The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

The best scenic walking paths on campus

The weather is just starting to cool down; put on a sweater, grab some headphones and take a charming walk in the neighborhoods around campus.
Amelia Simpson
Graphic depicting a person walking. (Hustler Multimedia/Amelia Simpson)

The ascending fall season is exciting for a plethora of reasons — with one being the ideal walking-weather. Now is the perfect time to get off campus and explore the surrounding areas on foot. Picturesque neighborhoods surround Vanderbilt at every corner, but exploring these neighborhoods as the leaves begin to change color is simply the ultimate fall experience. Because of this, I compiled a list of scenic walks around campus that will enrich your outdoor experience without having to commute to a park or hiking trail. 

Music Row

Graphic depicting a Music Row route (Hustler Multimedia/Nicolette Tolitano). (Nicolette Tolitano)

Distance: 1.6 miles

In order to appreciate the walk along Music Row, it is important to remember that we are currently in the Country Music Capital of the World! The walk along 16th and 17th Ave (the two streets that the Music Row area is centered around) contains prideful depictions of exuberant musical heritage. The houses along these streets may look like typical residential homes, but they are actually not residences at all. Instead, the streets are lined with a myriad of recording and broadcasting studios, many of which have housed some of the most famous artists of all time, including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. I promise this walk will not disappoint. It first takes you up 17th Ave, past renowned recording studios and then down 16th, past Grammy-award winning entertainment companies. 

Belmont & Hillsboro

Graphic depicting the Belmont Hillsboro route. (Hustler Multimedia/Nicolette Tolitano) (Nicolette Tolitano)

Distance: 1.1 miles

Just around the corner from campus lies the charming Belmont University. If you follow the trail drawn for you, you will pass the quaint strip of shops commonly known as Hillsboro Village. Passing shops like Hester & Cook, Molly Green and Altar’d State, there are many opportunities to stop in and browse their fall collections. Continuing along the path, you will eventually reach the street that runs along the edge of Belmont’s campus, lined with picturesque coffee and bagel shops. If you get hungry, settle in at Nashville’s famous Proper Bagel to reward yourself at the end of your walk. This ambiance will not leave you unsatisfied — it may even make you feel like you live in a small college town.

12 South

Graphic depicting the 12 South route. (Hustler Multimedia/Nicolette Tolitano) (Nicolette Tolitano)

Distance: 1.8 miles

The walk to 12 South is the longest of the four. However, the final destination is worth the walk and once there, it makes for the perfect combination of shopping and eating. On the way there, there isn’t much commercial activity to meander through. However, the route makes for perfect house-browsing as you make your way down Deford Bailey and then 12th Ave — finally arriving at the vivacious 12 South strip, housing Nashville’s iconic Mafiaoza’s and the noteworthy tacos at Bartaco. The path to 12 South is peaceful, but the final destination will certainly satisfy any shopping desires. 

Centennial Park

Graphic depicting the Centennial Park route. (Hustler Multimedia/Nicolette Tolitano) (Nicolette Tolitano)

Distance: 1.5 miles

The walk around Centennial Park is the most organized of the four. It is the closest park to Vanderbilt’s campus and requires minimal effort in getting there. Centennial Park offers a one-mile trail with a vast stretch of greenery, playgrounds, benches, volleyball courts and wonderful open-air spaces — perfect for plopping down on a picnic blanket with a book. The path mapped for you takes you through the beautiful greenery of Vanderbilt’s campus and then around the border of Centennial Park — providing you with every opportunity to marvel at all that the park has to offer. The commute to Centennial Park from campus is almost effortless, requiring a mere few steps across the street where 25th Ave and West End Ave intersect. If you are in the mood for a walk with nature, trust us on this one. 

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About the Contributors
Nicolette Tolitano
Nicolette Tolitano, Staff Writer
Nicolette Tolitano (‘27) is from Nashville, Tenn., and is majoring in economics in the College of Arts and Science. She loves to read, run and travel with friends. You can reach her at [email protected].
Amelia Simpson
Amelia Simpson, Staff Photographer and Graphics Staffer
Amelia Simpson ('25) hails from Brisbane, Australia and is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in public policy. Outside of her work in the Hustler’s multimedia sections, Amelia is a member of the club rowing and equestrian teams. You can reach her at [email protected]
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