A Visitor’s Guide to Nashville Neighborhoods

Lower Broad – the stretch of Broadway from the river at 1st Avenue to about 5th Avenue downtown is the heart of Nashville’s honky tonk culture, with legendary haunts like Tootsie’s and Robert’s Western Wear featuring live traditional country most hours of the day. Within walking distance of Lower Broad are more bars and clubs along 2nd Avenue, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in the So-Bro neighborhood just south of Broadway. The central business district and the state capitol are located a few blocks north of Lower Broad.

The Gulch – located in an actual gulch adjacent to the railyards just west of downtown, the Gulch has become a burgeoning hotspot in recent years with an influx of condominium and apartment towers along with a bevy of restaurants, clubs, and stores. Many of Nashville’s new, independent restaurants are located in the area, as well as both two breweries – Jackalope Brewing Company and Yazoo Brewing Company. Possibly the only long-standing business in the Gulch is the legendary Station Inn bluegrass club.

Music Row – to be honest, Music Row is mostly a small business district without too much for the visitor to do, but it is worth driving down to see the music studios, publishing houses, record companies, etc. The Historic RCA Studio B is on 17th Avenue and can be toured through the Country Music Hall of Fame. Near the roundabout and the Musica statue at the northern end of Music Row, there is a strip of restaurants and bars, and there is another retail area with restaurants and shops on Edgehill Avenue one block east of 16th Avenue.

Hillsboro Village – head to this district near Vanderbilt University for eclectic shopping, a good mix of restaurants – coffee shops to high end, and bars. There’s also Belcourt Theatre, which shows independent movies.

12 South – the neighborhood centered along 12th Avenue South has become gentrified in recent years and is currently very hip in a mostly family-friendly way. The restaurants and independent, not pricey, and very good. Consider getting a popsicle from Las Paletas and then heading over to Sevier Park.

Five Points – east Nashville is hip and trendy, and Five Points is at the center of the action. It’s got high end dining at Margo’s, coffee and brunch at Bongo Java and Marche, plus lots of bars, live music, ice cream at Pied Piper Creamery, and eclectic shopping at shops such as Art and Invention.

Germantown – just north of downtown, Germantown is one of the older neighborhoods in Nashville and has a mix of old brick buildings, Victorian homes, and new urban construction. It’s not a large area, but it’s pedestrian-friendly, and there’s lots of good restaurants. Not far away is the farmers market and Bicentennial Mall.

Franklin – (not highlighted on the map) the historic town of Franklin lies about 12 miles south of Nashville. It’s a historic town surrounding by beautiful rolling hills. The old county square has great shopping and restaurants, there’s lots of Civil War history nearby. Consider taking a scenic drive farther west to the picturesque town of Leipers Fork, then head back to Nashville on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

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