A Newcomer’s Guide to Nashville – Axios Nashville

Growth is a fact of life in and around Nashville.

The plot: Music City was the end of the yellow brick road for generations of budding musicians.

  • But it’s also become a hub for healthcare, technology and other big business, driving a wave of opportunities and challenges that are redefining the region in real time.

Rollback: The New York Times infamously dubbed Nashville an “it city” in 2013. Things haven’t slowed down since then.

The big picture: Cranes reshape the horizon. Celebrity chefs move in as family businesses close. Tourism revenues have skyrocketed, but so have rent and house prices.

The bottom line: The constant change can be hard to deal with, whether you’re a Nashville native or a newbie who just got off the bus with a guitar case and a dream.

Enlarge: Navigating the neighborhoods of Nashville like a pro takes time. Here are some of our favorite places in different areas of the city:

East of Nashville

☕️ Coffee: Everyone

🥑 Lunch: Mitchell Deli (Trust us: get the turkey and avocado sandwich.)

🍺Happy hour: Mickey’s Tavern

🥩 Night meeting: Lockeland table

🏞 Outdoor activity: Shelby Park


☕️ Coffee: Unwavering (Fun fact: you might find the Axios Nashville team planning our next newsletter here.)

🍔 Lunch: germantown cafe

🍹Happy hour: Butcher’s room

🍝 Night meeting: Townhouse

⚾️ Outdoor activity: Nashville Sounds Games

The Nations

☕️ Coffee: Frothy Monkey (For our money, the best of the local chain locations.)

🥪 Lunch: 51st Deli

🍷Happy hour: Otto’s (purists might say it’s outside of The Nations, but it’s worth a quick stroll down Charlotte Avenue.)

🍕 Night meeting: Nicky’s Coal Fired

🚶 Outdoor activity: A stroll down 51st Avenue, which can take you from dinner to drinks and dessert in just a few blocks.

Lockland table. Photo courtesy of Forrest Havens

Meanwhile, our historic city is full of must-see sites, including:

🏛 The Parthenon: Originally built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897, this replica of Greece’s famous temple is one of the most recognizable structures in southern Athens.

🎵 Country Music Hall of Fame: A must for any fan who has ever sung with Reba, Garth or Trisha.

🎙 National Museum of African American Music: A sprawling tribute that traces the influence of black artists across genres – including the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who earned Nashville its nickname of Music City.

🎤 The Ryman Auditorium: The mother church of country music is the former home of the Grand Ole Opry. Sitting on the benches in front of the stage where Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash performed is worth the price of a ticket alone.

🐦 Bluebird Cafe: Our city has no shortage of incredible places. But The Bluebird is special. It’s where the songwriters behind radio hits shine in an incredibly intimate setting.

Nashville Bluebird Cafe
Photo: John Greim/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Quick take: Every true Nashvillian has one thing in common: a poster of the legendary Hatch Show Print.

  • The Letterpress Shop has been in business since 1879 and has produced posters for everyone from Elvis to Carly Rae Jepsen.
A selection of hand printed posters for sale at Hatch Show Print.  Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images
A selection of hand printed posters for sale at Hatch Show Print. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

About Glenda Wait

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