Is Tennessee a paradise where people spend their days eating ribs, drinking whiskey and listening to bluegrass in the Great Smoky Mountains? Actually, it’s even better than that. If you’re considering a move to the Volunteer State, you can expect the idealistic southern stereotypes and so much more. From legendary music venues to tasty grub, here are eight reasons why you should move to Tennessee.
Tennessee is Home to the Country’s Most-Visited National Park
What’s the most-visited national park in America? It’s not Yellowstone or Yosemite; it’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you move to Tennessee, you can see why over 11 million visitors love this wilderness area by visiting it for yourself. Explore the park by hiking 6,360 foot tall Mount LeConte, or drive the winding roads on a summer night and watch 19 species of fireflies light up the sky.
Nashville Hot Chicken is the Best Hot Chicken
Legend has it that Nashville hot chicken was created by a scorned woman who sought revenge on her lover via an extremely spicy recipe. Turns out, he could handle the heat just fine—and so can Tennesseans, who love Nashville hot chicken. Get it at Hattie B’s, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, Pepperfire or tons of other great spots all over the state.
Dollywood > Hollywood
Nestled in a misty valley in the Great Smoky Mountains lies the delightfully kitschy Dollywood, a family-friendly destination that’s so much more than a tribute to the great Dolly Parton. Tennessee locals and visitors alike love Dollywood’s theme park, water park, cabins, dinner shows and Lightning Rod roller coaster.
The South’s Answer to Coachella
California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival gets a lot of press thanks to celebrity appearances, but Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee is for the true music fans. Since 2002, the festival has hosted a slew of great shows artists including Phish, Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and Paul McCartney.
Southern Charm is Real, Y’all
A 2019 study by Big 7 Travel ranked Tennessee as the second friendliest state in the country. If you like having neighbors who welcome you to town and you’re happy to be surrounded by the kind of folks who tip their hats at you on the street, you’ll love how kind Tennessee locals are.
As Smooth as Tennessee Whiskey
In Tennessee, everyone knows Jack. We’re talking about Jack Daniels, of course. The famed whiskey comes from Lynchburg, Tennessee and is made with limestone spring water, barley, rye and corn. Visit the distillery yourself and take a tour where you can see how it’s made and even taste a fresh batch.
Yes, Nashville Really Is That Cool
Considering a move to Nashville? We don’t blame you. With over 95 people a day moving to Music City, you’ll be in good company. Whether you’re looking to live in bustling Downtown Nashville, the trendy Gulch neighborhood or a popular Nashville suburb, you’ll love being close to the Grand Ole Opry, the Parthenon, Nashville Zoo and the Hermitage Hotel.
Other Tennessee Cities Are Equally Awesome
Sure, Nashville gets a lot of much-deserved glory in Tennessee, but don’t rule out the rest of the state. If you’re not sure where you’d like to move, consider Knoxville, where you can kayak the Tennessee River, cheer on UT sports teams and stroll historic Market Square. If you like small town vibes and big city amenities, check out Chattanooga, which boasts a 13-mile riverside path, museums like the Hunter Museum of American Art, barbecue, music festivals and Oktoberfest at Chattanooga Market. Love music? You’ll thrive in Memphis, which is the home of the legendary Sun Studio—aka the birthplace of rock ‘n roll. Memphis is also known for its namesake barbecue, which takes center stage at the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Tom Lee Park.
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