Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains at the headwaters of the Tennessee River, Knoxville, Tennessee is the state's second oldest city and the center of East Tennessee's economy, culture, and history. With more than 183,000 residents, Knoxville is also Tennessee's third largest city. Knoxville is home of the University of Tennessee, Fountainhead College of Technology, Johnson University and three additional colleges. The city has a rich arts community with many festivals throughout the year such as the Dogwood Arts Festival and Big Ears Festival. Knoxville is also home to cable TV’s HGTV, which is one of the fastest growing networks in cable history. Forbes Magazine ranked Knoxville among the "Top 5 of America's Most Affordable Cities" and among the top five "Best Places for Career and Business".
Before European settlement, the valley was the hunting grounds of the Cherokee Indians. James White, the founder of Knoxville, established his home in 1786 as a fort and cluster of cabins. By 1791, the community was renamed Knoxville and enjoyed status as capital of the Southwest Territory. The city of Knoxville was incorporated in 1815. In the 1800s, Knoxville took advantage of its river access, railroad connections, and geographical location to become one of the leading distribution centers in the South. During The Civil War, Knoxville was the site of a historic 17-day siege that ended with the Union keeping control of East Tennessee for the remainder of the war. After the war, Knoxville rebuilt its economy through rich natural resources that included lumber, coal, and marble. In 1982, Knoxville was host to a World’s Fair and 11 million visitors. Explore more Knoxville history with the following links.
Knoxville is hot in the summer, though not quite as hot as areas to the south and west due to the city’s higher elevations. The daily average temperature in July is 78 °F with temperatures reaching a high of 90 °F. Winters are generally cool, with occasional small amounts of snow. Winter nights will dip below freezing, but daytime freezing temperatures are rare. Get local climate and current weather information for Knoxville using these links.
Public transportation in Knoxville is provided by Knoxville Area Transit (KAT), with buses, road trolleys, and paratransit vehicles. Regular routes connect the downtown area, most residential areas and universities with major shopping centers throughout the city. The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority operates two airports in the city. McGhee Tyson Airport hosts commercial flights on six airlines, and the Knoxville Downtown Island Airport provides facilities for private and corporate air transportation.
Cost of Living in Knoxville
Knoxville is a highly affordable community with a cost of living well below the national average. Housing is especially affordable, with a median price more than 20% below the national average. See how far your budget will go when living in Knoxville using these links.
Public schools in Knoxville are part of the Knox County Schools system, which oversees 50 elementary, 14 middle, 14 high, and 11 adult centers serving over 56,000 students. The system includes 5 magnet schools and a STEM academy.
Knoxville’s top-ranked hospital is the University of Tennessee Medical Center. This hospital is a general medical facility and also a teaching hospital. UT Medical Center is the number two hospital in the state of Tennessee and is nationally ranked for its specialty in pulmonology. If you’re planning a move to Knoxville, be sure to know the medical resources available to you:
Knoxville Real Estate
Great housing is plentiful in Knoxville with a variety of homes to match any budget. Some of the nicest homes are on the west side of the city, and you can easily choose to live out in the country and still be just minutes from downtown. Explore homes currently on the market with the following links.
Knoxville has more than 85 hotels offering a variety of accommodations. The Crowne Plaza Knoxville offers luxury and downtown convenience with name-brand reliability. The Oliver Hotel is also downtown, located in a historic building and appointed with handcrafted furniture. The Maplehurst Inn is an 18th century mansion located in Knoxville’s historic district. For longer stays, consider one of the many vacation cabins available for rent in the nearby Smoky Mountains. Find great places to stay in Knoxville using these links.
Knoxville has one of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita in the nation with more than 900 eateries to choose from. For a real treat, take a tour of Knoxville’s local and chef-owned establishments. Start with breakfast at Cafe 4 on Union Avenue or The French Market on South Gay Street for crêpes. Tomato Head in Market Square is the place to stop for lunch, and when dinner rolls around, choose between Gosh, an Ethiopian restaurant, or Brazeiro’s, a Brazilian steakhouse that is highly rated by locals. For more culinary adventures, use the following links.
Things to Do in Knoxville
There’s never a lack of things to do in downtown Knoxville. Market Square, Volunteer Landing and World’s Fair Park feature a variety of concerts and festivals year-round, and the historic Old City is always hopping. Knoxville is also home to more than 20 museums and seven historical houses. The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture features collections in anthropology, archaeology, decorative arts, local history, and natural history. The Discover Center is a great place for kids to play and learn, and the Knoxville Zoo is the area’s largest year-round attraction with 800 animals from around the world. Knoxville is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, so when it’s time to explore the great outdoors, you are just 30 minutes away from adventure! Discover more fun things to do in Knoxville using these links.