Nashville is a vibrant city with a long history, is rich with culture, and has entertainment for everyone. The culture of this city draws people in, and although moving to Nashville isn't always easy, it's definitely worthwhile. The more you know about the area, the easier your relocation to Music City, USA will be. There's a lot to learn about Nashville's public transportation, good economy, the resources it has for locals, and things to do in the area. Knowing about all the great features that Nashville has to offer can make life in and around Nashville rewarding.
Relocating to Nashville, TN
- Cost of Living
- Job Market
- Things to Do in Nashville
- Parking Information
- Public Transportation
- Contact a Real Estate Professional
Nashville Cost of Living
Nashville is a thriving community with approximately 700,000 residents and 95 people moving to the area every day. It's a community that's used to large crowds, lots of people and condensed traffic. Depending on where they're moving from, people arriving in the area may be surprised by how how expensive it is to live in Nashville, or they may be surprised by how inexpensive the cost of living is. While Nashville has a higher cost of living than most other places in Tennessee, it's relatively inexpensive for a large, vibrant urban area.
How much does it cost to live in Nashville? Most people can plan to spend around $2,200 each month on necessities, though costs vary from one person to another, depending on their spending habits. People who go out frequently, buy new clothes often and who live in more expensive areas of the city can plan to spend more than $2,200, while others spend less. The cost to move to Nashville is only slightly higher than the average cost of living in the United States.
The median home cost in Nashville is about $262,000, which is higher than the national median home cost by about $30,000. Compare this to places like Portland, OR, a city of approximately the same population but with a median home cost of about $420,000, Nashville is an inexpensive place to live. The average rent in Nashville is about $1,420.
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Data shows that the average person in a relatively small apartment (900 square feet) pays about $160 per month on utilities. The national average is about $150 per month. A single person in Nashville spends about $290 each month in groceries and dining out, $130 on gas and $70 on Internet access. One way tickets on local transportation cost about $1.75, and taxis cost $3 for the first mile and $2 per mile after.
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Nashville Job Market
As of February 2020, Nashville's economy is second in the country next to Austin, TX. Nashville also enjoys low unemployment. What's this mean? People who move to Nashville have access to many jobs. The city has a variety of industries that employ its population. The top industries in Nashville include education, government, manufacturing, health services, financial services, construction, leisure and hospitality, transportation and utilities and information.
Major employers in the Nashville area include Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, State of Tennessee, Nissan North America, U.S. government, Community Health Systems, St. Thomas Health, Bridgestone Tires and Vanguard. Doctors, nurses, teachers, professors, business executives and civil servants, all have access to opportunities for employment in Nashville.
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Things to Do in Nashville
There are many things to do in Nashville! One of the reasons that so many people move to the area and visit is because of the endless entertainment in the Nashville metro area. People moving to the area should take some time while they're house hunting or apartment hunting to visit some of the attractions in Nashville.
After visiting some of these cultural events, many people develop a greater appreciation for the area. Seeing what Nashville has to offer can make all the trouble of relocating seem worthwhile.
Open Spaces, Outdoor Activities
Nashville's outdoor scene is fun for the whole family, from little kids to older adults. Below are some of Nashville's most enjoyable outdoor activities and kid-friendly attractions.
- Cheekwood Estates and Gardens. Cheekwood Estates and Gardenscombines an art museum and garden on a historic property.
- Nashville Zoo. The Nashville Zoo is a great outdoor activity for little ones and their parents; here you'll see animals in a natural environment.
- Adventure Park at Nashville. This is Nashville's largest zip-lining and ropes course.
- Birdsong Resort, Marina, Campground and Freshwater Pearl Museum. This resort, RV campground, marina and freshwater pearl museumhas a little something for everyone.
- Soundwaves. This indoor/outdoor water park includes a lazy river, water slides and more.
Nashville Restaurants, Breweries and Bars
Nashville is full of restaurants, breweries and bars! If you enjoy going out in the evenings, Nashville's nightlife scene is the place to be.
- Downtown Sporting Club. This four-story restaurant and hotel with a rooftop play area serves excellent cocktails.
- Prince's Hot Chicken. Hot and spicy chicken has been a Nashville delicacy for a long time, and you can get what you're looking for at Prince's Hot Chicken.
- Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint. This is the perfect place to eat when you're looking for a nice mixture of sweet and spicy.
Nightlife in Nashville
- House of Cards. This entertainment venue in the basement of the Johnny Cash Museum is a 21-and-over space for drinks, dinner and magic shows.
- Layla's Honky Tonk. This bar serves cheap beer and features good live country music.
- Nashville Palace. The Nashville Palace restaurant, dance club and bar features line dancing, live music and good beer.
Music City - Live Music
- Ryman Auditorium. This famous music venue was once the home of the Grand Ol' Opry; the backstage tour is pretty cool and the acoustics are out of this world.
- Listening Rooms. Listening rooms are open-mic venues where song writers share their stories about their songs and lyrics.
- Grand Ol' Opry. This live radio show broadcast over WSM plays everything from country to bluegrass and more; shows are broadcast on Fridays, Saturdays and often on Tuesdays as well.
The rich history of Music City is something to be celebrated. Get out there and enjoy what Nashville has to offer today!
Weather in Nashville
Although it's on the northern side of the south, Nashville is still in the part of the United States they call the "South"—and as such, it has a climate people expect from the Southern United States. Winters are mild, with little or no snow, and summers are hot and humid. Rain occurs most in the spring and winter. The best time to visit for music and activity is from April through October, when the biggest events are booked.
Weather-Related Natural Disasters
Most of the worst weather-related disasters coming back to tornadoes and floods. In January of 1951, a three-day ice storm and blizzard fell on the city, crippling the transportation system and stopping many businesses from operating.
Many homes in Nashville and the surrounding area do not have basements, however, some do. People moving to the Nashville area can prepare for the worst by purchasing a home with a basement where they can retreat in the event of a tornado. Most years, Nashville gets tens of tornados, so home buyers who can find a home with a well-constructed basement may find the basement worth the additional cost.
Anyone who does buy a basement should have it inspected to ensure the basement is properly waterproofed and does not flood. It's important to work with an experienced home inspector who can look for cracks, water damage and other signs of potential flooding during rain storms.
People who move into homes that do not have basements, whether it's a house or an apartment, should have a plan to protect themselves in the event of a tornado watch or warning. Some apartment buildings may have a communal meeting place. Knowing what to do in the event of a potential tornado can help keep people safe.
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Traffic is currently at an all-time high in Nashville. With so many people moving to the area, that means more cars on the roads. Traffic jams are common, especially during rush hour. People driving into Nashville may also experience traffic jams during road construction and when debris falls on the road, during major music events and sometimes for reasons that no one can identify.
Avoiding the Worst Traffic
There are ways to avoid the worst traffic in Nashville, depending on where you live, what you do for a living and what your favored method of transportation is.
Adjust Your Work Hours
Starting and ending the work day early is one way to avoid the worst of rush hour traffic. Often, it takes only a minor adjustment to shave minutes off a commute. By starting at 7:00 in the morning and ending at 4:00, many people avoid the worst of the traffic. People can also adjust their work hours to start late and end late.
HOV stands for high-occupancy vehicle. HOV lanes are generally far less congested and people who use these lanes are usually able to pass through traffic with more ease. HOV lanes are found on major highways and interstates. HOV lane hours are only active from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. At other times of the day, these lanes are used as standard lanes.
Take Alternate Routes
Nashville has a good roadway infrastructure, so the highways and freeways aren't the only way to get around town during rush hour. People who are new to the area can use GPS apps like Waze, which is well-known for guiding people through alternate routes to reach the destination. Often, people in the area know alternate routes. People who move to the area may find faster ways to get around by talking to neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances.
Live Close to Work
People who are moving to Nashville for a job can cut back their commute time significantly by choosing a home or apartment near their new workplace. Before making an offer on a home, it's recommended that people try driving the commute. Often, it's hard to tell what the real commute time will be like until making the trek during rush hour traffic. People who live and work downtown may even be able to avoid the rush hour traffic entirely by walking to work, riding a bike or taking public transportation.
Parking in downtown Nashville usually costs money. Metered parking and paid parking facilities are available around the city. Some free parking is available around downtown, but finding it can be difficult and most free parking is not in a convenient location for the events and businesses downtown. People who drive in Nashville's downtown should be prepared to pay. Costs can be affordable on ordinary days but may spike when big events are taking place. In the outer areas, away from downtown, parking frees up a bit.
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Public Transportation in Nashville
Public transportation is available in Nashville. People who enjoy taking public transportation, who don't like driving, or who want to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle have options.
WeGo Public Transit
WeGo Public Transit is the public transportation website for Nashville's MTA, which operates a system of busses, commuter rails, vanpools, carpools and more. Nashville's MTA connects Nashville with the surrounding communities, all the way out as far as Hendersonville, Hermitage, Bellevue, Goodlettsville and so on. People who want to live in the suburbs of Nashville and commute into Nashville proper have options, but it's important to check on the WeGo Public Transit maps to find out which neighborhoods have easy access to public transportation.
Music City Star Train
The Music City Star train, owned by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, connects the communities around Nashville with downtown Nashville. Check out their train schedules on their website.
Being a tourist destination as well as a functioning city full of people, Nashville has multiple taxi lines, including Nashville Cab and Music City Cab. Cabs are a safe way to get around town. This is the preferred method to get around Nashville after events that involve alcoholic beverages.
Electric scooters are another form of transportation widely available to the public from private companies. Scooters are available for rent in the Nashville area, but public safety concerns have led to crack downs on the way the scooters are used in the metro area. People who use this method of transportation should read the fine print and follow all instructions provided by the electric scooter company.
Nashville is home to about 170 primary schools and secondary schools, so there is a wide range of schooling options available for Nashville students. Nashville schools are in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School district, with Williamson County School District and Franklin School District as alternative school districts nearby. School ratings vary. Parents moving to the area should look up the different school districts to find out which schools are right for them and find the best schools for their children's unique needs.
There are also about 20 colleges in the Nashville area, including Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University. Several technical schools, specialty schools and religious institutions are also available in the area. Nashville has everything that people need to get their early education up through their college degree.