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

About Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Even Belle Meade might be a little jealous of Murfreesboro’s consistent ranking as one of the top places to live in the United States. Murfreesboro may be convenient—just 45 minutes southwest of downtown Nashville—and affordable, but don’t mistake it for just another big-city bedroom community. Especially over the last two decades, people have discovered this quiet, college town, to the point that it’s not just Nashville’s largest suburb, but the sixth-largest city in the state of Tennessee with a population of around 160,000. If you’re concerned that all this new growth is threatening Mufreesboro’s distinctive charm, then there’s no need to worry. The city is 39 square miles but Murfreesboro’s downtown square is as pleasant as ever, and historical features like Stones River Battlefield and Oaklands Mansion continue to keep Murfreesboro a timeless residential haven.

Where Is Murfreesboro Located?

Murfreesboro is located approximately 34 miles southeast of downtown Nashville. It is positioned directly adjacent to major interstates I-24 and 840.

How’s The Vibe In Murfreesboro?

Because of its affordable cost of living, Murfreesboro is an excellent option for middle-income families and young professionals. Potential residents should expect a more simple, often rustic vibe in many sections of this suburb. However, Murfreesboro is seeing rapid growth and more upscale communities are quickly popping up every day as its popularity and resident satisfaction increases. In fact, Money Magazine named Murfreesboro #19 on its Best Places to Live list.

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

While Murfreesboro’s more rural, small-town atmosphere doesn’t compare to downtown Nashville’s vibrant nightlife, there are still several activities and plenty of restaurants that locals enjoy.

On weekends, residents can sing karaoke at the 3-story Level 3 bar or catch a variety of bands at Main Street Music. Play a game of pool at Wall Street, try line dancing at Whiskey Dix, or grab a delicious mac-and-cheese burger at Boulevard Bar & Grille. The most popular shopping attraction is The Avenue, an outdoor strip home to many in-demand stores and chain restaurants. Additionally, residents can attend musical and theatre performances at Murfreesboro’s community theatre, The Center for the Arts.

Murfreesboro features locations of two of Nashville’s most iconic restaurants - Party Fowl and Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant. Potential residents seeking trendy, upscale vibes should dine at The Goat and The Alley on Main, both of which serve creative twists on classic, favorite foods. While most of Murfreesboro’s restaurants center on Southern comfort cuisine and barbecue, there are still several options for a variety of palates. Vegans and vegetarians will love Juicy’s Wellness Cafe, while fans of international foods will enjoy the poke bowls of Poke Fun and the gyros of Opah Greek Grill.

What Are The Top Things To Do In Murfreesboro?

Murfreesboro offers a plethora of enjoyable daytime activities that appeal to many interests. History buffs will love visiting Cannonsburgh Village, a historic “living museum” representing Tennessee life in the mid-1800s, while budding paleontologists can tour the Earth Experience Museum, Tennessee’s official Museum of Natural History. Families will especially enjoy Discovery Center, an interactive science center designed to spark imagination and curiosity in children of all ages.

Murfreesboro has an eclectic mix of history and trendy cafes and restaurants. If you’re a history buff, check out the Stones River National Battlefield, a 570-acre national park just three miles from Murfreesboro where you can learn about the Civil War's Battle of Stones River.

How’s The Real Estate Market In Murfreesboro?

The result of this popularity is a competitive housing market full of high-quality new construction. Many of these contemporary homes feature a desirable open floor plan. Murfreesboro is tailored to families searching for that small-town feel right off the beltway. Over half of its dwellings are standalone single-family homes of two to four bedrooms, usually selling for $400,000-$600,000.

Lately, condos and townhome communities like Ashton at Salem Creek and Lennar at Blackman Station have started to provide alternative family housing options in the same price range. Despite the expanding housing options, however, competition for these residences can be hot. Fortunately for those not looking to make that commitment, apartments make up over a quarter of all Murfreesboro residences and usually rent for a very reasonable $800-$1,500 per month. Some of these cater to students, and cluster around the Middle Tennessee State University campus. Others, like the newly-built Vantage at Murfreesboro, provide deluxe apartments close to the interstates for ultimate accessibility.

In the past year, homes have usually spent only 14 days on the market and sold for a median sales price of $450,000—nearly 17% over their sales price one year ago. Purchasing a home in Murfreesboro is a good investment due to its high demand and affordable real estate. The town has so much to offer and is an ideal spot for many to settle down and raise a family.

PRO TIP: See homes for sale in Murfreesboro

How’s The Cost Of Living In Murfreesboro?

The most desirable perk of living in Murfreesboro is its affordable cost of living. With a median house price of $450,000 and rent around $1,500 per month, Murfreesboro meets the cost of living average in the United States, often falling slightly below this average in several categories. Middle-income families and young professionals often settle down in this area because of its affordability.

How Is Transportation In Murfreesboro?

The City of Murfreesboro Transportation Department utilizes the Rover bus system, allowing locals access to areas all throughout Murfreesboro. The typical Lyft and Uber services are also available. However, in order to access downtown Nashville and other surrounding suburbs, potential residents should be fully prepared to commute with their own vehicles.

What Are The Top Schools In Murfreesboro?

For grades 6th-12th, Central Magnet School is one of Tennessee's best public schools, named as one of the 4 National Blue Ribbon Schools. For younger students, Scales Elementary School and Emma Siegel Elementary are well-regarded options. Additionally, Bradley Academy is an option for K-6th grades that features an arts-focused curriculum.

For families interested in private schools, Providence Christian Academy and Lancaster Christian Academy are the top-ranked options.

What Are The Best Parks In Murfreesboro?

Murfreesboro is known for its numerous parks suitable for a variety of interests, as well as its plentiful hiking trails.

Barfield Crescent Park features over 7 miles of trails, picnic shelters, a baseball complex, disc golf course, playgrounds, and volleyball and tetherball courts. McKnight Park is home to a spacious sports complex, with several multi-purpose fields and a sandy outdoor volleyball court.

Families will especially appreciate the thoughtfully-designed Kid’s Castle playground of Old Fort Park. This park also has plenty of walking paths and open green spaces.

Additionally, Murfreesboro offers numerous hiking trails and naturalistic areas for locals. Murfree Spring Wetlands is a favorite spot for nature photographers and bird-watchers, featuring boardwalks that meander through this beautiful wildlife reserve.

Hiking, biking, and outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate access to over 15 miles of trails at The Murfreesboro Greenway System, along with its 2 dog parks and numerous trailheads with picnicking and playground areas.

For those who are happier staying indoors, Patterson Park Community Center provides plenty of activities for all ages. Featuring a small indoor waterpark, gyms, racquetball courts, a game room, a movie theatre, and an indoor track, this spacious complex is a favorite spot to exercise for many locals.

Is Murfreesboro A Safe Place To Live?

Murfreesboro is considered to be a safe area to reside, as noted in a study. Although most residents feel very safe in this area, it should be noted that in recent years, Murfreesboro has developed a slightly higher crime rate than Tennessee’s average. However, families should not be alarmed but should take care to examine the area, as it is very simple to avoid the rougher neighborhoods.

Pros To Living In Murfreesboro

  • Murfreesboro is an excellent place to reside for those with tight budgets who don’t mind a slightly longer commute to Nashville.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the plentiful hiking trails and nature-oriented activities.
  • Lower-income families and young professionals will appreciate the affordable variety of housing options and the numerous activities Murfreesboro offers.

Cons To Living In Murfreesboro

  • While Murfreesboro’s commute is fairly straightforward, its distance from Nashville is a dealbreaker for many potential residents.
  • Some may be dissuaded by Murfreesboro’s less appealing, rustic atmosphere that often lacks the charm of Nashville’s more developed suburban areas.
  • A few locations in this area can appear worn or feel overly casual to many folks. Although Murfreesboro is considered a safe area, it falls short of the total security of some of Nashville’s more upscale suburbs.

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