Settled around the horseshoe curves of the Cumberland River in northern Nashville, Madison and Old Hickory are charming, historic communities that boast an exceptionally affordable real estate market. Madison, about eight miles north of downtown, features a bustling corridor of commerce known as the Motor Mile. Across the river, Old Hickory is a historic working class neighborhood named after Andrew Jackson that once served as a company town for a large DuPont gunpowder plant.
Things to Do
One of Nashville’s most beloved attractions, The Grand Ole Opry is just down the road from both neighborhoods, but you can also head over to Larry’s Grand Ole Garage in Madison for some authentic Bluegrass music performed in an intimate, informal setting.
Madison is also conveniently located just 15 minutes from one of the metro area’s most hip and desirable neighborhoods — East Nashville. This means residents are never too far from the hottest restaurants, and we mean that quite literally! One of the closest foodie-approved restaurants near Madison is Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, which is celebrated for being the home of the original Nashville hot chicken recipe. Of course, Madison boasts it own share of spots for great eats, including local favorites El Pulgarcito Salvadorian Cuisine, China Cottage and Shipley Do-Nuts. A handful of Old Hickory’s restaurants — like Sam’s Sports Grill and the Black Pearl — are situated right along the waterfront. Need your daily caffeine fix? A bit further inland near Donelson, you’ll find independent coffee shop Uncommon Grounds.
Madison and Old Hickory also boast some lovely parks — most notably Old Hickory’s expansive Crooked Branch Park, which provides a connection to Nashville’s famous greenway system. In Madison, there are three public parks in the area, including E.N. Peeler Park, which is the newest addition to Nashville’s lush Greenway system.
With the median sale price between the two neighborhoods ranging around $150,000 and $200,000, Madison and Old Hickory’s real estate landscape is characterized by historic homes at affordable price points. Throughout the historic Old Hickory Village, for example, you’ll find a lot of cute bungalows that once served as the family homes of rank-and-file workers, as well as a number of grander estates that housed the families of plant management. While some of these properties offer budget-friendly fixer-upper opportunities, many others have already been updated in recent years with all the comforts of modern living.
Divided by the Cumberland River, Madison and Old Hickory are zoned under separate public school clusters. In Madison, students are served by Amqui and Stratton Elementary Schools, Madison Middle School and Hunter’s Lane High School. In Old Hickory, students are served by Dupont Elementary School, Dupont-Hadley Middle School and McGavock High School.
Life in Madison/Old Hickory
Madison stands out from many other commuter suburbs in Nashville for its transportation infrastructure, which boasts several miles of sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as easy access to a number of major interstates and roads leading into Nashville. Across the river in Old Hickory, it’s the warm, close knit community that many locals cite as the reason they’ve decided to set down roots. Many current residents are descended from original DuPont plant workers, and because of this common history, it’s the type of community where everyone knows everyone.
Local Hot Spots
Best Sports Bar & Grill on the Water – Sam’s Sports Grill – Blue Turtle Bay
Best Outdoor Activity – Stones River Greenway
Best Historical Attraction – The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson