The city of Nashville, often celebrated for its vibrant music scene and rich history, is steadily gaining recognition for another feature: its bikeable neighborhoods. As urban planners prioritize sustainable transportation and bolster Nashville's public transit, certain areas in the city have risen to prominence for their cycling infrastructure and accessibility. Time to take a journey through Nashville's most bike-friendly locales, where two wheels reign supreme.
Widely considered one of Tennessee's most bikeable neighborhoods, Watkins Park—located directly north of the Midtown neighborhood—offers urban amenities in a pleasant suburban area. Sandwiched between Vanderbilt and Fisk universities and near Belmont University and Tennessee State, virtually all neighborhood attractions and amenities are within a five- to 10-minute bike ride.
The neighborhood's namesake, Watkins Park, is a cycling hotspot with city skyline views to boot. In addition to a 1.5-mile loop, there's a BMX pump track. Next to the park lies the community's business hotspot, which is independent-minded; think artsy boutiques, hip bars, and longstanding family-run restaurants. Bring visitors to snap pictures with the many murals, then sample spirits at historic Nelson's Green Brier Distillery. Then, catch a show at Marathon Music Works in true Nashville fashion.
For downtown commuters, Nashville's business district is roughly 10 minutes away, with bike lanes on most of the route. More bike lanes lead west, while easily navigable routes connect to Midtown and north Nashville. Watkins Park is one of Music City's most central starting points for bicycle commuters headed to other parts of the city.
Notably, due to its proximity to multiple college campuses, there's a large concentration of short-term rental homes and Nashville condos in Watkins Park.
Watkins Park Amenities
- Watkins Park
- Marathon Village entertainment district
- Blackstone Brewing
- Farm in the City Community Garden
- Close to Publix and Whole Foods
The compact Germantown neighborhood buzzes with trendy restaurants, cozy cafes, and an Old World atmosphere, complete with cobblestone streets and Victorian buildings. First settled by German immigrants in the 19th century, the neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to vintage cottages, the densely populated neighborhood has an abundance of modern condos.
Dedicated bike lanes intersect and loop around Germantown, with direct access to the Cumberland River trail and easy connections to downtown and areas of Midtown. Although it runs along the river, East Nashville is more complicated to reach from here via bicycle because the closest navigable bridge is south near Cumberland Park, one of Nashville's best parks.
Nevertheless, there's an abundance of hotspots sprinkled throughout Germantown, separated by just a few minutes of biking. Grab brunch or happy hour at beloved Germantown Cafe, or bike to some of the city's best beer at Bearded Iris Brewing. Remote workers can also co-work at Three One Three, less than a block from a selection of restaurants. This concentration of amenities is a large part of Germantown's appeal—nothing's more than a few blocks away.
- Morgan Park & Community Center
- Artisan groceries at Spread Market & Larder
- Several of the city's hottest eateries, including Rolf & Daughter
- Three One Three co-working space
- Easy access to Cumberland River Greenway
At the heart of the city, Downtown Nashville is equal parts residential hub, business district, and entertainment hotspot. Officially, the area spans 1.8 square miles, and the vast majority of it is highly bikeable (and walkable).
Protected bike lanes cover much of downtown, while the Gulch Greenway and Cumberland River trails offer peaceful natural escapes with no vehicle traffic. Downtown Nashville also has numerous B-Cycle bike share stations. Even the few streets that have no formal bicycle lanes or infrastructure are relatively easy to navigate; park your bike nearby and enjoy a short walk. Folks looking to commute to outlying areas of the city can do so with ease, since bike lanes run in just about every direction from the downtown core.
Of course, downtown is also home to some of the area's biggest attractions, including music-focused museums, some of Nashville's best honky tonks along the legendary Honky Tonk Highway, and slightly less-crowded hotspots like Printer's Alley. There's truly always something new to discover, whether it's a delicious cup of coffee, a unique restaurant, or a live music venue come nighttime. Plus, several of the city's other happening neighborhoods are just beyond downtown; it's truly the center of the action.
Downtown Nashville Amenities
- 10+ B-Cycle bike-sharing stations
- Nashville Farmers Market
- Nashville's hottest attractions, dining, nightlife, and museums
- Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge
- Cumberland Park
The Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood comes in just below Edgefield for bikeability. Although it's the furthest from downtown on this list, the neighborhood has plenty of bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Home to Belmont University and near Vanderbilt, there's an abundance of students in the area and several bike routes providing easy access to Nashville schools. Cycling between the main thoroughfares on 12th and 21st Street is straightforward, and a protected bike lane runs from Belmont University toward Music Row and downtown.
The commute to central Nashville is about three miles, mostly uphill—a great way to get both your daily workout and some fresh air. This well-connected part of the city also offers additional cycling opportunities to the east and west.
Many of the neighborhood's restaurants and entertainment hotspots lean casual, with an excellent selection of cafes, bakeries, dive bars, and no-frills eateries. Grab a stack of pancakes at local institution Pancake Pantry, or try anything pork at Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint. Also, don't miss photo ops with a couple of the city's most popular murals, "Drippy Lips" and "I Believe in Nashville."
- Dozens of the city's hottest restaurants in neighboring 12 South
- Sevier Park
- 12 South Farmers Market (in Sevier Park)
- Belmont University
- Gallery of Iconic Guitars (GIG)
Widely considered to be one of Nashville's most walkable neighborhoods, Historic Edgefield offers a convenient East Nashville location but with more of a suburban feel. Like Germantown, the area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with many properties dating back over a century. The atmosphere is complemented by lush surroundings, with huge old-growth trees in front of many historic homes.
Fewer designated bike routes run through Historic Edgefield, although centrally-located Woodland Street has a bike lane, offering easy access to the main thoroughfare. It's also easy to bike the 10 minutes to the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge. There's a scenic trail running east along the river for leisurely riding.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the multi-use trails, playgrounds, and community center of East Park. One of the city's best farmers' markets is held on Tuesdays just down the street from the park. Also within walking distance is the area's main business core, centered around Main Street. Away from the crowds yet near the neighborhood center, the businesses here retain a distinct Nashvillian character. Catch a show at beloved music venue Basement East or the 5 Spot, or dine out. The options are practically infinite, with everything from Greek and poke to Thai and Mexican.
Historic Edgefield Amenities
- East Park Community Center
- East Nashville Farmers Market
- Bikeable and walkable to dozens of restaurants, cafes, bars, and entertainment options
- Distinct independently-owned business culture
- Quick access to downtown and interstates
Bikeable Nashville Awaits
The tapestry of Nashville is woven with neighborhoods that beckon cyclists to share their roads and bike lanes. These bikeable enclaves stand out as the city evolves, highlighting a commitment to green transportation throughout Nashville's best neighborhoods. For both residents and visitors alike, these neighborhoods encapsulate a Nashville that is eager to pedal forward, merging tradition with progressive change.
If the opportunities of Nashville excite you, contact The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage with Nashville's MLS at (615) 603-3602 to get in touch with local real estate agents who can help find the perfect Nashville home for you today.
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