Nashville, in Davidson County, is the capital of Tennessee and its largest city. It sits on the Cumberland River in the north central portion of the state. As of 2015, the estimated population of the city and subsuming Davidson County was 654,610. Nashville is particularly famous for producing country music, earning it the nickname “Music City.”
Historians reckon Nashville was founded in 1779 near the Fort Nashborough settlement, named for Revolutionary War hero Francis Nash. Early growth was aided by traffic on the Cumberland River. The city saw significantly more growth in the late 19th century with an expanding rail industry for the transport of materials and manufactured goods to northern states.
The climate in Nashville is classified as humid subtropical, meaning it has hot and humid summers. Average high temperatures range from 89°F in July and August to 47°F in January. Average low temperatures go from 28°F in January to 69°F in July. The city gets about 47 inches of rain annually and 7 inches of snow.
Nashville is a major transportation hub accessible by highway, rail, river, and air. It is one of only six U.S. cities connected by three interstate highways: I-65, I-40, and I-24. Ample parking makes the downtown “car-friendly” for motorists. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. You have options for bus (Metro Transit Authority), rail (Music City Star Commuter Rail) as well as taxis and ride shares. Nashville’s International Airport (BNA) serves more than 10 million passengers each year.
Nashville Cost of Living
The cost of living in Nashville is comparable to national averages, although higher than the averages for most Tennessee communities. Your dollar will go a little further on purchases of groceries, healthcare, and housing. But you’ll pay a little more for goods and services. Be aware there is an effective sales tax rate in Davidson County of 9.25 percent. Use the links below to gauge the buying power of your income in Nashville.
The Metro Nashville Public Schools system serves the entire county with standard programs (pre-K through grade 12) as well as magnet schools, charter schools, and other educational programs. Known as the “Athens of the South,” Nashville is home to 21 colleges and universities, six community colleges, and 11 vocational and technical schools.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Vanderbilt University Medical Center as number one among hospitals in Nashville. It is a teaching hospital, nationally ranked in eight adult specialties (high-performing in four) and in ten pediatric specialties. The same report ranks St. Thomas Hospital as number two, and high-performing for hip and knee replacement procedures.
Nashville Real Estate
Census data (2010) shows 272,622 housing units in Nashville-Davidson County with an owner-occupied housing rate of 53.5 percent and a median value of $165,000 for owner-occupied homes. The median monthly costs of homeownership are $1,357 with a mortgage and $448 without a mortgage. The median gross rent is $858.
Nashville is a popular destination for business and leisure, and you’ll find a good selection of lodging in locations throughout the area. For a luxury stay in the heart of the city, consider the four-star Hilton Downtown. There are ample choices for more modest budgets, too, with well-known brands such as Country Inn & Suites and Econo Lodge.
Hungry? You’ve come to the right place. Although you may have a difficult time choosing from Nashville’s wide-ranging menus. For elegant dining and an extensive wine list, consider Etch Restaurant. If you’re hankering for southern style dishes and soul food, try Southern Steak & Oyster. The 417 Union offers southern cooking in a historical setting that recalls the heroes of the Civil War and WWII.
Nashville Things to Do
There is so much to see and do in Nashville, it’s impossible to list it all. So here are a few highlights. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum pays tribute to the city’s great musical legacy—a must see. True to its nickname as “Athens of the South,” Nashville is home to full-scale replicas of The Parthenon and 42-foot statue of Athena in Centennial Park. At The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, you’ll see a bit of the Old South preserved.