Living in Old Hickory: Guide to Food, Entertainment, & Real Estate

About Old Hickory, Nashville

Old Hickory, a neighborhood in the Nashville metro area is a lakeside suburb that was once a planned company town for the DuPont plant that still operates on a limited basis. Named after President Andrew Jackson whose nickname was “Old Hickory”, this neighborhood is sandwiched between the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake. A 20 minute drive to Downtown Nashville is convenient but many Old Hickory residents don’t find themselves making the commute that often thanks to the numerous restaurants and entertainment options in neighboring Hermitage and Madison. While its housing situation is no longer an extension of corporate hierarchy, the neighborhood’s stratified heritage does promote a unique living situation.

Where Is Old Hickory Located?

Situated just a few short miles southwest of the Cumberland River, Old Hickory is located approximately 16 miles northeast of downtown Nashville. Outdoor enthusiasts will be particularly drawn to this area because of its convenient river access and encompassing natural areas.

How’s The Vibe In Old Hickory?

This charming small town, located right off the banks of the Cumberland River, is popular amongst folks seeking access to downtown Nashville, but desiring to live in a more peaceful and tranquil setting, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. With a laid-back, “lakeside town” atmosphere, many retirees enjoy settling down in this serene area, particularly in the Historic Old Hickory Village, a more suburban setting with beautifully renovated vintage houses. In recent years, this area has continued to grow in popularity as its community develops.

What’s The Food + Nightlife Scene Like In Old Hickory?

Since Old Hickory has a small-town feel, this neighborhood harbors a more quiet, easy-going atmosphere. However, there are still a few nightlife options for locals to enjoy and plenty of delicious restaurants. For Mexican dishes, head to 5 Agaves Mexican Restaurant or Camino Viejo. Several popular restaurants also transition to nighttime hangouts, including Chopper’s Grill, Sam’s Sports Grill, and Full Throttle Bar & Grille. For evening entertainment, locals head to Lakewood Theatre Company, a community theatre showcasing several genres of unique, creative dramas and comedies.

Old Hickory shines the most in its outdoor recreation and daytime activities. Blue Turtle Bay Marina and Old Hickory Village Farmers' Market are the two most popular attractions for locals. On weekend mornings, Old Hickory coffee-lovers can often be found at the hangout spot Summit Coffee Co.

What Are The Top Things To Do In Old Hickory?

A 10 minute drive down Old Hickory Boulevard will bring you directly to the former home and current museum of President Andrew Jackson. Along the way, you’ll pass Old Hickory Country Club, across the street from Dupont-Hadley Middle School as you drive along the shoreline of Old Hickory Lake. Tailwater Access Area, a park situated where the Cumberland River opens into Old Hickory Lake is a favorite among locals for its walking trails and wildlife. Old Hickory Beach is a great place to relax during the summer with its sand-lined shores, boat ramp, and picnic areas equipped with charcoal grills. Across the Cumberland River from Old Hickory is Yazoo Brewing Company, a quickly growing micro-brewery based in neighboring Madison, Tennessee.

How’s The Real Estate Market In Old Hickory?

On one hand, the lakeshore offers some of the closest big-water housing to downtown Nashville, with sprawling houses and generous lots that often command well over a million dollars. On the other hand, just off the lake is a meticulously constructed grid of company homes designed for maximum efficiency. It’s an intriguing juxtaposition that allows contrasting lifestyles to flourish within a confined suburban space. Of course, most of the houses aren’t mansions along the lake, but homes crowding within the old company grid. Small lots and quaint, bungalow-style architecture are trademarks of these properties, many of which have recently undergone dramatic renovations to reclaim them for today’s buyers. These renovations include modern luxuries such as an open-concept floor plan, hardwood flooring, granite countertops, and stainless appliances.

If you’re not interested in reprising the company life nestled in these cozy neighborhoods, however, new construction is adding wrinkles to the home supply. Especially north of the original city, townhome complexes like the Robinson Rowhouses, along with modern subdivisions, are adding updated housing alternatives. This expanded selection has helped turn Old Hickory into a hub for aspiring Nashville homeowners. And while the market for renters is still in its nascent stages, asking prices are low enough for most to take the plunge into homeownership.

Thanks to the influx of recently updated older homes, the nearby waterfront, and the close proximity to downtown Nashville, Old Hickory has enjoyed modest but consistent gains in home values. One perk if you’re a buyer is that the predominantly small houses limit the ultimate sale price. Even though the neighborhood’s median price per square foot of $232 is comparable to that of other Nashville suburbs like Franklin, the median sale price of just over $400,000 keeps the neighborhood accessible to less ritzy populations.

PRO TIP: See homes for sale in Old Hickory

How’s The Cost Of Living In Old Hickory?

Old Hickory’s overall cost of living is only slightly above the national average, with a median housing price of $403,000.

Renting in Old Hickory is especially beneficial, as the average rental price is below the nation’s average, with a median pricing of $1,780 per month. Of particular note is Old Hickory’s low cost of healthcare and utilities, both perks of residing in this area.

How Is Transportation In Old Hickory?

The Nashville MTA’s bus route makes several stops in the Old Hickory area. The typical Lyft and Uber services are also available – otherwise, residents almost always travel by their own personal vehicle. Residents should be advised to examine their potential commute before deciding upon a residence, as the bus route is oftentimes not a viable option. Although Old Hickory certainly features improved public transportation than most other sections around Nashville, locals overwhelmingly rely on commuting by car.

What Are The Top Schools In Old Hickory?

Unfortunately, Old Hickory isn’t particularly well-known for its schools. While there are several options for younger students, such as Madison Middle, DuPont-Hadley Middle, and DuPont Elementary, these schools are rated as average choices. However, it should be noted that Andrew Jackson Elementary is a solid option for younger students and is well-worth consideration. For high schoolers, families will need to explore further into Davidson County since there are no high schools within the Old Hickory neighborhood.

What Are The Best Parks In Old Hickory?

One of the major perks of residing in Old Hickory is being surrounded by beautiful natural areas. Rockland Recreation Area, Tailwater Access Area, and Old Hickory Beach are all located within close proximity to each other, offering a combination of boating, swimming, hiking, fishing, and even sand volleyball. Crooked Branch Park also provides plenty of hiking trails and scenic lake vistas for hiking enthusiasts.

For those looking for a more urban vibe, Lock Two Park is an excellent option, featuring a playground for families and situated directly adjacent to the Cumberland river. Additionally, Waterford Lake is a small, restful green space located next to a suburban community, a hidden gem that most visitors overlook.

Is Old Hickory A Safe Place To Live?

With its small-town, down-home feel, most residents agree they feel very secure in Old Hickory. Some of this area’s less developed sections are more prone to crime but can be easily avoided. Most of Old Hickory does not suffer from high crime rates, and is generally a safe area to reside.

Pros To Living In Old Hickory

  • Old Hickory is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream – there are endless, gorgeous natural areas to explore. Fishing and boating hobbyists will particularly love the close proximity to the riverside.
  • Old Hickory’s cost of living is very manageable, offering many options for a variety of budgets. This neighborhood is quite safe as well, providing peace of mind for residents.
  • Homes in Old Hickory on the Wilson County side have access to some of the best public schools in Middle Tennessee.

Cons To Living In Old Hickory

  • This area may not be the most beneficial for young professionals seeking to be immersed in a fast-paced environment suitable for networking opportunities.
  • Old Hickory’s commute to Nashville isn’t the most convenient, with most residents usually taking about 30 minutes each way to drive to downtown.
  • Many of the homes in Old Hickory are older and may feel outdated compared to the new construction in some of Nashville’s other neighborhoods.

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