2023 Best (And Worst) Places To Live In Tennessee [See Our List]
Has Tennessee been on your radar? Maybe you have been interested in the mild weather, lower cost of living, and cheaper houses that Tennessee has to offer. Or you look great in cowboy boots and just need the right locale to strut your stuff. Well, we have you covered. We’ll walk you through some of the best places to live in Tennessee.
What Part Of Tennessee Is Best To Live In?
Tennessee will look great on you. With its low cost of living, low taxes, mild weather, and cheaper housing, there’s never been a more perfect time to make a move. There are many great places to live in Tennessee. The key is to find the locale that works for you.
Check out our overview of moving to Tennessee. We’ve highlighted some of the best places to live in different categories below.
Best Places For Families To Live In Tennessee
There are a lot of great communities to live in when you move into Tennessee with your family. We’ve highlighted some of the best ones below.
You will see Brentwood on our lists for best communities for families, the safest place to live, the wealthiest, and more! It’s a city that checks a lot of boxes. Brentwood is just 15 minutes south of Nashville, and people desire it for its luxury and convenience. The schools in Brentwood are top-notch, and you will find many award-winning private and public school options. Homes in Brentwood are typically large, on large lots, and are single-family homes. So this is perfect for you and your family. It may sound too good to be true, but Brentwood’s biggest downside is its price. Brentwood is one of the most expensive places to live in Tennessee. But residents think it’s worth it for the good schools, safety, and proximity to Nashville. You will find home prices over $800,000, and it’s hard to find this many amenities anywhere else.
You can find Nolensville on the northeastern border between Davidson and Williamson County. It’s an excellent option for families looking for new homes near Nashville and the airport. Just a few short years ago, Nolensville would have been considered a sleepy small-town, but now there are plenty of neighborhoods and businesses to keep residents accommodated.
The average income for Nolensville is around $130,000, and you can find homes ranging from $450,000- $650,000. On the Williamson County side of Nolensville, schools are top-ranked. So you will not find a better space for new homes in Williamson County that keeps you close to Nashville for commuting. It’s what attracts so many families to the area, and Nolensville is the perfect community to settle down in with your family.
Two Germantown neighborhoods come up when you research moving to Tennessee. In this case, we recommend Germantown, the suburb of Memphis, as an excellent choice for families. The population of Germantown is around 40,000, and it will take you about twenty minutes to commute to your job if you work in Memphis.
Housing in Germantown can be on the pricey side at $375,000 to $450,000 for a single-family home. But this may be worth it when you consider the schools, parks, shopping, and restaurants in this West Tennessee town. If you’re looking for the perfect community to raise a family in Memphis, don’t sleep on Germantown.
Safest Places To Live In Tennessee
Your new home should bring you a sense of security. That’s why we have compiled our list of safest places to live in Tennessee.
There are many Williamson County towns that we can highlight, but Franklin has an excellent safety record. Crime is 47% below the national average, and most crime relates to theft. As a suburb of Nashville, this statistic is astounding. Franklin is bigger than nearby places like Brentwood, with over 80,000 people. But beyond the stats, Franklin feels like a safe place to settle down. Its historic downtown area is the perfect place to leisurely stroll and sip a coffee. Franklin’s numerous outdoor areas are perfect for a sunny day, its farmer’s market is the best in the state, and the civil war history is immense.
Is your ideal location east of Nashville? Mount Juliet is a safe suburb option around 20 miles east of Nashville. Its low crime rates, good schools, and access to restaurants have attracted many families to the area. This has caused housing prices to rise to around $400,000- $600,000. It’s also nicknamed the “City Between the Lakes” for good reason. You have access to Percy Priest and Old Hickory, so it's a safe option for the outdoor enthusiast.
Spring Hill is another suburb south of Nashville. You can find Spring Hill at the southernmost part of Williamson County and in parts of Maury County. Spring Hill is between Franklin and Columbia and is home to over 40,000 residents. Violent crime is exceptionally low at 1.72 per 1,000 people. To put that stat into perspective, the national average is 4.49 per 1,000. So, Spring Hill is a safe bet for its security, schools, and cost of living. Houses range from $350,000 to $750,000.
Best Places For Retirees To Live In Tennessee
Tennessee is an excellent place for retirees. Here are a few reasons to consider Tennessee as your leading destination for retirement.
- Affordable housing and cost of living
- Favorable tax rate: no capital gains tax and no state income tax
- Mild climate with a beautiful landscape that you can enjoy year-round
- Access to exceptional healthcare
- Many historical and cultural amenities
It’s a no-brainer. Tennessee should be on your radar for retirement. We are going to highlight a few communities that you should consider. But if you need to do a deep dive check out:
- Our guide for best places to retire in Tennessee
- Our guide for best retirement communities in Tennessee
Tellico Lake is a nature lover’s dream. Located between Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains, Tellico Lake is a beautiful waterfront community boasting 357 miles of shoreline. You can choose a home for sale at Tellico Lake and spend your days boating, hiking, fishing, and golfing. There are also numerous retirement communities in the area if this is more your cup of tea. If beautiful natural scenery with access to a bigger city is what you’re after, check out Tellico Lake.
You may not find homes listed in Leiper’s Fork on many real estate apps. That’s because most of the addresses are officially listed as Franklin in this sleepy community. But Leiper’s Fork is a picturesque rural settlement located west of downtown Franklin. Homes typically come with acreage. The Leiper’s Fork village is a dreamy place to grab breakfast, hear some live music, or just go on a joyride through the beautiful landscape. Located on the Natchez Trace Parkway, you will love how peaceful a slower pace of life can be in The Fork!
Similar to Tellico Lake, Loudon is a lakeside community perfect for retirement. Loudon will offer a slower pace with its rural feel. You can spend your time boating, fishing, walking, or just reading in a beautiful location. Loudon’s crime rate is well below the national average and relatively affordable compared to other places on this list. You will also be close to Knoxville when you need access to quality healthcare.
Best Lake Communities In Tennessee
Have you been dreaming of a move to Tennessee that includes more time with your boat? Tennessee is home to many lakes, and Tennesseans love their time on the water. Turn your dream into reality with some of these lake communities.
Old Hickory Lake
Old Hickory is a great option if you want a lake community with access to Nashville. Old Hickory is overwhelmingly residential so you can have a house on the water here. When you live in Old Hickory, you have access to 8 marinas, 41 boat ramps, and two campgrounds. Old Hickory Village is also highly sought after for its charm and more historic homes. This is an excellent option for a lakeside community around Nashville.
Norris Lake may just be Tennessee’s most beautiful lake. Located in East Tennessee, Norris Lake boasts a backdrop of The Great Smoky Mountains. It’s a great option for someone who doesn’t mind living further away from a city. People come from all over to boat in Norris Lake because it is both clean and clear, and the sheer beauty of the Smokies can’t be beaten.
You can find Chickamauga in East Tennessee in Hamilton, Meigs, and Rhea counties. Hamilton County is home to Chattanooga and borders Georgia. If you’re a person who loves the outdoors but still needs an urban atmosphere, then Chickamauga Lake may be a great option. Chattanooga is a great city for outdoor enthusiasts because there are simply so many outdoor activities in Chattanooga. Towns like Soddy-Daisy and Lakesite are great places to look if you’re trying to find a home on Chickamauga Lake.
Best Places For Outdoor Enthusiasts In Tennessee
Tennessee has one of the most breathtaking natural environments in the country. There's so much natural beauty in the Volunteer State from lakes, rivers, mountains, rolling hillsides, and sunny farmland. But we also have a mild climate so that you can enjoy the environment year-round with four distinct seasons. (Read more about Tennessee’s weather here.) The whole state is great for outdoor enthusiasts, but you should consider a few places.
Signal Mountain is a suburb of Chattanooga and is on a mountain with numerous hiking trails. Once you go down the mountain, you can access water such as Chickamauga Lake or the Tennessee River. Most houses in Signal Mountain have stunning views. Schools are top-rated, homes are affordable, and the quality of life can’t be beaten for an outdoor enthusiast. You will also love living near Chattanooga, arguably Tennessee’s big city for the outdoor enthusiast.
Hendersonville is a suburb of Nashville that offers a lot for outdoor enthusiasts. Hendersonville offers lakeside properties, a top school system, and an affordable cost of living. This would be a great option if you need family-friendly and your weekends consist of outdoor activities like biking or fishing. You will get so much out of living in Hendersonville, and at just 20 miles from Nashville, you will have all of the benefits of living near a major city.
Maryville is a small town in east Tennessee. Knoxville is the closest big city near Maryville. You will find a low cost of living and big benefits from life in Maryville. First off, Maryville provides quick access to the Smoky Mountains National Park. The Smoky Mountain National Park is a dream for hikers, campers, climbers, and bikers. You will also have easy access to numerous lakes, rivers, and rolling hills in the region. Maryville has a small college that gives its downtown area a quaint historic feel. You should check out what Maryville in Blount County has to offer!
What are the top cities to live in Tennessee?
The Volunteer State has diverse options for city life. Tennessee cities are smaller than coastal cities. But what they lack in size, they make up in big personality. That’s because West, East, and Middle Tennessee are all distinct. Each city will take on the character of these regions. Here's the low-down of Tennessee’s best cities.
Nashville may just have it all: culture, jobs, and family-friendly communities. Nashville is the birthplace of country music, and there is no shortage of live music. Music City is home to venues like the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, Ascend Amphitheater, Brooklyn Bowl, and The Basement. But one of the great things about Nashville is you can hear great live music pretty much anywhere. Beyond the music scene, Nashville has some considerable job opportunities. Companies are relocating to Nashville left and right, and you can score a new gig with your big move. Once you get here, you will find there’s a neighborhood for everyone – even those who prefer a walkable city. Nashville is full of opportunities for the rest of your family as well. There are numerous high-quality school districts in the Nashville area. There’s something for everyone in this city on the Cumberland River, that’s why the housing market is so hot.
If the mountains are more your scene, Knoxville delivers. Knoxville is in East Tennessee and at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. As the self-proclaimed “scruffiest city,” Knoxville has great outdoor vibes. You will love having the Great Smoky Mountains in your backyard. Knoxville is also home to the University of Tennessee, so Saturday football games are huge for Knoxvillians in the fall. You will also enjoy access to some of the best waterfront properties in Tennessee when you move to Knoxville, where living costs are also low. Farragut is a family-friendly suburb in Knoxville with excellent schools.
Chattanooga is the smallest of Tennessee’s major cities and is also located in East Tennessee on the Georgia border. Chattanoogans love their outdoor lifestyle with many opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, boating, and more. You will love the homes in Chattanooga because so many come with a view. There are also many artistic and alternative neighborhoods in this small Tennessee city. There’s no wonder that tourism is king in Chattanooga. It is truly a great place to be. Check out Lookout Mountain if you’re looking for suburbs in Chattanooga, and if you’re looking for award-winning schoolsMcCallie High School cannot be beaten on academic rigor.
Located in West Tennessee on the Mississippi River, Memphis is a great option. History has shaped Memphis and given the city its own distinct flair. Memphis is grounded in blues music, Elvis, and the Civil Rights Movement. You can see this with the great live music and nightlife scene with Beale Street, Memphis BBQ, and many other cultural opportunities. The cost of living is low to get a lot for your money. You will have many options to choose from in Memphis neighborhoods. With companies like Fed Ex headquartered here, you will also find many different job opportunities. Collierville is a family-friendly Memphis area suburb that you should consider as well.
Best Places For Singles & Young Professionals To Live In Tennessee
If you’re planning your move to Tennessee and you’re worried the state is too rural for you as a single person or young professional, your best bet is to stick close to Tennessee’s major cities. Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga are good fits for young adults. Nashville is especially great, and people are flocking from all over the country to get to the scene. Check out our in-depth article on where singles and young professionals should live in Nashville.
LGBT-Friendly Places To Live In Tennessee
Are you worried about moving to Tennessee and clashing with people who oppose LGBT ways of life? This is a genuine concern for many people. Tennessee cities tend to be more progressive than surrounding areas. So narrow down your home search to Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville when moving to Tennessee.
Most Expensive Places To Live In Tennessee
Maybe you want to live in luxury when you make a move to Tennessee, well we have you covered. Tennessee is home to some seriously affluent communities. You will have access to the communities, prestige, services, schools, and amenities of living among the wealthy. Here are a few of the most affluent communities for you to consider before making your move.
With a median household income of $299,069 and a median property value of $853,000, Forest Hills is a pricey place to lay down roots. Forest Hills is a town inside of Davidson County but opted out from becoming a part of the consolidated metropolitan government in Nashville. So you get your own exclusive enclave, but you still get to call Nashville home. Forest Hills has many treed lots with large homes. There are no businesses here, so you will have to head over to Nashville or Brentwood for services, stores, and restaurants. But if a big house and a big yard is your thing in Nashville, then this may be your place.
Belle Meade is what you think of when you hear “old money.” You will find that driving along Belle Meade Boulevard with the large historic homes and exclusive country clubs. Like Forest Hills, Belle Meade is a separate town that exists inside of Davidson County in Nashville. Residents here make on average $220,417 per household each year, and the average property value comes in at $860,000. This is also the place to live if you want to live close to Percy Warner Park (Nashville’s best park) and have access to all of the amenities of west Nashville.
While Brentwood deserves to be on this top three, we’ve included Oak Hill because Brentwood has been mentioned above. Oak Hill is just a few miles north of Brentwood. Like Belle Meade and Forest Hills, it is a community that decided not to consolidate into Metro Nashville’s government. So it is another enclave of wealth inside of Nashville. Oak Hill has one of Nashville’s most popular treasures: Radnor Lake. This is a lake with hiking trails that exists inside Nashville. (It’s impossible to even get a parking spot on a beautiful day because it’s so popular.) Oak Hill boasts large houses on large lots and is home to many celebrities and country singers. A house in Oak Hill will average in value at $719,000. So you will pay to live in this exclusive community.
Most Affordable Places To Live In Tennessee
Your move to Tennessee should simplify your life. Part of that should involve getting more for your money when you’re home shopping. You can find many affordable options in rural areas in Tennessee. So if you have ever dreamed of having that perfect piece of land or farm, now’s the time to make that move. But there are also a few suburbs and neighborhoods in the Nashville area where you can get a great deal. We’ve highlighted three below.
Kingston Springs is a suburb of Nashville that still has a more rural feel. This will mean you can find good deals on houses and land, but you will not find every amenity in town. You can get to Nashville amenities in around half an hour. Kingston Springs is also an excellent option for those wanting a deal near Nashville. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, this tight-knit community is on the Harpeth River. This is the perfect river for a float or kayak ride in the summer. There’s also a free splash pad at Burns Park that kids love to flock to in the summer, and you will also love Skyking Pizza as well. Don’t sleep on Kingston Springs, where great deals still exist.
Watertown is another rural town in Nashville’s orbit. Watertown is east of Nashville near Lebanon. Like Kingston Springs, you will have to drive to find many amenities. But the tradeoff is that you can get some serious land and house for your money. Average home prices start at $275,000, and this is an affordable option for those looking for some wide-open space. Watertown’s sleepy small-town vibes are the perfect way to unwind, and the town is home to an old-school drive-in movie theater called The Stardust.
If country living isn’t for you, try Murfreesboro for an affordable option. Murfreesboro is a much larger option with over 140,000 residents. There are many different places to live in the ‘Boro, and all options are a good value. With its larger size, Murfreesboro offers all of the amenities of a smaller city. Families love Murfreesboro for its small-town feel, good schools, and conveniences. Murfreesboro is located 40 minutes east of Nashville, with median home prices around $300,000.
Our Final Thoughts
There are so many reasons to move to Tennessee. You will not find more bang for your buck anywhere else from the low cost of living, outdoor activities, mild weather, and different options throughout the state. If you’re thinking about making the move, contact Felix Homes at 615-354-5731 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your big move. We help people relocate to Tennessee, and we think Tennessee would look great on you!