If you’re thinking about moving to Nashville, you’re in good company. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 100 people arrive daily.
Read on to get acquainted with your new city and find shortcuts to jumpstart your entry into Music City.
Growth. With so many moving to Nashville, we’ve recently eclipsed Memphis as the state’s largest city. FYI, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, our 2016 population was estimated at 639,360. No wonder it’s tough to find a place to live.
Government. Nashville is located in Davidson County but the two merged in 1962 to form Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County. The home page for Nashville government is simply www.nashville.gov. It includes links to everything from permits to parks and public schools.
Taxes. Whee! No state or city income tax here. However, we do have a wheel tax and sales tax on most consumer goods at a rate of 7%; some metro areas including Nashville tack on an additional tax bringing the total to 9.75%. This include gas and groceries. Currently our hotel tax rate is among the highest in the nation at 16.91%.
Transportation. Moving to Nashville can be a shock for those used to efficient mass transit. We are a car-town, thus commutes can be slow during rush hour. We have WeGo bus service (formerly MTA: Metro Transit Authority) and one rail line that runs from Lebanon 25 miles east of Nashville to Riverfront Station downtown. Very popular for Tennessee Titans home games.
Uber and Lyft are allowed to service the airport for pick-ups as well as drop-offs. Of course, we also have a number of taxi providers too. Learn more about your transportation options.
Major highways (or if you prefer, freeways or interstates). Nashville has an unusual logistic distinction; three interstates (I-65, I-40 and I-24) intersect here. I-40 runs roughly east/west, I-65 runs north/south and I-24 is theoretically east/west but it looks more like a diagonal to me. Nashville is within a day’s drive for 50% of the U.S. population.
The speed limit on interstates in town drops to 55 mph and tops out at 70 as you’re a few miles from downtown. Briley Parkway (SR-155), Ellington Parkway (US-31E) and I-440 look like freeways but the speed limit doesn’t rise above 55 mph. I’ve gotten the ticket that proves it.
Here’s help in learning to Navigate Nashville Streets.
Airport(s). Why is it abbreviated BNA? Officially it’s two airports in one. The smaller Berry Field, used by the military and private planes, is located across the airfield from Nashville International where Southwest is the dominant carrier. You’ll also find Air Canada, American, British Airways, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue and United as well as Alaska, Boutique Air, Vacation Express and WestJet. I’ve gathered some tips on flying in and out of the Nashville airport.
Living and lifestyle
Zip codes. All zip codes in the Greater Nashville area begin with 370, 371 or 372. In the major metro area, it’s the latter while you’ll find 37027 to the south in Brentwood and 37115 to the north in Madison.
Area codes. For decades, it’s been exclusively 615 but in 2014, thanks to our growth, 629 was added.
Legal drinking age is 21. Learn more about our alcohol laws and other minimum age info.
Dogs are required to be on leashes.
Allergy alert! Pollen is abundant here because Music City basically sits in a bowl with higher elevations around us. Whatever blows here stays here. Your best natural deterrent is regular intake of locally grown, unfiltered honey.
Where to live
Both the rental and home-buying market have been tight for the past few years. Developers are racing to cash in but for now, my best advice is be prepared to act quickly if you see something you like.
I’ll offer four ways to get acclimated to our neighborhoods.
- This Nashville interactive map points out neighborhoods close to downtown (and typically above average in rent or price).
- The NashView interactive map enables you to zoom all around town so you can investigate more affordable communities including Bordeaux, Donelson, Crieve Hall, Tusculum, Bellshire, White’s Creek, Ashland City, Madison and Antioch. It can take you to mid-range areas including Old Hickory, Hermitage, Nolensville and Brentioch as well as more upscale areas including Oak Hill, Brentwood, Belle Meade and Hillwood. NashView also pinpoints places of interests including fire departments, police precinct headquarters, parks and libraries.
- Consult Nashville Crimemapping to gauge the safety of a neighborhood.
- Here’s a quirkier tactic. Go to Google Maps and look up locations of places you frequent: Starbucks, Whole Foods, Dollar General Store, Tractor Supply Company–whatever sounds like you. Take advantage of their marketing research. Go with whatever matches your lifestyle and scout the surrounding area.
Upon finding a place, you will probably have lots of questions. Fortunately I can make moving to Nashville smoother with links to many of those annoying details.