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

About Hendersonville, Tennessee

Located in Sumner County across the lake from Old Hickory, more and more Nashvillians are retreating to this accessible lakeside hideaway that once harbored stars like Johnny Cash, June Carter, and Conway Twitty. Fortunately, this medium-sized town on the north side of Old Hickory Lake caters to more than just the rich and famous. Like any spot worthy of a staycation, Hendersonville has its fair share of lavish estates on the lake, and more affordable homes a bit further inland. Residents find their way to this land of winding bike trails and water views, though few find themselves in a hurry to leave it.

Where Is Hendersonville Located?

Hendersonville is tucked into the Cumberland River just northwest of Nashville-proper. One of the most attractive aspects of living in Hendersonville is the easy commute to and from downtown. Without traffic, it’s a simple 20-minute drive, using I-24 to I-65, then a short drive on Vietnam Veteran’s Boulevard. Many residents appreciate that there are plenty of alternate routes into town or Hermitage that allow you to skip the highways.

How’s The Vibe In Hendersonville?

The city of Hendersonville may be best known as a refuge from the big city for many famous country musicians, but this inviting town is also home to families, retirees, and some young professionals. With an easy commute downtown and plenty of family-friendly activities, Hendersonville is a medium sized-city perfect for growing families and those looking for some respite from the city. Hendersonville offers a neighborly atmosphere without the pretentiousness you may find in many other established suburbs of Nashville.

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

This no-frills city does not have much of an active nightlife scene. If you’re looking to go out for a beer or happy hour, there are plenty of sports bars and the Main Street Pub & Eatery is a great place to become a regular.

As far as finding the best bites in Hendersonville, you will want to head to Lyncoya Cafe where you can enjoy waterfront views and dishes that don’t skimp on flavor.

The Chop House, a beloved Tennessee chain that has expanded to Ohio and Georgia, offers the best steaks in the area. With a well-curated menu, The Chop House has something for every member of the family.

For those that love barbecue, residents will tell you that The Meat Sweats is the best of the best. This family-owned local favorite does meat justice with its smokey barbecue and daily specials. There is an excellent plaza located just north of Vietnam Veteran’s Boulevard where you can find reliable chains like Panera, as well. If you’re looking to dress up for date night or to go out with your in-laws, a quick drive downtown provides you with plenty of variety and upscale dining options.

What Are The Top Things To Do In Hendersonville?

It’s no surprise that Hendersonville offers a number of water-related activities given its proximity along Old Hickory Lake. Residents can enjoy fishing, boating, and relaxing along the shoreline. The Rockland Recreation Area for example on the west side of Hendersonville includes spectacular views of the lake, nature trails, and a fishing area. Hendersonville is also home to the Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center, an art museum and historical landmark. Another museum known for being the oldest home in Middle Tennessee is the Rock Castle. Just 25 minutes from Downtown Nashville, this home was completed in 1796 and sits on Drake’s Creek, a tributary of the Cumberland River.

How’s The Real Estate Market In Hendersonville?

Hendersonville’s mature mix of properties ensures that new construction and lavish single-family homes don’t force out its entrenched blue-collar population. There certainly are new developments, like Durham Farms, that offer the most modern amenities such as homes featuring open floorplans, hardwood floors, stainless appliances, and granite countertops. These new construction homes are typically priced in the $500,000-$800,000 range, but the majority of the market consists of slightly older single-family homes built before 1999.

For those unwilling or unable to commit to purchasing a home, Hendersonville isn’t necessarily a renter’s paradise. There are some new complexes, like The Grove at Waterford Crossing, but many apartment buildings can be a little dated. Luckily, this often means rent that comes in below the $1,000/month threshold.

Unlike some other booming Nashville suburbs, Hendersonville has seen a constant rate of population increase since the 1970s, rather than a rapid spike in residents. This has led to a steady appreciation of home values without sacrificing inclusivity. Homes in Hendersonville, especially condos and townhomes can be relatively affordable, with some available in the $300,000 range. While, ironically enough, homes well off the water in neighborhoods like Shackle Island (where there is no island) often command a considerably higher average price. Either way, you’re getting a secluded spot not far from the Nashville metro area, with a great school district, and easy accessibility to shopping.

PRO TIP: See homes for sale in Hendersonville

How's The Cost Of Living In Hendersonville?

While many members of the music industry call Hendersonville “home,” you do not need to have song royalties coming in to afford to live here. On average, Hendersonville is 8.2% more expensive than other U.S. cities. You can expect to find a mix of white-collar and blue-collar professionals living in mostly single-family homes all enjoying the easy way of life Hendersonville has to offer.

How Is Transportation In Hendersonville?

It’s nearly impossible to thrive in Hendersonville without a vehicle. Hendersonville does not have a concentrated downtown and most businesses are spread throughout the city. If you’re commuting downtown, you will pay an arm-and-a-leg to Uber there and there is no public transit that travels between Hendersonville and Nashville’s downtown district.

What Are The Top Schools In Hendersonville?

Hendersonville is part of the Sumner County School District. This city has one of the area’s best-kept secrets when it comes to public education: Merrol Hyde Magnet School. This language-based magnet school offers students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a K-12 small-setting language-based education. Merrol Hyde is quite competitive to get into, though, with about 60 students per grade level.

Luckily, for those students and parents that want a more traditional education, Hendersonville still has top-rated schools that rank among the best in Tennessee. Other excellent schools in Hendersonville include Jack Anderson Elementary STEM School, T. W. Hunter Middle School, Robert E. Ellis Middle, and Henderson High School.

What Are The Best Parks In Hendersonville?

One of the biggest draws of Hendersonville is its vast array of great parks and outdoor areas (many of which are on the Cumberland River). Memorial Park is an excellent choice for tennis and easy trail walking. For a picturesque hike and an afternoon kayak trip, it’s hard to beat Drakes Creek Park. Of course, taking a long walk on the Hendersonville Greenway Trail is an excellent way to get in touch with nature and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of this area.

Is Hendersonville A Safe Place To Live?

Hendersonville is a very safe place to live. With crime rates significantly lower than the rest of the state and Nashville, you can rest comfortably in a Hendersonville home.

Pros To Living In Hendersonville

  • Hendersonville is a small-to-medium-sized city with a friendly, neighborly atmosphere. This is the kind of town where neighbors wave to one another and stop to chat while on walks. Many locals consider the city a snap-shot of small-town America with large city amenities.
  • Hendersonville also offers some of the best schools, fantastic parks, and the convenience of a quick commute downtown. With low crime rates and a large variety of styles, most residents fall head over heels for Hendersonville.
  • Hendersonville sits right on Old Hickory Lake making it ideal for families who love watersports.

Cons To Living In Hendersonville

  • While Hendersonville is a great place to raise a family, the city may not be the best fit for college students and young professionals who enjoy active nightlife.
  • For those just venturing into the professional realm, the commute from Hendersonville to downtown may not be worth it.
  • This city wouldn’t be described as “happening” and there are not many places fit for foodies or those looking for nightlife.

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