About Nashville, Tennessee

Where is Nashville?

Nashville is located just north of Tennessee’s geographical center, with the city built up along both the north and south banks of the Cumberland River. It is a junction point for many of the South’s main interstate highways, including I-24, I-65, and I-40.


Downtown Nashville, Tennessee cityscape at night, courtesy of ingimage.com

The city’s central location is part of why Nashville was chosen to be the Tennessee state capital in 1826.

Greater Nashville includes both the city itself as well as the surrounding communities that make up Davidson County.

Nashville Quick Facts:

  • Founded: 1779
  • Incorporated: 1806
  • Population: About 670,000 people
  • Elevation: 597 feet

What is Nashville Known for?

  • Country music
  • Exotic architecture and a variety of housing options
  • Vanderbilt University
  • The Tennessee Titans NFL franchise
  • The Nashville Predators NHL franchise

Things to Do in Nashville:

Why People Love Nashville:

  • Nashville is easy to access or visit by plane or car
  • Music City is a lively, fun, and inviting residential city – it feels like people actually live there
  • There’s always something going on in Nashville, with various music and arts festivals throughout the year
  • The area is loaded with a rich history from several different eras
  • The city has good public transportation, is also very walkable, and feels much cleaner than the average American city
downtown Nashville river

Nashville, Tennessee downtown skyline at Cumberland River.

The History of Nashville

Early Nashville History

In 1779, colonists built Fort Nashborough along the banks of the Cumberland to protect their growing business interests in the region and serve as both a place of protection and a headquarters in their war against the Native Americans.

In the later years of the Revolutionary War, the fort’s name was changed from “Nashborough” to “Nashville” in a show of American patriotism, as the ending “-borough” is generally added to the names of rural counties in England.

19th Century Nashville

Thanks to the Cumberland River and the invention of the train, Nashville became a thriving business center. Nashville was one of the key cities where raw materials from southern plantations would be processed and shipped to manufacturing facilities in the north and east.

The Civil War devastated Nashville, however, as the Union Army made sure to capture the key shipping center early in the war. That multi-year occupation and the drastic changes to the southern economy with the elimination of slavery left Nashville reeling for several years, but the area made a major recovery during the Gilded Age.

The Birth of Modern Nashville

In 1925, George D. Hay founded the Grand Ole Opry, changing Nashville culture forever. The city became the undisputed hub of traditional roots music like bluegrass, folk, and what we now broadly call “Americana.”

It was the beginning of the country music industry.

During the height of national radio and the early days of network TV, Grand Ole Opry and similar traditional variety shows were some of the most popular forms of entertainment in the country, and Nashville became “Music City, USA.”

That notoriety helped Nashville prosper throughout the second half of the twentieth century and into the new millennium!

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