QUALITY OF LIFE
Whether you’re walking outside Neyland Stadium on a Saturday just as the leaves start to turn the color of Tennessee’s football jerseys, or you’re bundled up with your children for ice skating at Market Square, it doesn't take long to see Knoxville has just about everything anyone could want in a place to call home.
Full of history and culture, Knoxville’s Appalachian roots are obvious from the music you can hear at one of our historic theaters or the scenery you’ll enjoy floating along the Tennessee River on one of more than five major lake ways in the region. If you prefer dry land, a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just 30 miles from downtown Knoxville. As you might imagine, that rugged history played a huge role in Knoxville’s past and continues to help shape the region today.
Combine the area’s picturesque beauty with the low cost of living and it is easy to see how people quickly fall in love with this region. The state of Tennessee does not collect income tax and Knoxville’s cost of living index is 15.8 percent lower than the U.S. average and the median home price is $148,000.
It all adds up to a pretty good deal, considering Knoxville is a college town, home to the state’s flagship university, the University of Tennessee. UT’s campus offers East Tennessee everything you’d expect from the state’s flagship university including academic opportunities and top-tier intercollegiate athletics. Knoxville also offers the Knoxville Ice Bears, professional hockey at the Civic Coliseum, and the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Club, the Chicago Cubs ‘AA’ minor league affiliate just a short drive away.
A short walk from campus, downtown Knoxville has emerged as a thriving hub for socialization. A hot spot for happy hour, dinner, or even Sunday brunch, downtown’s Market Square offers free parking on nights and weekends as well as a number of shops and restaurants. Next to Market Square, Gay Street features the Tennessee and Bijou Theaters. Both facilities offer well-known musical acts, stage productions, and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra calls the Tennessee Theater home.
Outside of downtown, head either east or west and you’ll find more places and activities to explore along with your family. West Knox County offers the area’s finest shopping at West Town Mall and Turkey Creek. At Turkey Creek you will find everything from small boutiques to big-box stores. Head east and you might wind up at the Knoxville Zoo, offering you the chance to gaze at dozens of animal species ranging from red pandas to gorillas to cheetahs.
If you ever need to leave, the intersection of two main interstates leave you plenty of open road to travel. Also, McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) sits just 12 miles from downtown. McGhee Tyson has the runways to handle any aircraft and with seven major airlines serving 21 non-stop flights, you can get wherever you need to go and be back home in Knoxville in no time at all.