Stretching from the Great Smoky Mountains to just east of the Mississippi River, Tennessee is a southeastern state steeped in history and hospitality. Home to the “Birthplace of the Blues” (Memphis) and the “Country Music Capital of the World” (Nashville), not to mention Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton, music is a huge part of the culture. Along with southern charm, simple living, captivating nature, high quality of life, and low cost of living, there are plenty of reasons people of all ages have been flocking to The Volunteer State.
Want to see what else Tennessee has to offer? To give you a better sense of what to expect, Great Guys Moving has included this informative guide. You’ll find a wealth of info:
- Things to Know Before Moving to TN
- Best Places to Live in the State
- Interstate Moving Checklist
- Quality Moving Services
Living in Tennessee: What to Know Before Moving to Tennessee
Considering a move to Tennessee? With a population of 6.8 million, Tennessee ranks as the #23 most populous state in the country. At an area of 41,143 square miles, Tennessee is the 36th largest state. The Volunteer State (nicknamed for the many TN volunteer soldiers who fought in the War of 1812) offers plenty of benefits and some drawbacks to mull over before making your decision where to move.
Pros and Cons of Living in Tennessee
- Cost of living: With rates 15–25% below the national average, Tennessee offers extremely competitive prices on housing, utilities, groceries, and goods.
- No income taxes: TN is one of only nine states that does not have a personal income tax. However, the state does tax interest and dividends at a rate of 6% through the Hall Tax.
- Autumn colors: New England is not the only place to witness the changing of the seasons. The Great Smoky Mountains offer an especially stunning backdrop to view the display.
- Food & drink: Home to Jack Daniels, Tennessee whiskey is world-renowned. Not to be outdone, the state is known for its mouthwatering BBQ, catfish, cornbread, and a slew of other dishes.
- Music: Famously known for country music – Nashville is considered the country music capital of the world – Tennessee also has deep roots in jazz, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll.
- Fairs & Festivals: Enjoy world-class festivals and fairs: Bonnaroo, CMA Music Festival, Daffodil Day, Trails & Trilliums, Mountain Laurel Festival, Slawburger Festival, and much more.
- Outdoor Activities: In addition to the above, the state offers loads of other activities that the outdoorsy-types will love. Half a dozen rivers and almost 1400 lakes mean endless opportunity for water sports (white water rafting, kayaking, and more), while the mountains in and around Sevier County offer breathtaking scenery for hiking, mountain biking, and even snow skiing.
- Southern history & charm: From Graceland to the National Civil Rights Museum, Tennessee is filled with historical sites. The state is also known for its classic Southern hospitality and kind, helpful people.
- Sales tax: Tennessee doesn’t have an income tax but makes up for it by having the nation’s highest sales tax. The current rate is 7%.
- Hot summers: The state generally has mild winters, but when it comes to the summer months, be prepared for humidity brutal heat waves in July and August.
- Transportation: Though TN cities have decent public transportation, you’ll probably need access to a vehicle to get around the state in a reasonable amount of time.
- Making friends: In general, it can be harder to connect with people at a deeper level here. Folks tend to stick to their own tribes, and outsiders may find it difficult to make new friends with the locals.
- Growth: With their growing popularity, cities like Memphis and Nashville are dealing with rising living expenses, traffic congestion, and other urban growth issues.
- Gang violence: Unfortunately, East Tennessee (specifically in the tri-cities area) is home to every major gang found in the United States.
- Severe weather: From the occasional tornado to tropical depressions and intense thunderstorms, severe weather is inescapable in this southeastern state.
- Landlocked: If you’re a beach person, you may struggle with the fact that Tennessee is completely landlocked. TN borders eight other states, including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. However, if you can’t live without water recreation, the state does offer plenty of lakes and rivers!
- Property Taxes: 0.74%. Tennessee has the 14th lowest effective real-estate tax in the country.
- Sales Tax: 7%. Local taxes range from 0% to 3%. When local taxes combine with the state’s base rate, total taxes can range from 7% to 10%.
- Income Tax: No personal income tax. The state only taxes interest and dividends income.
Cheaper to Buy or Rent? According to Clever’s Top 20 Cheapest States to Buy a House in 2019 study, Tennessee is one of the most affordable states in which to purchase a home. Nashville has become a popular destination for more and more folks, but the city still offers great bargains.
- Median Home Value: $167,300
- Median Rental Expense: $704 for a one-bedroom and $870 for a two-bedroom rental
Cheapest Places to Live in Tennessee:
- Union City
- La Follette
Cost of Living
As to be expected with such reasonable housing and rental prices, the overall cost of living in Tennessee is a bargain as well. With the 6th lowest cost of living index in America (88.7), the state is well below the national average. Here’s a breakdown – a score below 100 indicates a lower expense than the US average: groceries (93.3), housing (80.2), transportation (89.7), and health (88.5).
Using the Family Budget Calculator, let’s take a look at the average individual expenses in two Tennessee cities. We’ll use a family of four, with two adults and two kids, for these examples.
- Housing = $1,002
- Food = $792
- Childcare = $1,052
- Transportation = $1,170
- Healthcare = $1,170
- Other necessities = $724
- Taxes = $693
- Grand total = $6,602 per month or $79,228 per year
- Housing = $833
- Food = $747
- Childcare = $918
- Transportation = $1,125
- Healthcare = $1,125
- Other necessities = $637
- Taxes = $599
- Grand total = $5,983 per month or $71,800 per year
Weather & Natural Disasters
In general, this landlocked state has a temperate climate, comprised of mild winters and hot summers. The climate varies widely, however, according to region and elevation. Nashville, for example, has a mean annual temperature of just under 60 degrees. In the mountainous east, temps tend to be quite lower. The warmest parts of the state include the Central Basin and the Sequatchie Valley.
- Average rainfall – 53 inches
- Average snowfall – 5 inches
- Average sunny days – 207
- Summer high temperature – 88 degrees
- Winter low temperature – 27 degrees
According to The US States Most Prone to Natural Disasters by World Atlas, Tennessee is ranked #16.
Natural Disaster Threats & Risks:
- Flash floods
- Winter storms
- Tropical depression
- Severe thunderstorms
Economy & Job Market
According to Best States Ranking by US News, Tennessee has an overall economy ranking of #30. The scorecard is based on several factors: healthcare (#43), education (#35), economy (#12), infrastructure (#13), opportunity (#26), fiscal stability (#1), crime & corrections (#43), and natural environment (#37).
As you can see, the state ranks 1st in fiscal stability and 12th in economy. The median salary is $28,764, while the median income by household is approximately $52,375. Tennessee’s GDP is roughly $350 billion, making it the 18th largest state economy.
- Professional and business services
- Eastman Chemical Co.
- Southern Tennessee Medical Center
- Covenant Transportation Group
- Davidson Hotels & Resorts
- Babcock & Wilcox
- Nissan North America
- Baptist Memorial
- Lockheed Martin
- McKee Foods
- Gaylord Entertainment Company
Looking for work in Tennessee? Here are some useful resources for finding employment opportunities:
- TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development: Find a Job
- Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
- Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin
Traffic and Transportation
Public transportation is found in every county in the state.
Public Transit Systems:
- Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA)
- Jackson Transit Authority
- Delta Human Resource Agency (DHRA)
- Northwest Tennessee Human Resource Agency (NWTHRA)
- Southwest Human Resource Agency (SWHRA)
- Nashville MTA
- Music City Star
- Regional Transit Authority (RTA)
- Murfreesboro Rover
- Clarksville Transit System
- Franklin Transit Authority
- Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency (MCHRA)
- South Central Tennessee Development District (SCTDD)
- Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA)
- Gatlinburg Mass Transit
- Pigeon Forge Fun Time Trolley
- Johnson City Transit
- Kingsport Area Transit System
- Bristol Tennessee Transit
- Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA)
- Knoxville Area Transit (KAT)
- Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) Transit
- Cleveland Urban Area Transit System (CUATS)
- Lakeway Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (LAMPTO) Transit
- Oak Ridge Transit
- Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency (SETHRA)
- East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA)
- Northeast Tennessee Rural Public Transit (NET Trans)
The state currently has over 1,070 miles of interstate highways.
Primary Interstate Highways:
- Interstate 3
- Interstate 22
- Interstate 24
- Interstate 26
- Interstate 40
- Interstate 55
- Interstate 65
- Interstate 69
- Interstate 75
- Interstate 81
The four biggest cities in Tennessee: Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and Knoxville, all rank in the bottom half of the country for traffic congestion. According to the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, Nashville ranked #20. Residents lost an average of 87 hours in traffic in 2018, which resulted in a cost of about $1,220 per driver. In total, congestion costs Tennesseans over $1.7 billion per year.
Things to Do
If there’s one thing Tennesseans don’t want for, it’s activities to keep them busy!
- Food & Drink:
- Jack Daniel’s Distillery: No stop to Tennessee is complete without a visit to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. This Lynchburg institution has been making its renowned Tennessee Whiskey since 1864. The Distillery offers tours and whiskey tastings seven days a week.
- BBQ: Each Southern state dishes up its own variety of BBQ, but the version Tennessee puts out focuses on perfecting smoked pork. In the western part of the state, you’ll find Memphis BBQ, which is characterized by dry or wet pork ribs doused in a tomato-based sauce. Elsewhere, you’ll find pork shoulder served with vinegar-based sauce, much like the barbecue in the Carolinas. Sink your teeth into the finest TN BBQ at Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que, A and R Bar-B-Que, or Payne’s Bar-B-Q in Memphis or Martin’s Bar-B-Que in Nashville.
- Fried Chicken: Along with BBQ, Tennesseans also love their fried chicken. Though it started in Nashville, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken now has 7 locations around the U.S. dishing up its famous fried chicken. Spice levels range from “Southern” (no heat) to “Shut the Cluck Up!” (burn notice), so there’s an appropriate level of “hot” for every palate. Rival fried chicken chain, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, started in Mason, TN in 1953, when the Bonners perfected their family recipe for the deep-fried bird. Today, you can get your Gus’s fix at one of dozens of locations across the U.S.
- Beer & Wine: With the state loosening restrictions on the commercial production of beer, TN has become a new mecca for craft beer lovers. Nashville favorites include Jackalope Brewing, famous for its berry-infused rendition of Hefeweisen, and Bearded Iris, known for its hazy ales. For those who prefer drinks of the grape variety, Tennessee also has an impressive number of wineries. Primarily concentrated in the Middle and Eastern parts of the state, most vineyards grow French hybrid varietals that can handle Tennessee’s humid climate. For a full list of wine trails across the state, click here.
- Festivals & Fairs: Tennessee State Fair, Antiques & Garden Show in Nashville, Dogwood Arts Festival, Bonnaroo, CMA Music Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Daffodil Day, Africa in April, Trails & Trilliums, Mountain Laurel Festival, American Artisan Festival, Slawburger Festival, Chattanooga River Bend Music Festival, Great Tennessee Air Show, July 4th Celebration, Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree & Crafts Festival, Big Bass Splash, Wilson County Fair, Memphis Music & Heritage Festival
- Parks & Nature:
- Caves: Boasting over 10,000 of these geological wonders, the state of Tennessee has more caves than any other. Venture into these underground ecosystems at one of the many caverns that offers tours, including Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Tuckaleechee Caverns.
- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Straddling both Tennessee and North Carolina these beautiful mountains offer an abundance of recreational opportunities and astounding scenery. If you’re into hiking, the challenging trails throughout the park won’t disappoint. Mount LeConte is one of the tallest mountains in the Appalachian Range; the peak is accessible via the heart-pounding Alum Cave Trail, which ascends almost 2700 feet over 5.5 strenuous miles. Or, you can check out Clingman’s Dome, which surpasses LeConte it in terms of peak elevation, but is accessible via road for those not up to hoofing it on the trail. Other notable areas in the park include the Chimneys Picnic Area, Spruce Flats Falls, and Ramsey Cascades, which all offer lovely views of picturesque waterfalls. If you visit in the spring, be sure to take a drive along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to see the stunning wildflowers. This scenic drive just outside of Gatlinburg also offers access to the trail heads for Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls.
- Cherokee National Forest: Boasting over 650,000 acres, this forest area sandwiches the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the north and south. Here, you can go rafting along the Ocoee River, snap pictures of the Bald River Falls (a 90-foot waterfall), fish in one of the many well-stocked streams and rivers, soak up mountain views in the Big Frog Wilderness, or enjoy the solitude of back country camping without the crowds.
- Sights & Landmarks: Ryman Auditorium, Foothills Parkway, Shiloh National Military Park, Old Forge Distillery, Little River Road, Newfound Gap, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Gatlinburg Scenic Outlook, Walnut Street Bridge, Belle Mead Plantation, Stones River National Battlefield, McGavock Confederate Cemetery, Lookout Mountain, Downtown Franklin, Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park, Neyland Stadium, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Andrew Johnson Nat’l Historic Site, Grand Ole Opry
- Museums: Graceland, National Civil Rights Museum, Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Lotz House Museum, Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art, Cart House, Carnton, Smoky Mountain Knife Works, Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, East Tennessee Historical Society, Lane Motor Museum, Withers Collection Museum & Gallery, Discovery Park of America, RCA Studio B, Alewine Pottery, Songbirds, Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Johnny Cash Museum
- Art Galleries: Fowler’s Clay Works (Gatlinburg), Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, Paul Murray Gallery (Gatlinburg), Thomas Kinkade Gallery & Gifts (Pigeon), River Gallery (Chattanooga), Gallery 202 (Franklin), The Wood Whittlers (Gatlinburg), David Arms Gallery (Franklin), Silver Ridge Pottery (Lebanon), Heartwood Galleries (Gatlinburg), Master’s Edition Gallery of Lights (Pidgeon), In-Town Gallery (Chattanooga), Robert A. Tino Gallery (Sevierville), The Copper Fox Gallery (Franklin)
- Nightlife: Tennessee Cider Company, Joyride Nashville, Pontoon Saloon, Brian Hoffman’s Remembering Red, Pints & Pedals, Nashville Party Barge, River City Pedalers, Country Music Crawler, Ray Stevens CabaRay Showroom, Music City Pub Crawl, Smith Creek Moonshine, Comedy Barn, Station Inn, Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar, The Nashville Tractor, Robert’s Western World, Legends Corner, Whiskey Bent Saloon, Jackalope Brewing Company, The Second Fiddle
- Zoos & Aquariums: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (Gatlinburg), Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo (Sevierville), Tennessee Aquarium (Chattanooga), Memphis Zoo (Memphis), Rainforest Adventures (Sevierville), Zoo Knoxville (Knoxville), Nashville Zoo (Nashville), Chattanooga Zoo (Chattanooga), Brights Zoo (Limestone), Little Ponderosa Zoo (Clinton)
- Water & Amusement Park: Dollywood, Rocky Top Mountain Coaster, Arcade City, Big Top Arcade, Rockin’ Raceway Arcade, Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, Smoky Mountain River Rate Tubing, The Coaster at Goats on the Roof, 7D Dark Ride Adventure, The Island in Pigeon Forge, Outdoor Gravity Park, Pigeon Forge Snow, The Track, Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, MagiQuest, Next to Heaven Adventure, Kingsport Carousel & Park, Anakeesta, Tomb Egyptian Adventure, Foxfire Mountain Swinging Bridge
- Spas & Wellness: St. Somewhere Spa (Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge), Sevierville Massage Therapy (Sevierville), Smoky Mountain Massage Therapy (Pigeon Forge), Isha USA (McMinnville), The Spa at RiverStone Resort (Pigeon Forge), Float Nashville (Nashville), The Spa at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort (Pigeon Forge), Fox Place Salon & Spa (Gatlinburg), Wanderlust Salon & Spa (Sevierville), Austin Springs Spa & Salon (Johnson City), Ilovekickboxing (Nashville), Relache Spa (Nashville)
- Cool & Unusual: Synchronized Fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains, Lost Sea, The Bell Witch Cave, The Evil Dead Cabin, The Body Farm, Forbidden Caverns, Ruby Falls, Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Lost Cove Settlement, Concrete Parthenon, The Crystal Shrine Grotto, Silky O’Sullivan’s, Peabody Hotel Duck March, Titanic Museum Attraction, Rugby Colony, Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, Hatch Show Print, Sun Studio, Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum
Schools and Universities
Ranked #36 in education by USA Today, Tennessee has room to improve enrollment, public school spending (9th lowest), and the number of adults with bachelor’s degrees (9th lowest). Despite its low ranking, the state is home to some outstanding colleges and universities, including Vanderbilt University (the 14th best national university). Many institutes of higher learning here offer great value. The state is working to promote higher education by offering high school grads free community college via the Tennessee Promise Program. This scholarship program provides students with two years of free education at community and technical colleges across the state.
Top TN Colleges:
- Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
- Belmont University (Belmont)
- Welch College (Gallatin)
- Rhodes College (Memphis)
- Tennessee Wesleyan University (Athens)
- Milligan College (Milligan)
- Martin Methodist College (Pulaski)
- Christian Brothers University (Memphis)
- Freed-Hardeman University (Henderson)
- University of Tennessee (Martin)
Top TN Public School Districts:
- Oak Ridge School District (Oak Ridge)
- Williamson County Schools (Franklin)
- Maryville City Schools (Maryville)
- Kingsport City Schools (Kingsport)
- Greeneville City Schools (Greeneville)
- Johnson City Schools (Johnson City)
- Germantown School District (Germantown)
- Rutherford County Schools (Murfreesboro)
- Alcoa City Schools (Alcoa)
- Putnam County School District (Cookeville)
How to Become a Tennessee Resident
Want to qualify as a bona fide TN resident? Follow these steps:
- Move to TN and establish domicile
- Change your address
- Get a TN driver’s license
- Title and register your vehicle
- Register to vote
To qualify for in-state tuition, you must fulfill one of the following requirements:
- Live in Tennessee for one year or longer before enrollment
- Marry a TN resident or move back as the spouse of a TN resident
- Purchase a home in Tennessee
- Be claimed as a dependent by a TN resident
- Transfer as a full-time employee of a TN business
Moving to Tennessee DMV
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New residents or folks returning to the state must obtain a Tennessee driver’s license or photo ID within 30 days of moving here.
Steps to get a TN driver’s license:
- Visit a full-service driver service center
- Provide: current license, proof of name change, proof of US citizenship/proof of temporary legal presence or authorized stay, social security number
- Surrender out-of-state driver’s license
- Take vision screening
- Expired license (longer than six months): must take TN knowledge exam and road skills test
If you drive in Tennessee, you’re required to have your vehicle properly titled and registered.
To register your out-of-state vehicle, bring the following to a local county clerk office:
- Out-of-state vehicle registration
- If making payments, provide name and address of the lienholder
- If there’s no lienholder, present out-of-state title
- Pass emissions certification (if applicable)
- A United States citizen
- A resident of Tennessee
- At least 18 years old by election day
*Note: a felon who has their conviction expunged or voting rights restored is eligible to vote.
Best Places to Live in Tennessee
Median Home Value: $173,500
Region: East Tennessee
We begin our tour of East Tennessee in the city of Knoxville. Situated in Knox County in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, not too far from the North Carolina state line, the city has gone from being home to Daniel Boone, the famous American frontiersman, to becoming a high-value, growing community. The majority of residents rent their homes and tend to be politically conservative, while the public school system is above average.
A fast-growing city, Knoxville offers diverse amenities, attractions, architecture, and arts. The Tennessee River, which starts just east of Knoxville, winds its way through downtown, offering residents and visitors opportunities to fish or paddle. This town is known as a great place for college grads, particularly those with degrees in research and technology. Home to the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a growing downtown, and a strong business climate, this town attracts many millennials. On the downside, if you have allergies or aren’t that into college sports, be prepared for an intense concentration of pollen and diehard SEC sports fans.
Are you looking for K–12 education? Top public schools include Farragut High School, L&N STEM Academy, Bearden High School, Hardin Valley Academy, and Sequoyah Elementary School. Top Private schools in Knoxville include Webb School of Knoxville, Knoxville Catholic High School, Christian Academy of Knoxville, Berean Christian School, and Apostolic Christian School. Looking at colleges? Check out University of Tennessee, Johnson University, and Pellissippi State Community College.
Clean, welcoming, and affordable, Knoxville has a lot to offer with its big-city amenities, small-town feel, and proximity to beautiful nature.
Median Home Value: $376,400
Region: East Tennessee
As the top town in the Knoxville area, Farragut is a beautiful community that attracts retirees and young families alike. Offering a pleasant alternative to the city, while still being a short commute away from Knoxville, the town checks all the boxes for great suburban living. Nearly 90% of residents own their homes and tend to be conservative, while the local public schools are highly respected.
As Knoxville’s #1 suburb, Farragut offers plenty of attractive selling points: amazing scenery, outdoor recreation & scenic parks (Fort Loudon Lake, Anchor Park, and Concord Park), outstanding schools, area’s best shopping & dining (famous for Turkey Creek), and access to Downtown Knoxville, only 30 minutes away. Though the median home value is relatively higher, there are plenty of deals to be found in the housing market.
The schools here are exceptional. Top public schools include Farragut High School, L&N STEM Academy, Hardin Valley Academy, Farragut Middle School, and Farragut Intermediate School. Top private schools include Knoxville, Concord Christian School, and St John Neumann Catholic School. If you’re looking for higher education, colleges like the University of Tennessee are just a short trip away in Knoxville.
Offering a wide range of housing options, ranging from sub-$100K to $1 million luxury homes, Farragut is the best suburb in East Tennessee to raise a family or retire.
Median Home Value: $656,000
Region: Middle Tennessee
Considered the #1 place to live in Tennessee, Brentwood is a Nashville suburb located in Williamson County. It’s 12 miles south of the city, offering a quick commute and a nice escape from the bustle of Nashville. About 91% of residents are homeowners, locals lean conservative, and the schools are highly rated.
Offering a high quality of life, Brentwood has an assortment of natural beauty, rolling hills, parks, restaurants, shopping, business opportunities, close-knit community, and amazing schools – the main reason families move here. One downside is that Brentwood is quite affluent. With a median home value in the mid $650K range, it has some of the most expensive properties in the state.
Are you looking for stellar K–12 public schooling? If you have kids, this is a great place for education. Top public schools are Brentwood High School, Ravenwood High School, Kenrose Elementary School, Clovercroft Elementary School, and Lipscomb Elementary School. All of these schools currently have an A+ rating on Niche. As for private K–12 education, the town is home to Brentwood Academy.
Offering great quality of life and proximity to Nashville, Brentwood is considered one of the best places to retire and one of the top areas to raise children.
Median Home Value: $242,900
Region: Middle Tennessee
Next stop on our tour of Middle Tennessee, we have Murfreesboro. Located approximately 35 miles southeast of Nashville, the city has been consistently named one of the Top 100 places to live in the US by several publications (along with being the #1 place to live in Rutherford County). It was originally called Cannonsburgh, but the name was changed later to honor Colonel Hardy Murfree.
As part of the “Athens of the South,” Murfreesboro is a famous college town, known for Middle Tennessee State University. With a suburban feel, most residents own their homes and tend to be more conservative. The city has become a hub for commerce and tourism and is home to companies such as State Farm Insurance, Amazon, National Health Care, and Schwan Cosmetics.
Offering above-average education, the city has several schooling options from which to choose. Looking for a public school? Check out Central Magnet School, Blackman Elementary School, McFadden School of Excellence, Brown’s Chapel Elementary School, and Lascassas Elementary School. Want your kids to attend private school? Consider Providence Christian Academy, Middle Tennessee Christian School, St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, Montessori Weaver School, and Rutherford Academy. Local Colleges include Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro, and Daymar Institute.
If you’re looking for a small city with a college feel, Murfreesboro is a great choice that offers a kind-hearted community, growth & development, stellar quality of life, and a reasonable cost of living.
Median Home Value: $262,500
Region: Middle Tennessee
What can we say about Nashville? For starters, it’s known as Music City, the home of country music, and some would argue that it also is the music capital of the world, but let’s not start a fight with Austin, Texas. As the capital of Tennessee, Nashville is a booming city steeped in rich Southern culture. Considered one of the greatest cities for live music, delicious food, and great people, no wonder millennials are flocking to Tennessee’s crowning jewel.
There’s a preconceived notion that most people who move to Nashville want to become country stars, but the reality is that health care and technology are the top industries here. As a startup hub, the city offers plenty of lucrative opportunities. Coupled with endless entertainment, topnotch education, open spaces (Centennial Park), food & drink (known for hot chicken), arguably the country’s top music scene (The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Bluebird Café, Rudy’s Jazz Room, The Ryman Auditorium, and much more), and pro sports (Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators) – and you have a winning combo!
Of course, every city has its challenges. Public transportation and walkability have room for improvement (though Downtown and the East End both rate well for pedestrian traffic), and summers can be extremely hot and humid.
- The top public schools are Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School, Rock Springs Elementary School, Gladeville Elementary School, Cedar Grove Elementary School.
- The top private schools are University School of Nashville, Montgomery Bell Academy, Harpeth Hall School, The Ensworth School, and St. Celia Academy.
- Top colleges are Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb University, Aquinas College – Nashville, Belmont University, and Fisk University.
- Top neighborhoods are Downtown Nashville, The Gulch, Music Row, East Nashville, Elliston Place, Germantown, Sulphur Dell, and West Church.
If you’re in search of one of the best cities to live and work in the US, Nashville is a prime pick.
Median Home Value: $336,000
Region: West Tennessee
First on our tour of West Tennessee, we have Collierville. Arguably the best place to raise a family in the Memphis area, the cosmopolitan town located in Shelby County offers great schools (particularly private education), safe neighborhoods, family-friendly living, and Southern charm. 80% of residents own their homes and tend to lean moderate.
Collierville is a perfect place to raise a family, and it offers plenty of things to do: parks & greenways (800+ acres of parkland), cleanliness (topnotch upkeep), history (goes back to the 1830s), one of the best main streets in America (plus, historic Collierville Town Square), and a 55,000 square foot community center. Residents are also highly educated, and the median household income exceeds $100,000.
Are you looking for the best public schools in Collierville? Top choices include Collierville High School, Campus School, Germantown High School, Middle College High School, and Macon-Hall Elementary School. Top private schools include St. George’s Independent School, Incarnation Catholic School, and Central Day School. Several colleges are a short commute away in Memphis (see below).
In the market for not only the best town in West Tennessee but one of the best small towns in the entire country? You may have just found your next home in award-winning Collierville.
Median Home Value: $336,400
Region: West Tennessee
Next, let’s take a look at the #1 suburb in the Memphis area: Germantown. Just east of the Mississippi River and the city of Memphis, the city of less than 40,000 is small yet fast-growing. 86% of residents are homeowners and lean conservative, while the local schools are above average.
Designated as a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation, Germantown offers 27 parks and 700+ acres of recreational space. Summers are notoriously hot and humid, and winters are mild. As for things to do, there is a multitude of craft fairs, farmers markets, horse shows, sports leagues, summer camps, concert series, and other annual events for both children and adults.
Are you raising a family? If you’re looking for good public schools, check out White Station High School, Houston High School, Campus School, Germantown High School, and Middle College High School. Those in search of private education should consider St. George’s Independent School, Bodine School, The Phoenix School for Creative Learning, and Daybreak Specialized School.
Germantown is a clean and safe city that offers peace and quiet while still being only 30 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Memphis.
Median Home Value: $86,000
Region: West Tennessee
We couldn’t have a top list without Memphis. The cosmopolitan city is known as the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. With a more laid-back feel and a ton of pride, the city has an undeniable spirit and culture. Most residents rent and tend to be liberal.
Home to some of the greatest BBQ in the world, Memphis also offers other world-class food, from Middle Eastern cuisine to scrumptious seafood. For history buffs, there’s an assortment of attractions that include the National Civil Rights Museum, Graceland, the Lorraine Motel, and the Pink Palace Museum. Downtown Memphis is home to many fantastic live music venues, restaurants, and bars. Simply put, there’s always something fun and interesting to do in Memphis!
- The top public schools include White Station High School, Campus School, Germantown High School, Middle College High School, and White Station Elementary School.
- Top private schools include St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Lausanne Collegiate School, Memphis University School, Hutchinson School, and Christian Brothers High School.
- Top colleges: Baptist College of Health Sciences, Rhodes College, Christian Brothers University, University of Memphis, and Strayer University – Tennessee.
Though there’s room for improvement, Memphis is an extremely affordable place to live, offering high diversity and the perfect melting pot of slow southern living and urban spark.
How to Move to Tennessee
With the right preparation, your Tennessee relocation can be a pleasant experience. Follow this handy interstate moving checklist for a smooth process.
2-3 Months Before the Move
- Plan ahead: Moving and procrastination are never a good mix. If possible, start planning your moving logistics at least a couple of months before your move.
- Hire a TN moving company: Compare and research between three and five fully certified movers. Give yourself enough time to secure the best rate and availability. We make it easy to find a great Tennessee moving service. Contact us today!
- Notify landlord or realtor: Whether you rent or own, you need to provide ample notice to your landlord or real estate professional to safeguard against extra fees or ensure a successful sale.
- Grab an organizing folder: This folder will help you easily organize and store all receipts, lists, and other important moving documents.
- Purge your home: The purging process helps to declutter, save space, and save moving expenses. Start with one room at a time. Pack items you want to store or transport — bag or box items to discard.
- Sell, donate, or recycle: Once you’ve finished the initial purging step, it’s time to get rid of unwanted items. Sell online, throw a yard sale, donate to charity, or recycle old belongings.
- Prep children: Moving is stressful for everyone, but it can be especially confusing or disruptive for kids. Take the time to explain, through playtime or story, what’s happening. Maintain routines as much as possible. Be kind and patient.
- Visit new home: If doable, schedule a trip to your new town, city, or state. This visit is the perfect opportunity to discover exactly what your new home has to offer.
1–2 Months to Go
- Start the packing process: Packing yourself? If so, give yourself plenty of time to properly do so. Grab quality packing supplies: boxes, tape, and packing materials. Give ample attention to valuable or fragile items. If you’d like assistance, contact us for an affordable packing service.
- Change address: This can be done either online (USPS site) or at any USPS office. You’ll also want to update info for home delivery services and online subscriptions.
- Transfer records: From prescriptions to medical and school records, make sure that you transfer all important records to ensure a smooth transition in your new town or city.
- Turn off services: Have current utilities and other services disconnected, preferably the day after moving out. Activate new services before you move into your new home.
2–3 Weeks Out
- Inquire about insurance: Get ahold of your insurance provider and moving company to see what coverage is available. Always better safe than sorry.
- Hire professional cleaners: When you want to have a successful showing or receive your full security deposit, go with the pros.
- Make arrangements for pets: Own a cat, dog, or other pet that can’t travel directly with you? Arrange for special transport. This tip goes for plants as well.
- Make arrangements for kids: You’re going to be busy and easily distracted on moving day — schedule daycare, a playdate, or babysitting to protect your children and pets.
- Service personal vehicle: Driving to your new home? You’ll want to have your tires, oil, and air conditioning checked out to ensure a safe trip.
- Say goodbye: During the hustle and bustle of your move, don’t forget to spend time with loved ones. Throw a party, arrange a group outing, or plan one-on-one time.
Week of Move
- Confirm moving arrangements: A few days before moving, contact your moving company. Confirm arrival time and exchange phone numbers for easy communication during transit.
- Go over travel arrangements: Driving? Double-check driving route, motel reservations, etc. Flying? Double-check flight itinerary and make sure you comply with luggage requirements.
- Finish packing up: It’s time to create an essentials box. This box should contain anything you’ll need for the first day at your new home: meds, bedding, clothes, snacks, hand tools, etc.
- Rest up: The night before your move, clear your schedule to relax, eat well, and sleep. You’ll need to be fresh for the big day tomorrow.
- Make yourself available to movers: If possible, be there to meet with your moving crew. Your presence will help in case anyone has any last-minute questions. Ask a friend to stand watch if you can’t be there.
- Provide water & snacks: This isn’t a requirement, but offering bottled water and something light to eat will help to keep up morale. Plus, it’s just a nice gesture.
- Perform a walkthrough: Okay, so the movers have cleared out your old place. Take one last tour. Keep an eye out for any messes, damage, and items that your moving crew may have missed.
- Enjoy your move: Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Try to stay positive and find the fun in the process. Good luck with your new start!
Quality Moving Services from Tennessee Movers
Great Guys Moving connects you with top-rated moving services at low prices:
Long Distance Moves
Moving across the country? This type of relocation can cost thousands of dollars, along with a lot of time and effort. Our network of trustworthy long-distance movers can ensure a smooth transition while offering you a low rate that’s easy on your wallet.
Intrastate & Local Moves
Relocating to another neighborhood or county in Tennessee? If you’re moving within The Volunteer State, you need a team you can trust. Great Guys connects you with dependable local movers who show up with the right tools, attitude, and expertise.
An overseas relocation can be overwhelming. From complicated paperwork to customs clearance, you need an expert who can help guide you through the process. We make it easy to successfully plan and accomplish an international relocation.
Small Load Moves
Have a one-bedroom apartment, dorm, or studio? Instead of renting a truck and taking a day or two off, quickly and affordably arrange for small load movers to take care of your move. Regardless of the size of your haul, we can find a swift solution that fits your budget.
From bulky beds to cumbersome cabinets, moving furniture can cause injury and property damage. Why take the risk? Save your back. We can source top furniture moving companies with ease, so you don’t have to wrestle with your couch or any other unwieldy furniture.
When it comes to your piano or organ, don’t leave it in amateur hands. Our highly trained piano moving specialists come prepared with the right tools, knowledge, and experience. Enjoy peace of mind while piano movers deliver your prized instrument to a new venue, town, or state.
Art and Antiques
Whether you own a private collection or run an art gallery, it’s crucial to protect your valuable cargo during transport and delivery. Our art shipping specialists offer specialized services that ensure a drama-free process when moving from one space to another.
There can be many reasons for storage – you may be renovating, traveling, or just not ready to move everything into your new home. When you need short-term storage, we’re ready to help.
Last Minute, Emergency, & Short Notice Moves
Landed a new job that requires a quick move? Facing eviction? Whatever the reason, you need help ASAP. We know exactly how demanding this situation can be. That’s why we specialize in sourcing last-minute moving service that can assist with a safe, speedy move.
Facing a mountain of household goods? Between work, life, and your upcoming move, it can be too much to tackle yourself. We hook you up with fully licensed and insured Tennessee residential movers that take the stress off your shoulders.
Packing can be a pain. Whether you don’t have the time or desire, you can always hire a partial or comprehensive packing service. Relax while a team of packing professionals skillfully wrap, pad, box, and even crate your precious valuables and belongings.
Commercial and Office Moves
Whether you’re moving to a new retail relocation, a new office space, or relocating a corporation, you can’t afford downtime. That said, our highly qualified commercial and office movers are ready to help you stay on time and budget. Keep focused on daily operations while your commercial move is smoothly executed.
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In search of affordable, reliable Tennessee moving services? Request a free estimate today!