Great greenways. Southern food. Some of the best pizza places around. There are more reasons I love Knoxville than I can share on one little blog, but here are eight major reasons that people love to call Knoxville home.
Affordable Cost of Living
The largest factor in a place’s cost of living is housing. And in Knoxville, there are abundant affordable living options. I personally had the benefit of renting an apartment in Mechanicsville for $300 per month. Not everyone gets such a great deal, but affordable housing options are available throughout the Knoxville metro area.
The average rent for a one bedroom apartment is $673 compared to the national average of $825. And a two bedroom apartment runs at an average $811 compared to the national average of $1027.
When it comes to homeownership, the median selling price of homes in the Knoxville metro area is $158,000, according to Zillow. Compare that to the national median selling price of $228,200.
Overall, the cost of living in Knoxville ranks 81.4/100 on Sperling’s Best Places, largely due to lower housing costs, but also due to other lower than average transportation, grocery and health costs.
Friendly, Down to Earth People
People are not only welcoming in Knoxville, but practical and down to earth. People aren’t uppity, and I found that most people are content with simple pleasures such as eating good food, drinking good beer and watching football all with people they love. Simple pleasures such as watching UT games, visiting the farmer’s market or hammocking in a park fill the days in Knoxville.
People Who Love to Help
On top of being friendly, people around Knoxville genuinely love to help one another. After the Gatlinburg Wildfires in 2016, droves of people from Knoxville donated food, clothing and household items to help affected families. Many volunteered with area cleanup efforts and organizing donations for distribution.
Knoxville is also home to large refugee populations. Local organizations like The Bridge are made up of many local volunteers who want to see refugees feel at home in Knoxville.
There are also a number of organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank, the Emerald Youth Foundation and more where numbers of people donate their time and talents to make Knoxville better.
Fun Outdoor Activities and Hiking
Knoxville’s only about an hour drive from the Smoky Mountains, which is a goldmine for hiking trails and camping. But you don’t have to leave Knox and Blount Counties to enjoy the outdoors.
Take a short, vigorous hike at House Mountain in Corryton, about a 20 minute drive from downtown. Stroll through Seven Islands State Birding Park. I love Lakeshore Park for walks and runs, but you can also head to Concord Park with its dog park and volleyball courts. There’s even a nice, clean swimming area up the road at The Cove.
The Downtown Living Experience
When you live in downtown Knoxville, you can walk to anything you want. There are multiple lofts and apartments in the area for less than $2,000 a month.
I have some friends who live in a loft on Jackson Avenue. When the wife was away one weekend, I ran into her husband wandering up Gay Street to find a choice dining place. Like him, you can live downtown and enjoy prime restaurant choices as well as art galleries, bars, shopping, live music and a movie theater. The best part? It’s all within a 15-minute walk.
Nice Weather All Year Long
Across the U.S., temperatures fluctuate seasonally. But in Knoxville, average highs and lows aren’t too extreme. According to the NOAA, average summer highs peak at 87 degrees in July. Average lows only dip below freezing (and just barely) in January and February.
You get to enjoy warm weather most of the year! And I’d like to note that on my first Christmas Day in Tennessee, my family enjoyed a balmy 60 degree hike in the Smoky Mountains.
Great Geographical Location
What’s 4 hours from Cincinnati, 4 hours from Charlotte, 3 hours from Nashville, 4 hours from Birmingham, 3 ½ hours from Atlanta and just 1 hour from Chattanooga? Knoxville! If you have family all over the country, it’s centrally located to many major cities. Its location makes weekend trips and family visits quite reasonable.
It Grows Slowly
Multiple people who have come and gone through Knoxville over the years have noted that Knoxville is slow to change. Some might call this a bad thing, but to many, the unhurried nature of the city is one of its charms. You can predictably run into the same people downtown or find an employee faithful to their company for 10 or more years. Plus, the city has done a wonderful job of preserving historical landmarks and long-standing buildings. Knoxville is like a childhood memory etched in time, familiar each time you return.