Nashville neighborhoods guide: The best places to stay in Nashville

We highlight the Nashville neighborhoods that make the best places to stay in Nashville – plus, what to do while you’re there

If you flip through random photos of Nashville, you’d think the whole city is one big neon honky-tonk paradise, where the boot-scooting and beer-swigging lasts until the wee hours. That does happen in Music City, for sure, and it is fun. But that’s really just five blocks on Lower Broad. Nashville is more diverse and nuanced than that.

When picking a place to hang your (cowboy) hat while visiting, consider the following Nashville neighborhoods based on how you want to spend your time in town. Each one has visitor-friendly attractions, great food, well-craft cocktails, live music (obviously), plus a few surprises. From out-of-this-world restaurants and bars to live-music venues and kid-friendly things to do, the city is ripe for discovery.

To help you select your hotel in Nashville (or your Airbnb) we’ve come up with the best places to stay in Nashville. There’s not a bad choice among them.

Best places to stay in Nashville

Photo by Margaret Littman

East Nashville

East Nashville has a love-hate relationship with the “hip” moniker it’s earned over the years thanks to its high concentration of creative folks. This large neighborhood just east of Downtown is home to stylish vintage boutiques and purveyors of handcrafted goods, not to mention many of the city’s tastiest chef-owned restaurants and best tiny watering holes.

EAT: Melvil Arnt and his parents moved to Nashville from Paris, a fact that is evident in every part of Once Upon A Time In France­, from the décor to the food to the wine list. The French bistro doesn’t take reservations, so plan to chat with locals over a glass of wine while you wait for a table.

DRINK: Order a tropical cocktail or two at Pearl Diver, a stylish lounge that brings an island vibe to its menu, its communal spaces, and its attitude. If you’ve only been to cheesy tiki bars, be prepared to be impressed by the thoughtfulness of this tropical experience.

DO: Browse in the small boutiques at the Shoppes on Fatherland and nearby at the Five Points Alley Shops. These collections of tiny storefronts house handcrafted goods, vintage finds, and more.

STAY: The Gallatin Hotel’s brightly colored hallways, front archways, and garden underscore its “Stay Joyful” mantra. In addition to the plethora of selfie spots, you’ll feel good about staying here because a portion of the proceeds help the city’s unhoused population find places to eat and sleep.

If you do just one thing… Every single Monday at 5 Spot locals cut a rug. It’s called Motown Mondays, but in truth it’s just dancing to a bunch of good music, starting with Western swing. Lots of people who show up know their footwork, but you don’t need to be an expert to join in.

By Margaret Littman