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8 Most Welcoming Small Towns in Tennessee to Settle Down In

The scenery in Tennessee’s small towns is something to behold. From wine trails and whiskey distilleries, there are so many options for fun adventures that await you! And if you’re planning on settling down in a welcoming community, then you might want to consider these small towns in Tennessee.

The Volunteer State has much more to offer than just Nashville and Memphis.


Demographic data shown in this section was gathered from the latest U.S. Census Bureau release, the 2021 American Community Survey. The information is updated yearly, as soon as new data is made available by the US Census Bureau.
No representation, guarantee, or warranty is made as to the accuracy or completeness of Information modified or aggregated for specific neighborhoods and/or zip codes.


Granville is a small town with a big history in Jackson County. Though it was the birthplace of former U.S Sen Albert Gore Sr., few are in knowledge about this historic city- though I’m here to change that! Commonly known as “Tennessee’s Mayberry Town,” Granville is a quirky little town that you’ll be happy to call home. With its slow and friendly pace of yesteryear, it offers the best nostalgia for those who long for simpler times in life; not to mention some scenic views!

(c) Tennessee Tourism

A $5 ticket from Sutton General Store, which is a historic site in Granville, lets you explore some key sites like the Granville Whiskey Decanter Museum, Whistle Stop Saloon and I Love Lucy museum in addition to many more!

Median Household Income: $18,778
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $166,187

Learn more about Granville



Gatlinburg is a small town with a population of around 4,000 people. Despite being located in Sevier County which attracts 12 million visitors per year it never seems crowded or dirty because this location has been maintained very well over time by its residents who care deeply about preserving it.


From the bustling city life of Nashville to scenic views in Eastern Tennessee, there are plenty of things for everyone when visiting the “gateway to the Smoky Mountains”. For those looking forward to hiking or bike trips on some rugged terrain while getting away from it all at least once during their vacation–the gateway offers several opportunities!
Mentioning shopping galore with unique boutiques that will make you want to buy everything they sell; breathtaking scenery everywhere you turn (just try not to stop taking photos); delicious dining options including many vegetarian-friendly choices—you can’t go wrong here no matter what kind of adventure seeker your traveling companion might be.

Median Household Income: $40,802
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $504,291

SEE ALSO: 10 Lowest Cost of Living Cities in the Volunteer State


(c) Flickr – harry_nl

Lynchburg is a city that has seen its share of history. The first Americans to settle in this area arrived around 1801. not long afterward though Davy Crockett would make his temporary headquarters here while fighting against British forces during America’s War For Independence! The downtown area of this thriving city is on the National Register of Historic Places.

(c) Tennessee Tourism

Probably, the first thing that comes to people’s minds when talking about Tennessee is the word “whiskey”, isn’t it?  Approximately 74 miles south of Nashville, you’ll find the oldest registered distillery in the country, the ever-famous, Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Founded in 1866 by Mr. Jack Daniel himself, be sure to take part in the guided tour where you’ll learn more about the history of this famous distillery and get a chance to try a sample of their bestsellers!

Median Household Income: $60,294
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $221,996


(C) Tennessee Toursim

Jonesborough is a small town with big appeal. There’s live music called Music on the Square, every Friday night from May through September (or Brews & Tunes on Sunday afternoons) and great shopping from local and regional artisans at the annual Made Around Here Market, not to mention it has more than 242 years of history in Tennessee! Jonesborough’s natural beauty, charming architecture, and storytelling heritage, which hosts the National Storytelling Festival every year in October, have attracted visitors worldwide. Christmas in Olde Jonesborough is another special event that most kids in town await.


Median Household Income: $56,550
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $260,389

SEE ALSO: 5 Tennessee Famous Sweet Treats (With Recipe!)


(c) Data USA

Hohenwald is the place to be if you’re interested in Lewis and Clark history, wine trails, and an elephant sanctuary. Located just over an hour southwest of Nashville, Hohenwald is a town that offers so many things to do, yet still manages to keep your mood light. Popular places include The Elephant Sanctuary, the nearby Natchez Trace Wine Trail, Natchez Trace Wilderness Preserve, and the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway. 


Median Household Income: $29,875
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $135,838


(c) Visit Franklin

Leiper’s Fork is a small, friendly village in Williamson County. The town has charm and energy to spare! Humble and small, this tiny spot is about the size of a large city block but full of attractions like art galleries and a whiskey distillery. You can also even visit some tasty meat-and-three restaurants across its approximately 1,100 acres!


Life in Leiper’s Fork is about to get a whole lot more glamorous. Expect front porches, fire pits, and community spirit as well. Stars like Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton preferred to build their vacation homes in this tiny unincorporated village in Franklin, Tennessee. On the other hand, if you just want to explore, you won’t find any hotel here but the popular larger (but still relatively small) town of Franklin is just 15 minutes away.

Data in Franklin, TN

Median Household Income: $98,321
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $738,734
Approx. Population
in Leiper’s Fork
: 650

Looking for Farm Tours in Tennessee?


(c) Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

Erwin is a hidden treasure trove of hiking and backpacking opportunities in the beautiful mountains. Located just outside Cherokee National Forest, it’s an excellent place for anyone who loves being surrounded by nature without having to venture too far from home! What’s not to love about this town? You’ll find breathtaking mountain views, great hiking, and fishing along the Nolichucky River. There are also plenty of activities in the downtown area like coffee shops with quality drinks or pottery studios where you can buy handmade products made by local artists!

(c) TripAdvisor

Median Household Income: $98,321
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $35,498
: 5,291


(c) Tennessee TourismRhea County Courthouse

The town of Dayton is famous for hosting one of the most historic events in American history: “The Scopes Monkey Trial”. It took place back at this courthouse, and it was a trailblazing moment where issues were addressed whether evolution could be taught in state-funded schools.

(c) Rhea County Heritage

The scenery around the town is simple but captivating. There are plenty of hiking opportunities, antique stores, and restaurants that you can enjoy. If you’re dropping by to Dayton, don’t miss the chance to visit Monkey Town Brewing Company, and Chickamauga Lake, which is known to be the home to the best bass fishing in the nation.

Median Household Income: $98,321
Typical Home Value (Zillow, Dec 2021): $
: 7,344

So, are you ready to take the wheel and explore these small towns in Tennesee? If you want some company, let me show you around.


What's for dinner?

5 Tennessee Famous Sweet Treats (With Recipe!)

When you think of Tennessee, what comes to mind? The Smoky Mountains? Elvis Presley? Tennessee Whiskey? While all of those are iconic aspects of Tennessee, one thing that often gets overlooked is the state’s delicious sweet treats! In this blog post, we will explore some of Tennessee’s most famous sweets; where to buy or how to make them. Keep reading.


chocolate bar

Tennessee’s only traditional bean-to bar chocolate maker, Olive & Sinclair, has recreated this classic southern candy experience with their stone ground bars that’s ready to impress every chocolate lover.. The flavors are truly unique and perfect for any occasion or flavor preference you may have! Also, interesting fact: it’s gluten free and diary free!

Where to buy:

SEE ALSO: Moving to Tennessee? 10 Lowest Cost of Living Cities in the Volunteer State


banana cream pie slice

Banana cream pie is the ultimate way to end your meal on a sweet note. The rich, heavenly flavor will have you coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds). The layers of banana and vanilla pudding will make you want to go back to Tennessee for sure.

ingredients banana pie

Recipe from

Hands-On: 15 mins

Total: 1 hr 15 mins

Yield: Makes 8 servings


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the pie crust for 30 minutes then remove to cool
  • Add the milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly.
  • Keep stirring and cook for another 5-6 minutes before removing from the heat.
  • Using a ¼ cup of the milk mixture which you’ve cooled in the fridge for two minutes, add the egg yolks to it and whisk to combine before adding it back into the rest of the milk mixture.
  • Set the saucepan back on the stove on medium heat again and whisk for an additional 3-4 minutes until it’s totally smooth and thickened to a pudding consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and add in the butter and vanilla whisking well.
  • Add the banana slices to the bottom of the pie shell, cover with the pudding and press saran wrap onto the pie gently to avoid a skin from forming on top.
  • Cool the pie completely in the fridge (3-4 hours) before topping with whipped cream and additional banana slices. To make the whipped cream add the powdered sugar to the heavy cream and beat until it forms medium peaks, about 1-2 minutes with a hand mixer.


jam bundt cake on a plate

The delicious, sweet taste of a Thanksgiving Jam Bundt cake is best enjoyed from that special family recipe box. It’s been passed down through generations and you’ll feel like one too when eating this amazing treat! If you’re planning to make this, be sure to allot time but it’s worth it!

Ingredients jam bundt cake
Ingredients jam bundt cake frosting

Hands-On: 30 mins

Total: 4 hrs 30 mins

Yield: Makes 12 servings

Recipe from


  • Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  • Beat granulated sugar and 1 cup butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  • Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients. Stir together buttermilk and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Add jam and vanilla, and beat just until blended. Stir in toasted pecans. Grease (with shortening) and flour a 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
  • Prepare Frosting: Bring brown sugar and next 2 ingredients to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Gently stir 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thicken. Immediately pour frosting over cooled cake.


smores cupcake

The Reality Bites tastes like a campfire scene, with toasted marshmallow meringue and chocolate ganache.

Where to buy: Ivey Cake

Ivey Cake is the dessert choice for your upcoming special events in Tennessee. The cupcakes, made by Ivey herself sold at her shop and through their website have been known to be a favorite among Carrie Underwood’s— she even had them catered in her wedding! Besides, this famous bakery was also featured in American Idol having a cupcake tower for Katy Perry. How lovely!

SEE ALSO: Experience the 7 Most Unique Restaurants in Tennessee


Made from two graham crackers with marshmallow filling and chocolate coating, Moon Pies originated in Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, TN.

In the state of Tennessee, people have long held a special place in their hearts for Moon Pie. This sweet treat has been around since the early 1900s and is a popular snack in the southern U.S. It’s classic! There’s even an annual RC-Moon Pie Festival held in Bell Buckle, TN every year.

Where to buy: Moon Pie General Store

Well, if you’re a rockstar in the kitchen, why don’t you make your own Moon Pie?

Hands-On: 1 hr

Total: 12 mins

Yield: Makes 12 servings

Recipe from


  • In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla until mixture is fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, and ground cinnamon.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. In a slow, steady stream, add the milk. Continue to mix until the dough comes together and leave the side of the bowl.
  • Turn dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Wrap the edges of the plastic wrap around the dough. Refrigerate for up to1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Turn chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. You may need to let the dough sit a room temperature for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to work with. Roll the dough until it is ¼ inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Place cookies on a prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake cookies 10-12 minutes. They will still be soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow cookies to cool 10-15 minutes until you can carefully transfer them to a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely before beginning the next step.
  • Once your cookies have cooled, spoon approximately ¼ cup of marshmallow crème into the center of 12 cookies. Top marshmallow with a second cookie, then gently press down until the marshmallow just touches the edge. Place sandwiches on a cookie sheet and chill for at least 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a small pan of boiling water. Once the chocolate has melted, remove pan from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool until it is still warm to the touch, but not longer hot. Slowly whisk in the oil.
  • Using two forks, gently place once sandwich cookie into the warm chocolate. Turn until thoroughly coated. Then remove cookies to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Let cookies stand until chocolate shell has completely hardened.

So, which delicious dessert would you like to dream about today?

Where are you from?

Must-Know: The Grand Divisions of Tennessee and How They Differentiate

Tennessee, the Volunteer State, is home to three grand divisions: East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee. Each division has its own flavor and identity. Keep reading.

Among the largest states in America, Tennessee stands in 36th place according to With a total area of 42,144 square miles and a population of 6,944,260 as of 2021, the Volunteer state has been an option for a lot of migrants; whether for retirement purposes or relocation.


The Great Smoky Mountains

East Tennessee is made up of 33 counties on the eastern side of the state.  If you prefer to live in East Tennessee, you will always be welcomed by big mountains and deep valleys. It’s no surprise that this area has such incredible natural beauty. It is also not uncommon for people living here to be proud and caring about their community as well! The roads in East Tennessee are anything but straight but nothing beats the view as they wind around hills and mountains. Have you heard of The Great Smoky Mountains? It’s here!

The two largest cities in East Tennessee are Knoxville and Chattanooga. Guess what? Chattanooga is actually listed as the Top 1 Lowest Cost of Living Cities in Tennessee. No wonder many folks would love to move here.

The bustling metropolises offer all sorts of entertainment for visitors, including state parks and the little-known Chickamauga Lake which allows fishing, water skiing, boating, and swimming. 

SEE ALSO: Here are the 7 Best Lakes to live near in Tennessee

On the other hand, Knoxville claims as a-nature-loving-adventure-seeking-artsy-kinda-town. Whether you’re traveling to Knoxville for the day, a weekend, or a week, you’ll never run out of things to do. For a great food experience, visit Stock & Barrel, a local favorite for delicious, fresh ingredients and gourmet burgers. Stroll around the largest mall in Tennessee, West Town Mall which can also be found in Knoxville.


West Tennessee is made up of 21 counties West of the Tennessee River. It is a welcomed change of scenery.  It is mostly flat, with a lot of farms. West has always been known for its agriculture and medicine. Settlers originally from the east coast moved to this area because it had rich soil perfect for farming, but they also found that there were many natural resources waiting in store such as coal.

It is home to the much bigger metropolis of Memphis and Jackson. Barlett, which is a city located northeast of Memphis, has been ranked by CNN and Money magazine among America’s top hundred most desirable places to live because it offers beautiful scenery and a respected public school; great for families!

SEE ALSO: Moving to Tennessee? 10 Lowest Cost of Living Cities in the Volunteer State

Memphis boasts a lot of great places that are worth visiting because of its rich history and uniqueness. Martin Luther King, Jr. took his last breath at the Lorraine Motel. After his death, the motel became a landmark and now is preserved as the American Civil Rights Museum.

SEE ALSO: 10 Crazy Facts About Tennessee You Probably Didn’t Know

The Beauty Shop is also one of the most unique restaurants in West Tennessee. Also from Memphis, their meals are superb! Expect American cuisine but with a twist. The ambiance? The photo says it all.

SEE ALSO: Experience the 7 Most Unique Restaurants in Tennessee


Tourism plays a major role in Middle Tennessee’s economy.  This area is made up of 41 counties. It is kind of a great mixture of East and West. It has some flat land, but it also has hills and mountains. Have you heard about Nashville? Of course! Who doesn’t know the Music City? It is actually the biggest city in Middle Tennessee and the state’s capital. Other notable cities in Middle Tennessee are Clarksville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin. Nashville and Clarksville metropolitan areas are two of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. It is the most populous of the state’s three Grand Divisions.

Middle Tennessee provides genuine Southern hospitality and delivers an unparalleled creative music experience. The rolling hills and fertile valleys of Middle Tennessee are a beautiful reminder that nature never gets too far from our grasp. Farm Tours are very popular in this area, too. Tobacco had been raised for personal use and for sale almost as soon as people settled in Middle Tennessee. by the 1920s Robertson County was known as the “Home of the World’s Finest Dark Fired Tobacco.”

Middle Tennessee has a lot to be proud of, and each county in the region offers its own unique attractions ranging from historic homes, most famous museums, huge lakes, hiking spots, musical heritage, wineries, and other historical places that are notable among states in the US.

Now that you’ve learned about the 3 Grand Divisions of Tennessee, are you ready to take a tour?

Make that move. I’ll be waiting for you.

Where are you from?

Moving to Tennessee? 10 Lowest Cost of Living Cities in the Volunteer State

There are many affordable places to live in Tennessee, but not all of them might be the right fit for you. Whether you’re looking for affordable housing or a low cost of living, this article is a great place to start your search!


McGhee Tyson Airport

Alcoa is a city that sits near the base of beautiful, rugged mountains. 15 miles south from Knoxville, the small town has easy access to many highways and offers residents plenty for them to do both in their free time or while working! It’s near McGhee Tyson Airport which is home to some major airlines that offer flights throughout the country. As of December 2021, the median household income is $42,255. The median home value is about $146,500. Renters pay a median price of around $700 per month and a population of 9,561. Hiking, biking, and running are just a few of the activities that you can enjoy in this beautifully scenic town. There are six colleges within 15 miles where students will be able to study everything from art history to engineering!

READ ALSO: 10 Crazy Facts About Tennessee You Probably Didn’t Know


Farragut Town Hall and Folklife Museum
Birding in Knoxville

If you’re about to retire and thinking of moving to Tennessee, (which is a common reason among transferees), Farragut is a quiet and relaxing community for retirees. During nice weather days, stroll around several parks and enjoy the peaceful streets. This small town is less than 20 miles away from Knoxville’s heart. The population numbers around 23,778 people with opportunities to fish and boat on Fort Loudon Lake as well as one-of-a-kind birdwatching nearby!

As of December 2021, the median home value in Farragut is $376,300, while the median household income is $104,715. Apartments rent for an average of $1,222 per month.


Strawberry Crate Public Art

Portland is an ideal destination for those looking to discover the beauty of nature, while also enjoying a large cityscape with opportunities at every turn. If you’re into photography, you will enjoy the Public Arts around the city. Every year in May, people are very busy preparing for the annual Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival. You shouldn’t miss it!

As of December 2021, Portland’s median home value is $173,800, with a median household income of $51,027. The average apartment rents for $834 a month and has a population of 13,000 people.

SEE ALSO: Travel Back In Time To These Historic Homes Near Nashville


The small town of Bartlett has been ranked by CNN and Money magazine among America’s top hundred most desirable places to live because it offers beautiful scenery and a respected public school; great for families! Bartlett is a small town with big-city amenities just outside of Memphis. It’s close enough to enjoy all the fun things downtown without being overwhelmed by traffic, noise, and crowds on your way back home!

There’s always something going on here! Every year, people look forward to the seasonal farmer’s market, 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza, children’s fishing rodeo, and the Bartlett Festival with its fierce BBQ Fest competition. As of December 2021, Bartlett boasts a population of 59,102 residents. The median home price is $206,200 and the median rent is $1,338 per month. The median household income is $80,240.


Rockwood organizes the Annual Thunder Road Festival that features live music, food, and an amazing auto and motorbike show that people go crazy about every year. The town is situated at the base of Walden Ridge, with a population of 5,423. The median home price is $100,300. Renters pay an average of $1,146 a month. 

Imagine yourself living in the lap of luxury. A seaside home with golf courses and hiking trails surrounding you and a nine-hole course only one mile away? What more could anyone ask for Rockwood’s weekend getaway? If you’re more laid-back, a beautiful Watts Bar Lake, a sports complex and walking trail, and Mount Roosevelt Wildlife area.

5. Murfreesboro

Located approximately 34 minutes south along I-24 from Nashville, Murfreesboro serves as the Rutherford County seat with its picturesque riverside setting and history-making for all ages. The sports games in this area are some of the most entertaining around, and it’s also home to the state’s largest college, Middle Tennessee State University. 

Time and Money magazines listed Murfreesboro as one of the top 20 places to live in the US. With unemployment rates much lower than the national average, Murfreesboro is known as one of the fastest-growing areas of Tennessee. The city is a beautiful place to explore, with plenty of outdoor activities. There are 12 miles worth of trails available for walking or running!  With a population of about 146,900, it’s perfect for those starting a family. The median home price is $246,000 and renters pay an average of $970 a month.

SEE ALSO: Spend Your Day Right in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

4. Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge is a perfect place to call home if you’re looking for a more tranquil lifestyle. This quaint little suburb also offers many opportunities for young professionals who are looking not just for an easy commute but adventures outside their doors as well!

FACT: Oak Ridge is one of the most mysterious and historic towns in this area, as it was originally a secret site built by government scientists during World War II for producing nuclear weapons.

Currently, residents enjoy local activities such as pickleball, basketball, and the large swimming pool at the Oak Ridge Civic Center Recreation Building. If you’re outgoing, you’ll get to enjoy 16 parks, a disc golf course, and many biking and running trails; plenty of outdoor activities!

3. Clarksville

Clarksville has been one of the best cities in Montgomery County for years, and it shows no signs at all of slowing down. With a population of 150,000 people, Job growth has been on the upswing in recent years with an LG manufacturing plant and a Google data center. Points of interest are Fort Campbell U.S. Army base on the state’s northern border  between Clarksville and Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The median home value in Clarksville is around $159,300 and the median rent cost is approximately $950 per month. Many of the schools in the area are given high ratings, which makes Clarksville a solid choice for families and young professionals.

SEE ALSO: Learn the Art of Glass Making in Old Hickory, TN

2. Johnson City

Johnson City has been voted the best place to live in Washington County, Tennessee. Most visitors come back for the city is surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers; offering the perfect balance of nature and city. Small communities and welcoming culture make the city of 65,600 an enjoyable place to live. The city is home to Eastern Tennessee State University, great restaurants, and many outdoor activities. The median home value in Johnson City is $148,800 and the median rent price is $733 a month.


When deciding where to live in the South, CHATTANOOGA is a great choice. It may be the fourth largest city with a population of 182,800, but it provides affordability and good amenities for newcomers.  The city has bustling nightlife and an impressive arts district due to The University of Tennessee. However, you can still enjoy a suburban feel and closeness to necessities.

In a recent study, it was found that Chattanooga is one of the Top 100 Cities to Live in America and also made it to the list of Livability for Top 10 Best Downtowns. While many people are unhappy with their commutes, residents in this city aren’t one of them. The average commute time is 18 minutes which means that they can get to work on foot or by public transport and still make it before 9:00am!

Surrounded by state parks and the little-known Chickamauga Lake which allows fishing, water skiing, boating, and swimming. Chattanooga and the areas around it provide great scenery for photographers and adventure lovers. You’ll find the median home value is around $150,000 and monthly apartment rentals are around $818 per month. 

So, were you able to make up your mind? Plan ahead this year and I’m ready to guide you all the way into finding your perfect home here in Tennessee.