Exploring Nashville: 12 Locals Tell All

Nashville is in the spotlight, and not just for its lively music scene. Nashville offers a little bit of everything for both visitors and prospective residents: vibrant nightlife, restaurants galore and live music 365 days a year. Between Nashville’s historic roots and new found hipster presence, the city is a destination worth exploring.

Considering a visit or relocation to Nashville? Get an inside look at the city through the insights of locals sharing their favorite places to live, eat and play in Music City.

Music City Guitar

1) If you had a day with no obligations, what three Nashville attractions would you visit?

I’d spend the day chasing food trucks, hit the Frist Center for the Visual Arts for some arts & culture, the Nashville library and hike at Radnor Lake. – Liz of A Fresh Space

There’s nothing like playing Frisbee or simply sitting on the lawn surrounding the Parthenon at Centennial Park on a gorgeous fall day. Of course, every first-time Nashville visitor needs to take a stroll down Broadway once the lights go down and the honky tonks are alive with live music. And let’s not forget a trip to the Grand Ole Opry to stand on the famous circle at center stage. – Sami of Sami Cone

2) Which Nashville neighborhood showcases the best historical homes?

The most amazing historical homes in Nashville are around the Belmont area. Hillsboro’s historic homes tour is a great way to see these beauties. – Jamee Hagen of Beckwith Interiors

Nashville has some of the finest examples of plantation homes in the country. The craftsman-style homes are very popular for renovation and are located in areas like East Nashville, Lockland Springs, Sylvan Park and more. – Sabine Schmidt of Mom in Music City

Honky Tonk-Music City

3) What’s the best bar to visit on the Honky Tonk Highway?

Acme Feed and Seed. They’ve got everything from sushi to fried chicken and great entertainment and I love the vibe. – Lindsy Read of Nashville Narnian

Tootsies, of course. My personal favorite is the Bourbon St. Blues and Boogie Bar a few blocks away in Printers Alley. – Stephanie Crawford of Nesting in Nashville

4) What’s a misconception about Nashville that you want to set straight?

Country music is a big part of Nashville but there is so much more to Nashville – all kinds of music and all kinds of cultural events. – Scarlet Paolicchi of Family Focus Blog

We are not a sleepy, southern town. Yes, we are friendly and laid back, but Nashville, especially downtown, is booming. There are many incredible restaurants and shopping districts that make us a premiere destination for tourists and new residents. – Jamie Reeves of Blonde Mom Blog

Goo Goo Cluster- Love and Lion

Goo Goo Cluster. Source: Jenni and Leah of Love and Lion

5) What dessert is Nashville most known for?

Banana pudding. Monell’s does it best! – Lindsy Read of Nashville Narnian

The Goo Goo Cluster was created in Nashville in 1912 and this chocolate, peanut, caramel and marshmallow nougat treat is unique to Music City. –  Jamie Reeves of Blonde Mom Blog

Mike’s Ice Cream is a must stop shop when on Broadway. It’s a small shop with delicious homemade ice cream that’s surprisingly inexpensive. Many celebrities have been spotted there, including the “Nashville” cast. – Sabine Schmidt of Mom in Music City

6) In your opinion, why is Nashville the ninth fastest growing city in the United States? In what ways is the city changing due to the rapid growth?

Audacity. Entrepreneurs all over (including non-native Nashvillians) are taking chances in Music City to see their vision and passion come to life. It’s infectious! – Lindsey Joe of Handmade Healthy

Nashville has a big city feel on a smaller, more relaxed scale. People are EXTREMELY friendly. Nashville is very affordable, especially when it comes to real estate. Nashville’s topography is stunning – rolling hills, wide open spaces, lakes and trees. No state tax. Need I say more? Music is everywhere – at any time, on any given day. A few days ago, Blake Shelton decided to give a free concert on Music Row. – Sabine Schmidt of Mom in Music City

A great business climate, the incredible pocket neighborhoods that appeal to all different kinds of people, the growing infrastructure and emphasis on connectivity and inclusion. The high level of education with all of the universities (Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb) and the plethora of successful small and large businesses make it very attractive. – Liz of A Fresh Space

Ryman Auditorium

7) If you could see any Nashville native perform, who would it be and at which venue?

I would enjoy seeing Dolly Parton perform at the Ryman Auditorium. – Jamee Hagen of Beckwith Interiors

If it’s a true born-and-raised native I’d have to go with Paramore at the Cannery Ballroom. – Lindsy Read of Nashville Narnian

8) What’s the most popular neighborhood for young professionals?

Much depends on budget as there is a wide range of price points. All parts of East Nashville and Inglewood draw young buyers. Many of our southern neighborhoods are drawing first-time buyers, too. Areas like Wedgwood-Houston (or WeHo), Woodbine and Whispering Hills. Donelson is another emerging affordable market. – Stephanie Crawford of Nesting in Nashville

I’d say The Gulch, located south of downtown. It’s very walkable and there is a great nightlife with a hip vibe. It’s perfect for young single professionals as there are many new condos and apartments available. – Jamie Reeves of Blonde Mom Blog

Hot Chicken- Love and Lion

A Hot Chicken Sandwich. Source: Jenni and Leah of Love & Lion

9) Where’s the best place to buy Hot Chicken?

We love to go to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. The chicken is great and so are the sides! – Scarlet Paolicchi of Family Focus Blog

The original Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in East Nashville started it all. – Jamie Reeves of Blonde Mom Blog

10) What’s your favorite local festival and why?

Blackberry Jam Festival. – Mary Elizabeth of Mission Stone + Tile

Music City Irish Fest because it’s free and fun! – Linda Kinsman of My WAHM Plan

Hands down, Porter Flea Modern Handmade Market. The best of the best handcrafted (mostly local) goods are sold here along with music and unique eats to make your shopping experience so much more than just a credit card swipe. – Lindsey Joe of Handmade Healthy

Athens of the South

11) Beyond housing the only replica of the Parthenon, why do you think Nashville is called “The Athens of the South?”

Nashville got that nickname from the many academic institutions here as well as it being the first southern city to establish a public school system. Now Nashville is known more as “Music City.” – Jenni and Leah of Love & Lion

I believe that Nashville is called the Athens of the South because of our creative and forward-thinking citizens. We are always pushing the boundaries in art, music, food and culture. – Jamee Hagen of Beckwith Interiors

12) Would you rather attend an NHL Nashville Predators or NFL Tennessee Titans game?

While the Preds have their die-hards, there’s nothing like the open air of a Titans game! – Sami of Sami Cone

I haven’t been to either but I do recommend a Sounds game! The new stadium is amazing and the tickets are cheap. – Lindsy Read of Nashville Narnian

Cowboy Boots- Sabine Schmidt

Source: Sabine Schmidt of Mom in Music City

13) Where’s the best place to buy a pair of cowboy boots?

Lucchese Boots. – Mary Elizabeth of Mission Stone + Tile

With three different locations, The Boot Barn has an amazing selection of adults and children boots and hats. My daughter bought her boots there the first week we moved to Nashville. – Sabine Schmidt of Mom in Music City

14) What advice do you have for new residents?

Road names change from block to block in some areas. Also, interstates make a big loop, so don’t freak out if you miss an exit, just loop around! – Linda Kinsman of My WAHM plan

Get adventurous with your dining options. Nashville has become a food mecca as of late. My husband and I try something new every Sunday on date night and we can’t keep up with all the new restaurants. – Stephanie Crawford of Nesting in Nashville

Search for Nashville businesses and bloggers on Instagram! We’ve found some great new restaurants or activities to do on the weekends from Instagram posts. We’ve also met some friends through there – everyone is so friendly and eager to meet other Nashvillians! – Jenni and Leah of Love & Lion

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