Whenever someone asks me whether they should move to Tennessee, I always tell them that it depends on what they are looking for. Tennessee has a lot to offer, but it also has its drawbacks. In this article, I will list some of the pros and cons of living in Tennessee!
Where Is Tennessee?
Tennessee is a state in the Southern United States. It was admitted into the Union on June 1, 1796, as the sixteenth state and named after King Charles II of England. Tennessee became part of the Appalachians when they formed centuries ago. It shares borders with Kentucky to its north, Virginia to its northeast, Georgia to its south, Arkansas to its west, and Missouri at its northwest corner. The Appalachian Mountains run through eastern Tennessee, so there are many scenic areas, such as Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which is one of America’s most visited national parks!
The weather in Tennessee is temperate with all four seasons! Winters are mild with occasional snowfall in Nashville; summers are hot and humid, with the highest temperatures usually appearing in mid-July. The average annual rainfall is around 50 to 60 inches across Tennessee.
Living In Tennesse
People in Tennessee enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle and the opportunity to be surrounded by nature. There are many small towns located throughout the state that offer residents a chance to get to know their neighbors and enjoy a more straightforward way of life. While some larger cities in Tennessee, such as Memphis and Nashville, still have a small-town feel. Tennesseans are friendly and welcoming, and they take great pride in their state.
For those who love the outdoors and nature, Tennessee may be the perfect place to call home. With mountains and rivers located throughout this state, there are many options for enjoying nature. While living here, you’ll enjoy four distinct seasons with warm weather during the summer months of June, July, August, and September. The most popular time to visit the state is during the autumn months when the leaves are changing colors, adding a splash of color to all of Tennessee’s natural beauty.
Residents here appreciate their history and heritage. While they love being able to visit world-famous landmarks such as Graceland or stroll down Beale Street in Memphis, they also enjoy sharing stories and having visitors experience their rural life.
Tennessee is an outdoor lover’s paradise. There are so many state parks, natural sites, and activities that you can do all year round. Don’t like the cold? Then enjoy our mild winters! If you do want to experience a colder climate, then check out Pigeon Forge in the winter months for snow activities or head up to North Carolina for a beautiful snow-covered landscape.
Cost of Living in Tennessee
A lower cost of living than the national average, which allows you to keep your expenses low when starting or when on a fixed income. This includes housing costs (Tennessee’s median home cost is $146,000 compared to $205,000 for the nation), utilities, and public transportation costs.
The state has a low cost of living and many small businesses that hire people on a casual basis. If you are looking for part-time or flexible work, it is relatively easy to find these jobs in Tennessee.
Tennessee has no state income tax! You can keep your hard-earned money :).
Living in Tennessee Pros
Good Climate –
For most people, Tennessee’s climate is perfect. Not too hot in summer, not too cold in winter (it snows in the Smoky Mountains but not that much). There are four seasons, though spring can sometimes be rainy, and there is a lot of rain around November-December (hurricane season).
Plenty of Green –
Forests cover much of the mountains. In summer, it is covered by green leaves, in winter covered by white snow. There are a lot of trees everywhere, and even though Tennessee is a big state, there aren’t many places that look entirely desolate (however, East Tennesse has a lot more dead trees than West Tennesse).
The capital of Tennessee is also a big city with 14th most significant population in the United States. It’s not as big as New York, but it doesn’t feel like a small town either (like, for example, Kansas City). Nashville has 629 653 inhabitants (2015 estimate), making it bigger than cities like San Francisco, Denver, or Philadelphia. It has a lot of attractions for young people making it an excellent place to live if you are in this age group.
Nashville is the birthplace of country music, and there is still a lot of music fans living here (and not only). You can see some concerts almost any day somewhere in town. Country-music capital also means that you will hear many country music in public places.
Nashville has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States, especially for violent crimes (with Memphis being an exception). There are lesser drug-related problems compared to many other big cities. It’s also safer to walk at night downtown than, for example, in Chicago. Every city does have its bad parts, but overall, Nashville is safe.
Affordable Living –
Tennessee State isn’t massive, but there are still many things to do. There are some excellent universities in this state where you can get higher education. Tennessee is also known for its low taxes with no income tax and relatively low living costs (although gas prices are pretty high). There are always jobs to be found in Tennessee.
Remote Work –
Even though many jobs require you to be present in an office every day, there are some positions that allow remote working. You can find telecommuting jobs on sites like Telecommunity or FlexJobs (where you also get the list of companies that hire telecommuters).
Suitable for Outdoorsy People –
Tennessee is perfect for outdoor activities. You can go skiing or snowboarding in winter, whitewater rafting, and kayaking in summer. There are a lot of great parks with activities like climbing, zip-line, etc. If you love fishing, Tennessee has some of the best opportunities for this activity (check out Tennessee Valley Authority).
Tennessee has some of the best national parks in the United States (the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area). There are also many state parks with great opportunities for outdoor activities.
Living in Tennessee cons
Bad Weather –
Tennessee has four seasons, but they don’t last very long here. October-November can get pretty cold, and then it warms up in April-May. Sometimes it snows even in the middle of summer (yes, that happened once). If you want to get out of the cold, you will have to go further south (like Florida).
Long-distance from Other Places –
Tennessee borders eight states, and it’s pretty far from many bigger cities like Chicago or San Francisco. You can get there within a day or two, but if you want to visit your friends/family, it will take about one day each way.
Crime Rate –
Even though the overall crime rate is relatively low, there are some neighborhoods in Nashville that have higher than average crime rates. You also have to watch out for pickpockets and con people trying to sell things for a lot of money on the street (and then they show you what looks like a different card).
There Are No Good Colleges in Your City –
If you want to study somewhere else, Tennessee is a good place as there are a lot of universities in this state (Nashville alone has Vanderbilt and Tennessee State). University education is also relatively cheap.
Best Places to Live in Tennessee
We are giving Nashville the first place on our list for a reason. This is probably the best place to live if you are young since there are many good universities here (Vanderbilt, Lipscomb University, etc.) There are also many good jobs here (especially in health care – Nashville is known as the heart of Tennessee).
And if you like country music, you will be right at home. And speaking about homes, Nashville is one of the most affordable places to buy a house among major US cities. There are great opportunities for outdoorsy people, and the marina at the center of this city is an excellent spot to spend your weekend.
Memphis is also known as the birthplace of rock and roll music. You will be able to experience that history if you visit Graceland or Sun Studio (where Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded their songs). Even though many people know Memphis has a high crime rate, there are several safe neighborhoods here.
Knoxville is another city in Tennessee with good universities (the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University) and a low cost of living. It’s also close to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, one of the best places in the US for scientific research. And if you like mountains, you will love Great Smoky Mountains National Park (located just two hours away).
Another city located near beautiful mountains is Chattanooga. There are many great trails for hiking. Chattanooga is also known as the city of bridges because there are 446 bridges in Chattanooga (in total).
Source: Flickr user Paulette L Motzko Clarksville has a meager crime rate, and it’s near Fort Campbell, which is one of the largest army bases in the US. If you are a fan of military history, you will enjoy visiting the nearby Kentucky Museum. Botanic Garden in Clarksville is also unique with its fountains that are especially beautiful during Christmas.
The bottom line – Tennessee has many great places to live, and it’s worth considering this state if you want to move somewhere new. Nashville is the best place to live, but other good cities like Memphis or Knoxville.
It may seem like a small and insignificant state, but Tennessee has something for everyone. If you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of hiking trails and parks that will keep you active all year round. Families with kids can find many high-quality public schools in cities such as Knoxville or Nashville, so they won’t have to worry about their children’s education. You’ll also be able to find jobs here if you’re seeking employment because it is one of the fastest-growing states in America! All these factors make Tennessee an excellent place to live, no matter what your lifestyle preferences happen to be.