Moving to Tennessee

If you're ready for a charming adventure filled with stunning landscapes, live music, and a warm, welcoming community, it's time to consider moving to Tennessee! Our comprehensive relocation guide is here to help you explore everything the Volunteer State has to offer, from the vibrant cities of Nashville and Memphis to the breathtaking beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Get ready for a playful mix of Southern hospitality, rich history, and modern living as we dive into the enticing world of Tennessee.

Moving to Tennessee landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Tennessee

1. Get Ready for the Great Outdoors

One of the best things about moving to Tennessee is the abundance of outdoor activities available at your doorstep. From hiking the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to exploring the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, there's no shortage of adventures to be had. The Volunteer State is also home to over 500 waterfalls, making it a nature lover's paradise. Tennessee's mild climate allows for outdoor activities year-round, so be prepared to spend plenty of time soaking up the beauty of the great outdoors.

2. Music, Music, and More Music

When you think of Tennessee, you might think of country music, and rightly so, as it is the birthplace of some of the greatest country artists of all time. Nashville, known as Music City, is home to iconic spots like the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. But it's not just country music that Tennessee has to offer; Memphis is the hometown of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, and his home, Graceland, is a must-visit site. Tennessee is also a hotbed for blues, jazz, and folk music, so prepare to immerse yourself in a diverse and vibrant music scene that's sure to strike a chord with everyone.

3. A Delicious Food Scene

If you're a foodie, you're in for a treat when you move to Tennessee. The state is known for its mouthwatering dishes, particularly when it comes to barbecue. Memphis is famous for its dry-rub BBQ ribs, while Nashville boasts its own unique BBQ style that features a tomato-based sauce. Hot Chicken, a Nashville original, is a must-try dish that will have you sweating (in a good way!). Don't forget to wash it all down with a tall glass of sweet iced tea – a Tennessee staple. The state also has a booming craft beer scene, especially in cities like Nashville and Knoxville, so there is always a new brew to taste and enjoy.

4. The Curious Case of the Fireflies

Here's something unique and somewhat unknown about Tennessee: each year in late May to early June, a magical event takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The synchronous fireflies display is a rare phenomenon where thousands of fireflies gather and light up in sync, creating a mesmerizing show for lucky onlookers. This event is so popular that you need to enter a lottery for a chance to score a parking pass to see it. So if you're moving to Tennessee, be sure to add this enchanting experience to your bucket list.

5. The Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators

Sports lovers, rejoice! Tennessee offers plenty of action for fans of both football and hockey. The Tennessee Titans play at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where fans can enjoy professional NFL games. For those more interested in hockey, the Nashville Predators provide thrilling NHL action at the Bridgestone Arena. Both teams have passionate fan bases and offer a lively game-day atmosphere that you won't want to miss.

6. No State Income Tax

One of the more appealing aspects of moving to Tennessee, particularly for your wallet, is that the state does not have a personal income tax. While you will still need to pay federal income tax, you won't owe anything to the state when it comes to your earnings. This can result in some pretty significant savings, especially if you're coming from a state with high income tax rates. The sales tax, however, is relatively high at around 9.5%, so keep that in mind when making purchases.

In conclusion, moving to Tennessee offers a wide range of experiences for people of all interests, from outdoor adventurers to music lovers to sports enthusiasts. With its unique cultural and natural attractions, delicious food scene, and tax-friendly environment, there's never been a better time to make the leap and call Tennessee home.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Tennessee

Pros of Living in Tennessee

Affordable cost of living

Tennessee is known for its affordable cost of living, with lower housing prices and generally lower costs for everyday expenses. Cities like Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville offer a variety of housing options that are often more affordable than in other parts of the country.

Beautiful outdoor recreation

Tennessee is home to numerous state parks, beautiful lakes, and the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering residents ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. From hiking and mountain biking to fishing and boating, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Music and cultural scene

Known for its rich music history, Tennessee boasts legendary music venues, festivals, and events. From country and blues to rock and jazz, music lovers can find a thriving scene in cities like Nashville and Memphis. Tennessee's cultural offerings also include a range of art galleries, museums, and historic sites to explore.

No state income tax

One financial perk of living in Tennessee is the lack of state income tax. This can result in considerable savings for residents, especially those with higher incomes. As a result, the overall tax burden in the state is relatively low compared to other states in the US.

Mild weather

For those who enjoy mild climates, Tennessee offers relatively moderate weather, with warm summers and relatively mild winters. Snowfall is rare in many parts of the state, providing residents with an extended outdoor season for recreation and leisure activities.

Cons of Living in Tennessee

High crime rates

Some areas of Tennessee have higher crime rates compared to the national average, with cities like Memphis and Nashville experiencing issues with property crime and violent crime. It’s essential for those considering a move to the state to research the specific areas they are interested in to ensure they make an informed decision.

Humidity and severe weather

Although Tennessee has many days of sunshine, the state also experiences high humidity levels, especially during the summer months. This can make the heat feel more oppressive and may not be comfortable for everyone. Additionally, Tennessee is prone to severe weather, such as thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes.

Limited public transportation options

While there are some public transit options available in the larger cities like Nashville and Memphis, overall, public transportation is limited across the state. As a result, having a car is almost a necessity for getting around, which can be a drawback for some residents.

Poor air quality

Parts of Tennessee, particularly in the larger cities, have been known to experience poor air quality due to pollution. Poor air quality can lead to respiratory health issues and decreased overall quality of life, making it essential for potential residents to be aware of the air quality in their chosen city.

Lower-ranked education system

Although Tennessee has made strides to improve its education system over the years, it ranks lower compared to other states in terms of quality and funding. For families with children, considering local school districts and options for education is crucial when deciding on a specific area to live in Tennessee.

Nighttime picture of Tennessee highlighting pros and cons of living in Tennessee

Is Tennessee a Good State to Live In?

Tennessee is a great place to live because of its picturesque landscape, affordable cost of living, and rich musical culture. Additionally, residents can enjoy delicious Southern cuisine, friendly communities, and various recreational activities in state parks and urban hubs alike.

What Is Tennessee Famous For?

Elvis Presley's Graceland

Located in Memphis, Graceland is the iconic home-turned-museum of the legendary "King of Rock and Roll," Elvis Presley. Known for its distinct design, fascinating exhibits, and colorful history, this famous estate has been a must-see destination for music fans and curious tourists alike since its opening in 1982.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its diverse plant and animal life, beautiful views, and engaging outdoor activities. The park offers endless opportunities for adventure, including hiking the Appalachian Trail, exploring historic buildings, and spotting wildlife like black bears while soaking in the beauty of the majestic Smoky Mountains.

Nashville's Country Music Scene

Nashville is not only the capital of Tennessee but also the undisputed capital of country music. Home to iconic venues like the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame and countless honky-tonks, Nashville is a music lover's dream destination, especially if you're a fan of toe-tappin', boot-stompin' tunes.


Founded by country music legend Dolly Parton, Dollywood is a unique theme park located in Pigeon Forge that is packed full of thrilling rides, entertaining shows, and Southern charm. This family-friendly attraction offers a perfect blend of amusement and cultural appreciation, as it showcases the music, crafts, and the people of the Appalachian region while providing an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Capital building of Tennessee in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

Tennessee's property tax rate is relatively low compared to other states, with an average effective property tax rate of 0.64% as of 2023. However, property tax rates may vary by county due to varying local tax rates and appraisal values.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, the sales tax rate in Tennessee is 7% at the state level, with local taxes in some areas raising that amount up to 9.75%. This places Tennessee's combined sales tax among the highest in the nation, often ranking in the top 5 among all states.

Income Tax

Tennessee does not have a traditional state income tax but imposes a 1% tax rate on interest and dividend income from investments. This "Hall Tax" is scheduled to be phased out by 2025, at which point Tennessee will join the ranks of states with no income tax on wages, salaries, or investments.

Housing Market

When comparing the housing market in Tennessee to other states, the state offers affordable options for both renters and buyers. Tennessee boasts a median home value of $207,370, lower than the national median of $248,857. The median rental price stands at $1,050 per month, diverging from the national median of $1,125. With an increase of 7.18% in Tennessee's overall cost of living index, it is essential to consider market fluctuations along with specific locations and nearby amenities. As Tennessee's housing market showcases affordability and growth, it remains an attractive option for prospective renters and homebuyers.

Housing market analysis of Tennessee

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Tennessee is relatively affordable compared to other states in the US, consistently ranking among the top 10 cheapest states. Tennessee benefits from lower costs in various categories, such as housing, utilities, and groceries. The state also has no income tax, making it more attractive for individuals and families. However, Tennessee’s healthcare and transportation costs are slightly higher than the national average. Overall, residents can expect to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in the Volunteer State without breaking the bank, but specific expenses will vary depending on the location within the state.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Tennessee experiences a temperate climate characterized by mild winters and warm summers, typical of the southeastern United States. The state's weather features considerable variation depending on its geographical regions, with cooler temperatures in the Appalachian Mountains to the east and a more subtropical climate in the west. Tennessee faces moderate precipitation throughout the year, ranging from 45 to 60 inches annually, with higher levels in the mountains and lower in the inland areas.

Natural disasters common in Tennessee include tornadoes, flooding, and severe thunderstorms. The state is situated in the eastern portion of the tornado-prone region known as Dixie Alley, making it susceptible to these powerful windstorms. Moreover, given the state's extensive river systems, flooding poses a significant threat, particularly during the rainy months of spring. Severe thunderstorms also occur frequently, bringing heavy rainfall, damaging winds, and occasional hail.

Economy & Job Market

Agriculture and Forestry

Automotive Manufacturing

Energy and Environmental Technologies

Healthcare and Life Sciences

Film, Entertainment, and Digital Media

Tennessee's economy has long been rooted in agriculture and forestry, which remains one of its major industries today. Known as the Volunteer State, Tennessee is nationally renowned for its production of cotton, soybeans, and cattle. Additionally, the state has diversified its economy over the years and developed thriving automotive manufacturing, energy and environmental technologies, healthcare and life sciences, and film, entertainment, and digital media industries.

For those considering a move to Tennessee, the job market presents a plethora of opportunities. After a challenging year in 2020, the state's economy has shown resilience as its unemployment rate dropped to 5% in April 2021, below the national average of 6.1%. Key cities for job seekers include Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville, which boast robust job markets in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. Nashville, in particular, has experienced considerable growth in its music and entertainment industry, living up to its nickname as Music City, USA. So whether you're a farmer, a singer, or a tech guru, it seems that Tennessee has something for everyone!

Traffic and Transportation

Oh, Tennessee, the land where sweet tea and country music flow like the Mississippi! But do you know what else gracefully flows in this beautiful state? That's right, traffic and transportation! For instance, the Tennessee buffalo - um, we’re talking about vehicles, not the actual buffalos - in big cities like Nashville and Memphis trot along an average commute time of around 25 minutes. Comparatively, that's only about two honky-tonkin' tunes y'all!

Now, if you're leaning more towards public transportation, fret not, you urban cowboy! The good ol' Nashville MTA buses and Memphis’ MATA buses got your back. Who said “public” can’t be country-chic? And in case you want to soar like the eagles in Tennessee's bright blue sky, major airports like Nashville International Airport and Memphis International Airport will whisk you off your boots and right into air travel heaven!

So, whether you're walkin', drivin', or flyin', Tennessee keeps on keepin' that good ol' Southern transportation spirit alive. Yeehaw!

What is the traffic like in Tennessee?

Things to Do


So, you're moving to Tennessee, the birthplace of country music and home to some of the most scenic landscapes in America. You're in for a real treat! Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a self-proclaimed foodie, there are countless adventures awaiting you in the Volunteer State. Here, we've compiled a list of seven top things to do once you get settled into your new home. Grab your cowboy boots and buckle up for some southern charm!

1. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When you think of Tennessee, one of the first things that come to mind is the Great Smoky Mountains. As America's most visited national park, this natural wonder is a must-see for anyone relocating to the state. With over 800 miles of trails, there are countless opportunities for hiking, biking, birdwatching, and even horseback riding. And don't forget to take a scenic drive through Cades Cove, where you can spot deer, black bears, and other wildlife.

2. Experience the Birthplace of Country Music

No trip to Tennessee would be complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the country music capital of the world. Catch a show at the Opry, or take a backstage tour to learn about the legends who have graced its stage. If you're feeling brave, try your hand at karaoke at one of Nashville's famous honky-tonk bars.

3. Discover the Lost Sea

Tucked away in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll find America's largest underground lake, the Lost Sea. This little-known gem in Sweetwater offers guided tours through a fascinating cave system, culminating in a boat ride on the crystal-clear waters of the subterranean lake. Be prepared to be amazed by the unique rock formations and colorful, rare anthodites that adorn the cave walls.

4. Dive into Memphis Barbecue

Barbecue lovers, rejoice! Memphis is home to some of the country's most mouthwatering BBQ joints. In this city, barbecue is more than just food – it's a way of life. From dry-rubbed ribs to pulled pork sandwiches, there's a dish for every palate. Check out Central BBQ, Rendezvous, or the Bar-B-Q Shop for a taste of authentic Memphis ‘cue.

5. Set Foot on the Moon at Space Camp

Channel your inner astronaut and head to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, just a short drive from the Tennessee border. While technically not in Tennessee, this iconic attraction is well worth the trip. Here, you can experience simulated space missions, learn about the history of the American space program, and even attend Space Camp!

6. Pay Homage to the King at Graceland

If you're an Elvis fan, a visit to Graceland is a must. As the former home of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, this Memphis mansion offers an intimate glimpse into the life of one of the most iconic and influential musicians of all time. Take a tour of the quirky Jungle Room, peek into his private planes, and pay your respects at his gravesite.

7. Stroll Through the Historic Town of Jonesborough

Step back in time by visiting Tennessee's oldest town, Jonesborough. Founded in 1779, this charming and well-preserved community is the perfect destination for history enthusiasts. Wander through the quaint streets lined with historic homes, peruse the shops and galleries, and learn about the town's storied past at the Jonesborough History Museum.

There you have it - seven spectacular activities and adventures to kick off your new life in Tennessee. From the breathtaking beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains to the rich music history of Nashville and beyond, the Volunteer State is sure to keep you entertained and captivated. Now get out there and start exploring!

' Things to do in Tennessee?

Find Movers for Your Tennessee Relocation

Now that you're well-versed in the many benefits and joys of relocating to Tennessee, it's time to make your move a seamless and stress-free experience. Don't miss out on the opportunity to find the perfect moving company tailored to your needs and budget. With Great Guys Moving, you'll be connected with reputable, licensed, and insured movers, ensuring your relocation process is smooth and efficient. Take this next step with confidence and ease by requesting a free moving quote for your upcoming Tennessee adventure today!

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