There's so much to see in Nashville, TN, that most of it gets overlooked entirely. First-time visitors to the city have trouble making it past the bright lights of Broadway and the classic downtown Nashville music venues, and even veteran tourists might not venture farther than the urban neighborhoods like East Nashville or Sylvan Park. What they don't realize is that the city's greatest charm lies not in its downtown tourist attractions, but in the suburbs, its residents call home. Those looking to buy a home and put down roots in Music City have plenty of incredible suburban options that are especially popular with young families. We're here to break down these 'off-the-beaten' path suburbs to help you find the ideal place for your Nashville home.
2021 Top 10 List Of The Best Suburbs Of Nashville To Live In
Jan 22nd 2021
2021 Top 10 Best Suburbs For Nashville Real Estate
#10 - Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro is essentially a standalone city that happens to fall within the Nashville Metro umbrella. Although it's just a little over thirty minutes from downtown, it's a fully developed city, with a major state university (Middle Tennessee State University), a diverse real estate market, and strong local schools. Murfreesboro real estate is freeing for residents who find that it meets their every need, so they aren't bound to downtown Nashville like some other locations. Perhaps that's why Murfreesboro often ranks as one of the top places to live in the entire United States. One reason for this is that, unlike some other Nashville suburbs, this 125,000-resident community caters to the needs of all walks of life. Sure, it has its fair share of swanky mansions and upscale new construction (this is still a Nashville suburb, after all), but there are also plenty of affordable housing options that make it possible for almost anyone to call Murfreesboro home. Pair this with a town that offers plenty to do, and you have a recipe for suburban bliss. The area is saturated with restaurants affordable enough to welcome MTSU's expansive student population. Between meals, history buffs will enjoy the Stones River National Battlefield, a Civil War site slightly in the direction of downtown Nashville. Whatever diversion you prefer, though, chances are Murfreesboro is somewhere you'll want to call home.
#9 - Green Hills
Just outside the beltway, less than 15 minutes from downtown, Green Hills has long been one of the Nashville area's premier places to call home. As one of Nashville's original commuter communities, the neighborhood appeals to Nashville's population of high-powered professionals. Over the years, ranch houses on large lots have given way to striking new construction that can cost well over a million dollars. Residents will tell you, however, that the Green Hills lifestyle is totally worth the investment. The Mall at Green Hills provides some of the best shopping in the state of Tennessee, with those rare department stores and new boutiques that cater to an exclusive clientele. But don't make the mistake of thinking that this community is all style and no substance. Lipscomb University calls Green Hills home, and Vanderbilt and Belmont are just a neighborhood away. What's more, the famed Bluebird Cafe, the small music venue where dozens of famous country stars got their big breaks, sits right at the heart of Green Hills. The combination of all these attractive cultural hotspots ensures that Green Hills retains valuable diversity, and even attracts a considerable population of retirees. That's right, entertainment, history, education, and low crime rates have turned Green Hills into one of the top neighborhoods in Tennessee for living out those golden years. No matter the type of resident, though, Green Hills remains one of the best suburbs in Nashville.
#8 - Nolensville
Nolensville might be a little ways out of town compared to traditional suburbs like Brentwood and Green Hills, but we would be remiss if we didn't recognize Nolensville as an up-and-coming retreat from the downtown work life. It has the vibe of the next Spring Hill, with large new construction houses driving median home prices up into the $400K-$500K range. Basically, it makes the list as a top location for family homes, even though its downtown and restaurant scene is still a work in progress.
#7 - Bellevue
For those who are in love with the Belle Meade area, but aren't thrilled about the price tag, Bellevue offers an affordable real estate alternative with plenty of housing options. About 20 minutes from downtown, it's truly a treasure amongst the rolling hills of Nashville's southern suburbs. It's an established neighborhood, with plenty of older homes that keep prices from ballooning like those in other Nashville suburbs. There are even plenty of apartments available toward downtown, which is a refreshing alternative to most suburbs of Nashville that seem almost exclusively tailored to detached single-family homes. Great location and affordable housing options make Bellevue one of the best communities for young professionals looking for a home base that offers easy access to activities. Fortunately, many of these attractions are located within or near the community itself. Bellevue is the place for outdoor lovers, with many parks and hiking areas often linked by greenways along the Harpeth River. It's also right next to Percy Warner Park, a recreational crown jewel of the Nashville suburbs that links Bellevue and Belle Meade. For a less rustic option, enjoy a stroll along the pathways of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, an estate built and maintained by the Maxwell House Coffee fortune. With all these entertainment options, this entrenched, diverse residential community only 20 minutes from the big city is a rare find in the Nashville market.
#6 - Hendersonville
If you're looking for a place with a less conventional suburban lifestyle, then Hendersonville might just be where you'll want to live. Few suburbs offer lakeside living within thirty minutes of downtown, but Hendersonville is home to two huge peninsulas along Old Hickory Lake. This abundance of waterfront property makes the area a unique haven from big city work life. Considering its lakeside location, the community boasts a surprisingly affordable cost of living, with median home values usually oscillating between $300K and $400K. Of course, there are plenty of waterfront mansions, but there are also lots of modest homes with a water view, and even some undeveloped lots for those looking to build their own home. Hendersonville is an older community, old enough that Johnny and June called the place home, so it has resisted the new construction boom that's transforming so many Nashville suburbs. This market consistency has kept Hendersonville relatively affordable and accessible to many different types of people. And even if waterfront living isn't in your budget, the area still offers plenty of spots, like Rockland Recreation Area and Memorial Park that can get you on the water.
#5 - Franklin
If you crave that small-town feel without compromising on the cosmopolitan lifestyle, then Franklin is the Nashville suburb you've been looking for. Its upscale reputation starts with a charming downtown district, where historic Victorian homes line the shaded streets. Within just a few blocks, residents can shop for exquisite art, dine on foodie-worthy fare, stop by the farmer's market, and snag that perfect cup of coffee–many don't even step in a car. This relaxed downtown living along a bend in the Harpeth River makes Franklin one of the best suburbs in the Nashville area. Unfortunately for home seekers, this means fairly stiff competition for properties in the area. The vast majority of single-family homes in Franklin are over $400K, and the ones that don't tend to be outdated construction or townhomes. Despite this expensive barrier to entry, Nashville home buyers aren't balking at the cost of living because Franklin is one of the most family-friendly spots around Music City. Even though many houses are on generous lots, quaint parks appear throughout the suburb. Also, Franklin schools, especially the area's high schools, are some of the most highly-rated in Nashville. Amenities like these along with a user-friendly downtown have basically made Franklin a prime destination just over 20 minutes from the heart of Nashville.
#4 - Mount Juliet
This once-quiet hamlet, less than 20 miles east of downtown Nashville, has burst onto the Middle Tennessee real estate scene for its accessibility and enchanting location. This "Land Between the Lakes" nearly spans the entire area separating Nashville's marquee bodies of water: Old Hickory Lake to the north and Percy Priest Lake to the South. In doing so, the Mount Juliet area offers whatever style of lakeside living you can imagine. Still, you don't have to be on the water to see Mount Juliet's considerable appeal. Although the town has been there for decades, recent years have seen something of a real estate renaissance as developers swoop in to build new construction homes in an attempt to take advantage of the enthusiasm for the location. This means lots of single-family new construction that caters to–you guessed it–Nashville's large population of growing families. The fact that these homes usually sell for around $400K-$600K illustrates how badly home buyers want access to this community. Great schools, quality restaurants, and a commuter train line that runs daily between Mount Juliet and downtown Nashville are just a few of the features drawing in residents by the thousands. Throw in that the Appalachian Mountains loom just to the east (the town is also known as "The Gateway to the Blue Ridge") and you simply have one of the best suburbs that Nashville has to offer.
#3 - Spring Hill
Since the turn of the century, this suburb nestled in the rolling hills south of Nashville has become one of the area’s most sought-after shelters from big city living. It’s a haven only a half-hour from downtown that houses over 45,000 residents, most of whom are new arrivals. The vast majority of them are highly educated, white-collar workers living in single-family homes. Many came for the reasonably-priced new construction (around 4 in 5 homes were built since 2000, with more on the way), but what they've found is one of Nashville's most family-friendly communities. Solid schools and a patchwork of small neighborhood parks meet children's needs, while a developing Main Street restaurant and entertainment scene offer plenty of diversions for adults. For a change of scenery, Columbia to the south and Franklin to the north offer accessible downtown districts without sacrificing that small-town feel. Essentially, Spring Hill boasts a mix of affordability, accessibility, and livability that’s rarely replicated in the Nashville market, which means it’s likely to remain a top suburb for years to come.
#2 - Thompson's Station
While its neighbors, Spring Hill and Franklin, grab the headlines, Thompson's Station seems content to sit back and enjoy its rural lifestyle just thirty minutes outside of downtown. The suburb is traditionally home to large houses on even larger lots. And while new construction development may be breaking these expansive tracts of land into smaller yards, recently-built homes tend to be large, single-family houses. This ensures that Thompson's Station's rural ambiance lives on, even as modern neighborhoods transform it into a coveted locale. Frankly, it's a miracle it took the market this long to catch on to the area. Thompson's Station's lush forests, cascading creeks, and winding backroads are a clean break from the big city bustle. Three large parks run right through the center of town, so access to the area's rustic charms is never far away (locals claim the sunsets at Preservation Park are to die for). Then, if you need a break from nature, Spring Hill and Franklin are right down the road with all the amenities of a more developed suburb. Whatever your cup of tea, Thompson's Station is undeniably one of the best places to live in the Nashville area, and thanks to recent construction it's also more accessible than ever. Of course, you may just want to build your own country estate here, because there's plenty of undeveloped land to go around.
#1 - Brentwood
Brentwood is another residential gem on the necklace of Nashville suburbs that rest about 15 minutes from downtown. Unlike some other more limited communities, though, Brentwood has the features to serve almost every residential population. Average home prices can be high, well above $700K, but that doesn't mean Brentwood isn't inviting in its own way. There's an energetic, family-friendly feel to the community, with a network of parks, an equestrian center, an indoor sports complex, and even a trampoline park. This space for fun and recreation reflects a suburb of Nashville that, for all its luxury, doesn't take itself too seriously. Perhaps that's why young, free-thinking stars like Taylor Swift and Ben Folds have chosen to call the neighborhood home. Along with these attractions, multiple restaurant districts mean that you'll never have to go downtown to have a good time; and the schools, Ravenwood High School, in particular, are exemplary. All these features combine to make Brentwood our pick for the top Nashville suburb for day-to-day life, especially for people trying to raise a family. If you want to venture out, though, Brentwood has its advantages as one of the most centrally-located suburbs in the Nashville area. Downtown Franklin is just a ten-minute drive to the south, and many people will happily traverse up the road for a hike at Radnor Lake State Park. Or maybe you just won't leave, because out of all the Music City suburbs, Brentwood might have the most to enjoy.
2021 Nashville's Best Suburbs - Honorable Mentions
There's your average swanky suburb....and then there's Belle Meade, historically Nashville's most elite and convenient retreat from the bustling city life. Median home prices are in the multi-million dollar range, but what can you expect from elegant homes perched on sprawling lots only 15 minutes from downtown Nashville. Basically, if you have the means, it's the peak of suburban residential real estate in the area. Technically, Belle Meade is its own incorporated town, with a dedicated police force and city hall, but it still functions as one of the best suburbs in the entire country. First, as the site of one of Nashville's first and largest plantations, it has deep roots in the overall community. What began as an extensive farming operation eventually evolved into a haven for Nashville's patrician class, with the kind of activities and diversions befitting its highbrow clientele. Today the original plantation house, Belle Meade Plantation, is a tourist attraction with an operating vineyard that sees thousands of visitors per year. Just to the south of this National Historic Place are Belle Meade Country Club and Percy Warner Park, the largest park in the city. And if you're hungry, it's even a great place to grab a bite to eat. Restaurants, some of them plenty affordable, line Harding Pike, which borders the community to the west. Many people frequent these spots on the way to the park, and during the drive might send a few envious glances toward perhaps the most distinguished suburb of Nashville.
We hesitate to include East Nashville as a true suburb of Nashville because it's just over the Cumberland River from downtown, in about as urban an area as one can find. Neighborhoods there are even old enough that they can be labeled "Historic". That being said, we can't just not talk about East Nashville. It's home to some of the city's top cultural spots, with a great music and restaurant scene that centers around 5 Points. And while it may not be Belle Meade as far as lot sizes and elegance, homes are constantly being razed and updated to keep East Nashville one of the top spots in the Nashville area. The cost of living might be a little high, but the culture and convenience can't be beat, which is why after almost 150 years, it's still one of the top places Nashvillians want to live.
Forest Hills might not have quite the cache of Belle Meade or the energy of Brentwood, but it still offers huge houses on generous lots, just a few minutes outside the heart of the city. It's not exactly stocked with restaurants and attractions, but the location and properties, alone, justify its inclusion somewhere on this list. Throw in its position between two of Nashville's best parks and Forest Hills is easily one of the best suburbs to live in around the Nashville area.
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