Some of the Best Small Country Towns Outside of Nashville

Photo: Joshua Cotten

Locals know Nashville has changed a lot in a short amount of time. Tennessee’s booming capital city continues to allure people from all over. The recent stats show a dramatic uptick across the board.

Needless to say, the big city can be a noisy place. If you’re looking to escape the crowd or maybe prefer a slower pace, you’ll be pleased to know middle Tennessee is home to some cinematic countryside views and rural backroads.

These are a few of those towns you need to know about…

South of Nashville

Photo: Chandler Cruttenden

Thompson’s Station

Not only will you love the surrounding area and the picturesque farmland, you will also fall in love with the historic downtown area. Located south of Franklin, this area is stunning.

Leiper’s Fork

Close to Thompson’s Station, this is a quaint and artsy town known for its scenic beauty, artistic community, and local shops. The farmland in this area looks like fine art landscapes.

East of Nashville

Photo: Glenn Haertlein

Carthage + Gordonsville

Just under an hour from downtown Nashville, Smith County in general is a beautiful rural county. As you drive east of Music City, expect the hills to get a little steeper. You’re getting in the thick of those Tennessee backwoods! If you’re looking for some land for livestock, you can find it here.


Baxter is a small town outside of its larger neighbor, Cookeville. Close to both Cordell Hull Lake and Center Hill Lake, this place is only an hour from downtown Nashville. Live in the downtown area or stick to the outskirts for some rolling hill farm or lake views.


A true Mayberry-like town along the river, Granville feels very nostalgic with local shops and festivals. The roads leading to this quaint little town are worth the drive too. Ride through rural Tennessee on Highway 70 and 53, along the Cumberland River or climb to the top of the ridge if you’re looking to be within the hilltops.

It should be noted the Upper Cumberland region in general is home to many, many small towns that are worth visiting and moving to. While rural, this region is centrally located to Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga making accessible a breeze.

Southeast of Nashville

Photo: Will Swann


Close to Murfreesboro, Tennessee’s original capital, you will find sweeping views of distant hills in this flatter area of the state. Along Highway 96, Lascassas is an unincorporated community offering farmland glamour.

Who is to say these are the best? In reality, it’s rather hard to pick just a few! Tennessee is home to so many amazing places. Expect this list to grow as we add to it!

What’s your favorite place? Leave a comment below.

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