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Best Places to Live in Tennessee

As that old Grateful Dead tune goes “Tennessee, Tennessee, There ain’t no place I’d rather be…”

Although some folks are always going to poke fun at the south (We’re looking at you, Yankees!), Tennessee is arguably one of the best places in the US to live. The Volunteer State, as it’s known, is home to a thriving music scene, high-quality whiskey distilleries, and the Great Smokey Mountains. Not only was it the birthplace of the blues, but it’s was also the place that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, famously established his Graceland home.

Tennessee is a state that boasts a very low cost of living, making it an ideal place to live if you’re working with a lower budget. Honestly, it’s hard to think of many reasons you wouldn’t want to live in Tennessee. If you prefer the city, places like Nashville or Knoxville offer many of the same amenities, creature comforts, and cultural draws that the bigger and more famous US cities do. And if you’re looking to live out in the country, you’d be hard-pressed to find a state that offers more beautiful scenery.

While defining the best places to live in Tennessee ultimately boils down to a matter of personal preference, you’ll likely find much to love about the state if you give it a chance. Keep watching to see our picks of the best places to live in Tennessee.


With a population just over 40,000, Brentwood, Tennessee, is one of the most beautiful and safe Nashville suburbs. Brentwood regularly ranks not only as one of the best places to live in Tennessee but also in the US overall. It’s known for it’s rolling hills and lush greenery and is home to 13 parks featuring hundreds of acres of open space. Nature lovers, hikers, and outdoor sports fans will fall in love with Brentwood, but since it’s so close to Nashville, so will city slickers.

Brentwood is a fairly affluent suburb. As such, not everyone can afford to live here, but if you can, it’s an excellent place to put down roots and raise a family. It’s also conveniently located with easy access to the Nashville international airport. So, if you have to travel a lot for work, you’re in luck.


You can’t go wrong with Chatt Town, as the locals like to call it. It’s a city that perfectly blends elements of both city and country life. It’s arguably one of the prettiest places to live in the state, and it’s located just north of the Tennessee-Georgia state line.

Known as the ‘Scenic City’, Chattanooga is an unbelievably desirable place to call home. The city’s natural beauty owes a lot to the fact that it’s located directly between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. Around town, you’ll find popular attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium and the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. 


Franklin is located in Williamson county and has a population of approximately 68,000 residents. Median home value is much lower than wealthier towns near Nashville like Brentwood, and the area has received national recognition for it’s fabulous school system.

Franklin furthermore is a very historic city owing to it’s connection with the Civil War. It features a much beloved and business-rich downtown, and with over 200 eateries, you’ll never have a craving that you can’t fill. In fact, you won’t find as many restaurants lumped together in one location anywhere in the state as you will in Franklin.

Garden & Gun Magazine named Franklin the “Best Southern Town’ back in 2014. And really, it’s not hard to see why!


This Nashville suburb is located along Old Hikory Lake’s shores. Because of it’s location, Hendersonville offers residents an abundance of water activities to participate in. From fishing to boating and swimming, you’ll fall in love with the town’s 26 miles of lakefront shoreline.

But even if access to the water isn’t your primary concern, you’ll also find numerous parks, historical and natural landmarks, and a broad range of other recreational opportunities in and around town. Be sure to check out the Streets of Indian Lake. This entertainment complex is home to many shops and restaurants that offer residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy themselves.


If you’re looking to relocate to a place that’s ideal for raising a family, Nolensville certainly sits high atop the list. This relatively small Nashville suburb is very proud of it’s tight-knit community which features a high number of growing families.

Seeing as how it’s located between two of the state’s most significant metro areas, Nashville and Murfreesboro, it, unfortunately, can be a bit pricey in terms of rent. Even so, with it’s highly-rated schools and bustling local economy, Nolensville continues to attract plenty of new residents every year. Plus, given it’s proximity to Nashville, you’ll be close to all of the dining and entertainment options that the big city has to offer.

Mt. Juliet

This town is about twenty miles east of Nashville. It’s also known for being one of the best places in the state to start a small business. So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or are thinking about relocating your already established business, this is one town that you should definitely put on your radar.

Cost of living is about average, but there are quite a few residents who are blessed with relatively high incomes. The town is located between Percy Priest Lake and the Cumberland River. This explains how it earned it’s nickname of ‘the city between the lakes’.

If you’re looking for a small town with a lot of charm and an abundance of natural beauty, Mt. Juliet just might be an ideal place for you to set up shop and call home.


This rapidly growing town in Sullivan County offers a ton restaurants, countless live entertainment options, and is just all around a fantastic place to live. It’s located just 10 miles away from the Tennessee-Virginia border and is within just a short drive from many national and state parks as well as quite a few lakes.

Once again, this is a town that’s perfect for lovers of the great outdoors, and since the cost of living is relatively low, you won’t have to spend an arm and leg to live here.


As the most populous metropolitan area in the state, Nashville naturally has a little bit of something for everyone. It’s widely regarded as one of the best cities in the state to live and for anyone that’s ever been there before, you already know that it’s one of the prettiest.

Nashville draws in millions of visitors every year thanks to the fact that it’s considered to be the capital of country music. With all of that tourism, a ton of money is pumped back into the community. So, if you’re thinking about starting a business, there are very few better places in the state to do so.

This state capital sits along the Cumberland river. It’s bustling downtown district features countless live music venues, bars, restaurants, museums, and other noteworthy attractions, including the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Suffice to say, you’ll never have a dull night when hitting up the town in Nashville.


For those who want to live in the Appalachians, Townsend is a great place to start looking for your dream mountain home. It’s located about a forty-five-minute drive from Knoxville and sits along the Little River. Technically, Townsend is connected to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s also adjacent to Cades Cove. Because of this, it’s one of the most picturesque small towns in all of Tennessee. In fact, It’s considered to be one of three ‘gateways’ to the Smokies.

Beautiful natural countryside merges with a lovely small-town vibe, making this an ideal town for anyone that enjoys getting lost in nature and indulging in outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and hunting. Around the year, Townsend plays host to many festivals, and it’s also known for having many shops, galleries, boutiques, and cafes in it’s quaint downtown area.


Germantown should be one of the first places you look into when planning to move to Tennessee. It’s a suburb of Memphis that has a population of just under 40,000. Cost of living is low, and housing is very affordable. The average income is also among one of the highest in the state. Unlike it’s closest city, the crime rate is fairly low.

Schools in Germantown are among some of the highest-rated in Tennessee. There is also a high percentage of households with children.

Oak Ridge

This planned city has been doing it’s own thing since the 1950s. In the last seven decades, it’s developed a thriving community atmosphere with an open suburban feel. Initially, Oak Ridge was created to develop technologies that would help end the Second World War. Today, it’s home to the Department of Energy as well as a national laboratory. Because of this, it’s 30,000 residents have plenty of excellent work opportunities.

Oak Ridge has some of the lowest crime rates in Tennessee, while it’s cost of living and housing rates are well below the US average.


This city is one of the fastest-growing metros in the state. Today, it has a population of just over 136,000. The influx in residents hasn’t resulted in an increase in housing costs – let’s just hope that doesn’t change – and transplants can look forward to enrolling their kids in very solid school system. There are plenty of public parks to enjoy as well as rich culture and dining scene.

Murfreesboro is just about 40 minutes from downtown Nashville. It’s also home to Middle Tennessee State University.


Located in the foothills of the Smokies, Gatlinburg has some of the most affordable housing of any major town in Tennessee. There are more than two dozen schools in the area, and the majority of those are highly rated.

But what really draws new residents to town is the Gatlinburg lifestyle. Both locals and out-of-towners alike can be found in high numbers enjoying the downtown streets with it’s many breweries, distilleries, restaurants, museums, attractions, and theaters.

Plus, within just a few minute’s drive, you can be hiking through some of the largest mountains on the east coast. While you might think of Gatlinburg and it’s neighbor Pigeon Forge as being tourist towns, they’re also some of the best places in the states to call home.

With that, we’ll go ahead and wrap this video up. But before you go, take a moment to drop us a line in the comments with some of your thoughts on living in Tennessee. Did you know that there were so many fantastic places to live in the state, and where would you consider moving to in Tennessee if you had the chance? Let us know.

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