6 Great Neighborhoods in Nashville
Impressive mansions built on the vast grounds of a former plantation.
Flagship Street: Belle Meade Boulevard. Flat, wide and with a beautiful median, it’s the city’s best running route. It connects the 2,000-acre Percy Warner Park with West End Avenue, the fastest downtown corridor. One of Nashville’s most exclusive clubs, Belle Meade Country Club, sits in the middle of the neighborhood. Homes trend northward of $1 million.
The Neighbors: A mix of big money and old money with a few surprising pockets of modest homes. Mostly families but increasingly, empty nesters.
Also Consider: GREEN HILLS
This suburb didn’t start life with a silver spoon in its mouth, so visitors sometimes leave scratching their heads over the home prices attached to Cape Cods with additions. It’s about location: six miles from downtown on surface streets; snuggled up to the back of Belle Meade but a fraction of the cost; home to the three best private schools in town and a superb public elementary. Home prices start in the $300,000s, with condo prices starting a little lower.
Flagship Street: Hillsboro Road, home to Nashville’s high-end shopping. Some complain that as the Green Hills demographic has trended northward, big name luxury stores have edged out homegrown businesses like hardware stores, garden stores and art supply stores.
The Neighbors: Mostly high-income families but apartment complexes and some student housing spice up the mix.
Richland/West End was the grand dame in the early days of the streetcar. Late 19th and early 20th century mansions line its major streets, while starter cottages cluster on the lanes. Median home prices hover around the million-dollar mark, and even smaller cottages can surprise with their price. Location and history account for it: just a couple of miles from town, with porches, sidewalks, medians, historic designation and strong neighborhood associations.
The area is so attractive and walkable that it has become the Halloween neighborhood. A little condo infill makes Richland/West End attractive for singles and snowbirds. A few buildings have security. Residents can walk to three or four nearby schools.
The Neighbors: Creative types were early buyers, and now it’s mostly wealthy creative types and smart investors such as architects, writers, Realtors and interior designers. The condos sell to busy singles who want a short drive and no lawn.
Also Consider: SYLVAN PARK
This neighborhood backs up to Richland/West End, and shares the walkability and location. Housing stock is nearly all modest bungalows priced in the $200s and $300s, with some larger homes in the $400s to $500s. A few fixer uppers remain.
Like Richland, a streetcar suburb. It takes its name from Belmont Mansion, the home of Adelicia Acklen, once America’s richest woman. The mansions are typically American Foursquare or Tudor, and like Richland, the smaller streets typically are lined with 1930s cottages.
Belmont is within walking distance of the buzzy restaurants and shops of 12South, the moniker of choice for the hip district along several blocks of 12th Avenue South, and of Hillsboro Village. It has the Belmont Bi-Rite, a neighborhood grocer with a legendary meat department and daily “meat-n-three” selections.
Flagship Street: Belmont Boulevard is flat, with wide bike lanes and boulevard-style sidewalks, making it popular with athletes and families. The street is home to two universities, three schools and several day care centers. The route for the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon brings runners down the boulevard, turning the neighborhood into a sidewalk party each April.
The Neighbors: Young families with the money to buy and fix an aging mansion. Artsy types. This area is solidly Democratic and politically active.
Named for the intersection created by Woodland Street, 11th Street and Clearview Avenue, this has been a hipster area since the slow beginnings at regentrifying East Nashville finally reached a tipping point 10 years ago. Cottages and bungalows date from the 1880s to the 1920s.
“Walkability” is cited as one of the important features of Five Points, a collection of bars, restaurants and shops at the heart of this neighborhood that serve the locals and draw people from all over the city. Housing stock is plentiful, if aging.
One reason for East Nashville’s slow redevelopment, frankly, has been the quality of area public schools. Lockeland Elementary Design Center, just slightly north, is addressing that need. The school offers a direct pathway to East Nashville Magnet School and focuses on literature to increase student knowledge in all subject areas.
The Neighbors: Young singles and couples and young families.
Urbanites decry its stretches of planned housing built on former Williamson County farms as soulless, but ask a Brentwoodian: the people are nice, the streets are safe, the housing stock is newer, and the public middle and high schools may as well be private. In Brentwood, your dollar buys more house in newer condition with more amenities than on Nashville’s west side. The shopping is better, too, as more "nationals" (big name national stores you'd find in a mall) choose the open spaces of Cool Springs over the crowds and expense of Green Hills and Belle Meade.
Flagship Street: Franklin Road, which runs from shopping to antebellum mansions and horse farm.
The Neighbors: Many transplants from other state.
Also Consider: DONELSON
Unless you’re moving from the coasts, Nashville home prices can be shocking. What $200,000 buys in other cities might pick up a condo on the west side. That’s where Donelson can help. Six miles from downtown, Donelson was formerly considered a separate city. It’s next to Percy Priest Lake and along the banks of both the Stones River and the Cumberland River, where you’ll find marinas and even a yacht club.
Flagship Street: Lebanon Pike. It’s not much to look at, but it has several indispensable amenities for the suburbanite and aspiring hipster alike along its route between Donelson and Hermitage: easy access to I-40 and to Briley Parkway, plenty of big box store shopping, a donut shop, bike shop, great thrift store, couple of quirky restaurants, YMCA, good branch library and a commuter train stop.
The Neighbors: Donelson ZIP codes have one of the city’s highest median income levels, yet much of the housing is modest and affordable. A lot of “lifestyle” residents move here for the lakes and golf courses.
Located on Nashville’s southern edge along the east side of I-65 and south of Harding Place, Crieve Hall features 1950s and '60s ranch-style homes tucked among lots of trees, with a smattering of newer homes and condos as well as some of Nashville’s more affordable apartments. With easy access to Nashville’s urban attractions, Vanderbilt University, Brentwood shopping, and the airport, this area is family friendly and budget friendly. The Edmondson Pike Branch Library is always hopping, and the Nashville Zoo is nearby. With its middle and working class residents, Crieve Hall is one of the more diverse Nashville neighborhoods, home to transplants from around the world and old-timers alike.
The Neighbors: First-time homebuyers, whether singles, couples or young families, some of whom manage to transform the ranch-style interiors into hip, artful homes. University graduate students. Plus some older, long-time residents who have watched their neighborhood change around them.