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Old 07-30-2015, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,786,111 times
Reputation: 2764

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The only towns that can remotely fit your description are Knoxville, Chattanooga and Johnson City. Johnson City is closest in size, but Chattanooga may be closest in culture. Proximity to Atlanta airport is a huge win for Chattanooga, if airports are your thing.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:02 PM
 
132 posts, read 115,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerred View Post
You need to take a very hard look at Johnson City as it is really the closest fit to what you are describing. It is right at the foot of the mountains with great views and you can be out of the city and in a rural area in 5 minutes. The city's population is roughly 65,000 which isn't much less than Asheville's. It is the home of East Tennessee State University which has around 15,000 students and brings a young and diverse population to the city.

There are good parks, a symphony, a couple theater groups, and numerous events put on by the University. Downtown Johnson City is also in the midst of an extraordinary revitalization reminiscent of what took place in Asheville a generation ago. There is a decent sized earthy/funky/alternative population that gives the city a different feel compared to the rest of Northeast TN. There is a new rails-to-trails project (Tweetsie Trail), a new farmers market pavilion, and a new park downtown that offers everything from Saturday morning yoga, a Friday evening drum circle, and in September, Shakespeare plays. There is also a strong "buy local" mentality, numerous local food outlets, and a food co-op in the works that would be only the second in TN.

The airport, Tri-Cities Regional, is small but offers flights from Delta and US Airways/American to Atlanta and Charlotte, respectively, as well as flights on Allegiant to Orlando and Clearwater. Prices are no higher than Asheville Regional and are competitive for airports of this size.

While Asheville is unique and no city can really replicate it, Johnson City will be the closest you will find in TN. It is still a work in progress but it is an exciting time to be living here with all of the development occurring. Best of all, Asheville is under an hour away making weekend day-trips a breeze.


Great read! WIsh they had more IT jobs up that way.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:44 AM
 
14,938 posts, read 26,645,784 times
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Check out MSHA. Even though they are healthcare they routinely have IT jobs open.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:36 PM
 
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Just joined this thread. Thanks for the great info. We are considering retiring in eastern TN and have a strong affinity for Asheville, but don't want to live in NC. We like diversity, but we aren't necessarily into the hippie scene 24/7. TN is better economically, I've read,, and would have a mixture of liberals and conservatives, depending on the city/area. Also, we may have our daughters joining us to start careers after they finish college this year. As two looking for a vibrant retirement area with shopping, arts, live music, culture, and 20 something daughters looking to start careers (healthcare, tourism, other people-oriented fields and possibly going then for masters degrees), would Johnson City offer enough stimulation and opportunities at this time, or is it too far out with the revitalization just getting started? We are also looking at Kingsport/Bristol and the whole Tri Cities area. We live in the San Diego area now (I know....why would we leave?), but CA is becoming too expensive, drought-ridden, etc., so since we love the Southeast (we have family in SC but like TN better), we are considering relocating there.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:55 PM
 
5,419 posts, read 8,210,342 times
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You really need a road trip. If JC feels too sleepy Knoxville or Chattanooga might fit the bill. I think Knoxville has the best live music scene.

When you say you are looking for a retirement area does this mean you want a community that is mostly retirees?
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:08 PM
 
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Hi Creeksitter,
I am not sure if your reply was for me or the original post, but no, we don't want a retirement community. We are very young minded, love to go out at night, but on the same token, as we age, we just would like there to be enough medical facilities and other senior type resources to fit our changing needs. In other words, we wouldn't mind a rural "feel", but I'd like to be close enough to shopping, entertainment, as well as doctors and hospitals so I don't feel isolated. We'd also like to be able to make new friends to do things with. I am not a hermit type! I was a teacher for 34 years and need/want to be with people! Thanks for any insight. We spent a couple weeks the last two summers in the Southeast and checked out a few areas. We've not been that far northeast in TN yet, but that's the next visit. We aren't looking to move until our girls graduate this spring. :-)
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
598 posts, read 629,947 times
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It sounds like you really need to make a trip to Johnson City. The medical industry is the largest employer here with tourism/hospitality also being significant. East Tennessee State University offers an array of masters degree programs and also contributes significantly to the culture and feel of the city.

While the downtown area is in the midst of a significant revitalization, the rest of the city is well established as the retail and cultural center of the region. Johnson City has always been more liberal leaning than the rest of the region, thanks to ETSU's influence, and I feel like this is only increasing. ETSU and the medical facilities also bring in a host of transplants making the city much less insular than the rest of northeast TN.

Finally, Johnson City puts you right at the edge of the mountain and the numerous recreational opportunities there and only an hour or so from Asheville. It really fits everything you say you are looking for.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,786,111 times
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You'll either love Johnson City or dislike it quite a bit. Definitely need to go visit for yourselves. Otherwise, Knoxville or Greenville SC are your best options for proximity to Asheville. Chattanooga is really great too, but a bit of a longer haul due to the configuration of the highways. (For comparison, it's quicker to get from Asheville to Charlotte than to Chattanooga!)
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
1,492 posts, read 1,336,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
You'll either love Johnson City or dislike it quite a bit. Definitely need to go visit for yourselves. Otherwise, Knoxville or Greenville SC are your best options for proximity to Asheville. Chattanooga is really great too, but a bit of a longer haul due to the configuration of the highways. (For comparison, it's quicker to get from Asheville to Charlotte than to Chattanooga!)
Personally, I couldn't live in a place that isolated (to me), but I grew up in Nashville and lived in Knoxville for a year and almost everyone I knew that went to ETSU really enjoyed Johnson City, so I think if that's the type of scene you're looking for I'm sure it would be just fine. Despite never wanting to live there, my perception of the town is positive and I've heard really good things. Plus no matter what your preference is, the scenery is great.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:36 PM
 
2,726 posts, read 3,693,210 times
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Tax wise, wouldn't the advantage to living in TN be for income protection and lower property taxes than in NC?
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