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Relocation and Local Services

You are thinking about Knoxville, TN.  Let us tell you a little about the area and provide some current information.

About Knoxville, TN

Knoxville is a city in and the county seat of Knox County, Tennessee, United States. As of the 2020 United States census, Knoxville's population was 190,740, making it the largest city in the East Tennessee Grand Division and the state's third largest city after Nashville and Memphis. It is the principal city of the Knoxville metropolitan area, which had a population of 879,773 in 2020.

First settled in 1786, Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee. The city struggled with geographic isolation throughout the early 19th century; the arrival of the railroad in 1855 led to an economic boom. The city was bitterly divided over the issue of secession during the American Civil War and was occupied alternately by Confederate and Union armies, culminating in the Battle of Fort Sanders in 1863.Following the war, Knoxville grew rapidly as a major wholesaling and manufacturing center. The city's economy stagnated after the 1920s as the manufacturing sector collapsed, the downtown area declined and city leaders became entrenched in highly partisan political fights. Hosting the 1982 World's Fair helped reinvigorate the city, and revitalization initiatives by city leaders and private developers have had major successes in spurring growth in the city, especially the downtown area.


Knoxville is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee, whose sports teams, the Tennessee Volunteers, are popular in the surrounding area. Knoxville is also home to the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Supreme Court's courthouse for East Tennessee, and the corporate headquarters of several national and regional companies. As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville has positioned itself in recent years as a repository of Appalachian culture and is one of the gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Knoxville metropolitan area, commonly known as Greater Knoxville, is a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) centered on Knoxville, Tennessee, the third largest city in Tennessee and the largest city in East Tennessee. It is the third largest metropolitan area in Tennessee. In 2020, the Knoxville metro area (the MSA as defined by the United States Census Bureau) had a population of 879,773. The Knoxville–Morristown–Sevierville Combined Statistical Area (CSA) had a population of 1,156,861 according to the census bureau in 2020.

About East Tennessee

East Tennessee is one of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee defined in state law. Geographically and socioculturally distinct, it comprises approximately the eastern third of the U.S. state of Tennessee. East Tennessee consists of 33 counties, 30 located within the Eastern Time Zone and three counties in the Central Time Zone, namely Bledsoe, Cumberland, and Marion. East Tennessee is entirely located within the Appalachian Mountains, although the landforms range from densely forested 6,000-foot (1,800 m) mountains to broad river valleys. The region contains the major cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee's third and fourth largest cities, respectively, and the Tri-Cities, the state's sixth largest population center.

During the American Civil War, many East Tennesseans remained loyal to the Union even as the state seceded and joined the Confederacy. Early in the war, Unionist delegates unsuccessfully attempted to split East Tennessee into a separate state that would remain as part of the Union. After the war, a number of industrial operations were established in cities in the region. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), created by Congress during the Great Depression in the 1930s, spurred economic development and helped to modernize the region's economy and society. The TVA would become the nation's largest public utility provider. Today, the TVA's administrative operations are headquartered in Knoxville and its power operations are based in Chattanooga. Oak Ridge was the site of the world's first successful uranium enrichment operations, which were used to construct the world's first atomic bombs, two of which were dropped on Imperial Japan at the end of World War II. The Appalachian Regional Commission further transformed the region in the late 20th century.


East Tennessee is both geographically and culturally part of Appalachia. Along with Western North Carolina, North Georgia, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland, and Southwestern Pennsylvania, East Tennessee has been included in every major definition of the Appalachian region since the early 20th century. East Tennessee is home to the nation's most visited national park— the Great Smoky Mountains National Park— and hundreds of smaller recreational areas. East Tennessee is often considered the birthplace of country music, due largely to the 1927 Victor recording sessions in Bristol, and throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has produced a steady stream of musicians of national and international fame.

Tennessee Topography, Climate, Temperature, and Precipitation

The topography of Tennessee is quite varied, stretching from the lowlands of the Mississippi Valley to the mountain peaks in the east. The westernmost part of the state, between the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River and western valley of the Tennessee River, is a region of gently rolling plains sloping gradually from 200 to 250 feet in the west to about 600 feet above sea level in the hills overlooking the Tennessee River. This region is defined as Division 4 (West Tennessee).


The hilly Highland Rim, in a wide circle touching the Tennessee River Valley in the west and the Cumberland Plateau in the east, together with the enclosed Central Basin make up the whole of Middle Tennessee. The Highland Rim ranges from about 600 feet in elevation along the Tennessee River to 1,000 feet in the east and rises 300 to 400 feet above the Central Basin which is a rolling plain of about 600 feet average elevation, but with a crescent of hills reaching to over 1,000 feet south of Nashville. This region is defined as Division 3 (Middle Tennessee).


The Cumberland Plateau, with an average elevation of 2,000 feet extends roughly northeast-southwest across the state in a belt 30 to 50 miles wide, being bounded on the west by the Highland Rim and overlooking the Great Valley of East Tennessee on the east. This region is defined as Division 2 (Cumberland Plateau).


The Great Valley, paralleling the Plateau to the west and the Great Smoky Mountains to the east, is a funnel-shaped valley varying in width from about 30 miles in the south to about 90 miles in the north. Within the valley, which slopes from 1,500 feet in the north to 700 feet in the south, is a series of northeast-southwest ridges.


Along the Tennessee-North Carolina border lie the Great Smoky Mountains, the most rugged and elevated portion of Tennessee, with numerous peaks from 4,000 to 6,000 feet. This region is defined as Division 1 (East Tennessee).


Tennessee, except for a small area east of Chattanooga, lies entirely within the drainage of the Mississippi River system. The extreme western section of the state is drained through several relatively small rivers directly into the Mississippi River. Otherwise, drainage is into either the Cumberland or Tennessee Rivers, both of which flow northward near the end of their courses to join the Ohio River along the Kentucky-Illinois border.


The Cumberland River, which drains north-central portions of Tennessee, rises in the Cumberland Mountains in Kentucky, flows southwestward, then south into Tennessee reaching the Nashville area before tuning northward to re-enter Kentucky.


The Tennessee River is formed by the juncture of the Holston and French Broad rivers at Knoxville. It flows southwesterly along the Alabama-Mississippi line, and then flows northward across the state into Kentucky. Besides the headwater streams, other important tributaries include the Clinch, Nolichucky, Watauga, Little Tennessee, Hiawassee, Elk, Duck, Obion, and Hatchie Rivers.


Most aspects of the state’s climate are related to the widely varying topography within its borders. The decrease of temperature with elevation is quite apparent, amounting to, on average, three degrees Fahrenheit (°F) per 1,000 feet increase in elevation. Thus, higher portions of the state, such as the Cumberland Plateau and the mountains of the east, have lower average temperature than the Great Valley of East Tennessee, which they flank, and other lower parts of the state.


In the Great Valley temperature increases from north to south, reaching a value at the south end comparable to that of Middle and West Tennessee where elevation variations are a generally minor consideration. Across the state, the average annual temperature varies from over 62° F in the extreme southwest to near 46° F atop the highest peaks of the east. It is of interest to note that average January temperature atop a 6,000-foot peak in the Great Smoky Mountains (e.g., Mt. LeConte) is equivalent to that in Central Ohio, while average July temperature is comparable to the southern edge of the Hudson Bay in Canada.


While most of the state has warm, humid summers and mild winters, this must be qualified to include variations with elevation. Thus, with increasing elevation, summers become cooler and more pleasant while winters become colder with increasing winds and dangerous snowfall events. Most of Tennessee is in the Humid Subtropical climate type, while higher elevations are in the Oceanic/Highland climate type. Extremely small areas over 6,000’ in elevation may be considered part of the Humid Continental (Dfb) climate type.


Knoxville and East Tennessee are on the move.  We sit in the middle of the crossing of three major interstates.  Running north and south is I-75.  I-75 can take you from south Florida all the way north to Canada.  Running east and west is I-40.  I-40 can take you from the Atlantic Ocean almost to the Pacific Ocean in California.  Running from just east of Knoxville up into the United States Northeast is I-81.  It can take you from Knoxville all the way to Canada.  Within the East Tennessee area, and running through West Knoxville, there is I-140.  I-140 goes from Oak Ridge to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and is a great way to get to the Knoxville Airport, McGhee Tyson Airport.  With McGhee Tyson Airport connecting to major hubs in the US (Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Dulles, and NYC along with numerous direct flights to the West Coast and Florida), you can get anywhere in the world within about 18 hours.

Internet Access, Bandwidth, Speeds & Feeds

In the 2020s, physical transportation is great, but it isn't the only thing people need.  The world has gone much more technical.  Because of this, high speed internet access is a requirement.  That means landline/wifi access in your home & office.  It also means high speed bandwidth when you are on the move.  Sure, you can go to parks, golf, or be on the lake, but you have to have high speed bandwidth everywhere.  Gone are the days of 28.8 kbps modems. 


Today, megabits, and soon to be be gigabits, are the units we need to be dealing with.  We've got plenty to share.  Highspeed fixed access is available from AT&T, TDS, XFinity, WOW, and a host of others up to and including gigabits per second (now dats what I'm talkin 'bout).  

Highspeed wireless access is also available.  You can get 5g from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and a host of other cell providers.  Where you can't get 5g, most providers have highspeed 4g available everywhere.  You don't have to go without that Zoom, Teams, or FaceTime call, unless of course you want to.

Things To Do In Knoxville & East Tennessee

Moving and planning to move is always a bit overwhelming.  Hopefully, with a lower cost of living, you will also have some downtime to go out and do things and explore.  We've got parks, lakes, universities & education, sports, shopping, and a few great restaurants to explore.


Almost everything regarding lakes and rives in East Tennessee is managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority.  The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned electric utility corporation in the United States. TVA's service area covers all of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small areas of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. While owned by the federal government, TVA receives no taxpayer funding and operates similarly to a private for-profit company. It is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is the sixth largest power supplier and largest public utility in the country.

Douglas Lake, also called Douglas Reservoir, is a reservoir created by an impoundment of the French Broad River in Eastern Tennessee. This lake is located only a few miles from the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area, and also the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Douglas Lake is mostly east of Knoxville along I-40.

The resort town of Baneberry is located on the northern shores of the lake in Jefferson County. Dandridge, the county seat of Jefferson County, is located mostly on the northern shores with a small portion on the southern. Parts of downtown Dandridge are located below the lake's operating levels, and are protected by an earthen dam.

Douglas Lake is known for

  • Great destination for crappie and bass fishing

  • Bush Beans Visitor Center in Dandridge

  • Class III and IV white water rapids in the connecting Pigeon River

Cherokee Lake, also known as Cherokee Reservoir, is an artificial reservoir in Tennessee formed by the impoundment of the Holston River behind Cherokee Dam.  Cherokee Lake is north and east of Knoxville.

Norris Lake, also known as Norris Reservoir, is a reservoir that is located in Tennessee. The lake was created by the Norris Dam at the Cove Creek Site on the Clinch River in 1936 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for flood control, water storage, and hydroelectric power. Norris Dam and its reservoir were the first major project taken on by the TVA. The lake, the dam, and the town of Norris, Tennessee are named for George W. Norris, who was a U.S. Senator from Nebraska and who wrote the legislation that created the TVA.

Melton Hill Lake is slightly north and west of Knoxville.  Melton Hill Dam Recreation Area around the reservoir and dam offers year-round camping plus sheltered picnic tables and pavilions. The dam was completed in 1963 and stands 103 feet high. It stretches 1,020 feet across the Clinch River. The reservoir provides nearly 193 miles of shoreline and 5,470 acres of water surface for recreation. Melton Hill is the only dam in the tributary reservoir system with a navigation lock and is considered a run-of-river reservoir, meaning that water is passed through the reservoir without being stored long term. Melton Hill Dam Recreation Area provides hiking and bicycling opportunities for visitors beyond the camping facilities.

Watts Bar Lake is a reservoir on the Tennessee River created by Watts Bar Dam as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority system.  Watts Bar Lake is west and south of Knoxville

Watts Bar's sport fishing ratings for crappie, black crappie, largemouth bass, and spotted bass are at or near the top in the TVA system.  (The state of Tennessee advises against eating fish caught in certain areas of the lake due to the 2008 coal ash spill and PCB contamination.) The area also provides many opportunities for birdwatching, with an extremely large population of great blue herons, over 120 nesting pairs of osprey, and a few bald eagles living on or near the lake. Several parks and camps are located on the lake, including the John Knox Center and the Boy Scout facility Camp Buck Toms.

Fort Loudoun Lake is a reservoir in east Tennessee on the upper Tennessee River, extending about 50 miles (80 km) along the river upstream from Fort Loudoun Dam, at Lenoir City, to Knoxville.  Fort Loudon Lake is immediately south and most parts of are west of Knoxville.

Fort Loudoun Reservoir takes its name from the 18th-century British fort built on a nearby site during the French and Indian War. The fort was named for John Campbell, the fourth Earl of Loudoun, commander of British forces in North America at the time. 

Fort Loudoun is a popular recreation destination, known for bass fishing, boating, and birdwatching. The tailwater area immediately below the dam is an excellent site for viewing a variety of waterbirds, including herons, cormorants, gulls, osprey, and bald eagles.

Tellico Lake is a reservoir on the Little Tennessee River that was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in Loudon County, Tennessee. Planning for a dam structure on the Little Tennessee was reported as early as 1936 but was deferred for development until 1942. Unlike the agency's previous dams built for hydroelectric power and flood control, the Tellico Dam was primarily constructed as an economic development and tourism initiative through the planned city concept of Timberlake. The development project aimed to support a population of 42,000 in a rural region in poor economic conditions. Completed in 1979, it created the Tellico Reservoir and is the last dam to be built by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

There are a number of other rivers that are associated with East Tennessee and that you will hear about.  Here are just a few.

  • The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles (1,049 km) long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names, as the Cherokee people had their homelands along its banks, especially in what are now East Tennessee and northern Alabama. Additionally, its tributary, the Little Tennessee River, flows into it from Western North Carolina and northeastern Georgia, where the river also was bordered by numerous Cherokee towns.[1] Its current name is derived from the Cherokee town, Tanasi, which was located on the Tennessee side of the Appalachian Mountains.

  • The Little Tennessee River (known locally as the Little T) is a 135-mile (217 km) tributary of the Tennessee River that flows through the Blue Ridge Mountains from Georgia, into North Carolina, and then into Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. It drains portions of three national forests— Chattahoochee, Nantahala, and Cherokee— and provides the southwestern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Numerous dams were erected on the river in the 20th century for flood control and hydropower generation. The river flows through five major impoundments: Fontana Dam, Cheoah Dam, Calderwood Dam, Chilhowee Dam, and Tellico Dam, and one smaller impoundment, Porters Bend Dam.

  • The French Broad River is a river in the U.S. states of North Carolina and Tennessee. It flows 218 miles (351 km) from near the town of Rosman in Transylvania County, North Carolina, into Tennessee, where its confluence with the Holston River at Knoxville forms the beginning of the Tennessee River. The river flows through the counties of Transylvania, Buncombe, Henderson, and Madison in North Carolina, and Cocke, Jefferson, Sevier, and Knox in Tennessee. It drains large portions of the Pisgah National Forest and the Cherokee National Forest.

  • The Holston River is a 136-mile (219 km) river that flows from Kingsport, Tennessee, to Knoxville, Tennessee. Along with its three major forks (North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork), it comprises a major river system that drains much of northeastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, and northwestern North Carolina. The Holston's confluence with the French Broad River at Knoxville marks the beginning of the Tennessee River.  The North Fork flows 138 miles (222 km) southwest from Sharon Springs in Bland County, Virginia. The Middle Fork flows 56.5 miles (90.9 km) from near the western border of Wythe County, Virginia, joining the South Fork in Washington County, Virginia, southeast of Abingdon. The South Fork rises near Sugar Grove in Smyth County and flows 112 miles (180 km) southwest to join the North Fork at Kingsport. The Watauga River, a tributary of the South Fork Holston, flows 78.5 miles (126.3 km) westward from Watauga County, North Carolina. The main stem of the Holston is impounded by the Tennessee Valley Authority's Cherokee Dam near Jefferson City, Tennessee. Five other dams, also managed by TVA, impound the Holston's headwater streams: Watauga Dam and Wilbur Dam on the Watauga River, and Boone Dam, Fort Patrick Henry Dam, and South Holston Dam, on the South Fork Holston River.

  • The Clinch River is a river that flows southwest for more than 300 miles (480 km) through the Great Appalachian Valley in the U.S. states of Virginia and Tennessee, gathering various tributaries, including the Powell River, before joining the Tennessee River in Kingston, Tennessee.


Shopping is something that everyone likes.  The excitement of something new sends chills up and down the nerves of everyone.  Knoxville and East Tennessee have some great shopping areas that should be mentioned.

  • West Towne Mall.

  • Turkey Creek.

  • Governor's Crossing in Sevierville.

  • Tanger Outlet Mall in Sevierville.

  • LC King Manufacturing Company in Bristol.

Universities and Education

East Tennessee has major universities in the area as well as many smaller schools to meet the educational needs of family and children.  The major schools are:

Some of the smaller institutions of higher learning include:

Relocation Comparison Information

Change always costs something.  There is always something.  However, there is a big difference, and that is the cost of living, so let's start with that.  How much does it cost to live in Knoxville compared to where you are now?  Let's find out.  the following is a link to a cost of living comparison which should show you the difference between where you lived, and us here in East Tennessee.

Cost of Living Comparison

However, there are costs beyond just a cost of living comparison.  There are moving expenses.  Let's go over other things that you need to be aware of and handle.

  • A month or two before, you will need to handle the utilities so that they can be scheduled to be turned off.  That means electricity, internet, gym, water, sewer, garbage, the gym, and basically anything that you do at your current location that is a regular expense.  You will want to make sure that these things will need to be turned on at your new location.  It will make sense for you to make a list of those things, get them turned off at your current location on the appropriate schedule, and get them turned on at your new location on the appropriate schedule.

  • If you are currently renting, give notice to your landlord.  Depending on your current agreement, you may need to do this up to 90 days before hand.  You will have to schedule a walk through with your landlord or property manager so that you can get your security deposit back.

  • If you have things that you will never use again, look to get rid of them.  You might be able to sell them, or you might have to give them away to a charity or neighbor.  The last thing you want to do is to move things that you will never use again.

  • If you are using a moving company, make sure that you schedule with them far enough out so that you can be firm on the dates.  Depending on your location, the movers may need parking permits or other things to make the "day of" as easy as possible.

  • Get your moving supplies.  That's boxes, tape, coolers for food, and anything else that might be needed.

Area Parks

There are plenty of area parks and places for family entertainment with nature.  Knoxville has 4,500 acres of parks and recreation areas that you and your family can enjoy.  Some are for sports, some are walks, some are for just enjoying nature's beauty.  Here are a number of park listings in the area.

City of Knoxville Services

The City of Knoxville provides a number of services for the needs of it's citizens and it's visitors.  Here are a few of them.

3-1-1   |   2-1-1
Animal Care & Control
City Council
Community Empowerment
Knoxville Community Media Videos, Live Streaming
Disability Services Office
Fire Department
Garbage, Recycling & Yard Waste
Housing Programs
Impound Lot
Knoxville Area Transit (KAT)
Knoxville-Knox County Planning
Neighborhood Services
Parks, Recreation & Greenways
Police Advisory & Review Committee
Police Department
Special Events

Streets, Traffic & Transit

Knox County Services

Knox County provides a number of services for the needs of it's citizens and it's visitors.  For a complete and up to date list, please visit the knox county website.  Services - E Government - Knox County Tennessee Government

Art & History

Knoxville and East Tenneesse contain many historical and cultural locations.  The first thing to check out is the East Tennessee Historical Society.  The historical society's web site is a part of the East Tennessee History web site.  

Family Fun

There are a number of fun family things to do to in the East Tennessee.  We've already shown you the parks and lakes.  There are a number of other family friendly fun things to do.

  • Pigeon Forge.  Pigeon Forge has a number of fun family things.  Go-carts, mini-golf, whitewater rafting, and more are available.

  • Gatlinburg.  You can go see Anakeesta, zip-lines, and more whitewater rafting. 

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