From the bright lights of Broadway to the scenic Smokies, Tennessee offers up something for everyone. Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, jamming to the Blues or looking for some small-town charm, the Volunteer State is the place for you.
Here are the top 8 reasons you should be heading to Tennessee.
Water, Water Everywhere
Whether it’s the mighty Mississippi in Memphis, the Cumberland River in Nashville or the Tennessee River in Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee is a water-lovers paradise. Add to the rivers more than 1,300 lakes and reservoirs, and the Volunteer State offers endless recreation opportunities, from whitewater rafting on the Ocoee to bass fishing in Lake Barkley.
Music in Our Blood
From Appalachian bluegrass and country to rock and roll and rhythm and blues, Tennessee’s hills are alive with the sounds of music. Many of the country’s most notable musicians cut their teeth in Tennessee clubs and recording studios — names, such as Dolly Parton, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash. Tennessee’s musical legacy includes Sun Records in Memphis, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the Johnson City Sessions in East Tennessee.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee isn’t one of the seven wonders of the world, but it should be. The park spans 800 square miles in Tennessee and North Carolina and is the most visited national park in the nation. Among the many recreation options inside the park, you can hike the trails, chase waterfalls, take a horseback ride or take in the views at Clingmans Dome.
Ready for Work
The Volunteer State holds one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates. Tennessee boasted a record-setting 25,837 jobs in 2015, prompting the Brookings Institute to rank Tennessee number one for advanced industry job growth. Tennessee is also home to nine of the world’s largest companies, including FedEx, Dollar General, and Eastman Chemical. Low business taxes and business-friendly incentives have helped lure global companies, such as Nissan North America to Tennessee.
If you are looking for a state in which to further your education, Tennessee is your place. Home to more than 75 colleges and universities, including the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis, Tennessee offers students a top-rated, high-quality education close to home. Not only that but, thanks to former Governor Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, graduating high school seniors can attend any community or technical college for free.
Tennessee’s strong network of hospitals and health care facilities give the state an edge when attracting relocating families. Nashville alone boasts more than 400 health-care businesses as well as LifePoint Health, St. Thomas Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the region’s top research hospital. Memphis is home to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which has been at the forefront of pediatric cancer research since 1962.
From back alley barbecue joints to James Beard award-winning restaurants, Tennessee’s culinary scene is a diverse mix of deliciousness. Memphis pulls from its Mississippi and Arkansas neighbors to brand its own form of dry rub barbecue at mainstays, such as Rendezvous. And Nashville cements its “It City” status with eclectic and fine dining establishments, such as City House and the Catbird Seat.
Compared to the national average, Tennessee’s cost of living is comfortably low. The average home cost is $130,700, and Tennesseans pay no income tax.