Nashville, TN Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for Newcomers

For the third time, Nashville has been named America’s Friendliest City by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Kevin Litwin
On Monday, September 12, 2011 - 07:39
Nashville, TN

For the third time, Nashville has been named America’s Friendliest City by Travel + Leisure magazine. Readers of the publication rate U.S. cities on culture, shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

Candice Webster works for a Nashville-based technology company. As young professionals, she and her fiancé enjoy nightlife, parks, canoeing on area lakes, hiking on trails, and visiting water parks such as Nashville Shores. The couple also enjoys Nashville Sounds Triple A baseball, hockey games and the multitude of live music events.

“I grew up in Mobile, Ala., and later lived in Starkville, Miss.,” Webster says. “I like the small-town feel with the big-city amenities. We’ve got professional sports teams, endless entertainment options, and of course, the music industry. There are so many creative, talented people here and a rich history.”

The region’s openness and friendliness toward newcomers of all cultures make Nashville a diverse and vibrant place to live and work.

“The people of Nashville are great,” Webster says. “There are people from so many different places and walks of life. You appreciate that when you’re planning to settle and start a family – being able to expose children to different cultures and everything a city has to offer.”

David Gaspin, an advertising consultant for a local media outlet, moved from New York City with his wife and young son.

“One of the reasons that we moved here was the access to quality public education,” Gaspin says.

“Nashville has that perfect mix of city and small town. There’s not much in terms of amenities or entertainment that we didn’t have in New York. What we’ve found here is a quality of life. There’s a work/life balance here that doesn’t exist in many other cities, and that is one of the things that I think attracts so many people to Middle Tennessee.”

Coming from New York City, Gaspin is delighted with Nashville’s cost of living. “That’s another reason that I moved here – the dollar just goes a lot farther than in many other comparable cities."

Access to clean, safe parks has been a wonderful discovery for the Gaspins, who are parents to a toddler.

National Geographic in 2007 recognized Nashville for its 99 parks and greenways that span 10,500 acres.

With all that Nashville has to offer, it’s the people that impress newcomers most. 

“There’s a real friendliness that seems sincere,” Gaspin says, “That combination of hospitality and honesty really sets the people of Nashville apart from anywhere else I’ve lived.”


Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.