The Best Neighborhoods in Knoxville for Lifestyle and Culture
The best neighborhoods in Knoxville have two things in common: they’re beautiful, and they have a great culture. If you’re moving to Knoxville and are worried about where you’ll live, rest assured: Knoxville is diverse and culturally-rich. There’s sure to be a neighborhood you’ll love.
In fact, the city has recently turned into a hotspot for art and culture in the Southeast. It has over 50 nonprofit organizations dedicated to culture, heritage, and the arts. Knoxville is full of artists, musicians, dancers, and writers as diverse as the city’s population.
This diversity has led to a wide range of activities and events, from opera and theater performances to art exhibitions and music festivals. Go to a ballet, visit a museum, or dance at a local concert. There’s something for everyone.
In addition to being cosmopolitan, Knoxville has maintained its wilderness and created beautiful city parks. Getting out in nature is as easy as going to a festival, art gallery, or concert. For example, you can visit the Knoxville Urban Wilderness just three miles away from Downtown. This area has 1,000 acres of forest including 10 parks, four civil war sites, and over 50 miles of trails.
This balance between urban amenities and natural beauty makes Knoxville a great city for all kinds of hobbies and lifestyles. However, depending on your interests, you may appreciate certain parts of Knoxville more than others. Each neighborhood has a distinct vibe. Some neighborhoods are at the center of parties and festivals, while others are more peaceful and nestled in nature.
To get a feel for the different sides of the city, start by checking out these four neighborhoods. They’re among the best neighborhoods in Knoxville. Though each draws a different crowd, all are great places to live in their own way.
Downtown Knoxville is at the heart of the city’s cultural scene. There are galleries, museums, theaters, and historic landmarks throughout the neighborhood. You can go to the World’s Fair Park, which hosts events like the annual International Food Festival.
The park also includes Knoxville’s iconic Sunsphere, as well as the Knoxville Museum of Art. There’s also a fun playground and a large fountain for kids to splash in.
If you enjoy going to concerts or plays, you might want to visit the historic Bijou Theatre, too. Built in 1909 as an addition to Knoxville’s first hotel, the theater has recently been rediscovered and renovated. It’s now a premier place to watch concerts, Broadway plays, and other shows in Knoxville.
Prefer movies instead? Downtown Knoxville has a couple of excellent movie theaters just a block away from each other. The Tennessee Theater is the oldest, going back to 1928. It has a gorgeous interior with French-style chandeliers, Italian terrazzo flooring, and Spanish-Moorish architecture.
When it was first opened, it was called “the South’s most beautiful theater,” and it’s still a classy place to watch movies and concerts.
For more modern options, though, you can just walk over to Regal Cinemas. Both are surrounded by cool shops and delicious places to eat so you won’t be bored if your movie starts later. There’s also a beautiful park across the street—perfect for relaxing with friends, family, or a romantic date.
Old City Knoxville
Another culturally-rich area is the Old City Knoxville, located in the northeast corner of Downtown. For many years, it was a notorious neighborhood known for crime and vice. Brothels and saloons lined the streets, and raucous brawls were not uncommon.
However, the neighborhood began to turn around in the late 20th century thanks to the efforts two investors, Kristopher Kendrick and Peter Calandruccio. After buying a lot of property in the neighborhood, they worked to revitalize the area with new businesses.
Now, Knoxville’s Historic Old City is turning into one of the best neighborhoods in Knoxville for interesting restaurants, stores, galleries, and coffee shops. Many of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, giving the neighborhood a unique look and atmosphere.
Both the Old City and Downtown Knoxville are often the center points of many public events in Knoxville, ranging from international festivals and fun runs to free live performances and gallery showings.
You can go on a food tour, participate in a scavenger hunt, or browse fresh produce at the Downtown Farmers Market. Keep an eye on the events calendar to discover what’s happening in these neighborhoods every month.
Island Home Park
While the Downtown and Old City neighborhoods are perfect for anyone who likes to be in the middle of the action, they’re not the most peaceful areas of Knoxville. If your lifestyle revolves around quiet outdoor beauty, you might prefer the Island Home Park neighborhood instead. It’s one of the best neighborhoods in Knoxville for those who love nature.
Established at the turn of the century, Island Home Park was built on the property of a successful Knoxville businessman and philanthropist, Perez Dickinson. Perez referred to his farm as Island Home after the nearby island, now called Dickinson Island. The property was like a private retreat to him, an oasis near the city.
Although his property is now mostly dedicated to single-family homes, it still retains this peaceful quality. Many of the homes are historic Craftsman and Bungalows with a charming appearance. The neighborhood also includes the Tennessee School for the Deaf, which has existed for over 150 years.
Beautiful parks are close by, too. Island Home Park is by the river and offers picnic benches, a canoe launch, a baseball field, and tennis courts. You can also walk to the Ijams Nature Center, a lovely wildlife sanctuary with 10 miles of trails and regular events for adults, families, and children.
Another beautiful neighborhood is Sequoyah Hills, one of Knoxville’s oldest and most affluent residential areas. Located on a peninsula surrounded by the Tennessee River, the neighborhood rises to a bluff, giving magnificent views of the river and city. The homes, which range in style from Grand Italianate Villas to sophisticated Tudors, are stunning as well.
Sequoyah Hills has a lovely main road along its perimeter called Cherokee Boulevard, bordered on each side with well-manicured grass, sidewalks, and trees. It’s a great path for walking and cycling. It’ll take you to a lovely greenway leading to the nearby shopping center, so when you need to do errands, you can just take your bike instead of your car.
The cost of living in Knoxville is considerably lower than the national average. If you are looking for a vibrant city with affordable home prices, plenty of jobs, and easy access to Knoxville nature hikes, then Knoxville could be your perfect home.
With median home values over a half-million dollars, Sequoyah Hills is one of the best neighborhoods in Knoxville to buy a historic home in a well-established neighborhood.
Music and Plays at the Bijou Theater
Whether you are an avid sports fan, an outdoor adventurer, or both, there’s plenty to do in Knoxville. Art lovers can check out First Fridays in Downtown Knoxville where food, art, and music create the perfect night out.
Sports fans can rejoice thanks to Knoxville being a college town there are year-round sports events in Knoxville such as football, ice hockey, women’s roller derby, and more! Families can take the kids to the Knoxville Zoo or spend a Saturday exploring with Navitat Canopy Adventures—a tree-based adventure park.
There are many other neighborhoods to visit in Knoxville. If you need help finding a storage solution for your household furnishings, personal belongings, and recreational gear, one of our friendly Knoxville storage facilities can come in handy in case you don’t have to find a permanent home right away.
If you put your stuff in a self storage unit, you can take your time finding the best neighborhoods in Knoxville for your lifestyle.
Metro Self Storage offers eight conveniently located Knoxville Storage Centers:
Linden Avenue Storage
1700 Linden Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37917
Tel: (865) 221-7106
Chapman Highway Storage
4709 Chapman Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920
Tel: (865) 888-5774
Middlebrook Pike Storage
4318 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37921
Tel: (865) 643-8326
Walker Boulevard Storage
4540 Walker Blvd,
Knoxville, TN 37917
Tel: (865) 407-2668
Central Avenue Pike Storage
4811 Central Avenue Pike
Knoxville, TN 37912
Tel: (865) 643-8235
Unicorn Drive Storage
8713 Unicorn Drive
Knoxville, TN 37923
Tel: (865) 973-9365
Kingston Pike Storage
8848 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37923
Tel: (865) 973-9275
Airport Plaza Storage
142 Airport Plaza Boulevard
Alcoa, TN 37701
Tel: (865) 936-995
With more than 44 years in the storage industry, you can count on our professional, reliable, and friendly Knoxville storage teams to help you find secure and affordable storage solutions.