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Navigating Nashville's off-campus destinations is easier than it might seem, even without a car

Campus Crush: Bus a Move



Colleges tend to encourage the insular and isolating nature of their campuses, and many students don't really get past the university gates. But Nashville is a city with plenty more interesting destinations than a typical college campus. It deserves exploration. We may not have the world's best public transportation system, but it's definitely possible to utilize city buses to get around town. It may seem a little intimidating at first, but don't worry. MTA makes it easy for college kids by offering the No. 21 University Connector bus, which stops by Lipscomb, Belmont, Vanderbilt, Fisk, Meharry and Tennessee State. This is helpful if you want to check out the scene on a different campus, or transfer to another bus. Here are a few "exotic" off-campus locations not teeming with fellow classmates and how you can get there:

Five Points, East Nashville

This hub across the river may seem a faraway dream, but you can see the more artsy end of Nashville — everything from New York-style pizza to vintage clothes — and go to dance parties Monday night at The 5 Spot, too, via bus No. 26 Gallatin Pike. The first step is to get downtown to the Music City Central station. Basically any bus that stops near your campus will take you there: the No. 2 Belmont (Lipscomb and Belmont), No. 3 West End (Vanderbilt) and the No. 29 Jefferson (Fisk, Meharry, TSU). Once you reach Music City Central, the No. 26 Gallatin Pike will be at Bay 3.

Eighth Avenue South

If you need a break from the books and want to check out some vinyl at a classic Nashville spot, then take bus No. 8 Eighth Avenue to Grimey's. This will also get you to shows at The Basement, the music venue located underneath Grimey's, as well as to the new Grimey's Too extension that includes Howlin' Books and The Frothy Monkey, a smaller version of the 12South favorite. Across Wedgewood to the south, Pre to Post Modern has records, clothes, furniture and other vintage odds and ends. This bus route goes right by Lipscomb University, so if you aren't there already then take the No. 21 University Connector bus to Lipscomb and then transfer to the No. 8 at the same spot. Grimey's is on Eighth just past Wedgewood Avenue, with a park and basketball court to the left.

Nashville West

For cheap shopping, electronic needs, or to stock up on lots of ramen, Nashville West has the stores you need: Costco, Target, Old Navy, Best Buy. There is a Strike and Spare down the street with bowling, bumper cars and laser tag as well. Take bus No. 10 Charlotte to get there. The University Connector bus No. 21 stops at Charlotte and 28th Avenue. Get off there and transfer to the No. 10, headed away from downtown, to reach Nashville West.


Aspiring foodies or eclectic shoppers who want to explore one of Nashville's trendiest neighborhoods — home to Burger Up, Imogene + Willie and Portland Brew, plus vintage boutiques and Halcyon Bike Shop — can take bus No. 17 to see what 12South has to offer. The No. 2 Belmont bus intersects with this route, so Belmont and Lipscomb students board the No. 2 at your campus and disembark at 12th and Edgehill to transfer to bus No. 17. Other students can either utilize the No. 21 University Connector bus to reach the No. 2 or ride the bus that passes your campus, either the No. 3 West End or No. 29 Jefferson, downtown to Music City Central and catch the No. 17 bus at Bay 15.

Nashville Zoo

If you are tired of the same old routine every weekend, then get out to the Nashville Zoo via bus No. 12 Nolensville Pike to check out the animals and play on a world-class playground that gets more fun the older you are. This route will also take you by the fairgrounds, where the always-fun Tennessee State Fair takes place Sept. 6-15. Take the No. 2 Belmont, No. 3 West End, or No. 29 Jefferson that passes your campus downtown to Music City Central. Once there, bus No. 12 Nolensville Pike will be at Bay 24. You will reach the fairgrounds first and the zoo a few stops after.


Adult: $1.70
Youth (19 and under): $1.00
Adult all-day pass: $5.25
Youth all-day pass: $3.50


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