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Skyline Of Downtown Knoxville Tennessee Usa

Best Neighborhoods in Knoxville for Singles & Young Professionals

Planning a move to Knoxville? The newly-revitalized Marble City has been ranked one of the best places to live in Tennessee due to its affordability and fantastic recreation opportunities—in addition to its Southern culture, University of Tennessee flagship campus, history, and nightlife scene. Here are the best neighborhoods in Knoxville for singles and young professionals!

Downtown Knoxville

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  • Home Price: $353,050 median purchase price; $1,013 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 88% of Knoxville neighborhoods

Downtown Knoxville—marked by its beautiful restored brick buildings, flashing theatre signs, and Southern charm—is the heart of Marble City. Though this very walkable area can fit within a square mile, Downtown Knoxville is jam-packed with things to do—from checking out the theatre and arts scene on Gay Street to visiting the dozens of restaurants, boutiques, museums, and parks! The cost of living here is higher than nearby neighborhoods, but the strong real estate market caused by its proximity to the University of Tennessee makes buying a condo, apartment, or home in Downtown an excellent investment. The neighborhood’s central location and robust transit system make this Knoxville neighborhood an ideal place for young professionals.

Things to Do in Downtown Knoxville

Take in gorgeous views of the cityscape from the Sunsphere observation deck at the iconic World’s Fair Park. View collections like the Thorne Miniature Rooms and Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass, or take a mobile guided tour at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Enjoy live music, opera, and comedy sets where big names like Aziz Ansari and The Ramones have performed at Gay Street’s Bijou Theatre. Attend a country concert, catch an action-packed monster truck rally, or cheer on the Tennessee Volunteers (NCAA D-I) during a basketball game at the Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center. Fill up on delicious Knoxville brunch with savory crepes like the Grilled Cheese, Smoked Salmon, or Monte Cristo Ham at The French Market Creperie. Dig in to The ‘Merican burger with Duck Fat Fries and a smooth shot of Angel’s Envy bourbon at whiskey restaurant Stock & Barrel. Enjoy conversation in a quiet, intimate atmosphere over Gnocchi Amatriciana, Fusilli Carbonara, and a bottle of Chianti at romantic Emilia. Or soak in a panoramic view of the Tennessee River during a dinner of Char-Grilled Shrimp or Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que Ribs with a Maple Bourbon Sour at Calhoun’s On The River.

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Fourth & Gill

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  • Home Price: $298,800 median purchase price; $802 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 81% of Knoxville neighborhoods

The Fourth & Gill Historic Overlay District is another Knoxville neighborhood dedicated to preserving the charm and majesty of its historical Queen Anne and Craftsman-style homes. You can also find single-family houses, duplexes, lofts, and apartments near the University of Tennessee in Fourth & Gill, nestled among the picturesque buildings that line the streets. Fourth & Gill Park offers a natural space, providing an area where residents can walk, bike, picnic, study, and play in peace. Though it’s a primarily residential neighborhood, there are plenty of bars, restaurants, breweries, and unique Knoxville nightlife surrounding Fourth & Gill that give it its own urban flavor.

Things to Do in Fourth & Gill

Take your pup out for a playdate while enjoying the beer garden at The Bark, Knoxville’s first indoor and outdoor dog park. Venture a couple blocks away to tour the wooded hills of the Victorian Old Gray Cemetery, the final resting place of many famous Tennessean figures like suffragist Lizzie Crozier French and naval aviator Charles McGhee Tyson. Sign up for a ballet, bellydance, jazz fusion, or comedy improv class at the Broadway Academy of Performing Arts and Event Center. Or try Mellow Flow, Thrive, or Restore yoga classes at Yoga Central. Start your day with an Americano, Tiramisu Latte, or Cold Brew Coffee on the unique, hammock-style seating at Knoxville coffee shop K Brew. Grab a slice of Super Mario Sunshine or Mario’s Garden Feta pizza and share a Mario Party Sampler with friends at Super Mario’s Pizza. Sip a Small Vices IPA, The Wickedest Hands of Doom, or the award-winning Toro y Oso from XUL Beer Company. Or if you have a taste for sweet and seasonal brews, try the Stockholm Syndrome sour, Eye of the Peepholder, or the Blueberry Crush sour at Next Level Brewing Company.

Old North Knoxville

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  • Home Price: $228,275 median purchase price; $783 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Knoxville neighborhoods

Old North Knoxville is a haven for young professionals who want to be close to downtown but also want a scenic, quiet place to call home. Highly walkable, friendly to dog lovers, and located within ten minutes of the UT campus, this beautiful area is primarily residential, but it has plenty of coffee shops, taverns, eateries, and historic sites to explore nearby. The historical Victorian, Dutch Colonial Revival, and bungalow homes have been updated with modern features while still retaining their classic architecture.

Things to Do in Old North Knoxville

Get lost in the beat, meet with friends for drinks, or take part in club trivia at the LGBTQ-friendly Club XYZ. Catch a screening of classic martial arts films or live comedy shows at Central Cinema. Bring home a groovy piece of antique furniture, pop culture memorabilia, or vintage clothing from Retrospect Vintage Store. Walk and bike miles of wooded trails and soak in breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains at nearby Sharp’s Ridge Veteran’s Memorial Park. Fill up on Black Bean Hummus, a stone-baked Porky Pie flat pizza, and a Guinness Draught at Central Flats & Taps. Pair The Oak Room Board or The House Flatbread with a Chattanooga Whiskey Flight at Abridged Beer Company‘s The Oak Room. Satisfy your craving for homemade soul food with a Knox Hot Tender Sandwich, Catfish Sandwich, and a side of Nanny Mary’s Fried Green Tomatoes at Jackie’s Dream. Or for a lighter option, dig into a healthy and flavorful Beach Bum, Yogi Bowl, or Chocolate Monkey signature bowl at Blossom Bowls.

Old City

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  • Home Price: $335,800 median purchase price; $673 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 94% of Knoxville neighborhoods

Once characterized by its high concentration of saloons and crime, Old City has undergone massive redevelopment and revitalization since the 1980s. Investors purchased and preserved many of the area’s Victorian buildings that now give the neighborhood its independent, alternative edge. Today, Old City’s historic stone buildings have been repurposed into some of Knoxville’s trendiest breweries, coffee shops, art galleries, restaurants, and even housing! You can find stylish lofts tucked in the brick Jackson Ateliers Shoes & Rubbers building—and condos in the iconic JFG Flats, once the home of the JFG Coffee roasting facility. All of Old City’s restored charm is located within ten minutes of the UT campus and the heart of downtown, making this a fantastic place to live in Knoxville.

Things to Do in Old City

Pour over fantastic exhibits of local and regional artists during a self-guided tour of the 28,000-square-foot Emporium Center, home to Knoxville’s Arts & Culture Alliance. Catch a live experimental or indie music performance at popular nightclub, Pilot Light. See temporary art installations from the Dogwood Arts in Public Places program, and commemorate Knoxville’s role in the rise of country music at the Cradle of Country Music Park. Appreciate Knoxville’s diverse community by attending a theatrical performance at the River & Rail Theatre Company. Stop for a hot Cafe au Lait, Masala Chai Latte, or Yerba Mate at area-favorite Old City Java. Sit down for an upscale meal of Roasted TX Mushrooms, Buffalo Ribeye, Yukon Gold Mash, and more at the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. Enjoy a casual atmosphere with friends while sampling the Bang Bang Shrimp, Sesame Salad, and Dan Dan Noodles from Kaizen. Or take your pick from a wall of 50 beers on tap like the Surf Wax IPA, Miro Miel Blonde, or Capy Snacks Fruit Beer at Merchants of Beer.

South Knoxville

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  • Home Price: $111,238 median purchase price; $902 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 56% of Knoxville neighborhoods

If you think South Knoxville seems a bit less urban than other areas of Knoxville, you’re not wrong. Perfect for outdoorsy residents, SoKno has become well-known for its Urban Wilderness—a 1,000-acre wooded expanse with miles of trails, streams, and lakes for kayaking and paddleboarding, rock climbing areas, a wildlife management center, three historic Civil War forts to explore, and much more. South Knoxville also has a relaxed atmosphere and thriving brewery culture, making it an increasingly popular spot with young professionals. The neighborhood has plenty of affordable and luxury homes, condos, and apartments, and it’s just minutes from downtown across the Tennessee River, making for a convenient daily work commute.

Things to Do in South Knoxville

Travel just minutes away to explore the wildlife sanctuary, museum, and multi-use trails of the wooded Ijams Nature Center. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pro, test your mettle on one of more than 30 rock-climbing routes at Ijams Crag. Climb up into the trees for a treetop zipline adventure with rope bridges, nets, swings, and trails for people of all experience levels at Navitat Knoxville. On the west side of the neighborhood, take a dip in the Augusta Quarry Lake or trek the trails leading up to the Civil War fort preserved at Fort Dickerson Park. Energize yourself for a day of adventure with a Cortado, London Fog, or Dirty Chai Latte from Honeybee Coffee & Brewery. Order The Nasty Nacho, SoKno Taco Salad, or a Tamale Platter for lunch at SoKno Taco Cantina. Grab slices of specialty pies like the Barbalo Chicken or the Green Dragon pizza at South Coast Pizza. Fill up on a homemade Dip Dog, Fried Flounder Burger, or Bacon Sandwich before treating yourself to a milkshake at Round Up Restaurant & Ice Cream. Or meet with friends for a Hand Crank Pale Ale, Baker Creek Brown Ale, or Southie Cream Ale at Printshop Beer Co.

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.