Are you considering moving to Tennessee? If so, you aren’t the only one craving to make the nation’s Music Capital home. Close to 100 people per day move to Nashville alone. The Volunteer State is the 16th most populous state in the US, with over 6 million people.
With a thriving economy, rich history, affordable cost of living, low taxes, and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder so many people would love to plant their roots in this incredible southern gem. Other than giving the world Morgan Freeman and Quentin Tarantino, if you’re wondering what’s so great about this state, then read on. In this article, we will explore the top 10 reasons to move to Tennessee.
1. National cuisine
If there’s one thing you’ll find in abundance in Tennessee, it’s delicious food. There’s Meat and Threes — a Nashville specialty that comes with one meat and three side dishes of your choice.
Some other popular foods in Tennessee you need to try are fried pickles, sweet potato fries, catfish, BBQ, cornbread, Mac n Cheese, Country Ham, Banana Pudding, Hot Fried Chicken, and Biscuits and Gravy.
One of the reasons to live in Tennessee is music. It’s home to seven musical genres — blues, bluegrass, rock & roll, country, gospel, rockabilly, and soul. Although Nashville is most famous as the capital of country music, Bristol is recognized as its birthplace.
Memphis was the center of Blues, Jazz, R&B, soul, funk, and Rock & Roll. In Memphis, many musical legends like B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Junior Parker, Bobby Bland, and Willie Nix started. This is also where recording studios like Sun Records were found, which is where Elvis Presley made his first recording.
If you are an ardent music lover, be on the lookout for music festivals like Bonnaroo Music Festival, Big Ears Festival, Memphis in May, and CMA Music Festival.
3. Festivals and fairs
Tennessee has several festivals and fairs happening throughout the year. Here are a few:
- Mid-South Jewelry and Accessories Fair: If you like jewelry, you should visit the Mid-South Jewelry and Accessories Fair, where 5,000 wholesale buyers descend to showcase a massive variety of accessories.
- Polk County Ramp Tramp Festival: Held in the unincorporated community, Reliance, Tennessee, this festival attracts crowds with an exciting mix of Bluegrass and Gospel music, arts and crafts, and foods that revolve around “ramp,” which is a wild plant growing in the mountains of eastern US.
- World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: Barbecue is Memphis’ signature food. Each year, over 200 teams from the US and beyond come together at Tom Lee Park to compete for cash and prizes and praises from BBQ fans.
- CMA Festival: The CMA Fest is held annually in downtown Nashville, where multiple stages hold nightly concerts for over 50,000 attendees. It sees some of the biggest names in Country music.
- Nashville Film Festival: This event is one of America’s longest-running film festivals, which draws movie lovers worldwide to its showing of 200 screenings, including foreign films.
The entire state of Tennessee is a vast playground that you can explore for stunning views or heart-pumping activities. You can hike, bike, spot waterfalls or wildlife. If you are into rock climbing, you will love The rugged terrain of Tennessee like the ones in Obed Wild and Scenic River, which has 300 climbing routes. There’s also the Castle Rock, Stone Fort Bouldering, and the Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area that you can climb.
If you are into wildlife, you need to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is 8522, 4 to 7 acres of natural jewel. It’s one of the most visited National Park in the US, clocking 11.3 million visitors every year. You will get to see more than 1600 species of flowers, a growing black bear population, and expansive wildlife.
If you are into water skiing, parasailing, or wakeboarding, check out Chickamauga Lake, Kentucky Lake, or Norris lake.
Also, there are more than 10,000 caves in Tennessee for you to explore. The Craighead caverns have the largest underground lake in the US called the Lost Sea.
Tennessee has a serious sports scene with four major sports franchises — Tennessee Titans (NFL), the Nashville Predators (NHL), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), and Nashville SC (MLS). This state also has eight minor league teams, four of which are Major League Baseball teams.
That’s not all — Tennessee has the Bristol Motor Speedway, which holds NASCAR cup series races for two weekends every year, and attracts over 160,000 attendees. Golf is also quite popular in this state; Memphis has hosted the WGC Invitational since 1958.
This state has many educational institutions for you and your family. The University of Tennessee has three campuses in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Martin. It also has a health science branch in Memphis and an aerospace research facility in Tullahoma. The Tennessee Board of Regents has a network of 13 community colleges and tech campuses throughout the state.
There are 107 private institutions, with Vanderbilt University consistently recognized as the nation’s leading institution in research. Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, is also known as the Athens of the south because of its high concentration of colleges and universities. The state also is home to six historically black educational institutions.
Tennessee has a thriving healthcare sector with plenty of job opportunities in Vanderbilt University Medical Center, HCA Healthcare, Community Health Systems, and Saint Thomas Health. Other primary sources of employment in Tennessee include Nissan North America, Vanderbilt University, Randstad, Asurion, and Kroger.
This state also has a brimming start-up scene with hundreds of entrepreneurs starting their businesses and adding jobs to the market. Plus, tourism and music are two other industries that offer plenty of job opportunities in this state.
Tennessee is defined by its distinct neighborhoods, which have something for young adults, families looking for raising their children, and retirees looking for a safe and peaceful community. Here are some of Tennessee’s best neighborhoods:
- Brentwood: This is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the Volunteer State. A lot of country music stars and athletes live here. Median home price: $506,300
- Franklin: This area is famous throughout the US for its excellent schools. There are also many Civil War-related historic sites in Franklin. Median home price: $321,400
- Germantown: This is another area with some of the best school districts. The homes are pretty affordable in Germantown, and the cost of living is low. The residents here enjoy some of the highest incomes in Tennessee. Median home price: $288,500
- Murfreesboro: This town is bustling with people and a booming economy. There are numerous parks and greenways here along with a happening nightlife. Median home price: $181,900
- Maryville: This is among the most affordable areas to live in, with a gorgeous shot of the Great Smoky Mountains out your window. Median home price: $189,700
9. Tennessee doesn’t tax personal income
One of the reasons for move to Tennessee may be that residents don’t have to pay income tax in this state, making it one of the states with the lowest taxes. This means you don’t have to lose a good chunk of your paycheck on taxes. That said, income earned through other venues like interests and dividends are taxed 1 to 2%. This amount is used to pay for schools, emergency services, infrastructure, etc.
10. Medical institutions
The booming healthcare scene is another reason why families readily move to the state of Tennessee. It has 176 hospitals, out of which 76 are private institutions. The Vanderbilt University hospital is this state’s most prominent medical facility with 1025 beds.
It is home to St Jude’s Children Research Hospital, which is one of the best medical research facilities in the world. It also has the University of Tennessee Medical Center – Knoxville, a trauma center, and an educational facility with over 2000 doctors. It has attended over 80,000 visits just last year alone.
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