Best Places To Live In Tennessee For Nature Lover
Tennessee is nestled in the heart of the southeastern United States and boasts a breathtaking landscape that captivates the soul of any nature enthusiast. From its towering mountains to its meandering rivers and verdant forests, it offers an unparalleled playground for nature lovers.
From the Great Smoky Mountains to the lush forests, the state offers a diverse array of outdoor adventures waiting to be explored. Whether you seek tranquil hikes through verdant valleys, exhilarating whitewater rafting, or serene moments by cascading waterfalls, Tennessee has something for every nature lover which we have collected below.
Gatlinburg is a resort town located just southeast of Knoxville. It is famously known for the Gatlinburg SkyBridge (680-foot), the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, and offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the town below. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 1,500 black bears, as well as countless other species of animals and birds.
The median household income in Gatlinburg is approximately $38,000 per year. Not only that but it has an estimated population of around 4,205 residents and covers a relatively small area, with a total land area of approximately 10.1 square miles.
Chattanooga offers an array of neighborhoods and communities that cater to nature lovers seeking a harmonious blend of urban convenience and outdoor adventure. From waterfront living along the Tennessee River to tranquil retreats nestled amidst lush forests and scenic vistas, it provides endless opportunities for residents to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region.
The city has an estimated population of around 182,799 residents and it covers a total area of approximately 144.6 square miles (374.7 square kilometers). The median household income is approximately $45,000 per year.
Nashville may be known for its music scene, but it also boasts a surprising amount of green space and natural beauty for nature lovers to enjoy. Located south of Nashville, Forest Hills is known for its quiet, family-friendly atmosphere and abundance of green space.
Furthermore, Nashville covers a total area of approximately 475.9 square miles (1,231 square kilometers), making it the largest city in Tennessee by land area. It has an estimated population of around 700,000 residents within the city limits and the median household income is around $60,000 per year.
Knoxville offers an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. For nature lovers seeking a balance between urban amenities and proximity to scenic landscapes, it provides several neighborhoods with ample types of housing options and areas that cater to their interests.
It covers a total area of approximately 104.2 square miles (269.8 square kilometers). As of the latest available data, Knoxville has an estimated population of around 191,000 residents. The median household income is approximately $38,000 per year, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Franklin offers a blend of suburban charm and natural beauty that appeals to nature lovers seeking a peaceful retreat within easy reach of urban amenities. Surrounded by lush greenery, serene parks, and scenic waterways, it provides numerous neighborhoods and communities that cater to those who cherish the great outdoors.
It covers a land area of approximately 41.4 square miles and the median household income is approximately $98,000 per year. As of the most recent estimates, Franklin has a population of around 83,097 residents.
Living in the heart of historic downtown Jonesborough provides residents with easy access to quaint shops, galleries, and restaurants, as well as its picturesque surroundings. With tree-lined streets, historic architecture, and a vibrant sense of community, Jonesborough offers a charming setting for nature lovers to explore the parks, walking trails, and scenic overlooks while immersing themselves in the area's rich history and culture.
For nature lovers seeking a serene retreat surrounded by picturesque landscapes and outdoor adventures, Jonesborough offers a variety of neighborhoods and areas that cater to those who cherish the beauty of the natural world.
7. Johnson City
Johnson City, nestled in the scenic foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northeastern Tennessee, offers a plethora of opportunities for nature enthusiasts to live amidst breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures.
Located just south of downtown Johnson City, Buffalo Mountain is a picturesque area known for its rugged terrain, dense forests, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Residents of Buffalo Mountain enjoy access to miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that wind through the pristine wilderness, offering opportunities to spot wildlife and admire scenic vistas along the way.
Sewanee is a charming town renowned for its stunning natural beauty and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. For nature lovers seeking the perfect place to call home in Sewanee as building a home on a budget in Tennessee is relatively cheap costing around $262,000, several neighborhoods and areas stand out for their proximity to parks, trails, and scenic vistas.
It covers a total area of approximately 3.9 square miles (10.1 square kilometers). Sewanee has an estimated population of around 2,400 residents. Furthermore, The median household income per annum is approximately $60,000.
One must-visit spot is Burgess Falls State Park, where you can hike through the forest to see four breathtaking waterfalls. Another great option is Cummins Falls State Park, where you can swim in the cool waters of Cummins Falls or take a hike along the scenic trail.
Cookeville covers a total area of approximately 35.8 square miles (92.7 square kilometers). The area has an estimated population of around 34,874 residents within the city limits. The median household income per annum is around $38,000.
10. Tellico Plains
Tellico Plains is a great destination for nature lovers. Located in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, the area is surrounded by beautiful forests, rivers, and mountains. The town is a great base for hiking, fishing, and camping. Some popular spots for outdoor enthusiasts include Bald River Falls, the Cherohala Skyway, and the Tellico River.
As of the latest available data, Tellico Plains has an estimated population of around 880 residents. It covers a total area of approximately 2.3 square miles (6.0 square kilometers). The median household income is around $30,000 per year.
Murfreesboro is surrounded by beautiful natural areas, perfect for hiking, biking, fishing, and boating. The Walter Hill Dam Recreation Area, Percy Priest Lake, and Murfreesboro Greenway System are just a few of the many places to enjoy the outdoors.
With a total area of 54.1 square miles, Murfreesboro offers a diverse landscape ranging from rolling hills to urban neighborhoods. It has experienced significant population growth in recent years, with an increase of 6.3% from 2020 to 2022. The median household income is $70,451, exceeding the state average of $59,039.
12. Leipers Fork
The rolling hills and scenic countryside surrounding Leipers Fork provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hike or bike on the Natchez Trace Parkway, go horseback riding on scenic trails, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Throughout the year, Leipers Fork hosts a variety of special events, including art festivals, concerts, and holiday celebrations. These events offer a glimpse into the local culture and provide a fun way to experience the community spirit.
Gallatin provides ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike or bike on the scenic trails of the Gallatin Greenway System, or kayak or fish on the beautiful Old Hickory Lake. The Triple Creek Park offers playgrounds, splash pads, and picnic areas, while the Gallatin Aquatic Center provides year-round fun.
With its safe neighborhoods, excellent schools, and numerous family-friendly activities, it is a great place to raise a family. A population of about 46,902 reside in an area of around 35 square miles, leaving ample of free spaces. The average rent of $1500 for a two-bedroom apartment does not rank the city on the list of places with the highest rent in the US.
Clarksville is a city about 50 miles northwest of Nashville known for its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant community.
Moreover, it is situated on the banks of the Cumberland River and offers stunning natural scenery. Hike or bike on the Clarksville Greenway, go kayaking or fishing on the river, or explore the Dunbar Cave, a natural limestone cavern with prehistoric art.
Nestled approximately 45 miles south of Nashville, Columbia seamlessly combines Southern charm, a rich historical downtown, scenic landscapes, and contemporary conveniences. The city houses around 43,340 residents in an area of 30 square miles.
Boasting a cost of living that is generally more affordable than larger cities in Tennessee, Columbia becomes an appealing choice for families and individuals in search of a comfortable lifestyle without compromising on the unique blend of cultural heritage and modern amenities.
Located amidst the Cumberland Mountains, Crossville, TN, boasts over 1,700 acres of the stunning Cumberland Mountain State Park, offering hiking, biking, kayaking, and waterfall chasin'. This adventure hub, with a population of around 11,000 and a territory spanning 22 square miles, attracts nature enthusiasts seeking moderate hiking trails like
Black Mountain or the iconic 256-ft Fall Creek Falls, the highest east of the Rockies. Despite its natural charm, Crossville offers a comfortable lifestyle with a median household income exceeding $50,000, making it a haven for both outdoor adventurers and those seeking a peaceful mountain escape.
Manchester offers a blend of rural charm and natural beauty that appeals to nature enthusiasts. Surrounded by scenic landscapes, lush forests, and outdoor recreational areas, it provides several neighborhoods and communities that cater to those who cherish the great outdoors.
It boasts a total area of 7.6 square miles. The estimated population of Manchester was around 13,020 residents. This translates to a population density of roughly 1,713 people per square mile. The latest figures from 2023 show a median household income of $47,092 in Manchester.
Lawrenceburg offers a tranquil retreat amidst the region's natural beauty. Surrounded by lush forests, scenic rivers, and picturesque countryside, it provides several neighborhoods and areas that cater to nature enthusiasts seeking a peaceful lifestyle close to nature.
It has a total area of 11.7 square miles, of which 11.6 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles is water. The population of Lawrenceburg was 11,633. The city has a population density of 1,003.2 people per square mile. Moreover, the median household income in Lawrenceburg is $37,644.
Nestled in Tennessee's Blue Ridge Mountains, Erwin packs adventure despite its small size (6,000 residents). Hike to cascading waterfalls like Rock Creek or explore hidden caves. Adrenaline junkies can whitewater raft the Nolichucky River or mountain bike rugged trails.
While enjoying nature, keep an eye out for wildflowers and diverse wildlife. After your escapades, unwind in the charming downtown with local shops and eateries. Though small, Erwin offers a big helping of natural beauty and outdoor thrills.
Sitting in the foothills of the Tennessee Valley, Pulaski packs adventure for all. Hike or bike through Shiloh National Military Park's historic trails, or kayak the Duck River's gentle currents. Explore the underground wonders of Cathedral Caverns, or tee off at the challenging Henry Horton Golf Course.
Pulaski covers a total area of approximately 7.7 square miles with a population of around 8,000 and a median household income hovering around $42,000, Pulaski offers a charming small-town vibe with a touch of big-city excitement. So, lace up your boots, grab your kayak, or swing your clubs - Pulaski awaits!
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