want rock and roll? Jimi Hendrix had a longtime residency at Club Del Morocco. How about some soul? Otis Redding loved to perform at the clubs around the city. 

Head out to any of the numerous music venues in Nashville and maybe you’ll catch the next rising star before they hit it big.

Downtown

If you want to be in the heart of Nashville entertainment, Downtown is the place for you. Head to the main Broadway strip, known as Honky Tonk Highway, to see live music acts for free! Both sides of this street are littered with bars and clubs, all offering live music experiences.

Trying to beat the heat? Bridgestone Arena hosts Nashville’s NHL hockey team, The Predators. Located right on Broadway, you won’t need to go out of your way to see The Predators battle it out on the rink.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat try Jack’s Bar B Que. Jack’s serves up a taste of southern barbecue straight from the pit. Need to host a small army of people? Jack’s features the private Nashville Room that can serve up to 100 guests.

Must see music venue in Downtown: See a concert at the iconic Ryman Auditorium, known as The Mother Church of Country Music, which was once home to the Grand Ole Opry. Take a tour of this legendary venue, see construction artifacts at the exhibit and enjoy a multidimensional screening experience called “Soul of Nashville.” What better souvenir is there to have on your Nashville vacation than to record your own CD at the Ryman’s recording studio?

East Nashville

If you want a low-key atmosphere that’s still close to the main attractions, stay in East Nashville. Situated on the east side of the Cumberland River, East Nashville is a hub of art, commerce, and entertainment. This wasn’t always the case however, as recently as the late nineties East Nashville had virtually nothing to offer the city’s explorers. The developments since then have transformed this part of town into a must visit destination.

Dine out and enjoy some drinks in the restaurants and bars at the area known as 5 Points. Densely concentrated with dining options, it should be easy to find something to consume for even the pickiest eaters. We recommend 5 Points Pizza if you’re looking for a crispy, cheesy treat.

Browse the boutique shops and wander around East Nashville’s art galleries. Check out The Red Arrow Gallery to see contemporary art in an industrial setting. As a popular Nashville neighborhood for visual artists and musicians, you’re bound to bump into some songwriters and Serenaders in this hip and historic area.

Must see music venue in East Nashville: The 5 Spot features music options that change each day of the week. Located in the heart of 5 Points, you can get dinner then catch a show here!

Germantown

Soak up some history and warmth of the community when you stay in the oldest neighborhood of Nashville, TN. Germantown is named after the German immigrants who flocked to Nashville in the 1800s. Admire the Victorian architecture that lines the streets and imagine what life was like centuries ago.

This area contains the city’s most critically acclaimed restaurants. Relax with a craft beer and dine out on anything from traditional German foods to Asian dishes, and everything in between. If you’re looking for an American homestyle meal with an upscale twist get a seat at 5th & Taylor.  

Unwind at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. With 19 acres of greenery, fountains, and monuments, this park celebrates everything Tennessee. Want to learn while you explore? Take one of the free guided tours!

Must see music venue around Germantown: The Black Corner offers live DJs in a nightclub environment. Hop on the dance floor and bust a move Germantown style.

The Gulch

Discover how the industrial background of this historic neighborhood  seamlessly blends with contemporary style to make it one of the hottest places to be. At one point The Gulch was the home of Nashville’s railroad yard. After decades of disuse it’s now Nashville’s most environmentally responsible neighborhood. 

Since it’s revitalization The Gulch has attracted many interesting eateries. Biscuit Love, the once food truck turned full restaurant, is the perfect place for the hungry urban explorer. Fill your belly with classic southern breakfast and lunch fair.

Must see music venue around The Gulch: Established in the 1970’s, The Station Inn is known for nightly live bluegrass performances. If you want to get in touch with your southern side this is the spot.

Belmont/Hillsboro Village

The quaint Nashville neighborhood of Hillsboro Village is a must for shopaholics. Spanning four blocks, there are specialty stores and boutiques for jewelry, home goods and clothing. Start your day right and eat at The Pancake Pantry.  Enjoy fluffy pancakes and fresh air while dining on the outdoor patio.

In Belmont, guitar enthusiasts find paradise at The Gallery of Iconic Guitars (The GIG), which is home to over 100 iconic and rare guitars. Visit Nashville’s largest house museum, Belmont Mansion, to admire the Italian-style architecture and ornate decorations that include lavish artworks and antiques from the 19th century.

Must see music venue around Belmont/Hillsboro Village: McAfee Concert Hall hosts the performances of the Belmont University music students in a grand auditorium. See Music City’s next generation of musicians!

West End/Elliston Place

Check out the trendy neighborhood of Elliston Place for great dining options and a variety of nighttime entertainment. Take a stroll through the community of Belle Meade and see the impressive homes of this wealthy Nashville neighborhood. Then dance the night away in the block of nightclubs known as Elliston Place Rock Block. 

Across the way, you can head to the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original one in Greece. Relax in the peaceful surroundings, admire the art collection and statues, have a picnic on the grounds and revisit in the evening to see it when its illuminated.

Must see music venue around West End/Elliston Place: Take in a show at Exit/In, which has played host to huge names in the music industry and is one of the oldest venues in Nashville.

Opryland/Music Valley

Situated a few miles northeast of the city center, Music Valley keeps the history of Nashville’s bygone days alive with a multitude of experiences.

Take a lunch or dinner cruise along the Cumberland River on the General Jackson Showboat and enjoy live entertainment while you dine. Shop until you drop at Opry Mills, the largest mall in Nashville.

Don’t miss the chance to tour the Grand Ole Opry House during your vacation. Choose between three tours that give you behind-the-scenes glimpses of this legendary institution as you hear stories about music icons and look at historical photos.

Must see music venue around Opryland/Music Valley: The Grand Ole Opry House isn’t just a historical sight. Live radio country shows play there frequently.

Getting Around the City

While each neighborhood in the city itself is walkable separately, Nashville is notorious for having a sub par public transit system. Plan to use cabs/rideshare options to travel between each area. Music Valley is particularly separate from everything else to take that into account when planning a visit.

Nashville has Something for Everyone

Now that you’ve gotten a taste for Music City with VacationRenter’s Nashville Neighborhood Guide, it’s time to experience the real thing. Just like a musical performance, you’ll never really know how great exploring this city can be unless you’re actually there, taking it all in. Whether you’re stepping back in time at The Grand Ole Opry, or looking for the next big thing in the heart of downtown, Nashville has a little something for everyone.