Knoxville has many different neighborhoods that vary by size and features such as schools, shopping centers, parks, and greenways. If you’re planning a move to the area, you have likely spent time on Google Maps, looking up Fort Sanders, Mechanicsville, or Fountain City to determine which neighborhood is right for you. Below, we’ve created a guide to Knoxville so that you can see what each neighborhood has to offer.
Each of the city neighborhoods on our list has its own unique features. Whether you want a historic neighborhood that’s close to downtown, or a quieter suburb with more space for the kids to run around, read on to discover everything you need to know about Knoxville and the surrounding areas.
Best Neighborhoods to Live in Knoxville
Check out this Knoxville neighborhood map for the best neighborhoods to live in and around the city of Knoxville.
1. Oak Ridge
Topping our list of the best neighborhoods in this guide of the Knoxville housing market is Oak Ridge. This is a small yet booming suburb located about 20 minutes west of downtown. Oak Ridge’s history dates back to World War II when it played an essential role in the Manhattan Project and the development of atomic bombs; at the time this neighborhood was known as “The Secret City.”
It has since become home to families with children who live on average incomes around $52K to $80K annually, making it one of the most affordable places in Tennessee. There are also plenty of public schools here that provide quality education.
The small town of Norris may be one of the most peaceful suburbs in all of Anderson County. With just over 1,000 people living there and breathtaking views from any location, this little community has so much beauty.
When we buy homes in Tennessee, price is an important consideration when looking for the best neighborhood to settle in. Here in Norris, you can buy a home for about $209K, making it perfect for established families or retired folks who want easy access to Knoxville’s city life without spending too much. What really sets Norris apart are its waterways. Lake Norris is within walking distance, with multiple streams and estuaries linking to it. If you are a water sports enthusiast, this is the place to be.
One of the most affluent neighborhoods in Knox County, Farragut is home to some very wealthy residents. With a median income that exceeds $100k and average homes valued at more than $400K, it’s no wonder this area has such an upscale feel about it.
The cost of living here can be high due to its attractive reputation and how big homes tend to be. If you want space for your family, or if size matters more when looking at properties, then this might be the place right for you.
Although it’s situated less than 40 miles from Downtown Knoxville, Gatlinburg feels like another world. A major amusement park and ski resort are the most obvious luxuries this picturesque mountain town has to offer visitors. The population here tends to double or triple during peak seasons.
5. Island Home
Imagine living in a fun, historic community full of life and opportunity. Island Home Park is situated on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River. Surrounded by natural beauty to explore day or night, and within easy reach of the Ijams Nature Center, you’ll always find something new here. Renters will love its bungalows with original details still intact.
Worst Neighborhoods to Live in Knoxville
Having looked at some of the best neighborhoods, you must be asking; “Is it good to live in Knoxville?’’ Knoxville features some good neighborhoods, but others can be quite unsafe. Our list below includes the neighborhoods you should avoid:
1. Old City
Old City is a notoriously difficult place to live in Knoxville. With high crime rates and an unemployment rate of over 4%, it’s no wonder why only 120 people call this neighborhood home.
The median home is worth $274,000, while the median income hovers around $29,000, which is definitely not enough when factoring in the cost of rent or mortgage payments.
2. Old Servier
Old Sevier features extremely high crime; 8978 per 100,000, ranking it worst among the towns mentioned here. Not only does poverty run rampant due to low median income ($28,590), but homes sell at prices of about $76,000, meaning most families will struggle financially even without having kids.
Beaumont is one of the worst places to live in Knoxville. It features high crime and unemployment rates. The population is less than half what it was 10 years ago. It sits at just less than 2,000 people populating this small town and has a population density of only 2,900 per square mile. With homes going for $62,633 and an average income of less than $11,000, it’s not exactly what you’d call thriving.
4. Old North Knoxville
Old North is located in Knox County and is undisputedly one of the worst places to live in Knoxville. This neighborhood’s high crime and unemployment rates should be a major red flag for any potential buyer. With the median income being only $24,000, it’s clear that owning property here isn’t as attractive as in other areas of the city.
Cheapest Neighborhoods to Live in Knoxville
If you’re on a budget, here are some of the cheapest neighborhoods to live in Knoxville.
Alcoa is the perfect place to live if you’re looking for a lower cost of living, great schools, and easy access to town. It has a lower median income of $35,000 with very affordable home prices at an average price of just under 150,000! If you prefer to rent, you can find your perfect place in this community for less than $800 monthly.
Parkridge is a great neighborhood in East Knoxville for those who love the architecture and charm of old homes. The area also has many scenic parks, making it an ideal place to live with kids and pets. Unfortunately, this part-neighborhood doesn’t contain any schools that would make up your dream school list. However, if you’re looking into Parkridge for an investment property, then look no further than its median home value, which clocks in at just $68,500.
Oakwood is a great place for those who want the traditional feel of an older neighborhood with homes that date back to the 1920s and 1930s. The median home value stands at $107,000 and the median income of about $35,000.
Easily accessible via Broadway, this neighborhood is welcoming to all types of people from different backgrounds. In addition, it offers amazing school options, guaranteeing your child will get a top-notch education thanks to schools like Whittle Springs Middle School and Fulton High School.
4. Lake City
Lake City is a small town in Tennessee with an affordable cost of living. It has the perfect mix between rural and urban. The public schools are also rated highly, which makes this neighborhood even more desirable for parents who want good education opportunities for their children. With median home values being much lower than average ($70,000 compared to $217,000), this is an ideal place to settle.
Madisonville should be on your list if you’re looking for a low cost of living and want to escape from the hustle and bustle that downtown can bring. The median home value here is just over $136,000, making it one of those more affordable places in this area, almost half the national average. With its proximity to Downtown Knoxville and lower cost of living, residents enjoy suburban living at an affordable price with full amenities, including schools that rank among some of Tennessee’s best public institutions.
Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods to Live in Knoxville
These areas in Knoxville have been steadily climbing up real estate charts as more people move into them.
Maryville is a small town with big-city amenities, offering all you’d want from your hometown, without any high rises. Known for its affordability (a median income of $52,000 per year), Maryville has affordable housing and prices that are 11% lower than the rest of the country, making it an attractive option for would-be homeowners or renters alike. This neighborhood also offers plenty more: strong schools, well-maintained infrastructure, and excellent water and sewage systems.
2. Halls Crossroads
Halls Crossroads is a vibrant little town that feels like you’re miles from nowhere in a peaceful country. Many of its residents have a rural life with easy access to amenities city dwellers crave.
Housing options range from single-family homes, townhomes, and mobile or apartment living quarters that can be found for prices starting around $125,000 up to approximately $400,000 for more luxurious properties.
The diverse community of Inskip is located just south of Knoxville and north of Sequoyah Hills. Rental apartments here are more affordable than in other neighborhoods, according to companies that buy houses in Nashville, making them desirable for those who want to live on a budget. This little town also has its very own park full of picnic shelters, including those specifically designed for families, with tennis or squash courts, sand volleyball courts, and a junior disc golf course.
4. North Hills
North Hills is a historic neighborhood in North Knoxville that has earned its place on the National Register. The homes here rose to prominence during an era when people were moving out of city centers for more suburban life, and it’s home now mostly among families looking at Craftsman Bungalows or Colonial Revival style homes with charm.
Downtown Knoxville is a bustling metropolis with much to offer. From the restaurants and bars to live entertainment venues, there’s no shortage of something for everyone here.
For cash home buyers Knoxville’s Downtown houses sell for up to $430,000. You’ll also have easy access if you’re taking public transportation or walking distance from major highways, making it an ideal spot.
Since the downtown area has become popular among college students due to its proximity to the University of Tennessee, there are always plenty of other things for entertainment: concerts at the Market Square or performing arts shows that come through town.
Knoxville is a unique place to live. You can find neighborhoods that are just as diverse as the rest of the country. If you’re looking for an affordable place to buy or rent, check the availability in Parkridge or Alcoa. If you want luxury living with top-rated schools nearby, look into Farragut and Island Home. Wherever your next Smoky Mountains home may be, we hope this Knoxville neighborhood map has helped narrow down some options for you.