Top 10 Things To Do After Moving To Nashville From California

Welcome to the greater Nashville area! You made the trek from the sunshine state to the volunteer state! I hope you’re excited to find yourself in a new state, a new time zone, with new people to meet. I’m Robin, and it’s wonderful to meet you. I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and happily set roots in Tennessee – just outside of Nashville, about 3 years ago. It is here that I finally feel I know what “home” feels like. I know my neighbors and actually talk to them, I belong to a great church and feel like I’m part of the community. Granted, I’m still trying to incorporate “y’all” into my vernacular and for the life of me I can’t stop referring to “highways” and “interstates” as “the freeway” – but I’ll learn, and so will you!

Now that I feel settled here, I feel it’s time to help other California transplants become integrated. I have come up with a list of the top 10 things – both responsible things and fun things – that you should do now that you’re in Nashville.

1. Register Your Car

I know, not a super fun thing to do. However, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at how much fractionally cheaper your car registration is here in your new home state! Added bonus – you no longer need 2 license plates! You are only required to have a license plate on the back bumper, so buy something fun to fill that front bumper plate!

2. Get a New Driver’s License

I know we all just love to be at the DMV – but it is still a necessity! Don’t forget to bring your birth certificate or passport, car registration, and 2 other additional pieces of mail that verify your current address. If you’re going to the DMV, you might as well get that Gold Star required for travel in the near future.

downtown Nashville broadway neon signs

3. Update Your Estate Plan

We might as well knock the responsible items out of the way first. If you have a will and trust in place in California, you’ll need to get that revised to Tennessee codes. This is a VERY commonly overlooked issue and something the team at Legacy Law Group is very excited to help with. Set up an appointment to amend your trust and deed your new Tennessee home into your trust! It’s your money and your house, definitely worth taking the proper steps to protect them.

4. Experience Broadway

Nowhere else can you find a barrage of exceptionally talented musicians like right here in Nashville. Broadway is full of bars and venues with live music all hours of the day. Known for our honky tonks – you can catch some amazing local artists day or night right up and down Broadway. Not a fan of crowds? Go during the day. Love the nightlife? Broadway at dark is certainly the place for you.

5. Visit Radnor Lake

Why is this one of my recommendations? With Radnor Lake being a mere 10-minute drive outside of the city, you’ll feel like you’re a world away. This nature preserve is not only home to some wonderful walking and hiking trails, but you’ll catch all forms of wildlife from tortoises to squirrels, cranes to frogs, wild turkeys and if you’re lucky – you’ll see the incredibly adorable otters that swim around the lake. This is also one of the best places to bask in the beauty of colorful leaves in the fall. Welcome to a state with four seasons!

6. Drive to Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, or Asheville

A lot of people associate this area with flat farmlands. They could not be more wrong! The Great Smoky Mountains are right in our back yard and they are absolutely a sight to see! With many great places to hike, swim, and marvel over waterfalls, this is truly something that should be on your “must-do” list. Again, these drives are another wonderful place to catch the fall foliage.

7. Live the Lake Life

So maybe we don’t have the ocean here in Tennessee, but we do have some pretty great lakes. North of Nashville, you can enjoy Old Hickory Lake for your watersports needs. To the South, we have Percy Priest Lake. Both have a multitude of slips to launch from, restaurants, great views, and are easily accessible.

Hot chicken and fries

8. Visit Arrington Vineyards

Missing the wine countries of California? We can help with that. Arrington Vineyards is a great place to go for tastings or pack yourself a picnic basket to bring along while you grab a bottle of wine or their famous “frose” and enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces that Arrington Vineyards has to offer. In the summer months, they offer live music as well! It can get pretty packed but rest assured there is ample space and parking for everyone!

9. Take a Picture With “The Wings”

It’s the number one touristy thing to do! The giant angel wings mural in the Gulch area of Nashville is perhaps one of our largest tourist attractions. Any Saturday or Sunday afternoon you’ll see a line wrapping around the block of people waiting to take their picture there. It’s right in the heart of Nashville so you might as well jump feet first into the city and take your shot!

10. Try Some Nashville Hot Chicken

Being someone who enjoys trying the local cuisine when I’m someplace new, in Nashville – you have to grab some famous Nashville Hot Chicken! My favorite is Party Fowl – but you really can’t go wrong anywhere.

If you’re looking for other ways to get settled into your new hometown and meet people, sign up for your neighborhood’s Facebook group! You’ll start learning names, recognizing faces, have a great place to get connected to resources and start embracing the southern hospitality that the Nashville area has to offer. On behalf of the great state of Tennessee – WELCOME HOME!