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Old 08-29-2011, 06:49 PM
 
11 posts, read 86,847 times
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I want to move to Tennessee, however, I'm not sure on which city yet! I'm trying to decide between Nashville, Knoxville, or Chattanooga.
I have been to visit Knoxville and liked it a lot, the only thing that kind of drives me away from it is UT.... I don't really want to live in a big college town. (I'm originally from Newark, DE, right by the University of Delaware, and I HATED it!!!)
I was also in Chattanooga, but it was only for a couple hours to visit some apartments, and then it started POURING down rain, so I just left. I didn't get to really experience the town. And I have yet to visit Nashville, but planning a trip soon.
I'm looking for someone that can give me a comparison of all 3 cities. I want to know things like cost of living, crime rates, things to do, etc.
I need places that are pretty cheap- I'm looking for less than $800/month for 2 bedrooms. I found plenty of those in Knoxville!
BUT, I also need safe! I don't want to be somewhere that I'm going to be scared to walk to my car late at night!
I want to live somewhere kind of slower-paced, but close to the city. I understand Nashville wouldn't be "slower-paced" at all, but I figured some of the areas close to it may be??
I'm thankful for any advice anyone has!!!
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Franklin, TN
6,655 posts, read 12,093,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calloway10 View Post
I want to move to Tennessee, however, I'm not sure on which city yet! I'm trying to decide between Nashville, Knoxville, or Chattanooga.
I have been to visit Knoxville and liked it a lot, the only thing that kind of drives me away from it is UT.... I don't really want to live in a big college town. (I'm originally from Newark, DE, right by the University of Delaware, and I HATED it!!!)
I was also in Chattanooga, but it was only for a couple hours to visit some apartments, and then it started POURING down rain, so I just left. I didn't get to really experience the town. And I have yet to visit Nashville, but planning a trip soon.
I'm looking for someone that can give me a comparison of all 3 cities. I want to know things like cost of living, crime rates, things to do, etc.
I need places that are pretty cheap- I'm looking for less than $800/month for 2 bedrooms. I found plenty of those in Knoxville!
BUT, I also need safe! I don't want to be somewhere that I'm going to be scared to walk to my car late at night!
I want to live somewhere kind of slower-paced, but close to the city. I understand Nashville wouldn't be "slower-paced" at all, but I figured some of the areas close to it may be??
I'm thankful for any advice anyone has!!!

About Knoxville: I lived in Knoxville for 5 years during my time at, you guessed it! UT!

I can see why one would not want to be in a college town dominated by the school if you aren't affiliated with it....but one thing to consider about Knoxville is that it's not a college TOWN. It's a college city. The main difference being that while the university is certainly very big on the local scene, it doesn't dominate it. Unfortunately for Knoxville, it doesn't have a whole lot of notoriety outside of the university...but it really does have a lot more to offer. It has all of the amenities you would expect in a mid-sized city....but as the Knoxvillians on this board will tell you, it retains somewhat of a small town feel (with more traffic).

Knoxville is a growing place that has experienced somewhat of a renaissance in their downtown area over the past decade or so. It's still somewhat of a small city downtown...but it suits Knoxville well. While you're probably not going to ever escape the fact that you're in Vol country, the city is certainly big enough to accommodate alumni from across the land.

Knoxville has a very nice setting (as I imagine you noticed when you were there). it's not in the mountains, but close enough where you can enjoy their beauty from in town. If you're in to outdoor activities, you will be happy with a drive of 45-90 minutes in just about every direction...as well as a few things right around town.


About Chattanooga:

I'll be honest and tell you that I haven't spent a great deal of time in Chattanooga. I've passed through there a lot, spent a little time downtown, and headed back home or on my way somewhere else (it's too close to home for me to be a full "destination" city). Chattanooga has done a good job of revitalizing its downtown area. It's not ultra touristy, but the Tennessee Aquarium is a very big attraction.

Chattanooga is the smallest of the 3 cities...and it definitely feels the smallest. It's stuck between Nashville and Atlanta, so that probably enhances that aspect. It's not really a small city, but it doesn't even feel as big as Knoxville to me (outside of downtown, perhaps).

However, for any shortcomings Chattanooga may have, it more than makes up for it in its natural setting. No other city in Tennessee can boast the natural beauty right in town that Chattanooga has. The hills and ridges are steep and dramatic, and lend the feel that you are almost "in the mountains" (though not to the extent of a place like, say, Asheville, NC).


About Nashville:

Nashville is, by far, the biggest of the group. MSA-wise, it's more than twice as big as Knoxville. It looks bigger. It feels bigger. If a larger, more cosmopolitan city is what you are looking for, Nashville will fit the bill better than the other two.

Nashville is the fastest growing metro in Tennessee. A lot more action has been going on there in the past 10-20 years than in the other cities (although they aren't slouches by any means). It's a pro sports town, with a bit of a college following (although more locals follow UT rather than Vanderbilt).

Nashville has a nice natural setting in rolling hills, but in my opinion it can't really compare to the setting that Chattanooga or Knoxville have.



Comparing the 3:

Cost of living: Nashville will be higher than the other two, but still lower than the national average. Knoxville and Chattanooga are both pretty similar to each other in that regard. Less than $800 will be easier in Knoxville and Chattanooga, but is possible in Nashville.

Crime rates: Each of the cities have their good and bad parts, but generally speaking, Nashville has a higher crime rate, followed by Chattanooga, then Knoxville. The suburbs are probably all pretty similar. Close to town will vary in each of the cities depending on the neighborhood. There's no straight up answer about places that where you will feel comfortable walking to your car at night. Each city has areas where that will be very safe, or possibly not so safe. Personally, I think that's something to look in to once you have picked one of the cities...a local can guide you into the type of neighborhood you're looking for.


My question for you would be, what type of work are you looking to get in to? That may determine which city would be best for you more than anything. While the current economic conditions haven't really ravished any of the Tennessee cities, unemployment is still higher than usual, and finding a job can be tough. I wouldn't recommend moving to an area without at least some leads.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:51 AM
 
11 posts, read 86,847 times
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Wow!! Thank you soooo much for your response! I wasn't expecting to get anything that thorough! It will definitely come in handy!
I'm not worried about work. I have a job with a company that I can easily transfer with.
Is Chattanooga's crime really bad? I looked it up, and it looks like it's really high! But that just seems really strange to me.
I feel like I'm most curious about Chattanooga. For some reason I have it in my head that that's the city for me. Even though I don't know much about it... lol.
I have a feeling I'm not going to care for Nashville too much. Maybe it's more of a city I should visit, rather than live??
But anyway, thanks again for your response! It was fantastic!!
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Franklin, TN
6,655 posts, read 12,093,221 times
Reputation: 7488
Quote:
Originally Posted by calloway10 View Post
Wow!! Thank you soooo much for your response! I wasn't expecting to get anything that thorough! It will definitely come in handy!
I'm not worried about work. I have a job with a company that I can easily transfer with.
Is Chattanooga's crime really bad? I looked it up, and it looks like it's really high! But that just seems really strange to me.
I feel like I'm most curious about Chattanooga. For some reason I have it in my head that that's the city for me. Even though I don't know much about it... lol.
I have a feeling I'm not going to care for Nashville too much. Maybe it's more of a city I should visit, rather than live??
But anyway, thanks again for your response! It was fantastic!!
Chattanooga's crime rate is certainly higher than one would think...but it's not a really dangerous city IMO. Ask a local Chattanoogan about the areas of concern...I'm not overly familiar with the neighborhoods there.

As for Nashville, maybe it would be a city you would rather visit than live, I don't know. You should probably take a trip to Nashville and Chattanooga (since you said you are already somewhat familiar with Knoxville) and see what you like or dislike about the cities.

What exactly are you looking for in a city?
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:36 AM
 
11 posts, read 86,847 times
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I'm really wanting to be somewhere "country", for lack of a better term. Where people go out four wheeling, fishing, etc. every day. I have that where I'm at now, in Northern Virginia, BUT, I also want close proximity to bars and somewhat of a night life, which I don't have. I'd have to drive over an hour to DC for that. So basically, somewhere with a good 'downtown' area. Ours here is horrible. There's only 2 bars, one of which closes by 1am, and everything else in town closes by 9 or 10pm.
It's just a really rough choice, deciding where you want to live. I thought when I moved here from Delaware that I was gonna love it, but been here 3 years and I'm MORE than ready to get out!
At least I've been able to narrow my choices down to these 3 cities in Tennessee... I was originally looking at them, plus a few towns in northern GA (Gainesville, Cumming, etc) and Decatur, AL, a couple towns in Louisiana, Clarksdale, MS, and some places in West Virginia (Charles Town, Inwood areas).

Sorry if I sound all over the place in my posts........ :/
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:41 AM
 
11 posts, read 86,847 times
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Oh, and just a random addition to that.... I want to be somewhere where country music is dominant over any other genre!
I got SO SICK of hearing blaring rap music in Delaware everywhere I went. I hate it!!
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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There are definitely parts of Chattanooga I wouldn't go to after dark- a few in broad daylight- but not all parts of town are like that and you can easily avoid the worst parts. Country music is big here, but you will get lots of other types too. We have a great downtown, but I can't really speak to the nightlife/ bar scene- maybe someone else can?

Chattanooga does feel much smaller- I think in part because the interstates go straight through Knoxville and your only real alternate route is often Kingston Pike. The interstate skirts around Chattanooga and while traffic is a pain in rush hour, it's nothing like Knoxville. Chattanooga is much more spread out.

Feel free to PM me if you want more info. I live in the county but work downtown.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:15 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,583 posts, read 50,626,282 times
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I think traffic is much worse in Chattanooga, compared to Knoxville and I'm not the first one to make that observation.

I think the OP needs to visit both cities. I originally wanted to move to Chattanooga, too. It is a very attractive tourist area but I think Knoxville is more geared toward its citizens as opposed to tourism. Not all places are for all people though, hence the reason to visit.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Franklin, TN
6,655 posts, read 12,093,221 times
Reputation: 7488
Quote:
Originally Posted by calloway10 View Post
I'm really wanting to be somewhere "country", for lack of a better term. Where people go out four wheeling, fishing, etc. every day. I have that where I'm at now, in Northern Virginia, BUT, I also want close proximity to bars and somewhat of a night life, which I don't have. I'd have to drive over an hour to DC for that. So basically, somewhere with a good 'downtown' area. Ours here is horrible. There's only 2 bars, one of which closes by 1am, and everything else in town closes by 9 or 10pm.
It's just a really rough choice, deciding where you want to live. I thought when I moved here from Delaware that I was gonna love it, but been here 3 years and I'm MORE than ready to get out!
At least I've been able to narrow my choices down to these 3 cities in Tennessee... I was originally looking at them, plus a few towns in northern GA (Gainesville, Cumming, etc) and Decatur, AL, a couple towns in Louisiana, Clarksdale, MS, and some places in West Virginia (Charles Town, Inwood areas).

Sorry if I sound all over the place in my posts........ :/
Nashville's suburbs could fit the "country" bill in places...but it's constantly changing. You'll still find a number of people who like to go four wheeling, fishing, hunting, etc.

As far as the bar scene goes, Nashville's is head shoulders knees and toes ahead of Knoxville and Chattanooga. Don't get me wrong...I know Knoxville has a number of decent bars (especially downtown and in the Old City)...but there are just many, many more of them in Nashville. Many have live music, and many are Country themed (although they are also more touristy)...and last call is 3 am.

As far as Country music being dominant...you might be surprised that in the "Country Music Capital", Country stations are not at the top of the list. There is a larger minority population in Nashville compared to the other two cities, so there is actually a lot of rap (and sometimes Spanish music, depending on the part of town) as well as pop, rock/alternative, etc. As far as the performances go, though, since Nashville is a huge draw for Country fans, I would say the bar scene is still probably dominated by that genre overall (especially downtown).

I believe Knoxville has the largest share of Country Music listeners among the cities you listed.

It seems like Knoxville fits most of your criteria. Again, I would encourage you to spend a little time in each of the cities...perhaps make a list of apartment complexes that fall in your price range in the different cities, and drive around the neighborhoods they are in...and perhaps take some tours. Make sure you're picking the right place for you. Also, if you have some questions about specific areas, you can post the questions here, or in the forum for the specific cities to get more detailed responses about them.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:49 PM
 
11 posts, read 86,847 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you all for your input! I'm working on a schedule to visit both Nashville and Chattanooga soon
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