Best places to live in Tennessee for families

Why Live In Tennessee?

Tennessee is known for its rolling hills, natural beauty, and amazingly nice people. The cheap cost of living and abundance of outdoor activities supply an endless amount of opportunities to entertain your family, regardless of age. Let’s look closer into the best places to live in Tennessee for families.

How Is Living In Tennessee

We asked a few native Tennessee residents how they felt about living in Tennessee, and here are the main words that they used to describe it:



Fun / Entertaining


Family Oriented





Nice weather

Moving To Tennessee Pros And Cons

People that move to Tennessee do so because of the natural beauty of the land, and the kind people there.

It will not take you long to realize why they call it “The Volunteer State”, as the majority of people have an absolute heart of gold, and love to serve their communities. 

There are a few “big cities” where you can find an adequate amount of nightlife. The state of Tennessee is known for its small-town living, low living costs, fantastic southern food. 

Along with all of the pros that go along with moving to Tennessee, one of the cons is that it might take some time to get used to the slower pace of life. If you have a desire to adopt a slower pace in your life, then it is absolutely a PRO of moving to Tennessee, but it will still take some getting used to. 

Being a Southern state, the weather in the summer can also become a bit unbearable. Thankfully, the state of Tennessee is also home to an abundance of lakes and rivers, so it is relatively easy (and thoroughly enjoyable!) to combat the heat. 

While the cost of living in Tennessee is one of the lowest in the United States, it is also one of the lowest average household incomes in the country.

If you enjoy simple living in a beautiful area with lots of outdoor activities (water sports, hiking, hunting, fishing, etc), Tennessee is a great place to move! Check out the best places to live in Tennessee on a lake.

Best Areas To Live In Tennessee

In order to determine the best areas to live in Tennessee, you need to answer a few questions about your preferred lifestyle. 

Geographically, the terrain of the land in Tennessee gets more and more “mountainous” the further East you travel. The state is very long from west to east, and as you drive through the state, you’ll notice the relatively flat terrain on the westernmost part will soon transform into beautiful rolling hills through middle Tennessee, and eventually turn into full-blown mountains as you arrive at the Eastern part of the state, covered by the Great Smoky Mountains of the Knoxville region. 

Musically, the Western region of Tennessee is known for blues music, while the Middle and Eastern regions are represented by Americana, bluegrass, and country music. 

Which of these is the “best”? That’s up for you to decide!

Best Family Towns In Tennessee

While deciding which towns in Tennessee are best for families is completely subjective, there are a handful of towns that regularly come up in surveys and articles as the best. 

We here at The Tennessee Life would highly recommend that you come and visit a few different places, and get a feel for each of them to determine if it’s the best town for your family.

That said, here are some of the top-ranking family towns in Tennessee.    


This Nashville suburb is at the top of almost every list of best family towns in Tennessee, but it also comes with the honor of having the highest home prices in all of Tennessee (the average home price is over $1M). In this case, living in Brentwood would certainly be great for raising your family, but you’ll need to pay for it. 


This Knoxville suburb is home to over 23,000 residents, and according to Zillow, an average home price of over $500,000. Once again, similar to Brentwood, Farragut boasts a fantastic school system (both public schools and private schools), but not everyone can afford to live there. However, if you can afford it, this town is located close to numerous attractions in Knoxville, while supplying the family-friendly environment you’re looking for. 

Signal Mountain

Located north of the city of Chattanooga is the small town of Signal Mountain. Home to over 8,000 residents, this charming town is located on Walden Ridge and boasts many outdoor attractions including Signal Point and the Cumberland Trail. 


Just twenty miles to the east of Memphis, the suburb of Germantown is home to just shy of 40,000 residents and provides young families with the affordability and safety of suburban homes, but simple accessibility to the nightlife of the city. With an average home price of around $450,000, this is one of the top suburbs for those looking at the best places to live in Tennessee for families. 

Oak Ridge

If you’re looking for the best places to live in Tennessee for families, then the quality of the school systems should be at the top of your list, and Oak Ridge boasts some of the top-rated schools in all of Tennessee. With the average home price coming in under $250,000, this town of just over 29,000 is the perfect spot for your young family.

Best Places To Live In Tennessee Near Water

Tennessee is known for its natural beauty and is home to twelve great lakes. Most of which have an abundance of amazing marinas with a variety of beaches, boat rentals, fishing, and restaurants. Prices of real estate on any of our amazing lakes are always at a premium, but well worth it if you’re a water lover! 

Each of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee has several amazing lakes, but here are our favorites from each part of the state. 

Reelfoot Lake State Park (Western Tennessee)

Located in Tiptonville, TN, this 15,000-acre lake in the northwest corner of the state is known for boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing. 

FUN FACT: this lake was created by a series of earthquakes in the early 1800s which caused the Mississippi River to go backward, which created Reelfoot Lake.

Dale Hollow Lake (Middle Tennessee)

Located in Celina, TN, straddling the border of Tennessee and Kentucky, this beautiful lake covers over 27,000 acres. It’s known for its smallmouth bass fishing and water sports. It is also home to twelve marinas that offer a variety of restaurants, souvenir shops, and rentals. 

FUN FACT: Dale Hollow Lake was formed by damming the Obey River. 

Norris Lake (East Tennessee)

Norris Lake Tennessee

FUN FACT: It is widely accepted that Norris Lake is one of the cleanest lakes in the entire country!

Located north of Knoxville, TN, this 34,000-acre lake is perfect for water sport enthusiasts, and sports twenty-two marinas! With over 800 miles of shoreline, this lake makes available fourteen known species of fish for your most avid fisherman friends. Can you see yourself living in Tennessee with your family?