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Donelson – A Rapidly Rising Star in the Nashville Area

With the resources and location to be one of Nashville’s hipper areas, Donelson’s residents are rallying to give their beautiful, green community the recognition it deserves.

If you’re thinking about making Donelson home, you’ll have to act fast. Its mix of quiet neighborhoods, loads of green space and an active city center makes it an area on the rise.

Where is Donelson?

Donelson is less than 10 miles east of downtown, a short 3 miles to Nashville International Airport and 5 miles south of the Opryland Resort.

Bordered by Stones River, the Cumberland River and I-40, it offers a great combination of convenience to the city’s bustle and a quiet escape to nature.


Bluefields, Donelson’s oldest subdivision, was erected in 1929, setting off a chain reaction of construction well into the 1970s.

Today, the Donelson community has expanded to include a generous amount of stylish apartment and condominium homes among its tree-lined suburban neighborhoods and walkable shopping centers.


Many generations of warm, welcoming folks call Donelson home, and its seasoned residents are proud to pass the torch to the youngsters steadily flocking to the community. Rest assured, if you decide to make the move to Donelson, you’ll be greeted by the community with open arms.

What to Do

There are no shortages of places to shop in Donelson, but the Opry Mills mall takes the cake. Not only for Donelson (it’s a quick and easy 5 minutes away) but the entire city of Nashville and its surrounding areas. Opry Mills contains a mega Regal Cinema, Dave and Busters, dozens of great restaurants and over 200 shops and services.

People who call Donelson home also benefit from living 5 minutes from the historic Grand Ol’ Opry theater. Check out the lineup, and you’ll find the biggest names in country music playing at the venue virtually every weekend year-round.


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Right next to the Grand Ol’ Opry is Gaylord Opryland Resort. The resort can be best described as an indoor greenhouse, convention center, hotel and recreational venue. With multiple upscale restaurants, a spa and a one-of-a-kind luxury water park, a visit to the Opryland resort is a treat. Christmas at the Opryland Hotel is one of the most popular seasonal attractions in the entire city.


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Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Two Rivers Mansion was constructed in 1859. The Federal-style brick home adjacent to it (the first home on the property, owned by David Buchanan) was built in 1802. Take a fascinating guided tour and learn a little more about Donelson’s storied history as one of Nashville’s oldest neighborhoods.

Donelson residents have the luxury of a wide array of gorgeous green spaces and outdoor activities in which to spend Nashville’s trademark sunny days.

The Stones River Greenway wraps around the city, offering 10 miles of paved trails perfect for biking, jogging, rollerblading and picnicking. A disc golf course is also located along the greenway, as are plenty of playgrounds for the kiddos.

You can also hang out at the Two Rivers Skate park for a bit (also along the greenway) and watch the action. Then, take a quick walk across the parking lot and spend a refreshing afternoon at the Two Rivers Water Park.

On Friday nights during the months of May-October from 4-7 PM, the Donelson Farmer’s Market is the place to be! The market hosts almost two dozen local farms, restaurants, crafts, home goods shops and much more.

Where to Eat & Drink

If you’d like to hang with the locals (especially if you’re planning on becoming a local) and support local Donelson businesses, there are a few places you need to visit.

Head on over to Zulema’s Taqueria for some of the yummiest tacos and tamales in town. It’s a family-run business that specializes in Latin-American food, so if you want unique tacos with authentic flavors, be sure to check them out.

One of the funkiest places in Nashville, Phat Bites is a family-friendly hipster staple offering from-scratch breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Its stage hosts tons of local bands six nights a week, including some of Nashville’s most talented younger artists. Who knows? You may end up watching history in action. Sure to become one of your favorite watering holes, the quirky, Phat Bites dive bar is one of the things that makes the establishment unique.

Across the street from Phat Bites, McNamara’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is the most authentic Irish pub in Nashville, hands down. You can sip on a seriously proper pint and indulge in some Shepherd’s Pie, fish, and chips and bangers and mash. Just make sure you catch their authentic live Celtic music, complete with banter and jokes.


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Owned by long-time Donelson residents, the Homegrown Taproom & Kitchen is the real deal. They source as much of their products as possible from local farmers, artisans, brewers and growers – translating to a scratch-made menu and a lovely selection of craft beers and ciders. Having a bad day? This is your place. Having a good day? Still your place.


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Moving to Donelson

Real Estate Snapshot

Nashville’s average apartment rent is $1428. Donelson apartments rent for $1176. Needless to say, you’ll want to jump on that savings of $252 now before it’s too late.

If it’s any indication of how rapidly the area is growing, homes here are literally selling within days after they’re listed. If you’re considering making Donelson your new hometown, do it now and get in on the ground floor of a fantastic community.


Donelson was lucky enough to be among the first to have a Music City Star station. The train runs to downtown and its surrounding areas, including all the way out to Nashville’s easternmost suburbs. If you don’t see your stop, it seamlessly integrates with MTA’s bus line to reach anywhere you need to go.

Schools & Employment

Donelson is home to a metro elementary, middle, high school and a magnet high school with an emphasis on math and sciences.

Kroger grocery stores have a corporate headquarters in Donelson, and the public transportation located in the area makes it easy to get to the many other businesses with corporate headquarters in the city, including Bridgestone Americas, Amazon, Asurion and many more.

Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email. Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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