Do you consider a neighborhood’s walkability when searching for a home? Walkable communities continue to be the trend nationwide as more and more people prefer a live/work/play lifestyle. This is clearly evident in many existing Nashville neighborhoods as well as proposed developments that are scheduled to break ground in the near future.
With so many new mixed-use developments planned, I’m sure our rankings will continue to fluctuate. With this in mind, here is our current Top 10 list of the “The Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Nashville.”
#10: Midtown/Music Row
If you are wanting to be close to the action, then Midtown/Music Row is worth taking a look at. Next to downtown, I would say that this area has the most extensive night life and lesser known to tourists. Restaurants and bars worth noting are Catbird Seat, Tavern, Desano’s(one of our favorites) and Patterson House. The Adelicia is a luxury condo highrise and is one of the more sought after properties in Nashville. Other living options include Bristol on Broadway, 1010 on the Row and Rhythm. While Midtown/Music Row is not lacking in entertainment, I feel that it does not provide many shopping options, nor does it have a viable place to shop for groceries within walking distance. With just a few more additions, this neighborhood could provide everything needed for a walkable lifestyle.
#9. Sylvan Park
Looking for a strong and friendly community with decent walkability? Sylvan Park might be the perfect fit for you. This has long been one of the most desirable areas in Nashville. While this neighborhood does not quite have the variety of restaurants and shopping as some of the others on this list, it does still have excellent options. Some of these include McCabe’s Pub, Neighbors, Star Bagel and Cafe Nonna. I consider McCabe Park to be the anchor of this neighborhood. It’s amenities include a 27-hole golf course, a greenway and state-of-the-art community center. Sylvan Park consists mainly of renovated bungelow-style homes, with newer properties mixed in. Walkability is going to depend greatly on where you live in the neighborhood, which is why Sylvan Park only makes it to #8 on our list.
#8. 8th Avenue/Melrose
Centered on 8th Ave and just behind 12 South, this area is poised for explosive growth. I struggled with where to place this neighborhood, I think mainly because it is seeing so much transition and the lack of sidewalks throughout the area currently. There are many exciting developments planned in 8th Avenue/Melrose and many pieces are already in place for a true walkable neighborhood. Two new mixed-use developments are proposed where the old Nashville Audi dealership and Colonial Bakery were once located. New restaurant additions here include Sinema and The Sutler Saloon to go along with classic staples like The Smiling Elephant, Sylvan Park Restaurant and ML Rose. I’m also going to put this out there with hopes of not causing a riot: The best cup of coffee in Nashville can be found here at 8th and Roast. Looking for entertainment? Zanie’s Comedy Club is right down the street and you can end the evening by stopping at Craft Brewed to check out their extensive selection of craft beers. Like I said, this area has all the makings of a walkable neighborhood and it will just be a few years before it lands in the top 5 on our list.
Germantown, which is considered Nashville’s first suburb, showcases Victorian homes dating back to the mid 1800’s as well as newer mixed-use developments. Every neighborhood has great restaurants, but Germantown ranks up there as having some of the best in the city. Monell’s, City House, Silo and Rolf and Daughters are just a few of the must visits in the neighborhood. Looking to get out on a beautiful Saturday? The Nashville Farmer’s Market and Bicentennial Capital State Park are just a few steps from your door. Also, the Nashville Sounds have just broken ground on their new stadium in Germantown and many more developments have been planned. As this area continues to see massive redevelopment, I can only expect Germantown’s walkability to increase dramatically, but for now it sits at #7 on our list of Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Nashville.
#6. 12 South
12 South, like many other areas in Nashville, has been completely revitalized and is becoming one of the most sought after areas to live in Nashville. The neighborhood mostly consists of higher end single-family homes, but the newly built 12 South Flats offer living at a lower cost as well. Below 12 South Flats, you will find retail and restaurants that include one of our favorites, Jeni’s Ice Cream. This area has excellent restaurant options that include Urban Grub, Josephine’s, Flipside, Burger Up, Mafiaoza’s and 12 South Tap Room. There’s also the ever popular Frothy Monkey, which has become one of our most visited coffee shops. While there is an an excellent farmer’s market here and a Kroger about a mile away, I couldn’t bring myself to rank 12 South any higher because it does lack this portion of walkability when it comes to groceries.
#5. West End/Vanderbilt
West End rounds out the top 5 neighborhoods on our list. Whether you’re looking for free live music or just want to enjoy the outdoors, nearby Centennial Park is always a good time. Although the traffic here is pretty intense, just about everything you need is within walking distance. While you can enjoy all the higher end chain restaurants like Stoney River, Fleming’s and Bricktops, there are still excellent local favorites like Tin Angel, Jimmy Kelly’s and Rotiers. There’s also no shortage of shopping and coffee shops. While the average home price is over $600,000 in West End/Vanderbilt, you can still purchase condos for less than half this price.
#4. Belmont/Hillsboro Village
Coming in at #4 on our list of most walkable neighborhoods in Nashville, is the area of Belmont/Hillsboro Village. This neighborhood, which is surrounded by Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities, has excellent walkability for any of the busy students or professionals who live here. Housing options include condos or apartments and beautifully renovated homes. Pancake Pantry might be the most popular restaurant here, where lines regularly stretch out the door for a block. A few of our other favorite restaurant picks include Jackson’s, PM Sushi, Blvd and McDougal’s. Like coffee? Bongo Java and Fido are two excellent choices. Throw in a Harris Teeter just a few blocks away and the Belmont/Hillsboro Village neighborhoods is one of the more walkable areas in Nashville.
#3. Downtown Nashville
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise as most downtown areas provide a great amount of walkability. There’s a good argument that the downtown Nashville area could be #1 or #2 on this list, but I felt that the amenities it offers are not seamlessly integrated into your everyday lifestyle like the top two neighborhoods.
The area is mostly known for the honky tonks that line Broadway St, but there are many excellent living options here as well. Many of these are converted lofts like the one’s in the old Kress building or newer condos developments such as Viridian. There’s also H.G. Hill’s Urban Market to take care of all your grocery shopping. If you’re office is located downtown, I don’t see any reason to drive, except to explore all the other exciting areas Nashville has to offer.
#2. East End/5 Points
East End is one of the hottest areas in Nashville right now. If you were lucky enough to buy here before prices soared, then you more than likely realized instant equity on your home. This neighborhood is interchangeable with our #1 spot on this list depending on your preference of lifestyle(Condos vs Single Family Homes). East End housing consists mainly of beautifully detailed cottages and craftsman style homes.
It also offers some of the best restaurants in the city, like Marche and Margot Cafe as well as a busy night life and plenty of shopping. It’s easy to see the lure of East End, with it’s blend of strong community feel and excellent walkability, while being just outside the bustle of the city.
#1. The Gulch
The Gulch has become the gold standard in Nashville for a live/work/play environment. It is the largest mixed-use community in the city and I foresee it continuing it’s dominance with the amount of large-scale planned developments in the near future. Icon in the Gulch and Terrazzo are two of the more popular condo developments here. In total the Gulch is currently comprised of over 4,500 condo and apartment units, 17 restaurants and 15 retail shops. There’s also Barry’s Bootcamp and Hotbox that offer a way to de-stress and burn off those extra calories from nearby restaurants like Whiskey Kitchen, Burger Republic, Bar Louie and Virago. Need to pick up some food for dinner? The Turnip Truck, which is a full service organic market, is just a few steps out your front door.
When you look at what the Gulch has already become and where it is headed, I think it will be very difficult for any other neighborhood to unseat it as the #1 Most Walkable Neighborhood in Nashville.”