Information about Nashville
Shopping in Nashville:
As with most cities, Nashville has free parking in
suburban and shopping areas, but not in areas
(such as Vanderbilt) close to the center of town.
Here are some general
Nashville shopping links by
There are tiny strip-malls all over town. Two within
walking distance of Vanderbilt are
But if you
prefer a large, enclosed mall, the two that
are closest to Vanderbilt are:
- the Hillsboro Village area, near the intersection
of 21st Avenue South and Blakemore Avenue,
by the southeast corner of Vanderbilt. Includes
some clothing shops, boutiques, a used bookstore.
- the West End area, near the northwest corner
of Vanderbilt. Includes Borders Books, a small
grocery store, some clothing shops, boutiques, etc.
- Green Hills Mall -- Go south on 21st Avenue
(route 431); after
a while it changes its name to Hillsboro Pike.
You'll pass some strip malls and residential areas;
you'll also pass Route 440 and Woodmont Boulevard (route 155).
After a while you'll see the mall on your right.
It has several parking lots, some of which are
covered (preferable if it's raining). This mall is elegant,
fancy, tranquil. It includes several middle- to upper-priced
clothing stores, and a variety of other stores -- cooking
utensils, science/nature toys, music. Tasteful
gifts for the folks you left at home.
- 100 Oaks
Mall --- Go south on Route 65. The first
exit after Route 440 is Armory Drive (exit 79). Take that; then
turn right on Powell Avenue; follow it to the mall.
This mall includes some lower-priced clothing stores.
Also Comp-USA (computer hardware and software)
and Media Play (software, music, and a few books).
- Opry Mills
is farther away, but it's worth mentioning -- it's
our biggest, newest, fanciest enclosed mall, so it's also a tourist attraction.
In fact, it replaced Opryland, the amusement park that used
to be one of Nashville's biggest tourist attractions.
Opry Mills is also intentionally very noisy, with Jumbotrons and
few tapestries or carpets -- apparently the marketers feel
that sales are promoted better by an amusement park atmosphere
than by a library atmosphere. This mall does have a good selection
of stores and restaurants. Northeast of Nashville, on
Briley Parkway (route 155). Take Exit 11, Opry Mills Drive. -
Even if you're not going to that mall, take a look at its
you may be amused to see that it's shaped like a guitar.
With the exception of Opry Mills, all the shopping malls contain
only tiny bookstores. If you want books, don't go to a mall.
The largest bookstores near Vanderbilt
are as follows:
Vanderbilt Bookstore is not bad, and it's conveniently
located if you're already at Vanderbilt. At present, it's in
but it may be relocated to elsewhere on campus
sometime in the next year or two.
Sorry, no free parking. The Vanderbilt Bookstore
carries textbooks, and also books by faculty. It also has a collection
of "general books", but that is smaller than the collections in the
three stores listed below:
Books is the next closest good bookstore. It is at 2501 West
End Avenue, the former location of Alexander Hall; you can see it on our
map. There is a very small amount of free parking in front, with a
2-hour maximum. There is additional free parking in the back, if
you get your ticket validated inside the store (no purchase necessary).
- Davis-Kidd Booksellers
is a few blocks south of Green Hills Mall,
on Hillsboro Pike. Look for a large building with a clock
tower and a sign that says "Grace's Plaza", on the western
side of the road. This store is comparable, in size and
selection, to a typical Border's Books or Barnes and Noble.
The parking lot in front is small but adequate. If you drive
around to the back, you'll find the entrance to a small
underground parking lot, which may be preferable if it happens
to be raining when you arrive. Both parking lots are free.
is on Route 70S, a few miles southeast of Vanderbilt.
(Route 70S changes its name, from West End Avenue
to Harding Road, somewhere around here.) Bookstar is run by
the same company as Barnes and Noble but is very slightly smaller.
The decor is interesting -- this particular store is in the
building that contained one of the last old-fashioned movie
theaters in town. Both the marquee (outside) and part of the
viewing screen (inside) have been retained. The balcony viewing
area has been turned into the children's section of the bookstore
(but a glass wall makes it impossible for your children to
jump down from the balcony). Some photographs on the walls show
some of the history of the building.
- Farther from Vanderbilt, we have
two Barnes & Nobles (in
the Opry Mills Shopping Mall and in South Brentwood) and
another Borders Books (in North Brentwood).
A VU Math page, updated
2 Mar 2002