PopulationMetro: 1,794,570
Music City lets you worship your idols and toast them frequently.

Nashville is hot, and not just because it ranks #16 in our Prosperity category, which looks at the city’s performance in the subcategories of Median Household Income, Fortune 500 Companies and the Unemployment rate.

Google for Entrepreneurs partnered with the Tennessee capital, a tech hub, to help local startup communities thrive. The city and its citizens spend their money wisely, including for the preservation of historic buildings and to revitalize neighborhoods like Germantown, which was established in the 1850s by European immigrants. Small wonder, then, that the city ranks #16 in our vital Neighborhoods & Landmarks subcategory.

CITY PERFORMACE
Place
Place 67
Product
Product 31
Programming
Programming 14
People
People 44
Prosperity
Prosperity 66
Promotion
Promotion 10

The music scene continues to thrive as well, particularly as a younger generation of musicians—Jack White and the Black Keys come to mind— have chosen to live and set up recording studios in town. You can start your visit right in downtown with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, which traces the history of the genre. If you want to delve deeper into the personal stories of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and George Jones, well, they’ve got their own museums, too. With a #14 ranking for Culture, the city is finally getting the recognition it deserves for its long but subtle influence on the American fabric.

The food scene is also heating up, with a Culinary ranking of #27 among large cities. Check out Rolf & Daughters, an industrial-chic restaurant where diners at communal tables dine on seasonal American fare while sipping creative concoctions like Vitas & the Element, made with Chattanooga 1816 Reserve, cacao, China China, hibiscus and egg whites. At Patterson House, the barmen in period costumes mix some pretty potent cocktails. If you need a respite from all that eating and drinking, the city offers a sprawling park system with more than 12,000 acres to explore by bike (B-Cycle bike-rental stations are located at greenway trailheads), or by kayak and canoe on the Harpeth River.