9 of the Best Places to Live in Tennessee Right Now

Exploring Some Of The Top Cities To Live In Tennessee

Today’s review is about the best places to live in Tennessee. It’s a great article for anyone thinking seriously about moving to the Volunteer State. So, let’s dive right in…

Best Places To Live In Tennessee

Our list of the best cities in Tennessee to live in includes:

  1. Chattanooga
  2. Cookeville
  3. Franklin
  4. Johnson City
  5. Knoxville
  6. Maryville
  7. Memphis
  8. Murfreesboro
  9. Nashville

Next, let’s go through some highlights for each of these Tennessee cities…

best places to live in TennesseePin

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

And just in case good ‘ole Tennessee doesn’t end up being the state for you. Check out all of our…

Lifestyle Guides by Region

Otherwise, stick with me here for the best cities for living in Tennessee right now!

Please note that I have a more detailed review targeting each one of these cities specifically. Including a link to take you there.

So when you see a place that meets your interests. Then you can dive a little bit deeper into the lifestyle it offers.

Now, onto today’s Tennessee cities…


Chattanooga on Tennessee mapPin

Let’s get started in the southeast corner of the state. I’m talking about the town known as Gig City.

Why is it called that? Well…

Because it was the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer 1 gigabit-per-second fiber internet service to all residents and businesses. They did so in 2010.

And several years later, the city rolled out a 10 gigabit-per-second service. For the fastest speeds on the internet superhighway!

Advantages Of Living In Chattanooga

  • Vibrant economy
  • Hub for technology businesses
  • Low cost of living
  • Lots of scenic beauty
  • Nestled in the Appalachian and Cumberland mountains
  • Access to the Cumberland trail
  • Fun year-round festivals
  • Active music and cultural scene

Disadvantages Of Living In Chattanooga

Overall, Chattanooga is very family-friendly. However, you will want to choose your exact location carefully.

Because not everyone in the community shares equally in the rewards of living here. So, be on the lookout for…

  • Poverty and income inequality
  • Higher crime rates
  • Subpar public schools

Things To Know Before Moving To Chattanooga

Although the city’s popularity has brought in many new residents. The area still offers a closer community feel about it. Yet with amenities offered by larger cities.

Some residents say it is the perfect combination of big and small. All of it is placed in a beautiful outdoorsy setting.

Next, we head due north.

To a lesser-known, yet still, a great city. Considered one of the best places to live in Tennessee for retirees…


Cookeville on Tennessee mapPin
Cookeville in Eastern Tennessee

About 30,000 residents call Cookeville home. And they live roughly a 1-hour drive away from Nashville.

Advantages Of Living In Cookeville

  • Low cost of living
  • Four weather seasons
  • Beautiful nearby state parks
  • Dozens of area golf courses
  • Tennessee Tech University
  • Appalachian Center for Craft
  • Cookeville Performing Arts Center
  • Cumberland County Playhouse

Disadvantages Of Living In Cookeville

  • Little racial and ethnic diversity
  • Limited economy
  • Lower median household incomes

Things To Know Before Moving To Cookeville

Cookeville benefits from its quality school system, excellent location, and access to a beautiful outdoor setting. Making it one of the best cities to retire in Tennessee.

Its low Tennessee cost of living vs the national average can help anyone. Make life here more comfortable. Even when on a tight budget, whether you choose to rent or own.

Next, being budget-friendly isn’t a strong point of our next city. However, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for!


Franklin on Tennessee mapPin

As we settle down in Franklin. Located in Williamson County which is right in the heart of middle Tennessee.

Just 20 miles from Nashville. Nearly 80,000 people love calling this Tennessee city home.

Advantages Of Living In Franklin

  • Friendly residents
  • Lots of hometown pride
  • Main street
  • Low crime rates
  • Good schools
  • Abundant green spaces
  • Harlinsdale Farm
  • Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival
  • Natchez Trace Parkway
  • A robust economy and job market

Disadvantages Of Living In Franklin

  • High median home values
  • Homeowners associations
  • Expensive cost of living
  • Traffic congestion

Things To Know Before Moving To Franklin

Yes. Franklin is one of the best areas to live in Tennessee. No doubt about it.

But, only if you can afford it. Because living here comes with a hefty price tag.

On the other hand, to make your dollars go a little farther. Consider this next area of Tennessee.

Johnson City

Johnson City: best places to live in TennesseePin

Located in the far northeast corner of the state is beautiful Johnson City. A place where you will find a rural feel. Being more remote from the state’s major population centers.

Advantages Of Living In Johnson City

  • A small-town atmosphere
  • Friendly residents
  • The Blue Ridge mountains
  • The Smoky mountains
  • Outdoor beauty and activities
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Low cost of living

Disadvantages Of Living In Johnson City

  • Snow and winter weather
  • Fewer big city amenities

Things To Know Before Moving To Johnson City

For anyone looking for a safe, family-friendly smaller town. In an area with tons of scenic beauty. This may be your spot.

Just don’t move here looking for tons of nightlife, cultural activities, and higher-paying professional jobs.

Because you won’t find much of that. Compared to the bigger cities on today’s list of best Tennessee places to live.

On the other hand, you may find more of those types of things. As we head into another one of the best cities to live in Tennessee.


Knoxville on Tennessee mapPin

Because you have arrived in Knoxville, also located in eastern Tennessee. And sometimes referred to as the gateway to the Smoky Mountains.

Advantages Of Living In Knoxville

  • Moderate cost of living
  • Access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Numerous state parks
  • Beautiful lakes
  • University of Tennessee
  • Access to the arts and culture
  • Good schools
  • Minimal traffic congestion
  • Healthy economy
  • Productive job market

Disadvantages Of Living In Knoxville

  • Crazy for their college football team
  • Higher crime rates
  • Mostly conservative viewpoints

Things To Know Before Moving To Knoxville

Knoxville is the kind of place where you can have it all!

Access to higher education. A robust economy to make a good wage. And the mountains for getting away from it all when you need to.

They are all reasons why people enjoy eastern Tennessee living.

So whether you are working, retired, or somewhere in between. Knoxville is one of the best places to live in Tennessee for families. And, for some very good reasons.

Next, let’s stay in the same geographic area. And consider another great place to live in Tennessee…


Maryville on Tennessee mapPin
Maryville, TN – Just outside GSMNP

This time, we are discussing Maryville living.

A family-friendly place. That is less than a half-hour driving distance due south of Knoxville. Perhaps it is one of the best towns to live in Tennessee.

Let’s see why…

Advantages Of Living In Maryville

  • Quaint downtown
  • Blount County Library
  • Maryville College
  • Access to the Appalachian Mountains
  • Low cost of living
  • Good public schools
  • Low crime rate

Disadvantages Of Living In Maryville

  • Not much nightlife
  • Limited ethnic and racial diversity

Things To Know Before Moving To Maryville

Maryville stands out as an excellent place to retire in Tennessee. And a great small town to raise a family.

And when you things that a larger city has to offer. Knoxville is not far away.

Next, let’s head to the far southwest corner of the state. For yet another excellent place to move here in Tennessee.


Memphis on Tennessee mapPin

For music, festivals, the arts, and outdoor recreational options all in a metropolitan setting. Consider moving to Memphis.

Advantages Of Living In Memphis

  • Affordable median home values
  • A moderate overall cost of living
  • The University of Memphis
  • Beale Street
  • Graceland
  • The Orpheum Theatre
  • Cannon Center for Performing Arts
  • Year-round festivals and fairs
  • Shelby Farms park
  • Botanic garden and zoo

Disadvantages Of Living In Memphis

  • Higher crime and poverty
  • Excessive property and sales taxes

Things To Know Before Moving To Memphis

For a more urban lifestyle. With a warm winter climate. And plenty of nightlife and entertainment options.

Be sure to consider moving to Memphis. If those are the types of things you are looking for.

Next, let’s head back to middle Tennessee…


Murfreesboro on Tennessee state mapPin

Murfreesboro is the largest suburb of Nashville. The city’s proximity to everything middle Tennessee offers has made it a popular spot.

Advantages Of Living In Murfreesboro

  • The downtown square
  • A family-friendly place
  • Excellent public schools
  • Home to Middle Tennessee State University
  • 35 miles from Nashville
  • 2 local hospitals
  • More affordable than Nashville

Disadvantages Of Living In Murfreesboro

  • The rising cost of living
  • Population growth
  • Traffic congestion
  • Limited public transportation
  • Not much nightlife

Things To Know Before Moving To Murfreesboro

Murfreesboro’s cost of living is roughly the same as the U.S. national average.

So, it’s not an inexpensive place to live. However, it is an affordable urban alternative in middle Tennessee when compared to Nashiville or Franklin.

Speaking of Nashville, that is where we are heading next.


Nashville on Tennessee mapPin

Where we find out about life in the state capital of Nashville. Representing the largest city in Tennessee based on population.

Advantages Of Living In Nashville

  • Growing economy
  • Robust job market
  • Good public schools
  • Plenty of higher education options
  • Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Music Row
  • Cumberland River
  • Easy access to Old Hickory Lake
  • Pro sports teams
  • Great nightlife
  • Amazing restaurants
  • Access to quality healthcare

Disadvantages Of Living In Nashville

  • Pricey real estate market
  • The rapidly rising cost of living
  • Traffic congestion
  • Tourists

Things To Know Before Moving To Nashville

There isn’t much not to like about Nashville. But, its growing popularity has come at a price.

As long as you can afford it. And don’t mind living in a bustling metropolitan area. Then Nashville is a great place to enjoy life!

Okay. That covers them all.

So, allow me to wrap up. With a few parting thoughts…

Pinterest pin: best cities to live in TennesseePin

Best Places To Live In Tennessee

Each of today’s places in Tennessee is unique. And represents a wonderful place to live

But don’t forget about some of the great things regarding the entire state. No matter where you choose to move.

I list them here. So as not to repeat them for every city making today’s list.

Such as these good reasons why people are moving to the Tennessee:

  • No state income taxes
  • Reasonable property taxes
  • Temperate winter weather
  • Excellent southern food

On the other hand, I want to present a balanced case.

Since Tennessee living, in general, does have some negative things you should consider. When picking the perfect spot to relocate.

For example,

  • Limited public transportation options
  • High sales tax rates
  • Hot and humid summers
  • Tough on seasonal allergy sufferers
  • Risk of severe tornados

So carefully consider all the aspects of some of the best cities to live in Tennessee:

  1. Chattanooga
  2. Cookeville
  3. Franklin
  4. Johnson City
  5. Knoxville
  6. Maryville
  7. Memphis
  8. Murfreesboro
  9. Nashville

Finally, moving is a big deal. So…

Top Resources For Making Your Move To Tennessee

It impacts so many aspects of your life. Especially your finances.

As a result, here are some of my favorite resources to help your moving process go smoothly. And a little more profitably.

conclusions about best places to live in TennesseePin
The conclusion is written on a whiteboard

Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Best Places To Live In Tennessee