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What You Should Know About Living in Knoxville, TN

People are moving to Knoxville in search of good jobs, good housing, good schools, good food, and great scenery. The city has plenty of each and more besides. It’s not only one of America’s most affordable places, but one of the most fun. For anyone thinking of moving to the Marble City, here is what you should know about living in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Knoxville, TN Moving Companies

Low Cost of Living

The cost of living in Knoxville is 14 percent below the national average, mostly due to its incredible housing market. Median rent is under $1,000 a month, compared with over $2,000 for the rest of the country. But if you’d prefer to buy, the average house sells for $90,000 less than it does in Nashville and at least $10,000 less than in most other cities. Groceries, fuel, power, and utilities are cheaper too. What’s more, there’s no state income tax. Property taxes are rock bottom too, making it even easier to save money.

Growing Job Market & Rising Wages

Knoxville was a major marble distributor in the early 20th century, when it first became known as “the Marble City.” The state's marble industry has sadly declined significantly since then. At the moment, only one company still supplies Tennessee marble, the Tennessee Marble Company, which operates six quarries outside of town.

Fortunately, Knoxville’s economy is significantly more diverse than it was 100 years ago. It’s become a hub for trade, transportation, logistics, healthcare, financial services, business services, and manufacturing. The city is a major producer of clothing, plastics, pleasure boats, processed foods, aluminum products, computer peripherals, electrical equipment, and motor vehicles supplies.

There are also several major public institutions in the area, whose revenue helps keep the economy on an even keel. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of the largest centers for supercomputing, clean energy, neutron research, national security, and advanced production technology in the United States. The Tennessee Valley Authority supplies power to seven million homes in the Tennessee Basin. And finally, the University of Tennessee, which not only creates a skilled and educated workforce, but employs thousands of workers, researchers, and educators as well.

This fusion of public and private investment has turned Knoxville into a regional juggernaut. The city added 390,000 jobs in 2022 and is expected to grow by over 37 percent over the next ten years, compared with just 33 percent for the rest of the country. Unemployment has fallen so low, companies keep raising wages as an incentive for new workers. Over the past twelve months, pay for the average Knoxvillian has jumped almost eight percent!

Aerial view of Knoxville, TN

Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains

Knoxville is a beautiful city surrounded by beautiful countryside. To the south lie the Great Smoky Mountains, over eight hundred square miles of forests, valleys, and fog-shrouded peaks. Visitors can hike, camp, climb, bike, and horseback ride through miles of pristine wilderness. Hundreds of species roam the area, including black bears, wild turkeys, and white-tailed deer.

There are dozens of historic buildings to explore, relics from the first pioneers. At night, you can watch fireflies dancing around you. In autumn, the hills are awash in color. In summer, wildflowers transform the landscape. Winter brings peace and solitude, and a chance to scale the park’s frozen waterfalls.

Even more amazing are the region’s waterways: 17,000 miles of rivers, brooks, and streams that cut through the rugged terrain and feed Tennessee’s reservoirs. Floating down the river offers endless opportunities for bird watchers and nature lovers. Osprey, heron, geese, kingfishers, and bald eagles love to swoop overhead, between the trees, hunting for the bluegill, muskie, perch, trout, catfish, walleye, and bass that live just below the surface.

The river system is dotted with dams and lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Known as the Great Lakes of the South, they’re more than a source of power and drinking water. They’re one of America’s most famous attractions, a popular destination for boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing.


Knoxville’s Southern hospitality doesn’t only apply to humans, but canines as well. There are seven dog parks in the city and more than 90 vets, providing your pet with all the care and exercise it needs. Dogs are also welcome at most of the city’s shops, restaurants, and breweries. In fact, walking and caring for your dog is so easy in Knoxville, one survey named it America’s eighth best city for dog owners.

Active City Center

Knoxville is a bustling city full of shops, clubs, art, and culture all within easy reach. More than a place for work, Knoxville’s business district is a diverse and thriving community with plenty of fun spaces to relax and explore, especially:

  • Market Square. One of Knoxville’s most historic locations, Market Square is the place to eat, play, work, and live downtown. It’s where you’ll find the Knoxville Farmers Market, as well as an eclectic collection of shops and bars, such as Bernadette’s Crystal Barrooms, the Lost Tavern, and Earth to Old City, one of the best places to pick up unique odds and ends. It's also host to open-air concerts, outdoor movie nights, and Shakespeare on the Square. During Christmas, residents come here to walk the Peppermint Trail: a series of cafes, bars, and bakeries offering fresh holiday treats to festive partygoers.
  • Strong Alley. The most photographed spot in downtown Knoxville. Artists have turned this side street into a living canvas, covered with bold, striking, and imaginative paintings, showcasing their unique, Southern style. With new murals going up every few weeks, no trip down the alley is ever quite the same.
  • Gay Street. Home to more than 70 restaurants and two of the best sounding rooms in America: the Tennessee and Bijou Theaters. The street's lined with galleries and art collectives as well, not to mention bowling alleys, karaoke bars, movie houses, a retro arcade, and a country radio house where you can watch folk, bluegrass, and rockabilly artists perform live on-air every Monday-Thursday.

Fantastic Food and Drink

Hungry people living in Knoxville have plenty of ways to sate their appetite. Anyone who loves barbeque, soul food, and traditional Southern cuisine will find more than enough to satisfy them. There are so many joints serving fried green tomatoes, candied yams, collard greens, fried chicken, fried catfish, smoked meatloaf, smoked sausage, beef brisket, and St. Louis ribs, you could visit a different one each night for a month and never eat at the same place twice.

But on the off chance you’re not in the mood for Southern cooking, Knoxville has plenty of other options as well. There’s Japanese ramen, Greek baklava, Neapolitan pizza, Thai curry, Brazilian barbeque, freshly shucked oysters, locally-sourced hamburgers, grass-fed steak, smoked chicken wings, and barbacoa empanadas.

Thirsty Knoxvillians prefer to spend their time on the ale trail, a collection of craft breweries responsible for some of the finest beer in the Old South. Notable stops include:

  • Pretentious Beer Co. Prides itself on serving unique beers in a unique setting. Enjoy IPAs, pilsners, sours, and seltzers while relaxing at their handcrafted bartop or in custom-made furniture.
  • Schulz Bräu Brewing Company. Located inside a massive hangar, designed to resemble a Medieval castle, with a magnificent beer garden just outside, this is the place to come when you’re craving German lager.
  • Alliance Brewing Company. Serves beer, cider, and soda from twelve taps. Tasters, half-pints, and full-pints are available seven days a week. Their passion for quality shines through with every sip, especially in their Cubano style beer.
  • Crafty Bastard Brewery. An artisanal, small-batch brewery that pours traditional and experimental sours, lagers, stouts, bitters, tripels, märzens, and IPAs.
  • Last Days of Autumn Brewing. A family owned taproom that hosts live music and events. A place you can party while enjoying some of the tastiest IPAs, pale ales, dark ales, wheat ales, and Mexican lagers in town.

High Performing Schools and Universities

Students living in Knoxville attend one of the finest school systems in the state. Graduation rates are high. Math and reading scores are above average. And Advanced Placement courses are widely available. District schools use instructional reading support and real-world projects to increase proficiency and narrow achievement gaps among its student population. Alongside its extensive college preparation curriculum, Knoxville also offers career and technical courses for students working to attain industry certifications that will help advance their careers after graduation.

Students interested in higher education have plenty of opportunities as well. The University of Tennessee offers over 360 degree programs, including marketing, engineering, psychology, business management, and biomedical science. At nearby South College, students can choose from over 60 certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Religious students can study theology, ministry, and pastoral leadership at Crown College, just north of town.

Moving to Knoxville, Tennessee

Just as no two homes are alike, no two moves are alike. That’s why Allied moving plans are tailored to fit your needs, budget, and schedule. We not only ship your belongings, we help with packing, assembly, and storage. There is no job too big, no distance too great. Contact us today for a free quote!