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Old 05-20-2012, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,675 posts, read 31,611,282 times
Reputation: 11785

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The locals will tell you that they get a lot of snow or at least use to but by northern U.S. standards it is hardly anything. You won't need a snowblower or even a shovel. In fact, I don't own boots or even gloves. Winters here are very, very mild and the season goes by very quickly.

Yes, folks that live in Knoxville visit The Old Mill Restaurant and lots of the attractions as well as the state park on a regular basis, usually.

It sounds like you are looking for a lovely town in or near the mountains. Something quaint. I would strongly suggest you look at Rogersville. That town is incredibly picturesque and very friendly. Other towns for retirees with your interests would be Dandridge, Walland and Townsend.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:56 PM
 
2,065 posts, read 3,271,463 times
Reputation: 2552
Foxysr I think you really really need to make a trip down here and spend time looking outside of the tourist areas. MrsMopar gave you very good insight into the Sevier County and you may very well be happy in the midst of all of that but I suspect that you have not seen some of the wonderful Smoky views away from the tourist attractions.

So far you have swung from tourist area in the mountains to a city in the valley with some distant mountain and plateau views. You may want to get out a map and look at smaller towns (although many are called cities they are not very urban) like Johnson City, Mountain City, Greeneville, Maryville, Tellico Plains, Athens, and Cleveland

I don't want to sell you on any one place because it doesn't make sense to push you into what works for me, but I do want you to realize there are some happy mediums out there that are neither city or tourist trap. Since each of us have very different wants and needs it makes sense that you may not want exactly the same location but at least this way you can make a better informed decision.

We are in the same age group and retired from "up north" as well. One requirement was giving up the snow shovels for us, too. We loved the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain area to start with and explored a lot of options in Tennessee between Virginia and Georgia along and in the mountains. First you need to understand that while there are many extremely small towns that have not changed much in the last century there are plenty of places that have modernized while keeping some of the yesteryear charms. The many areas outside of the tourist shops that are not all sitting and whittling as you put it, but some places are very rural with a strong Appalachian culture and others are a bit more mixed cultures and amenities.

Complete isolation was something we did not want, but we also didn't want city living and certainly not tourist living. We wound up in Blount County outside of Maryville where we feel we found the best combination of rural/suburban/mountain living with very little tourist traffic when compared to Sevier County, the next county over. We have a beautiful view of the mountains and can be there (in the National Park) in less than 15 minutes, yet we are 15 minutes from most standard shopping (supermarkets, box stores, restaurants, movie theater and all sorts of small stores) and a hospital. If we need the amenities of a city we can usually reach most parts of Knoxville in about 35 minutes, maybe 40 if we hit some traffic or are heading to the north side- this includes places like the University Medical Center, large malls, hobby stores and, of course, more restaurants. If I really want a dose of the tourist activities it takes me anywhere between 25 minutes and 45 minutes to get there depending on which way I go. I have a friend who moved to nearby Walland and she can be in Maryville and Knoxville about the same times as I can but she has a shorter trip to Townsend, Dollywood and Gatlinburg than I do. Who knows Walland may be your perfect place, too.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,675 posts, read 31,611,282 times
Reputation: 11785
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
Foxysr I think you really really need to make a trip down here and spend time looking outside of the tourist areas. MrsMopar gave you very good insight into the Sevier County and you may very well be happy in the midst of all of that but I suspect that you have not seen some of the wonderful Smoky views away from the tourist attractions.

So far you have swung from tourist area in the mountains to a city in the valley with some distant mountain and plateau views. You may want to get out a map and look at smaller towns (although many are called cities they are not very urban) like Johnson City, Mountain City, Greeneville, Maryville, Tellico Plains, Athens, and Cleveland

I don't want to sell you on any one place because it doesn't make sense to push you into what works for me, but I do want you to realize there are some happy mediums out there that are neither city or tourist trap. Since each of us have very different wants and needs it makes sense that you may not want exactly the same location but at least this way you can make a better informed decision.

We are in the same age group and retired from "up north" as well. One requirement was giving up the snow shovels for us, too. We loved the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain area to start with and explored a lot of options in Tennessee between Virginia and Georgia along and in the mountains. First you need to understand that while there are many extremely small towns that have not changed much in the last century there are plenty of places that have modernized while keeping some of the yesteryear charms. The many areas outside of the tourist shops that are not all sitting and whittling as you put it, but some places are very rural with a strong Appalachian culture and others are a bit more mixed cultures and amenities.

Complete isolation was something we did not want, but we also didn't want city living and certainly not tourist living. We wound up in Blount County outside of Maryville where we feel we found the best combination of rural/suburban/mountain living with very little tourist traffic when compared to Sevier County, the next county over. We have a beautiful view of the mountains and can be there (in the National Park) in less than 15 minutes, yet we are 15 minutes from most standard shopping (supermarkets, box stores, restaurants, movie theater and all sorts of small stores) and a hospital. If we need the amenities of a city we can usually reach most parts of Knoxville in about 35 minutes, maybe 40 if we hit some traffic or are heading to the north side- this includes places like the University Medical Center, large malls, hobby stores and, of course, more restaurants. If I really want a dose of the tourist activities it takes me anywhere between 25 minutes and 45 minutes to get there depending on which way I go. I have a friend who moved to nearby Walland and she can be in Maryville and Knoxville about the same times as I can but she has a shorter trip to Townsend, Dollywood and Gatlinburg than I do. Who knows Walland may be your perfect place, too.
This is very good advice as well.

It looks like a recon trip is in order for you!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:51 PM
 
27 posts, read 26,330 times
Reputation: 43
Default Such helpful individuals.

I cannot thank everyone enough! All of your advice is both sound and so honest. We have decided to visit several times and spend at least two weeks in each area in extended stay hotels and actually see what the "living" would be like.
I just cannot thank everyone enough you have been more than helpful and we honestly have decided that as helpful as everyone is there is no doubt in our minds that the "Smoky mountains" are indeed for us!
Hope to be there soon.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:36 PM
 
118 posts, read 151,567 times
Reputation: 49
I will add that whatever you do if you move here get to know the back roads because that "DARN" main road is a CLUSTER. With that being said I got caught in it today but lucky for me and a few others with TN plates took a side street which lead us away from the tourist ;-)

If you want to move to Sevierville go more north and not south (which is by Pigeon Forge).
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:30 PM
 
3,374 posts, read 3,841,741 times
Reputation: 2120
I drove OUT of Pigeon forge last night around 8 and could not believe the wall to wall traffic coming south on the parkway. Unbelievable - I guess everyone and their brother started te weekend early. I feel for you renee to have been stuck among those tourists as they drove around today.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Sevierville, TN
342 posts, read 351,411 times
Reputation: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
I drove OUT of Pigeon forge last night around 8 and could not believe the wall to wall traffic coming south on the parkway. Unbelievable - I guess everyone and their brother started te weekend early. I feel for you renee to have been stuck among those tourists as they drove around today.
It's the "leaf'ers"!

My best friend cleans cabins and the traffic's been horrendous! She's been driving all the back roads to get into G'burg.

Last Saturday I had to run to the Post Office in Kodak and sat in traffic from 139 to the post office!! It was bumper to bumper both directions!

Just have to have more patience living near the tourist areas. And know the back way too!
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:31 PM
 
25 posts, read 23,100 times
Reputation: 15
Default Retiring, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxysr View Post
I cannot thank everyone enough! All of your advice is both sound and so honest. We have decided to visit several times and spend at least two weeks in each area in extended stay hotels and actually see what the "living" would be like.
I just cannot thank everyone enough you have been more than helpful and we honestly have decided that as helpful as everyone is there is no doubt in our minds that the "Smoky mountains" are indeed for us!
Hope to be there soon.
My wife and I, living in MD, are looking for a place to retire in about 15 months. We have been looking in Western NC...Boone, Banner Elk, etc. Have followed your thread with interest and am wondering why TN appeals to you more than NC, since both seem to have beautiful views and areas? Taxes? Cost of living? Cost of housing?

Thx
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,675 posts, read 31,611,282 times
Reputation: 11785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gtr View Post
My wife and I, living in MD, are looking for a place to retire in about 15 months. We have been looking in Western NC...Boone, Banner Elk, etc. Have followed your thread with interest and am wondering why TN appeals to you more than NC, since both seem to have beautiful views and areas? Taxes? Cost of living? Cost of housing?

Thx
I know that when considering both areas there were a couple of reasons we went with Tennessee. One is the taxes are so much lower here. Tennessee is dead last in tax burden. North Carolina is about 17th. That's an enormous difference. A lot of people are surprised to see a Southern state like that with such high taxes.

Another thing is Tennessee is still in the South but it does have a slight advantage when it comes to summer comfort level compared to North Carolina because it is not close to the ocean. Of course some people love the ocean, myself included. But it is not THAT much farther to drive to get to it without having to spend the entire summer in that high of a dew point.

Most importantly to me, North Carolina attracts a LOT of transplants. It's become so noticeable that it has been called "New York South" and "Florida North." After living in Florida for 10 years I wanted to avoid that.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:11 PM
 
Location: West Knox
312 posts, read 340,485 times
Reputation: 224
We retired here from Rockville Md in 2010. Initial attraction was the beauty of the area. Research revealed the COL and Tax burden advantages. Then we made repeated visits and met the locals. They sealed the deal.
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