Nashville is the largest city and the economic center of middle Tennessee. The population of Nashville itself is over five hundred thousand, of the Nashville Metropolitan area, over one million. The economic base is sound and varied the rate of unemployment low, and the cost of living near the national average. Industries important to the economy of the region include government (Nashville is the state capital), insurance, publishing, banking, tourism, and of course music. Nashville is rich in talent across a wide range of musical styles; outstanding musicians will be found playing regularly in local venues. The city is also a major academic and health care center, with two medical schools, Vanderbilt and Meharry, an unusual number of excellent hospitals (including Vanderbilt, St. Thomas, Baptist, and Centennial), the corporate headquarters of HCA Healthcare Systems, and an unusual number of colleges and universities (including Vanderbilt, Belmont, Fisk, Tennessee State, and David Lipscomb). This concentration of academics has earned Nashville the title “Athens of the South.”
Middle Tennessee also offers a wealth of recreational opportunities. Among the more tourist oriented are the Grand Ole Opry, the Opryland Hotel (one of the nation’s largest and magnificent), Historic Second Avenue, Riverfront Park, the Hermitage (home of President Andrew Jackson), the Belle Meade Mansion, the Hard Rock Cafe, and the Wild Horse Saloon. There are good public radio and TV stations, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center with year round offerings at each of its three theaters, the Cheekwood Museum and Botanical Gardens, the Tennessee State Museum, the Cumberland Museum and Science Center, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra with its magnificent new Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the Nashville Opera, and the Nashville City Ballet. In addition, Vanderbilt brings Southeastern Conference athletic competition to the city. The Tennessee Titans have brought NFL football and the Nashville Predators NHL hockey. Nashville’s international airport terminal is among the most modern in the United States and provides easy access to the area from throughout the country.
The climate offers four definite seasons with relatively mild winters. Fall brings colorful foliage. Spring with its floral display rivals Fall as the most pleasant and beautiful time of the year. For those with outdoor interests TVA lakes suitable for recreational use are scattered throughout the region. There are rivers suitable for kayaking or canoeing, with white water to be found to the east on the Cumberland Plateau or in the mountains. There are numerous attractive and interesting state parks, while within Nashville itself there are 6650 acres of city park land. In addition, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other areas in the Southern Appalachians are a three and one half to four hour drive to the east.
As can be seen from the above, the middle Tennessee area offers something to fit just about everyone’s tastes and interests. Most of us who have lived here for some time find it an interesting, pleasant, and comfortable place.