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Relocating to Nashville? Some help with your culture shock.


The steady influx of people relocating to Nashville has slowed just a little, finally — by March of 2018, figures were released showing that Nashville’s population growth had finally dropped below the much-touted 100-people-a-day mark.

That said, it wasn’t by much: Data from 2016 to July 2017 still showed a net daily Nashville gain of 94 people. Millennials Are Moving To NashvilleRetirees are moving to Nashville! Even at a slower pace, people are still, most definitely, moving to Nashville.

According to this breakdown of U.S. Census data from moving company Bellhops, about 10 percent of the people relocating to Nashville do so from elsewhere in Tennessee, but a whole lot of new Nashvillians are coming from quite a bit farther away. More than 11 percent of Nashville’s newcomers came in from outside the U.S., and a healthy share, unsurprisingly, moved from larger, pricier U.S. cities: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are all among the top 10 areas sending new residents to Nashville.

Not too long ago, bigger-city transplants to our midsize city would’ve been met with a more decent dose of culture shock. In 2019, relocating to Nashville doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to get on a plane for at least a little taste of your former home.

New Nashville homebuyers ask us all the time about where to find little nods back to their hometowns, and more often than not in Nashville, there’s something here, and if it’s not totally authentic, it’ll at least be fun.

Below, we listed out some of the top contributors of people relocating to Nashville, and paired them with Nashville counterpart locations, of sorts.


Photo: @hotdiggitynash on Instagram

Chicago > Hot Diggity Dogs

Picking a hot dog place to send Chicagoans is the easy way out, sure. But we’ve yet to meet a former Chicagoan who doesn’t appreciate downtown Nashville restaurant Hot Diggity Dogs‘ efforts to authentically replicate a famed Chicago dog, getting their ingredients shipped in straight from Chicago, piling on sport peppers, onions, tomato, mustard, celery salt and a big ol’ pickle slab. No poppy seeds on the bun, but… we get close.



Los Angeles > L.A. Jackson

It might also seem a little cheap, directing new Nashvillians from Los Angeles to a place called L.A. Jackson. But it’s not the name, so much — the rooftop bar perched up on the Thompson Nashville hotel in The Gulch just happens to be one of those spaces in Nashville that doesn’t feel like it’s in the South (something you might love, or hate). It has a sparkling, electric, uninhibited energy — plus a spectacular view of the city, on three sides — and since opening in 2016, it’s become a steady “see and be seen” kind of space, which, scoff if you must, scratches a good Hollywood-y itch. If you need a second opinion, Kelsea Ballerini thinks so too.



Photo: Soft Junk on Facebook

Brooklyn > Soft Junk

If you relocated to Nashville from Greenpoint or Williamsburg, everyone here will tell you to look toward East Nashville for familiar vibes, which is accurate. Great record stores and music venues and vintage shops abound. But a specific, tucked-back locale that’ll give you all the creative, inspired feels you might be missing: Soft Junk’s space, where they host shows and variety events and poetry readings and more. Hard to find a better independent arts haunt to frequent in Nashville.



Miami > Pearl Diver

This one’s… still tough in Nashville. For Caribbean flavors and regular events with live Latin music and ample chances to dance, a lot of folks swear by Island Vibes, not far from the Nashville airport. But those more cosmopolitan, beachy Miami moods are hard to come by here. If you can get with tilting in a more tiki direction, Pearl Diver in East Nashville embraces an islands energy, with tropical drinks and food and bright, Miami-esque colors, inside a high-style space. Not quite the same, but you’ll taste fresh fruits, sit amid pops of pink and likely be able to order some fresh raw oysters, so there’s at least a little bit of Florida to grab on to.



Photo: @capitolgrille on Instagram

Washington, D.C. > Oak Bar

D.C. is, of course, much more than politics. But if you’re used to bellying up to a bar amid local legislative minds whispering about political intrigue and machinations, there’s probably no better place in Nashville than the historic Hermitage Hotel’s Oak Bar, which traces back to 1910 (then, a private gentleman’s club, now, home of the largest collection of bourbons in Nashville). Tennessee politicos still hang there, and it’s a classic spot to have a whiskey neat or something to eat, placed among all the new, trendy spaces downtown.


Planning on relocating to Nashville from nearby, or a far-flung locale? We’d be more than glad to help with anything you need, from neighborhood recommendations to helping you find a Nashville home for sale. Reach ACRE here, and tell us about your plans.

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