Top 12 Reasons to Live in Downtown Knoxville
If we were betting people, we bet you love visiting Downtown Knoxville. Why not make it more permanent? Let us show you why you should live Downtown with our top 12 countdown (yes, we keep adding!). If we don’t convince you, well, we’ll still see you on the weekends!
1. The Architecture
Did you know that tucked throughout Downtown Knoxville there are over 50 residential properties offering unique rental and purchase opportunities with capacity for over 4,000 residents in the central downtown district? And there are more on the way! What makes many of these buildings so special is their beautiful architecture and history. With buildings spanning more than four centuries, you can make your home in a gorgeously renovated historic apartment, loft or condo, like the JFG Flats, Candy Factory Lofts, or JC Penney Lofts. You’ll wake up to exposed brick walls, stained concrete floors, high ceilings, vintage beams, and other charming architectural features that make your urban home cozy and unique.
2. New Condos & Apartments
If brand new is your thing, you can live in one of the many recently built condos and apartments, each catering to specific needs. Sleek and modern, Marble Alley Lofts offers awesome amenities like a saltwater swimming pool, sundeck, game room, and state-of-the-art fitness center. For the sophisticated, Residences at The Tennessean boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, gourmet kitchens, and luxury baths, making you feel like you're on vacation all year-long. In the Old City, Stockyard Lofts has open floors plans, private balconies, and a saltwater pool. City House is a new type of development offering units with 3,000 square feet of inside living space, large rooftop decks adding 500 square feet of outdoor living, plus private garages. And more are under construction! Like Church+Henley, a multi-family development with 237 units available soon, including coworking lounge, pool, bike shop, and dog spa. Whether you choose an old or new building, you're sure to love where you live.
3. The Food
When you live in Downtown Knoxville, you can satiate your hunger with delicious food and sweets in a matter of minutes. No hopping in the car, just walking out your front door. Imagine with us: a romantic weeknight dinner at a gourmet restaurant; an around-the-world tasting with diverse fare from Babalu, Chivo, Yassin’s, KoPita, or Kaizen; weekend brunch at OliBea, The French Market, or Oliver Royale (all you have to do is roll out of bed); fresh sushi from Anaba, Fin-Two or Nama; pizza pick-up from Dazzo’s, Tomato Head, or DaVinci’s; breakfast at Pete’s literally every morning; or maybe best of all, an after dinner treat from Cruze Farm, Ham’n Goody’s, The Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain, or Kilwins. There are no “no’s” when it comes to the Downtown food scene. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner...you want it; we got it.
4. The People
Thanks to the University of Tennessee in our backyard, national corporations making Knoxville their headquarters, an inspirational community of makers, and thriving local businesses, Downtown is filled with a diverse community of people. Small and large families, young professionals, empty nesters, and students all call Downtown Knox home. You get the best of city life, but you also get that small-town feel, where your neighbors know your name, Matt Robbs remembers your coffee order, Jodi Bolin always helps you pick out the best gifts, Martha Boggs grows and knows your favorite fresh vegetable, and Flossie McNabb recommends your next read. The sense of community between residents and business owners adds to that “something special” in Downtown Knoxville.
5. The Lifestyle
There’s nothing quite like the lifestyle you experience when living in the heart of Knoxville. It’s going for an early morning bike ride down the Tennessee River followed by brunch at Balter Beerworks. It’s taking the kids to a weeknight movie or hitting the lanes after school and capping the night off with a treat. It’s leaving the house 10 minutes before the show starts at the Tennessee Theatre or Bijou Theatre with plenty of time to get to your seat. It’s catching up with friends for a quick rooftop happy hour and still getting home before dinner. It’s walking to the farmers' market on a beautiful Saturday morning (or on a less-crowded Wednesday). It's having your pick of places to find live music seven nights a week to discover great local talent. Best of all, it’s skipping the traffic to take advantage of unpredictable fun! Every day is a treat, and there’s a happy surprise around every corner.
6. The Festivals
We’re halfway through our countdown, but we're really just getting started! Festivals are the beating heart of our city, bringing everyone from around town – and even out of state – to our backyard! And when you live Downtown, it’s easy to pop in and out of them, going as you please. Sleep in, check out the event in the morning, go spend some time at home, and then head back out to see what’s going on in the evening. Festivals are a big part of our culture, and being steps away is a huge plus. No parking, no hassle, just enjoy!
7. The Convenience
When living Downtown, convenience to essentials is second to none. Gym? We got it. Prescriptions? Yep, plus sweet benefits (literally). Time for a haircut? Just walk around the corner. Almost every errand you need to take care of is just steps away, including going to the dentist, the bank, and treating yourself to a manicure or massage. Don’t even bother getting in the car for those Saturday morning doughnuts! Gain back precious time with the convenience and ease of Downtown living. And if you need something outside the district, hop on the free trolley for a quick ride to the grocery store, campus, and more.
8. The Walkable Districts & Outdoor Living
Ditch boring walks. Your new neighborhood will beg you to explore something new every day — hidden cafes down alleys, performers throughout the streets, colorful art, exciting outdoor events, and more. The bustling atmosphere of Market Square and Gay Street, the serenity of river views at Volunteer Landing, the eclectic vibe of the Old City, and the expansive greenspace at World’s Fair Park all have their own vibe and can be explored by foot (or bike or scooter) in less than one square mile. Downtown Knoxville also makes outdoor living a priority, not only with the amount of green space, but with its way of life. You can enjoy a variety of adventurous activities on the river, outdoor markets, patios, rooftop bars, and beer gardens year-round.
9. The Drinks
Move to Downtown just for the drinks? Yeah, we went there! Before work, take a serene walk to get your handcrafted coffee from your favorite barista at a dozen locally-owned shops and welcome the changing seasons with flavorful lattes like vanilla lavender, pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha, and more. After work, unwind with a bottle of red recommended from Corks or Downtown Wine, one that perfectly compliments your dinner. And all throughout Downtown, creative bartenders mix up fresh cocktails and unique takes on classics at craft cocktail bars like PostModern, Tern Club, Peter Kern, Brother Wolf, and The Vault. And beer? There’s plenty of that too. With breweries, the hub of Knoxville's beer scene, and over 30 taprooms and brew-forward restaurants, you’ll always be able to quench your thirst with a new pint.
10. It's So Pet-Friendly
Right in the heart of Downtown, the PetSafe Downtown Dog Park offers a fenced-in area with separate spaces for small and large dogs to run around, play, and meet new friends. There are plenty of outdoor spaces they’ll enjoy too, like World’s Fair Park and Volunteer Landing. Plus, Downtown has their very own pet store, Citifid-O, so you don’t have to walk far to get food, treats, and new toys for your buddy. They will pawsitively love going to one of 40 dog-friendly patios with their humans, and they can even get a pupcup treat from Ham’n Goody’s and Cruze Farm. We love our dogs!
11. The Shopping
With new stores popping up everyday, plus the regular gems we couldn't live without, you'll always be able to find a birthday gift, a new outfit, or gourmet food to treat yourself. The cherry on top? You can feel good knowing your money is staying in the local economy with 50+ stores to shop from. You'll be steps away from award-winning boutique Bliss & Tori Mason Shoes, plus Earth to Old City, and Fruit Jar Alley for clothes. Gift shops like newly opened Bethie Lou's, Knoxville Soap, Candle, and Gifts, and Jacks. Artisan goods from Honeymouth, Rala, Pretentious Glass, and ACF Jewelry. And a myriad of specialty stores, like finding old and rare books at Addison’s, grabbing this month's best seller from Union Ave Books, finding delicious balsamics at Tree & Vine, tasting weird-flavored sodas at Rocket Fizz, and so much more. We mean it! Take a look around!
12. The Mix of Old & New
Last, but not least, living Downtown means you’re in the center of a perfect blend of the past and the future. Settled in 1786, Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee. The charming buildings that make up Downtown each have a story to tell. When you look close, the Peter Kern Building will tell you that it was once a candy factory and luxurious ice-cream parlor that satisfied the sweet tooths of Knoxvillians for years. The Daniel will tell you it was a liquor distributor and a carriage warehouse before housing famous garment tailors, and now residents. And the L & N Station will tell you about all the passengers that came through our city traveling from Cincinnati to Atlanta before becoming a STEM acadamy with vibes of Hogwarts. The past has inspired the future of Downtown Knoxville, which is now a thriving community full of people taking risks. Living here, you’ll be the first to try new restaurants and businesses as you support the present community that will make history.