For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Aug 25 2015
by Emily Perry

So You're Going to College in Nashville...

By Emily Perry - Aug 25 2015

Nashville, my home town, proudly boasts the title "Athens of the South" as often as it can. With 17+ colleges in the greater Nashville area, there's no question that this is truly a college town. Below, you will find some of my favorite things to do in the city!


Nashville is a haven for coffee lovers! With so many different options, it can get a little overwhelming, but have no fear. Whether for study, a place to meet friends, or just an old fashioned cup of joe, Nashville is sure to have what you need. Because there are so many, here is a list of my top 10:

1. Fido

2. Bongo Java (Multiple Locations)

3. Crema

4. Dunn Brothers

5. Pinewood Social

6. Just Love (Multiple Locations)

7. Barista Parlor (Multiple Locations)

8. Dose.

9. Cafe Coco (They're open 24 hrs!)

10. Frothy Monkey (Multiple Locations)


 A night out on the town can be pretty pricy for anyone, but when we are all on "college budgets," things get a little more complicated. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Nashville on a budget!

1. Belcourt Theatre - Located on Belcourt Avenue in Hillsboro Village, Belcourt Theatre is an amazing place to go on a date, a girls night, or if you just want to see a great movie! This independent, nonprofit cinema, offers student pricing on tickets, for around $7 for a matinee. During the summer, however, Belcourt offers free movies outside on the second Saturday of every month! Make sure to check them out while you're in the city,

2. Concerts - You're in music city; concerts are a must! With apps like "Songkick" or "Bandsintown" it's easy to keep track of your favorite artists, and so many of them play venues in Nashville like Mercy Lounge or War Memorial Auditorium for as little as $15, which is pretty amazing if you ask me.

3. Sports Games - Nashville is home to 2 professional sports teams, and 1 minor league team, which means there is so much to do! The Predators hockey team even offers super cheap tickets for Tuesday games.

4. The Frist Museum - The Frist is Nashville's Museum of Art and it offers FREE tickets for those of us 18 and under! If you're unlucky enough to be 19+, tickets are still very affordable, especially for a whole day's worth of activities.

5. First Saturday Art Crawl: Galleries in Downtown Nashville open themselves up to art lovers from all over once a month - for FREE! You can't get much better than that.


Any city is home to it's own cuisine, and, until recently, Nashville didn't have it's claim on anything in particular. However, along come Hot Chicken, and we are on the map! Places like Hattie B's and McDouglas are the best places for hot chicken if you're looking for iconic Nashville, but below are my favorite local joints around town. 

1. Fido (yes, I"m aware Fido is on the coffee list, too. Their breakfast is amazing, and so are their local burgers!)

2. Taco Mamacita

3. San Antonio Taco Company (SatCO)

4. The Dog of Nashville

5. Mas Tacos Por Favor

6. The Pharmacy

7. Five Points Pizza

8. Edley's BBQ

9. Bella Napoli Pizzaria


Now I know we are all trying to avoid that Freshman 15, but here are my two favorite places to satisfy a sweet craving

1. Legato Gelato (local dairy that comes from about 40 minutes north of Nashville)

2. Jenni's Ice Cream (Multiple Locations)


Again, I know we are all on budgets, but supporting your local businesses never killed anyone! Especially when the stores are as amazing as Nashville's

1. Castilleja - Located in Edgehill Village, Castilleja is my go-to for clothes, interior decor, and everything in between. The staff is super friendly, and the products are well-made and truly incredible. 

2. Local Honey - This store's two locations help it serve the Nashville area well in two ways: Hair and Vintage Clothing. Their stylists are knowledgeable and their clothing store offers a little something for everyone. They also offer a whopping 20% discount with your student ID

4. McKay's - Looking for somewhere to sell your used books, or pick up something new to read / watch / play / listen to? McKay's is your place! This two-story warehouse offers book lovers, music junkies, movie buffs, and gamers alike, something that they'll enjoy. McKay's even has a coffee truck right outside it's front door. 


Lead Image: Bill Cobb

Fido: Bongo Java Roasting Company (

  • Belcourt: "The Tennessean" Archives

Taco Mamacita:

Castilleja: Emily Perry


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Emily Perry - Rhodes College

Emily is a Russian Studies major at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. She loves film, literature, and the US National Park Service. Emily has been writing for Fresh U since June of 2014 and has served as both a web editor and a social media editor. Outside of Fresh U, she volunteers with the YMCA Center for Civic Engagement and is involved with her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi.

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