East Tennessee is more than just a region; it’s a vibrant tapestry of culture, nature, and community. From the misty peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains to the lively streets of Knoxville and Chattanooga, this area presents an array of lifestyles and landscapes that are as rich as they are varied. Yet, finding the perfect place to call home in this diverse region can be a thrilling adventure. To aid in your journey, I’ve crafted this guide on the best places to live in East Tennessee.
Having roamed the hills and valleys of East Tennessee, I’ve witnessed firsthand the region’s stunning diversity. From the historic charm of towns like Franklin and Maryville to the urban buzz of cities like Chattanooga, East Tennessee’s variety is truly compelling. Whether you’re enamored by the allure of the mountains, the vibrant community life, or the urban rhythm of cities like Knoxville, there’s a spot in East Tennessee that seems tailor-made for you.
But where to begin? The perfect location varies for each person. Some may seek proximity to nature, others prioritize strong educational systems, and for many, the cost of living is a crucial consideration.
Join me as I delve into the best cities to live in, tailored to what you value most. As someone who’s experienced the unique facets of this region, I’m here to guide you through the best places to live in East Tennessee. I’ve combed through research, analyzed statistics, and engaged with locals to compile a list that suits every preference and budget. Let’s embark on this journey together!
Eager to uncover the most picturesque spots to call home in East Tennessee? Nestled in the eastern part of the Volunteer State, this region offers a diverse array of living options. Continue reading to explore the finest locales East Tennessee has to offer.
Searching for your ideal haven in East Tennessee? Whether it’s scenic beauty, vibrant communities, or peaceful retreats you seek, East Tennessee has it all.
- Best for college town vibe: Murfreesboro
- Best for natural beauty: Knoxville
- Best for upscale suburban living: Brentwood
- Best for small-town feel: Spring Hill
- Best for safety and upscale amenities: Germantown
- Best for outdoor adventures: Chattanooga
- Best for waterfront living: Mount Juliet
- Best for historical significance: Johnson City
- Best for tranquil lifestyle: Maryville
- Best for modern comfort: Collierville
- Best for waterfront relaxation: Hendersonville
Here are the top places in East Tennessee you should consider for your next home:
Imagine a place where Southern charm meets vibrant culture – that’s Franklin. Often heralded as one of the best places to live in East Tennessee, this gem exudes a unique blend of historical richness and modern flair. Stroll down Main Street, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a bygone era, yet with all the contemporary amenities at your fingertips.
In Franklin, community spirit runs deep. The town’s calendar brims with festivals and events that bring locals and visitors together, showcasing a strong sense of belonging. The blend of historic sites, boutiques, and an array of culinary delights makes it more than just a stopover; it’s a lifestyle choice.
Families and professionals alike are drawn here, not just for the top-rated schools and business opportunities, but also for the unparalleled quality of life. It’s a place where safety and friendliness are the norms. Recognized as the best city to live in Tennessee, Franklin is not just a destination; it’s a place you call home. Whether it’s the charm, the community, or the endless opportunities, Franklin offers a slice of Tennessee life that’s hard to resist.
As you wander through the streets of Murfreesboro, the air buzzes with a youthful energy, a testament to its evolution as one of the coolest places to live in East Tennessee. This city, alive with a spirited college town vibe, also carries a rich historical tapestry that’s palpable at every corner.
Here, the past and present dance seamlessly. The Stones River National Battlefield offers a glimpse into Civil War history, while the modern cityscape boasts burgeoning businesses and entertainment venues. Murfreesboro strikes a perfect balance for those seeking a blend of educational wealth and a lively social scene.
Family-friendly parks, an array of shopping options, and a diverse culinary scene are just a few perks residents enjoy. And let’s not forget the top-notch educational institutions that make it an ideal spot for families and students. It’s this unique combination that crowns Murfreesboro as one of East Tennessee’s best cities to live.
Living here means embracing a lifestyle where history, education, and modern amenities converge. Murfreesboro isn’t just a city; it’s a vibrant community where every day offers a new adventure.
Nestled in the heart of East Tennessee, Knoxville is a city where every street tells a story. A blend of urban energy and natural beauty, it beckons as one of the best places in East Tennessee to live for those who crave a dynamic yet serene lifestyle.
Knoxville’s downtown pulses with life, offering a rich array of arts, music, and culinary delights. The Tennessee Theatre and Market Square stand as icons of culture and community, drawing both locals and visitors into their vibrant embrace. This city thrives on its ability to balance urban development with natural charm, evident in the lush greenways and parks scattered throughout.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Knoxville is full of unique experiences. Plus, the Great Smoky Mountains are just a stone’s throw away, offering a natural playground that’s rare in urban settings. The University of Tennessee adds a layer of youthful exuberance, infusing the city with fresh ideas and energy.
Living in Knoxville means enjoying a nice city to live in East Tennessee that embraces its heritage while boldly stepping into the future. Its community spirit, cultural richness, and natural beauty make it not just a place to reside, but a place to thrive and create lasting memories.
In the rolling hills just south of Nashville lies Brentwood, a suburban oasis that is the best place to live in the Southeast. This city is a perfect blend of upscale residential living and well-preserved natural spaces, offering an idyllic lifestyle that many seek.
Brentwood’s appeal lies in its carefully planned neighborhoods, boasting spacious homes and manicured lawns. The sense of community here is strong, with residents often gathering in parks and local events, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The city’s commitment to green space is evident in its numerous parks and trails, making it a haven for those who love the outdoors.
Education here is top-notch, with some of the state’s highest-rated schools. This, combined with low crime rates, makes Brentwood a highly sought-after location for families. Additionally, its proximity to Nashville provides easy access to big-city amenities while retaining a peaceful suburban charm.
As a where to live in East Tennessee, Brentwood stands out for its harmonious blend of natural beauty, community spirit, and quality living. It’s not just a place to live; it’s a place to thrive, offering a lifestyle that many dream of but few attain.
5. Spring Hill
A town where history meets modernity, Spring Hill offers a delightful surprise to those exploring the good places to live in East Tennessee. Its rich Civil War history meshes seamlessly with the rapidly growing community, presenting a unique tapestry of past and present.
The charm of Spring Hill lies in its ability to offer a small-town feel while providing all the amenities of a larger city. The streets are lined with a mix of historic landmarks and new developments, reflecting the town’s evolution. The community here is tight-knit, with frequent local events fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness.
For families, Spring Hill is a dream, boasting excellent schools and plentiful parks and recreation areas. The town’s growth has also brought in diverse dining and shopping options, enhancing the quality of life for its residents.
Living in Spring Hill means being part of a community that values its roots while eagerly embracing the future. It stands as one of the best East Tennessee cities for those who want the tranquility of suburban life without losing touch with the vibrancy of urban living. Here, every day is a blend of historical discovery and modern living.
Stepping into Germantown feels like discovering a hidden gem in the landscape of Tennessee. This suburb, known for its elegance and charm, ranks highly among the best areas to live in East Tennessee. Its tree-lined streets and meticulously maintained parks give it a picturesque quality straight out of a storybook.
What sets Germantown apart is its commitment to preserving a sense of community while offering all the comforts of upscale living. The city prides itself on exceptional schools, making it a magnet for families seeking the best for their children. Add to this a low crime rate and an array of community events, and it’s clear why residents find it so appealing.
The culinary scene in Germantown is noteworthy, featuring both upscale dining and cozy local cafes. Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty to explore, from boutique stores to well-known retailers.
Choosing Germantown means embracing a lifestyle of comfort and community. It stands out as a nice part of East Tennessee, offering an enviable quality of life. Here, neighbors know each other, and the pace of life is just right – slow enough to relax, yet vibrant enough to never be dull.
Nestled along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga emerges as a vibrant city that artfully combines urban living with natural beauty. It’s a city where outdoor adventures meet cultural sophistication, marking it as a great place to live in East Tennessee.
Chattanooga’s heart beats in its downtown, alive with art galleries, unique eateries, and buzzing coffee shops. The iconic Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world, symbolizes the city’s connection between its rich history and dynamic present. It’s a place where every turn reveals a new surprise, be it in the fun of its nightlife, an art installation, or a panoramic view of the river.
Outdoor enthusiasts find their paradise here, with endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the surrounding mountains and riverfront. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of American Art cater to those seeking more intellectual pursuits.
Living in Chattanooga means embracing a lifestyle that’s as active or laid-back as you wish. It’s a city that truly reflects where the best place to live in East Tennessee – a city that combines the best of both worlds, offering a quality of life that’s hard to match. Here, life is an adventure waiting to be explored.
8. Mount Juliet
Discover Mount Juliet, a city where the charm of Tennessee comes alive in every nook and cranny. With its blend of community warmth and growing amenities, it earns its place as one of East Tennessee’s best places to live. This city, though burgeoning, holds onto the heartwarming qualities of a close-knit community.
As you explore Mount Juliet, you’re greeted with a variety of shopping and dining options that cater to every taste and style. The city’s commitment to development is evident, yet it doesn’t overshadow the friendly, small-town vibe that residents cherish. It’s a city that strikes a rare balance, offering the convenience of urban life without sacrificing the soul of a community.
Families flock to Mount Juliet for its reputable schools and abundant recreational activities. The proximity to Nashville also means that world-class entertainment and cultural experiences are just a short drive away.
Choosing Mount Juliet means embracing a community where life is easygoing yet full of possibilities. It stands as the most livable city in East Tennessee, offering a lifestyle that’s hard to find elsewhere. In this hidden gem in Tennessee, every day is an opportunity to enjoy the best of Tennessee living.
9. Johnson City
Tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Johnson City is a hidden treasure that embodies the essence of East Tennessee living. This city, with its blend of natural beauty and urban conveniences, is a standout among the best cities to live in East Tennessee.
Johnson City’s downtown is a hub of art, culture, and history. Live music and street activities highlight how alive the city is, and local breweries and eateries reveal its diverse cuisine.
Many parks and walkways allow people to enjoy nature at its best. Adventurers will welcome the city’s proximity to the Appalachian Trail and Watauga Lake.
People who choose to live in Johnson City are part of a group that values both nature and cities. It’s a city that answers the question of what are the best places to live in East Tennessee. It has a unique blend of mountain charm and city vibrancy. Here, life is an adventure, and the community is your guide.
At the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains lies Maryville. It is a serene haven blending outdoor adventures with small-town allure. Celebrated as one of the best East Tennessee towns to live in, its picturesque setting and tranquil lifestyle are truly captivating.
The city’s heart beats with a friendly, welcoming community spirit. Downtown Maryville is a hub of local activity. This is where quaint shops and cafes line the streets, inviting residents and visitors to indulge in the simple pleasures of life. The city prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. This is evident in its local festivals and community events that bring people together.
Outdoor enthusiasts find a paradise in Maryville. It has easy access to hiking, biking, and exploring the natural wonders of the nearby national park. The city’s commitment to preserving its natural surroundings ensures that residents can enjoy a high quality of life. The place is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.
Choosing Maryville means embracing a peaceful lifestyle. It is where the beauty of nature and the warmth of community converge. It’s a place to move in East Tennessee that offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet provides all the essentials for a fulfilling life. In Maryville, every day feels like a step closer to nature.
Collierville, a jewel in the crown of Tennessee, whispers tales of a bygone era through its historic town square and charming streets. This town, exuding a timeless appeal, is undeniably one of the best towns to live in East Tennessee. If you are one of those seeking a blend of heritage and modern comfort, this is the right place for you.
Life in Collierville is a canvas painted with the brushstrokes of community spirit and rich history. The town square, a focal point of activity, hosts events that bring the community together, creating a bond that’s rare in modern times. It’s a place where neighbors meet, stories are shared, and memories are made.
Beyond its nostalgic charm, Collierville offers top-notch amenities. It includes some of the best schools in the region, making it a haven for families. The blend of quality living, safety, and a strong sense of community makes it more than just a place to reside; it’s a place to belong.
Choosing Collierville means stepping into a storybook setting. The place is where the past is celebrated and the future is embraced with open arms. It’s a place that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern convenience. Collierville is a place where every day feels like a step back in time, yet forward in living.
As you meander along the shores of Old Hickory Lake, you’ll find Hendersonville. It is a city that harmoniously blends waterfront living with suburban convenience. This city is more than just a picturesque locale. It is recognized as one of the top cities in East Tennessee to live in. Hendersonville offers a lifestyle that’s both tranquil and full of opportunity.
Hendersonville is attractive for its peaceful setting near Nashville. The city is great for outdoor lovers. It offers plenty of activities like boating, fishing, and lakeside fun. Its greenways and parks add to the charm, creating a natural oasis that residents cherish.
Beyond the scenic beauty, Hendersonville is a hub of community activity. The local schools are among the area’s best. They draw families seeking good education and living quality. The city has a lively community life. It holds festivals and events all year, creating a strong sense of unity.
Living in Hendersonville means enjoying the best of both worlds. The calm of a lakeside town and the vivacity of a thriving neighborhood are examples. It’s one of the best East Tennessee cities for those who dream of a life where every day feels like a vacation, yet every need is right at their doorstep.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Places to Live in East Tennessee
Interested in discovering more about East Tennessee’s prime living locations? Here are some frequently asked questions I often encounter regarding the top places to reside in East Tennessee.
What is the safest city in Eastern Tennessee?
Germantown stands out as one of the safest cities in Eastern Tennessee. Renowned for its low crime rates and strong sense of community, it offers residents a serene and secure environment. This city’s dedication to safety is evident in its well-maintained neighborhoods and active community policing. The collaborative efforts between law enforcement and residents create a tight-knit community where safety is a shared priority.
Families particularly appreciate Germantown for its safe parks and excellent schools, making it an ideal place to raise children. The city’s safety, combined with its quality of life, makes it a top choice for those seeking a secure and peaceful home in Eastern Tennessee.
Is Eastern Tennessee a nice place to live?
Eastern Tennessee is indeed a nice place to live, offering a diverse range of lifestyles to suit different preferences. Its blend of natural beauty, historical richness, and growing urban areas makes it appealing for a variety of reasons.
- Natural Beauty: With the Great Smoky Mountains as a backdrop, residents enjoy stunning landscapes and abundant outdoor activities, from hiking and fishing to scenic drives.
- Cultural Richness: The area is steeped in history and culture, with vibrant music scenes, festivals, and historical sites.
- Community Spirit: Towns in Eastern Tennessee are known for their strong sense of community and friendly residents.
- Cost of Living: Generally, the cost of living in Eastern Tennessee is lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for families and retirees.
- Quality of Life: With excellent schools, low crime rates in many areas, and a slower pace of life, it offers a high quality of living.
Eastern Tennessee combines the charm of small-town life with the conveniences of larger cities, making it a great place to live in East Tennessee for those seeking balance.
Where is the best place to raise a family in East Tennessee?
In East Tennessee, Maryville is often lauded as one of the best places to raise a family. This charming city offers a perfect blend of factors that contribute to a wholesome family life:
- Educational Excellence: Maryville boasts some of the best schools in the region, with a strong emphasis on academic achievement and extracurricular activities.
- Safe and Friendly Community: The city is known for its low crime rates and friendly neighborhoods, creating a safe and nurturing environment for children.
- Recreational Opportunities: With its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains and numerous parks and recreational areas, Maryville provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and family bonding.
- Cultural and Community Events: The city hosts various family-friendly events and festivals throughout the year, fostering a sense of community and belonging.
- Quality of Life: With its affordable housing, high-quality healthcare, and a sense of tight-knit community, Maryville stands out as a nice city to live in East Tennessee for families.
Maryville’s combination of safety, education, and community spirit makes it an ideal choice for families seeking a supportive and engaging environment to grow in.
What major cities are in East Tennessee?
East Tennessee is home to several major cities, each offering its unique charm and amenities:
- Knoxville: Known as the region’s largest city, Knoxville combines urban living with a dose of Southeastern charm. It’s a hub for arts, culture, and education, home to the University of Tennessee.
- Chattanooga: Famous for its scenic beauty, Chattanooga lies along the Tennessee River, offering an array of outdoor activities and a rich cultural scene.
- Johnson City: Part of the Tri-Cities area, Johnson City is known for its natural beauty, historical significance, and as a gateway to outdoor adventures in the Appalachian Mountains.
- Kingsport: Another part of the Tri-Cities, Kingsport boasts a blend of historic sites, natural beauty, and a strong industrial and business sector.
- Bristol: Straddling the Virginia-Tennessee border, Bristol is famous for its rich music history, particularly country music, and the Bristol Motor Speedway.
These cities, with their diverse characteristics, make East Tennessee a region rich in cultural, historical, and natural attractions, highlighting it as one of the best areas to live in East Tennessee.
What makes East Tennessee so special?
East Tennessee’s special charm lies in a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture:
- Natural Beauty: The region is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including the Great Smoky Mountains, rolling hills, and lush valleys. This natural backdrop offers endless outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to scenic drives and water sports.
- Rich Historical Heritage: East Tennessee is steeped in history, from its pivotal role in the Civil War to its Appalachian cultural roots. This is reflected in its many historical sites, museums, and cultural landmarks.
- Vibrant Music Scene: The area has a deep musical heritage, especially in genres like country and bluegrass. Cities like Bristol, known as the “Birthplace of Country Music,” contribute to this rich musical tapestry.
- Diverse Cities and Towns: From the urban vibes of Knoxville and Chattanooga to the quaint small towns scattered throughout the region, there’s a place for every lifestyle.
- Community and Spirit: The region is known for its friendly communities, where neighbors know each other and there’s a strong sense of belonging.
- Festivals and Events: East Tennessee hosts numerous festivals and events year-round, celebrating everything from its musical heritage to local crafts and cuisine.
These elements combine to make East Tennessee not just a place to visit, but a region with a soul, making it one of the best places to live in East Tennessee.
Why move to East Tennessee?
Moving to East Tennessee offers a range of benefits that cater to diverse lifestyles and preferences:
- Cost of Living: Generally lower than the national average, it provides an affordable lifestyle with good housing options.
- Natural Scenery: The region’s stunning landscapes, including the Great Smoky Mountains, offer breathtaking views and abundant outdoor activities.
- Strong Sense of Community: East Tennessee is known for its warm and welcoming communities, where newcomers quickly feel at home.
- Educational Opportunities: With several reputable universities and excellent schools, it’s an ideal place for educational growth.
- Cultural Richness: The area boasts a deep historical and musical heritage, with a vibrant arts scene, festivals, and cultural events.
- Growing Job Market: The region’s economy is diverse and growing, offering opportunities in various sectors.
- Mild Climate: The climate is generally mild with four distinct seasons, allowing residents to enjoy a variety of activities year-round.
- Healthcare Access: East Tennessee has excellent healthcare facilities and services.
These factors make East Tennessee not just a place to live, but a lifestyle choice, offering a high quality of life. It’s a region that answers the question, where is the best place to live in East Tennessee? with its blend of affordability, beauty, and community spirit.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Live in East Tennessee
East Tennessee is a region known for its stunning nature, rich culture, and strong community spirit. It offers a diverse and vibrant way of life. The area has something for everyone. You’ll find the bustling cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga. There’s also the quiet charm of Maryville and Franklin.
Looking for an affordable yet quality lifestyle? Johnson City and Collierville are great options. They show how East Tennessee is both budget-friendly and appealing. Want a lively city feel with a close community? Germantown and Brentwood are perfect choices.
In this region, happiness and a good quality of life are key. Chattanooga, for example, is one of the most livable cities in East Tennessee. These cities combine the fun of outdoor activities with the benefits of city living. They offer a life that’s both rewarding and enjoyable.
So, when considering where to live in East Tennessee, the choice is as diverse as the region itself. It’s a question of what you value most in your living situation. Whether drawn by job prospects, scenic beauty, or the richness of community life, one thing is certain: East Tennessee is not just a place to live; it’s a way of life, offering experiences and opportunities as unique as its landscapes.