Living in Clarksville: Guide to Food, Entertainment, & Real Estate

About Clarksville, Tennessee

Perhaps Tennessee’s best-kept real estate secret, Clarksville is unlikely to stay hidden for long. This part-military, part-college town offers a rare mix of convenience, charm, and affordability—and people are starting to catch on. All this reflects a level of residential real estate activity that runs counter to the town’s laid-back southern elegance. At its core, Clarksville is a river town that shares a border with neighboring Kentucky. Downtown Clarksville arcs with the flow of Cumberland, and its college—Austin Peay State University—makes its home where the Cumberland meets the Red River. This link with the natural world influences Clarksville’s food culture (think southern-fried catfish), and its preferred pastimes. Expansive greenways wind along the river, and the stunning Dunbar Cave State Park is nearly at the center of the city’s footprint. These elements combine to offer a distinctive and accessible residential market that leaves a strong impression whether residents moving to Clarksville come for college, for the military, or for the rest of their lives.

Where Is Clarksville Located?

The city of Clarksville is in the northern region of Tennessee. It lies within close proximity to both Nashville and Fort Campbell. The city is roughly 95 square miles in size and stretches to reach the Kentucky-Tennessee state border. Clarksville also sits on the northwest edge of the Highland Rim, which surrounds the Nashville Basin.

How’s The Vibe In Clarksville?

Clarksville is the 5th largest city located in the state of Tennessee. It has a population of roughly 170,000 residents. Clarksville provides urban convenience but still maintains a sparse suburban feel. Its central location between Music City and the Fort Campbell military base is one of the driving factors for its appeal. Clarksville also offers high-ranking schools and a number of beautiful parks.

What’s The Food + Nightlife Scene Like In Clarksville?

There’s no shortage of great restaurants located in Clarksville. The Catfish House is a family-owned establishment famously known for its delicious catfish, of course. Edward’s Steakhouse is another popular restaurant in the area. You’ll even find several standout cafes and casual eateries in Clarksville, such as Miss Lucille’s and Silke's Old World Breads Bakery.

Clarksville also offers a variety of options when it comes to nightlife entertainment. For an eventful night out on the town, check out the Electric Cowboy nightclub or Fusion Bar and Grill. If you’d prefer a more laid-back setting, consider visiting one of Clarksville's breweries. Local favorites include Strawberry Alley Ale Works and Blackhorse Pub and Brewery.

What Are The Top Things To Do In Clarksville?

Clarksville is mostly known for being a military town thanks to Fort Campbell. For military history buffs, the Pratt Museum showcases Army artifacts and aims to tell the history of the 101st Airborne Division. Clarksville, like most of Tennessee, is known for its diverse landscape. The Dunbar Cave State Park is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts and offers multiple hiking trails. Adjacent to the Dunbar Cave State Park is Swan Lake, the grounds of which offer a golf course, pool, tennis complex, and sports complex. If nature isn't your vibe, Old Glory Distilling Co. located in Clarksville is a small-batch distillery that offers tastings and tours daily.

How’s The Real Estate Market In Clarksville?

Whether the housing market can keep up with the growth Clarksville is experiencing is another story. New construction real estate development for single-family homes is rapidly underway, especially near Fort Campbell, the military base straddling the border between Tennessee and Kentucky. New subdivisions like West Creek Farms and Hereford Farms offer newly-constructed four-bedroom homes at roughly $180 per square foot, a huge discount compared to the value you’d find in Nashville just 50 minutes south. While these new subdivisions are affordable, they do not lack the modern features home buyers have become accustomed to. Many of these new homes have an open floor plan and offer hardwood floors, walk-in closets, a 2+ car garage, and a bonus room. On the eastern side of Clarksville, new townhome developments are popping up along I-24.

The median home value in Clarksville rests just above $300,000 or $170 per square foot, an 15% jump from just one year ago. This indicates a market that’s in the process of booming. Whether it’s a reaction to Nashville’s escalating real estate costs, or just a recognition that Clarksville is a lovely place, the town’s population is growing by leaps and bounds.

Purchasing a home in Clarksville is a great investment considering the low cost of living and housing prices. Additionally, Clarksville has exceptional schools and offers plenty of things to do.

PRO TIP: See homes for sale in Clarksville

How’s The Cost Of Living In Clarksville?

Clarksville’s overall low cost of living and affordability is another reason so many choose to call this city home. Housing prices are significantly low when compared to the state and national average. Sperling’s Best Places notes that the median home cost in Clarksville is $231,200. Nearly 60% of the residential population are homeowners, and the average age of real estate properties is 24 years old.

How Is Transportation In Clarksville?

The average one-way commute time for those living in Clarksville is slightly under the U.S. average, at 23 minutes. The city does offer a public bus system, however, the majority of the population chooses to drive as their primary method of transportation. Several major roadways and highways border or run through the city, including U.S. Route 41A and I-24.

What Are The Top Schools In Clarksville?

Clarksville falls under Montgomery County, which has one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in the state. The top three performing elementary schools include Rossview Elementary, Sango Elementary, and Carmel Elementary School. Rossview Middle School is the county’s leading middle school. Additionally, Rossview High School and Clarksville High School are the top-performing public high schools.

What Are The Best Parks In Clarksville?

For those who love the outdoors, Clarksville has an abundance of parks and outdoor recreational activities. Liberty Park has a 1.8-mile walking trail, a fishing pond, a playground, and sports fields. Billy Dunlop is another popular spot as it features nearly 30 acres of greenery with scenic views. Dunbar Cave State Park in Clarksville is the 280th largest cave complex in the world. It sits on an area of karst topography, with sinkholes, springs, and limestone bedrock.

Is Clarksville A Safe Place To Live?

Clarksville is not one of the safest cities in the U.S. to live in. The location has a considerably high crime rate, for both violent and property crimes. Neighborhood Scout revealed residents have a one in 169 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime and a one in 46 chance for property crime. Although Clarksville police continue to strive for improvements, the city has yet to see a significant change in its reported crime.

Pros To Living In Clarksville

  • The city has an overall low cost of living and attractive housing prices.
  • Clarksville is home to several top-performing public schools.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts will love the number of parks and available green space.

Cons To Living In Clarksville

  • Clarksville's crime rates are the leading hindrance to its appeal.
  • Traffic is a common complaint from many of the locals.
  • Although not necessarily considered a con, it’s worth noting there is a strong military presence within the town.

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