If you’re a travel nurse looking for your next adventure, you might want to consider packing up your scrubs to spend some time living in Nashville, TN. Long known for its country music scene, Nashville offers a thriving social scene, a colorful culinary landscape, and big city opportunities.
Looking for advice for moving to a new city? Learning more about life in Nashville, Tennessee can help you explore whether moving to Nashville feels right for you. There’s so much to love about this southern city, and learning what to expect can help make your time there all the more fulfilling.
Nashville at a Glance
Nashville has a rich history. Founded as a trading post in the late 1600s, modern Nashville began in 1784 when it became a major railroad center. By 1843 it was the state capital, and by the late 1800s it had earned the nickname Music City.1
Today, it’s still known as the beating heart of country music. It has a thriving tourist industry (shout out to the #1 bachelorette party destination in the U.S.), and it also has the fastest growing population of foreign-born people in the U.S.2 Worried about how to find housing as a travel nurse? With a population of 707,000, Nashville marries a vivid local culture with a more affordable housing price and a generally lower cost of living. That’s a combination that can appeal to people from all walks of life.2,3 Plus, you might just see a country star at the supermarket.
Temperatures typically range from 30 degrees in January to 90 degrees in July, meaning Nashville offers you the fun of four distinct seasons while still staying fairly comfortable overall.
While Nashville includes some of the best neighborhoods for walking, it typically helps to have a car. That said, the lower cost of living should help make car ownership more feasible than in other large cities like New York or San Francisco.
From history, to ambience, to environment, Nashville has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike.
Finding Your New Home: The Best Nashville Neighborhoods
Living in Nashville starts with finding the ideal neighborhood for you.
While Nashville is full of promising neighborhoods, these are some of our favorite areas:
- East Nashville – Tree-lined streets with wide sidewalks make the East Nashville neighborhoods popular with young families and people looking for a peaceful, residential vibe. It’s also an area that’s drawn plenty of artists and creatives over the years. A quick drive to Shelby Bottoms Park offers hiking trails, while Five Points offers live music, restaurants, and the occasional street festival.
- Belmont Hillsboro – Close to both Belmont University and Vanderbilt University, this bustling neighborhood features plenty of apartments, along with a cluster of restaurants, shops, the historic Belcourt Theater, and daily live-music performances.
- Brentwood – While only about 14% of the real estate in Brentwood are rentals,4 this upscale neighborhood offers roughly 70 parks, picturesque hills, and quick access to Downtown Nashville. You can easily see why it’s popular with Nashville’s stars.
- West Nashville – West Nashville includes the former industrial district known as The Nations which now boasts artsy breweries, boutiques, restaurants, and renovated factories-turned-lofts. West Nashville also includes Sylvan Park, a more established neighborhood that features charming local businesses, plenty of parks, and a strong sense of community.
Order Up: Exploring Nashville’s Food Scene
If you’re still wondering, “is Nashville a good place to live?”, we have two words for you: the food.
In 2021 and 2022, Nashville added 197 new coffee shops, bars, and restaurants to its already thriving dining scene.5
While restaurants across the city burst with flavor, we especially love these standouts:
- Adele’s – Award-winning seasonal comfort food in a breezy space makes this restaurant thoroughly delicious.
- Elliston Place Soda Shop – In business for over 80 years, this newly renovated ice cream shop offers a full bar and, on occasion, live music.
- Up Rooftop Lounge – Enjoy snacks, craft cocktails, and a view of the Nashville skyline from the top of the Fairfield Inn.
- The Southern V – Visit The Southern V for 100% vegan soul food. It’s healthy, affordable, and, above all, delicious.
- Listening Room – While the main attraction is the performances from new and established singer-songwriters, this intimate feeling venue offers a full dinner menu built around fresh, local ingredients.2 Dinner and a show never sounded so good.
- Pancake Pantry – Try the made-from-scratch pancakes—trust us, they’re worth waiting in line for.5
- Joyland – Enjoy burgers, fried chicken, biscuits, and shakes at Joyland. Whether you’re rewarding yourself after a challenging day or celebrating an awesome one, this restaurant is sure to add some well-deserved positivity to your routine.5
Trying restaurants throughout the city can be a fun way to visit new neighborhoods—add these hot spots to your culinary calendar and get your stomach acquainted with the city, too.
How to Spend Your Free Time
People don’t typically move to Nashville to spend their days off on the couch—although, after a long shift, we wouldn’t blame you if you did. But with a wide range of cultural, artistic, and entertainment options, you can find something new to do every week. Plus, if you are looking for new ways to make friends as a travel nurse in Nashville, here’s where you can start.
We’ve curated some of our favorite options:
- The music scene – Let’s start with the obvious—from the legendary Grand Ole Opry, to smaller venues like the Bluebird Cafe, the Nashville music scene sparkles every night. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, try Rudy’s Jazz Room, Belcourt Taps, East Room, The Basement, The 5 Spot, or 3rd and Lindsley.
- The (other) Parthenon – Built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Tennessee’s gold-gilded Parthenon is the only full-scale replica of the famous Athenian Parthenon. A little bit cheesy, a little bit magnificent, it’s the kind of thing that feels absolutely unique to Nashville.
- The Country Music Hall of Fame – This expansive museum features the Hall of Fame Rotunda, world-class exhibits, and programming like live music and family activities. It also offers tours of the historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print, an iconic letterpress print shop.
- The National Museum of African American Music – Dubbed one of the most impactful museums to open in decades by the New York Times, the National Museum of African American Music explores African American music’s influence on American culture. Five of the six rooms focus on music genres—R&B, hip-hop, gospel, jazz and blues, and rock ‘n’ roll—while the last room places that musical journey within the broader context of American history.
- Local parks – With over 120 parks within the Nashville area, the city features plenty of green space. The Nashville Parks and Recreation department’s web page can help you find a park near you, and even reserve a picnic shelter, tennis court, or golf course tee time. Checking out the local parks in your area can prove a fun way to get some exercise while uncovering every hidden corner of your neighborhood.
- Lower Broadway – For a night of kitschy, boisterous fun, grab some friends and visit the honky tonks on Lower Broadway. Try Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Legends Corner, Robert’s Western World, or branch out with some of the newer music venues and restaurants in the area. Whatever you pick, you’re sure to have a fabulous night.
- Belcourt Theater – Originally founded in 1925, the Belcourt Theater received a sleek remodel in 2016. Its three screens run both indie releases and repertory classics. Guests can savor the experience by making use of the full bar. After the credits roll, we recommend exploring the surrounding Hillsboro Village neighborhood, which offers charming restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques.
- Old Town Trolley Tours – Whether you’re new to the city or treating yourself to a staycation, taking a tour from Old Town Trolley Tours can serve as an easy, pleasant way to get to know the city. With 14 interesting stops, frequent service, and knowledgeable tour guides, it’s a classic for a reason. Pro-tip: If you want to see the city all lit up, take the evening tour.
- Line Dancing – If you’ve ever thought about trying line dancing, Nashville’s the place. Wildhorse Saloon offers free daily classes so you can cut loose, learn a new skill, burn some calories, and make new friends. Once you’ve learned the steps, stick around and try them out to some live music.
- Sporting Events – If you love cheering for the home team and bonding with other fans, check out one of the many college and professional sporting events in the area. Nashville’s professional teams include the NFL’s Nashville Predators, AAA’s Nashville Sounds, MLS’s Nashville Soccer Club, and the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
Whether you’re craving an exciting night out or a chill morning at a cute coffee shop, Nashville has everything you need to make your days off restful, restorative—and maybe even a little rambunctious. It’s truly a place where you can find yourself with travel nursing.
Find Your Your Next Chapter With Host Healthcare
At Host Healthcare, we match travel nurses, travel therapists, and travel allied professionals with fulfilling job opportunities all over the country.
Our specialists start by listening to your hopes and goals for your next travel nurse Tennessee position. Then, we match you to a job opening that meets your requirements. We can find you the travel nurse job you want in a city you’ll love.
Lastly, we continue to support you throughout the transition to your new city. We help you find and secure housing, as well as provide you with 24-hour support via text, live chat, phone call, and social media messaging. Whether it’s your first night in a new city or your thirtieth, we’re there to listen and happy to help.
If that’s something that interests you, consider applying to join our Host Healthcare community.
Nashville—and a host of other exciting cities—await you.
Wendy Williams, BSN, RN, CCM
Nursing Specialty: Home Health/Long-Term Care, Pediatric Emergency, Case Management, Medically fragile special needs children and adults.
I started my career as a pediatric emergency room nurse and floated to the pediatric floor, PICU, burn unit, and NICU. I then transitioned and spent most of my career in home health and long-term care as a Nursing Director and Case Manager for medically fragile, special needs children and adults. I am a Certified Developmental Disabilities Nurse (CDDN) and Certified Case Manager (CCM).
- “History of Nashville.” Nashville.com, 6 June 2022, https://www.nashville.com/history-of-nashville/.
- Creamer, Colleen. “36 Hours in Nashville.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Oct. 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/travel/what-to-do-in-nashville.html.
- “Nashville, Tennessee Population 2022.” Nashville, Tennessee Population 2022 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs), https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/nashville-tn-population.
- Jacobs, Shannon. “Making a Move to Music City? Check out These Nashville Neighborhoods of Note.” PODS Moving and Storage Blog, 29 Apr. 2022, https://www.pods.com/blog/2021/08/nashville-neighborhoods/.
- Creamer, Colleen. “In Nashville, Boisterous Fun and Decadent Eating.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/21/travel/nashville-travel-tourism.html.