Often referred to as simply “HWEN,” the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood’s walkable network of historic homes, highly rated restaurants, scenic green spaces and hip coffee shops makes it one of the most sought after areas in all of Nashville. Because it is flanked by both Vanderbilt University and Belmont University on the southwest side of the city, there is a heavy concentration of college students in this area. In addition, West End Avenue, one of the city’s more prominent streets, has large historic homes along much of it’s path through the city.
Things to Do
There’s a lot going on in this part of town. The thriving university scene plays a major role in shaping the overall culture and lifestyle of the area. As with any respectable college ‘hood’, there are plenty of spots to keep you caffeinated and focused, including Just Love Coffee, Fido, Cafe Coco and Atamology. These establishments can be found in the bustling, walkable Hillsboro Village, which offers an inviting cluster of more than 25 bars and restaurants, as well as the classic and recently renovated Belcourt Theatre.
Just east of the Vanderbilt campus is the heart of Nashville’s music industry — Music Row. Here you’ll find recording studios, production houses, record labels, radio stations, licensing firms and pretty much any other type of business related to country, gospel and contemporary Christian music.
Northwest of HWEN and the Vanderbilt campus is Centennial Park, which boasts a stunning replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece — right down to the 42-foot statue of Athena within. For a sweeping view of the Nashville skyline, pack a picnic and set down a blanket on Love Circle. From a vantage point of 744 feet above sea level, you’ll ask yourself, “why would anyone live anywhere else?”
HWEN is celebrated for having the city’s largest collection of early 20th century homes — a characteristic that led to the neighborhood’s addition to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. You’ll find a variety of architectural styles as you walk through this hip, historic enclave, from stone Tudor revivals to charming Craftsmans and classic American Foursquares.
As part of Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Hillsboro cluster, students in this area are served by Eakin Elementary School, West End Middle School and Hillsboro High School. One of the more notable private schools in the immediate vicinity is Saint Bernard Academy — but if you go a bit further afield, you’ll find the Linden Waldorf School to the south, the University School of Nashville to the north and other faith based private schools. Universities include Belmont University and Vanderbilt University.
Life in neighborhood
While you’ll see a lot of college students in this area, it’s also a bastion for young families, who are attracted by the strong neighborhood association that puts a major emphasis on planning seasonal events and fostering a warm community identity.
Local Hot Spots
Best Bar & Music Venue – The Country
Best Small Dog Park – Centennial Park
Best Martini – Bricktop’s