Pros and Cons of Living in Music City


Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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Nashville, Tennessee is a city like no other. If you’re thinking of living in Nashville, we have some ideas for you.

Along with its well-known title of “Songwriter Capital of the World,” Nashville has a very fun bar scene, great restaurants, and a reasonably low cost of living. With all these benefits, is there any reason not to move to Music City?

Nashville, Tennessee at a Glance

  • The average rent in Nashville for a 1 bedroom apartment is 1,560 per month
  • Temperatures in Nashville average 85 degrees during the summer months and 50 degrees during the winter months
  • The current population of the Nashville metropolitan area is 1,294,000 in 2022
  • Outside of music, Nashville’s major industries include education, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality
  • Nashville has two major sports teams, the Tennessee Titans (NFL) and the Nashville Predators (NHL)

Ready to learn more about life in Nashville? Here is our list of 9 pros and cons of moving to Nashville.

Pros: Local cafes are everywhere

You will have no trouble finding quality coffee in Music City, as it has its fair share of local cafes. The most recognizable, Barista Parlor, works with local artists, farms, businesses and bakeries to create inviting atmospheres in each of their 5 Nashville locations.

In keeping with Nashville’s music scene, Ugly Mugs serves delicious coffee and hosts live music events. Catch a show while sipping a cappuccino or pull up a comfy chair and relax with a good book.

Crema is another crowd pleaser, and two of its coffees received top finishes in the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual roasting competition. Enjoy a cup of coffee on their large outdoor patio.

Other local favorites for a caffeine fix in Nashville:

Disadvantage: you will probably need a car

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Nashville’s only form of public transportation comes in the form of bus routes through WeGo Public Transit. It’s not entirely reliable and doesn’t cover the entire sprawling city. In addition, not only is public transit not accessible or complete in this city, but traffic is also unavoidable.

With Nashville growing as fast as it is, the infrastructure just isn’t set up for the number of cars on the road today. If you are planning to move to Nashville, expect to be in a traffic jam when you get to work.

Nashville Highways and Highways You Need to Know

  • I-40 -crosses the entire state from east to west
  • I-65 – goes north to south through Tennessee
  • I-24 – crosses Tenesee diagonally

Major streets and intersections in Nashville

  • Broadway – Downtown’s main thoroughfare and includes the bottom of Broadway where you’ll find the main entertainment district
  • 16th and 17th Avenues South – Known as the “music row”, where you’ll find attractions and businesses related to Nashville’s musical heritage
  • Charlotte Pique – Known for its thrift stores and cafes
  • 12 South – A popular shopping district located just outside of downtown Nashville

Pros: Lively bar scene

Image via Acme Feed & Seed

Fancy a well-crafted cocktail? How about a dive bar with cheap drinks and live music? Maybe a casual place to meet up with friends or a first date? You’re in luck in Nashville because this city has a bar for everything. Living in Nashville means you live in one of the best destinations for music and nightlife, so get ready for a good time.

Enjoy quality craft cocktails at Fox Bar & Cocktail Club, an Art Deco-inspired speakeasy-style bar tucked away in an East Nashville alley. It might be a bit far from downtown, but the Lyft ride will be worth it for their happy hour from 5-7 p.m. when a handful of drinks and food items can each be had for $5, $6, or $7.

Hone your darts game at The Villager Tavern, a local favorite that’s been around for nearly five decades. This spot hosts a few Nashville darts leagues, offers locals happy hour prizes after 10 p.m., and is a few blocks from the Vanderbilt campus.

Acme Feed & Seed is your go-to spot for a casual get-together with friends, a date, or even a corporate event. Its first floor offers restaurant-style seating and draft beers, the second floor is more of a bar and lounge (and one you can hire for private events), and the third floor gives way to a large patio on the roof.

Other favorites for drinks in Nashville

Cons: be prepared for humidity

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You should know up front that Nashville, like many other cities in the eastern and southern United States, gets hot and humid during the summer months. From May to August, expect sticky weather, with average temperatures in the 80s. Many popular Nashville festivals take place during the summer months, including CMA Fest, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and Nashville Pride, so be prepared to brave the humidity for the fun. Spring and autumn, however, are pleasant and compensate for the three to four months of humidity.

Average Temperatures in Nashville

  • January: Up 47 degrees, down 29 degrees
  • February: Up 52 degrees, Down 32 degrees
  • March: Up 62 degrees, Down 40 degrees
  • April: Up 71 degrees, Down 48 degrees
  • May: Up 79 degrees, Down 57 degrees
  • June: Up 87 degrees, Down 65 degrees
  • July: Up 90 degrees, Down 70 degrees
  • August: Up 89 degrees, Down 68 degrees
  • September: Up 83 degrees, Down 62 degrees
  • October: Up 72 degrees, Down 49 degrees
  • November: Up 61 degrees, Down 40 degrees
  • December: Up 51 degrees, Down 32 degrees

For: Food

Nashville is known not only for the music scene, but also for the food scene, and when you live in Nashville, you’ll have the best cuisine at your fingertips. If you’ve never heard of hot chicken, you’ll want to head straight to Prince’s Hot Chicken. Hot Chicken is a type of fried chicken covered in a special hot sauce, and it all started at Prince’s in Nashville. If fried chicken isn’t your thing, check out James Beard Best New Restaurant semi-finalist Henrietta Red.

For a beloved Nashville experience, head to Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, home to the famous Tennessee Whole Hog Bar-B-Que. At their downtown location, you can enjoy the appetizing barbecue on their communal beer garden. The Pork Leg Porker Grill is another must-have with an award-winning barbecue.

Other Nashville Favorites to Eat

Pros: low unemployment rate

Nashville residents are fortunate to live in a city with many job opportunities. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing cities, not just in the South, but in the entire United States. Its unemployment rate is only 3.5%, which means it won’t be too difficult to find a job in Nashville.

If you’re a musician, you won’t be without competition for the job. But there are also many other popular industries in Nashville, including healthcare, finance, and tourism. In fact, tourism is one of Nashville’s most popular industries due to the city’s appeal to foreign travelers. Join the rest of the young people here and discover the best neighborhoods in Nashville for young professionals.

Disadvantage: you are not the only one moving here

Image via Visit Music City

Nashville is a great city to live in, and if you don’t know it already, you will know it once you move here. Be warned, however, that many want to live in Music City, which means you’ll have competition when trying to find accommodation. Luckily, the unemployment rate is low, as we just mentioned, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a job. What you should also be prepared for is many foreign visitors. From bachelor and bachelorette parties to visiting sports enthusiasts, the city is known for being a place to party.

Pros: The music scene is legendary

Of course, you’ve probably heard that Nashville has quite the live music scene.

This place was built on his affinity and love for music; From famous venues like the Grand Ole Opry House to more intimate (but still beloved) venues like the Bluebird Cafe, the locals here love their live music. Head to Music Row, the heart of Nashville’s music industry, and you’ll find recording studios that saw Elvis and Dolly Parton walk through their doors.

Other Nashville Favorites for Live Music

Benefit: Cost of living

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Compared to cities like Atlanta, Denver, and even Scottsdale, Arizona, Nashville is more affordable. With median rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments standing at $1,560 and $1,750, respectively, Nashville remains a city with a reasonably low cost of living. Compared to the rest of the country, Nashville is ranked 26 on our list of cities with the most expensive rent, so housing will be more affordable than other big cities like LA and NYC.

Fun facts about Nashville

  • Nashville is named after American Revolutionary War hero Francis Nash
  • The first FM broadcast license went to Nashville’s WSM radio station in 1941, and radio host David Cobb would be the first person to call Nashville the “city of music”.
  • Elvis Presley recorded over 200 songs in Nashville
  • Nashville was the first city to desegregate public companies
  • The phrase “good to the last drop” came from President Theodore Roosevelt after drinking a cup of Nashville coffee
  • Centennial Park is home to the only replica of the Greek Parthenon

Living in Nashville gives you access to some of the best restaurants, music, and attractions. If you can handle some traffic, enjoy local cafes, live music venues, and a low cost of living, Music City might just be the place for you.

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