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Finding a great place to retire can feel a bit overwhelming. After all, the U.S. has countless cities that are attractive for one reason or another. But if you’re like many retirees, you want to find a city that offers a bit of everything: a great quality of life, a low cost of living, and plenty to keep you interested and engaged.

One city that ticks all those boxes is Knoxville, Tennessee, which attracts thousands of new residents every year. These days, a growing number of retirees are flocking to the city, drawn by many of the same attributes that recently made it the 13th best U.S. city for retirees, according to U.S. News & World Report.

What Makes Knoxville Great

Let’s explore some of the top benefits of Knoxville for retirees:

Low Cost of Living

Many seniors are pleasantly surprised to learn that retiring in Knoxville makes strong financial sense. The cost of living is about 4 percent below the national average, according to Forbes, which means you’ll save money on things like housing, groceries, transportation, and recreational activities.

Proximity to Nature

One of the biggest attractions in eastern Tennessee is Mother Nature herself. Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park are just outside of Knoxville, enticing day trippers with countless opportunities for a peaceful drive, hikes with friends and family, or a quiet picnic.

But escaping to nature doesn’t require a long drive. Knoxville is surrounded by seven lakes and sits along the Tennessee River. Close to downtown Knoxville, the Ijams Nature Center provides a uniquely beautiful urban oasis that is ideal for long, quiet strolls. A few miles farther east, Seven Islands State Birding Park is a favorite spot for river fishing, hiking, biking, and spotting an incredible variety of birds.

Plenty to Do

In addition to all the natural beauty in and around Knoxville, retirees also enjoy an incredible variety of senior-friendly hobbies and activities throughout the city. There are countless independent retailers and restaurants, eclectic shops, and unique neighborhoods to explore. 

Culture lovers can’t get enough of Knoxville’s arts scene. In the summer, the historic Market Square District plays host to outdoor music events and Shakespearean plays. Meanwhile, Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville Symphony, and other world-class venues attract crowds year-round.

For retirees who love sports, Knoxville has plenty to offer, including the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Ice Bears team, minor league baseball’s Tennessee Smokies, and the University of Tennessee Volunteers football and basketball teams, all of which have extremely loyal fan bases.

A Mild Climate

Knoxville benefits from a climate that usually doesn’t get too hot or cold. The summer temperatures typically stay in the 80s, while the winter highs usually don’t fall below 45 degrees. On average, the area receives less than a foot of snow every year, which helps retirees to stay comfortable and active almost year-round.

All the Necessities

Retirees love the high-quality medical care that is conveniently located throughout Knoxville. The city is home to six major hospital networks, providing residents with plenty of choices for both primary and specialty care. The city also has a strong network of senior resources, including plenty of options for those who require memory care.

With a population nearing 187,500, Knoxville is also big enough to cater to nearly any need, such as specialty diets or quirky hobbies. However, residents still say it feels like a small, close-knit community — making it the best of both worlds.

Discover Knoxville for Yourself

Of course, one of the best ways to decide where to retire is to experience a city for yourself. Get online and take a virtual tour of Knoxville, or plan a road trip to see it firsthand. And if you ever have questions about the area, reach out to us at Arbor Terrace of Knoxville, and we’ll be happy to help.

Safe & Comfortable Guide

Karen Emerson

About the Author: Karen Emerson

Karen Emerson joined the Arbor Terrace of Knoxville team in March 2003 to work part-time in the Business Office. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of Business Management. Karen became the Executive Director in November 2015 and is a licensed Assisted Living Administrator. Her door is always open to assist residents, family members, and staff.

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