Living in The Nations: Guide to Food, Entertainment, & Real Estate

About The Nations, Nashville

Perhaps Nashville’s most complete and successful urban renewal project is this downtown-adjacent neighborhood between Sylvan Park and the Cumberland River. Like many urban communities, The Nations fell out of vogue in the mid-20th Century, and spent many years as a cautionary tale of urban decay. But since around the year 2000, it has seen a resurgence that leaves many locals wondering if they’re truly the same neighborhood. Derelict buildings have turned into breweries, warehouses into event spaces, and dilapidated homes into sparkling new construction. This revolution has attracted an energetic mix of young professionals, all reveling in their newfound downtown paradise that was almost given up for lost. And whether you’re into lofty taprooms, chic coffee shops, or river excursions, The Nations has become one of the ultimate places to experience Nashville.

Where Is The Nations Located?

The Nations is 10 minutes west of downtown Nashville, tucked north of I-40 and south of the Cumberland River. This small yet contemporary neighborhood is located just north of the historic and established neighborhood of Sylvan Park. Those attending Vanderbilt or working nearby appreciate the short drive, which is often under 10 minutes and includes various alternate routes that allow them to avoid the interstate.

How’s The Vibe In The Nations?

In some ways, The Nations is one of Nashville’s best-kept secrets for active young professionals. The Nations is a highly desirable neighborhood for young families, as well. This neighborhood has undergone quite a change over the past decade. While it still retains some of its industrial aesthetic, this area has become one of the hippest and most exclusive areas for residents looking for a friendly community, walkable breweries, and a short commute downtown.

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

The Nations’ breweries and restaurants are one of the biggest draws for the neighborhood. In fact, this neighborhood is named after a beloved restaurant. The Nations Bar and Grill is a local favorite, offering American classics with a twist. This friendly, casual bar and grill makes the perfect hang-out or meet-up for happy hour any day of the week.

This neighborhood is also proud to be the home of Fat Bottom Brewing Company. You will find residents enjoying freshly brewed beers in their causal and inviting taproom throughout the week. Most residents enjoy the fresh air on the quick walk to Fat Bottom’s sophisticated and intimate taproom.

You will also find the smaller, but equally unique and beloved brewery, Harding House Brewing Company across from the Nations Bar and Grill. It is no wonder locals love this craft brewery. The Harding House’s philosophy of using local ingredients and welcoming all perfectly captures the neighborhood’s attitude and feel.

The other neighborhood eateries reflect a casual atmosphere, but the same locally-owned vibe that The Nations’ residents appreciate. Some of their favorites include The Frothy Monkey, Oscar’s Taco Shop, and 51 North Taproom.

Many Nations residents bypass downtown and choose to stay closer, frequenting the many restaurants and bars on Charlotte Avenue for a bit more variety.

What Are The Top Things To Do In The Nations?

With new housing options have come new recreational possibilities as well. Trendy restaurants, like the Frothy Monkey, are popping up along Centennial Blvd. on the neighborhood’s north side, while Charlotte Avenue just to the south is full of bars and restaurants. In between, the Fat Bottom Brewing Co. and 51 North Taproom are awesome places to have a drink. When you aren’t trying out restaurants, Paddle Up Nashville is right on the Cumberland and offers guided trips down the river. If you don’t want to brave the water, though, there are plenty of accessible parks; and the Richland Creek Greenway is right across I-40 in the Sylvan Park neighborhood.

How’s The Real Estate Market In The Nations?

As the influx of new development suggests, The Nations has become one of the city’s hottest real estate destinations. The neighborhood offers a mix of refurbished older houses, slick new single-family construction, and upscale apartments. Most of the available single-family options are 3-4 bedroom/2-3 bathroom houses priced from $550,000 to $850,000. If you’re not looking for a single-family home, modern complexes like Edison Park offer village, condo, and townhome living in the $300,000 to $600,000 range. Availability varies depending on the section of the neighborhood you’re looking in. While properties in the neighborhood’s center are mostly occupied, in the Urbandale section to the west, an array of new development is still underway and readily available.

For those looking to rent, options might seem scarce for an area so close to downtown, but don’t be discouraged. Developments, like The Flats at Silo Bend, can rent from the mid $1,000s, while the homes at 49/TN often go for around $3,000 per month. Whatever your West Nashville living situation, though, you can rest easy knowing you’re a resident of one of Nashville’s premier neighborhoods.

The Nations have been surging for a while, but all signs suggest that the market upswing is nowhere near its peak. Even after an infusion of new construction, median single-family home prices are just over $675,000. The last four years have seen these values increase by nearly 70%, and projections suggest that home values will increase by over 5% in the next year. Even if you aren’t looking to reside in the neighborhood, the low vacancy rate and limited rental properties suggest that demand is high, so renting out your property promises to be a lucrative option. For all these reasons, buying in The Nations tends to be much more reward than risk.

Purchasing a home in The Nations is a good investment for its desirable central location to Downtown. It is also within close proximity to Vanderbilt University. It is one of Nashville’s newest and upcoming neighborhoods that is undergoing an immense amount of development.

PRO TIP: See homes for sale in The Nations

How’s The Cost Of Living In The Nations?

When it comes to living in The Nations, residents can expect to pay a bit more for housing. This area is rapidly growing and becoming more and more exclusive. Home prices reflect this. Because of the high demand to live in The Nations, developers are building new homes, condos, and townhouses, often splitting lots and building what locals refer to as “tall and skinnies.”

How Is Transportation In The Nations?

While there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and breweries within walking distance of residents’ homes, most commute to work in their vehicles. There is a bus route from The Nations to downtown, but it increases the commute time by three-fold or more.

You will find that residents choose to bike, walk, jog, and run for leisure. They also use these modes of transport after work hours to get to their favorite restaurants and bars.

What Are The Top Schools In The Nations?

The Nations is a petite neighborhood that is part of the Metro Nashville School District. Within the area, you will only find a handful of schools. Many residents appreciate that their children can attend Nashville Prep which offers Middle School students smaller class sizes and an emphasis on increased engagement. Cockrill Elementary School has a dedicated staff of caring teachers that ensure their students excel academically.

What Are The Best Parks In The Nations?

West Park provides residents and their kids with a green space to enjoy some sunshine and various outdoor activities. This park has a walking trail, baseball fields, a multi-use field, and a great playground. England Park is also frequented by Nations residents. This park that runs along Richland Creek has a wonderful running trail with views of the water.

Is The Nations A Safe Place To Live?

This small alcove neighborhood continues to evolve and offers residents a refuge from petty crime, violent incidents, and other questionable activities. Those that live in The Nations feel safe and regard their community as a great place to raise a family. The Nations Neighborhood Association is not an HOA, but they actively work to ensure the neighborhood reflects family values and remains safe.

Pros To Living In The Nations

  • For those looking for a happening area with a welcoming, neighborly atmosphere, it’s hard to beat The Nations. Residents have a lot of pride in their community and enjoy all the amenities the area offers to their fullest.
  • This neighborhood is tight-knit with plenty of restaurants, bars, and a modern feel. It’s easy to meet and make friends with your neighbors, and many locals appreciate that they can have a voice and a part in how this neighborhood grows and continues to develop.
  • This spot is great for young active professionals that commute downtown or elsewhere in Nashville.

Cons To Living In The Nations

  • In The Nations, you will find plenty of 20-somethings, 30-somethings, and people in their 40s, yet it’s difficult to spot empty-nesters and retirees. This is likely because the area has a young feel and can be quite costly if you don’t have a reason to live within close proximity to downtown.
  • Additionally, many long-time residents have conflicting opinions on the area’s gentrification and notorious “tall and skinnies.”
  • As The Nations continues to gentrify, many current residents have to put up with the sound of construction in the background.

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