We often find inspiration in unique settings. However, finding a comfortable work space can be as challenging as completing a project itself. In a coffee shop, the grinding of coffee beans and the soft murmur of surrounding conversation may motivate one individual, while causing idleness or restlessness in another.

Personally, I find a balance in needing both. Though an extroverted nature draws me to crowds and active spaces, when focusing on an assignment I become highly introverted. For example, when completing writing assignments, I find concentrating in an office environment challenging and prefer writing at home. Apparently in my case, I can only hear myself think over the snoring of four dogs and my Explosions in the Sky playlist.

Whether seeking educational, professional or personal productivity, there are a variety of spaces only steps from Loews Vanderbilt perfect for your ideal zen space (and they all have free wi-fi!). My suggestions include:

ATMALOGY –  0.3 miles 

Atmalogy tops my list for ambiance. The design and furnishings in this health-centric coffee and tea house offer a calming and quiet atmosphere. Each room is thought-out, comfortable and flat out adorable. Where else can you meditate on comfortable pillows between deadlines?


Popular among Vanderbilt students, this trendy and hip coffee shop is both lively and comfortable. Dismantled bike décor and a variety of art offer a rustic and approachable setting. Don’t forget to snap a photo at the hieroglyphic-inspired alleyway on your way out. It’s totally Instagram-worthy.

J&J’s MARKET & CAFÉ 0.4 miles

If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you may walk past J&J’s. Quiet and hip, this hidden gem is part coffee shop, part market. Their coffee and tea menu has a solid selection and their atmosphere is non-pretentious, laidback and quiet. You’ll find others working quietly as they sip coffee, tea, beer or wine. The market has a variety of snacks, magazines, sundries and grab & go items to choose from, as well.


Looking for energy, but hoping to avoid the coffee-house crowd? This eat, drink and play wonderland is an extrovert’s haven. From craft cocktails and mocktails to brews, specialty lattes and a variety of food offerings, there’s plenty to feed your brain. If you have restless tendencies, bowling, bocce ball courts, an outdoor courtyard and two swimming pools offer a bit of entertainment between projects.

CENTENNIAL PARK – 0.7 miles 

Don’t worry nature lovers, there’s something for you, too. Home to 132-acres of green space and exhibits, Nashville’s Centennial Park is a picturesque backdrop for those wanting a dose of the outdoors. Central in the park you will find the Parthenon, the world’s only full-scale replica of the famous Greek temple. Talk about studying abroad on a budget!


A hotel lobby is often an ideal spot to check items off your to-do list. With complimentary Wi-Fi, business center amenities and hotel amenity access, business can be handled with ease. Make your phone calls in a quieter environment while sipping a signature cocktail in the lap of luxury.


With so many unique alternative workspaces in Nashville, who needs a chain coffee shop anyways? So break out, step out, and find out the location that will fuel your inspiration.

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