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

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Knoxville

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

  • Home Price: $241,833 median purchase price; $1,086 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 88% of Knoxville neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

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 in this safe Knoxville neighborhood, 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 Knoxville 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 city. And families in Downtown Knoxville can send their kids to quality public schools like the Community School of the Arts and L&N STEM Academy. 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

Tour the Blount Mansion to learn more about William Blount, one of the Founding Fathers of the Constitution of the United States. See memorabilia from basketball stars at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Admire exhibits like Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass or Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in Tennessee 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 Biscuit, or Breakfast Wrap at Pete’s Coffee Shop. Fill up on dishes like The Classic Bacon 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 a White Mule Ale, State Street Stout, or New World Porter at Downtown Grill & Brewery.

Fourth & Gill

  • Home Price: $170,250 median purchase price; $526 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 81% of Knoxville neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

One of the safest neighborhoods in Knoxville, Fourth & Gill is an historic area filled with Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and Craftsman-style homes for any budget. This affordable Knoxville neighborhood 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 the Porch Hop, Gillbilly Garden Club, Halloween festivities, 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 & Fine Crafts Center. Participate in DIY workshops or see musical acts at The Birdhouse community center. Shop for antique furniture, vintage toys, or folk art at Architectural Antics. Start your morning slowly by relaxing in a hammock with an Antoccino or Cappuccino and a bagel in hand from K Brew. Pop into Blossom Bowls for a Yogi Bowl or Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Feast on Southwest Tuscan Chicken, Sweet Cream Pineapple 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. Stop by Hops and Hollers, where you can pick from a variety of beers on tap like the Pineapple Radler or Nut Brown Ale.


  • Home Price: $107,000 median purchase price; $756 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 Oakwood! Located just north of Downtown Knoxville 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 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 indulge in a Lucia calzone at Hard Knox Pizza. Grab a Taco Asada, Chimichanga, or Burrito Loco for lunch at La Piñata Mexican Bar and Grill. Order a Hawaiian BBQ Grilled Cheese, Double Smash Burger, or BLT 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

A gray home located in the Old North Knoxville neighborhood. Photo by Instagram user @oldnorthknox

Photo via @oldnorthknox

  • Home Price: $122,100 median purchase price; $608 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Knoxville neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for one of the safest places to live in Knoxville? Old North Knoxville is a quaint neighborhood with good walkability and pockets of green spaces like Old North Knoxville 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 for families looking for top-notch schools, Old North Knoxville is also near 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 Almond Croissant, Chocolate Chip Cookie, 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 Woodchuck Pearsecco or Schulz Brau Doppelbock at Schulz Brau Brewing Company.

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South Knoxville

  • Home Price: $90,167 median purchase price; $779 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 the James C. Ford Memorial Bridge. South Knoxville is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Knoxville and has a residential district full of renovated historic buildings. SoKno residents can settle down in cozy cottages, and brick Craftsman ranches. If you have an active lifestyle, this Knoxville neighborhood is also 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

Make your way to Fort Dickerson Park and Augusta Quarry to take in the scenic views of the lake. Go for a walk on the trails at Stanley Lippencott Ridge Park. Play softball on the field at Rock City Park. Start a game of pickup basketball on a rainy day at Cecil Webb Recreation Center. Kickstart your day with an Espresso, Chai Latte, or Cold Brew at Honeybee Coffee & Brewery. Dig into 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 Citrus Splash.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Knoxville