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The Sunsphere in tree-studded World’s Fair Park in downtown Knoxville Tennessee

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Knoxville in 2024

Moving to Knoxville? Marble City is one of the best mid-sized cities in the U.S. thanks to its affordable housing, proximity to top-rated schools, and stunning views of the Smoky Mountains. Here are five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Knoxville!

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
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals

Downtown Knoxville is located in the heart of the city near the central business district Market Square, providing plenty of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Locals have many opportunities to get to know their neighbors while living here, as the community often gathers at events like food festivals, fun runs, and outdoor concerts at World’s Fair Park. Residents can find housing styles ranging from high-rise condos to Ranches and Shotgun-style homes in this affordable neighborhood. Along with its central location and inexpensive real estate, Downtown Knoxville is also connected to I-40, so you always have easy access to other parts of the Knoxville area. And families living here can send their kids to quality public schools in Knoxville like the L&N STEM Academy or after-school Community School of the Arts program. College students can also find great schools in the area, like the University of Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial University – Duncan School of Law.

Things to Do in Downtown Knoxville

Learn more about William Blount, one of the Founding Fathers of the Constitution of the United States, when touring the Blount Mansion. See memorabilia from basketball stars at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Admire exhibits like Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass or Thorne Rooms at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Catch musical acts from the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra or from artists like Carly Rae Jepsen at the Tennessee Theatre. Start your morning with a Greek Breakfast Bowl, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich, or Breakfast Wrap at Pete’s Restaurant. Fill up on dishes like The Elvis Burger or Black Bean & Corn Salad at Stock & Barrel. Indulge in Tuna Ceviche, Sauteed Mussels, or Crispy Shrimp at the Latin-inspired restaurant, Vida. Or sip craft beer in Knoxville like a White Mule Ale, State Street Stout, or New World Porter at Downtown Grill & Brewery.

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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
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

One of the safest areas in K-town, Fourth & Gill is an historic Knoxville neighborhood filled with Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and Craftsman-style homes for any budget. This affordable area is popular among commuters since it’s centrally located near Downtown Knoxville and easily accessible via public transportation like the Knoxville Area Transit buses. This area is also great for educators and students since Green Magnet Academy and Project GRAD Knoxville are nearby. As for outdoor recreation, residents will appreciate being close to this Knoxville neighborhood’s namesake park, Fourth & Gill Park, to go on a bike ride or host a cookout with neighbors. Plus, the Fourth & Gill neighborhood association hosts community events like Saint Martin and Halloween festivities, fundraisers for local schools, the annual Tour of Homes & Secret Gardens, and more to make everyone feel welcome.

Things to Do in Fourth & Gill

Enroll in clay sculpting, painting, or drawing classes at the Knoxville Arts Center. Participate in DIY workshops or see musical acts at The Birdhouse Neighborhood Center. Shop for antique furniture, vintage toys, or folk art at Architectural Antics. Find your inner zen with a yoga class from Yoga Central. Start your morning slowly by relaxing in a hammock with an Antoccino or Cappuccino and a Cinnamon Raisin Crunch Bagel with Honey and Ginger Cream Cheese in hand from K Brew. Enjoy a Signature Acai Lover or Beach Bum Bowl and a Strawberry Banana Smoothie at Blossom Bowls. Feast on El Paso Mac, Sweet Cream Pineapple Curry Shrimp, or Bacon Bourbon Meatloaf at Ale’ Rae’s GastroPub. Satisfy your dessert cravings with a Red Velvet Cake or a Peanut Butter Cheesecake at Magpies Bakery.


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  • Home Price: $148,800 median purchase price; $937 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 50% of Knoxville neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for a safe neighborhood in Knoxville that also has big-city amenities? Check out the neighborhood of Oakwood! Located just north of the Knoxville city center via I-275, this thriving Knox neighborhood provides residents with a variety of breweries, restaurants, and outdoor activities. Active residents will appreciate being close to Sharps Ridge Veterans Memorial Park, where you can take in the scenic views of the Smoky Mountains. This affordable Knoxville neighborhood is home to incredible educational institutes like Christenberry Elementary School and Fulton High School. As for housing in Knoxville, both renters and homeowners can find single-family homes, condos, and other budget-friendly housing options in Oakwood. And retirees transitioning into assisted living can benefit from the Oakwood Senior Living facility, located right in the neighborhood.

Things to Do in Oakwood

Purchase tickets to shows like Snow White, Joan the Girl of Arc, or Romeo and Juliet, or sign the kids up for the KCT Academy Classes and Camps at the Knoxville Children’s Theatre. Play pickleball, enroll the kids in Taekwondo lessons, or practice your dance moves in the large studio at Christenberry Community Center. Go outside and knock one out of the park at Christenberry Ballfields. Indulge in pizza flavors like the Rocky Balboa and Veggie, or a Lucia calzone at Hard Knox Pizza. Looking for Mexican food in Knoxville? Grab a Taco Asada, Chimichanga, or Burrito Loco for lunch at La Piñata Mexican Bar and Grill. Order an Elst Burger & Fries and White Cheddar Cheese Curds from the food truck at Elst Brewing Company. Chow down on Mexican favorites like Nachos, Menudo, or Mojarra Frita at Taqueria La Herradura. Or make your way to the Fanatic Brewing Company for a Veggie Burger or Nachos with a Tennessee Blonde beer.

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
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

One of the best neighborhoods in Knoxville, Old North Knoxville is a safe neighborhood with good walkability and pockets of green spaces like Beth Ann Booker Park and Baxter Avenue Park. This cozy Knoxville neighborhood is known for its many historic homes on the National Register of Historic Places. With a variety of housing options that range from Queen Anne and Shotgun to Bungalows and Folk-style houses, you can find the perfect home in this affordable Knoxville neighborhood. And families looking for public schools in Knoxville can send their kids to nearby Belle Morris Elementary School and First Lutheran Church & School.

Things to Do in Old North Knoxville

Snap a photo at a popular tourist attraction in the city, the Greetings from Knoxville mural. Take a walk, play frisbee, or host a picnic with the family at 17-acre First Creek Park. Sign up for wheel-throwing, a sculpture, or one-day class at Mighty Mud. Hang out and play with cats while dining at Scruffy’s Cafe. Savor dishes like a Catfish Meal, Pork Chop Sandwich, or Jackie’s Famous Fried Chicken at Jackie’s Dream. Pick up baked goods like an Oatmeal Toffee Cookie, Chocolate Hazelnut Croissant, or Cranberry Oat Scone at Wild Love Bakehouse. Catch a sports game on the big screen while dining on late-night snacks like Roasted Wings or the Buffalo Chicken Flat at Central Flats & Taps. Or sip on tap beers like Trim Tab Paradise Now or Schulz Brau Doppelbock while listening to live music performances at Schulz Brau Brewing Company.

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
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

Situated along the Tennessee River, South Knoxville—also known as SoKno—connects to Downtown Knoxville via the Henley Street Bridge, Gay Street Bridge, and James White Pkwy. South Knoxville offers a residential district full of renovated cozy cottages and brick Craftsman ranches. Not only is SonKo a great area for young adults, families will enjoy living here as they can send their kids to Knox County Schools. And for those who enjoy spending time outdoors, South Knoxville is home to many outdoor parks and trails like Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, so you’ll never be far from great outdoor activities in Knoxville!

Things to Do in South Knoxville

Take in scenic views of the lake at the Fort Dickerson Park and Augusta Quarry. Go for a walk on the trails at Stanley Lippencott Ridge Park. Start a game of pickup basketball on a rainy day, watch the kids go down the slides, or or workout in the weight room at Cecil Webb Community Center. Spend the day hiking one of the many trails, go boating at Mead’s Quarry Lake, or sign the kids up for Nature Play Club at Ijams Nature Center. Kickstart your day with an Espresso, Chai Latte, or Cold Brew at Honeybee Coffee & Brewery. Dig in to Shrimp Fajitas or Chorizo Tortas at Las Fuentes. Get your fix of seafood favorites like Shrimp Soup, Fried Tilapia, or Hot Spicy Octopus at La Bamba Seafood. Or stop into Hi-Wire Brewing and try beers like Hi-Wire Lager or Mountain Water Pomegranate Peach.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

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.