You’ve no doubt seen our Knoxville City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Knoxville’s most popular neighborhoods.

This list and our “Best Neighborhoods for Families in Knoxville,” “Best Suburbs of Knoxville,” and our “Best Places to Live in Knoxville” lists are more in-depth neighborhood guides meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—movers in Knoxville and beyond).

5 Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Knoxville Bellhop Blog


A Little About Knoxville and its Neighborhoods

Like many other cities in the country, Knoxville saw hard times with a collapse in its industrial and manufacturing sectors in the 1970s. But in 1982, Knoxville hosted one of the most popular world fairs in U.S. history, and 11 million visitors flooded into the city. Revitalization initiatives by city leaders and private developers have continued to help reinvigorate the city, and Knoxville—especially its downtown area—has seen major growth and success. 

In the past 20 years, Knoxville has opened the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the Knoxville Convention Center, a new visitors center, and a regional history museum. Public spaces like Market Square and Gay St. have been repurposed. New restaurants and bars have opened up in Knoxville’s downtown and trendy neighborhoods. And many new or redeveloped condominiums now cluster throughout the Knoxville skyline. 

Recent surveys have found that Knoxville is now the third-largest city in Tennessee, after Nashville and Memphis. As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville has preserved Appalachian culture. It sits as an entry point to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, opening up opportunities for locals and visitors to access beautiful Appalachia and the surrounding outdoors. 

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Knoxville is home to a rich arts community and hosts tons of festivals throughout the year. Well-attended events like the 17-day Dogwood Arts Festival and the eight-week Knoxville Christmas in the City traditions make us think that this city isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Now that you’re won over by Knoxville, look below to see five up and coming neighborhoods in this growing and charming city. 


Oakwood is a popular family spot in the city. Located in North Knoxville, Oakwood features a unique and aesthetic architectural style. It’s known for its good quality schools and safe streets. But the area is still very affordable, making it an ideal spot for a first home or real estate investment. 

What’s Happening in Oakwood

Mainly residential, Oakwood’s action can be seen largely in the redevelopment of its homes. But there’s plenty of neighborhood spots as well, like Rankin, Fanatic Brewing Company, and Wild Love Bakehouse. For a little more energy and action, Knoxville’s Downtown is just 2.5 miles away. 

Schools in Oakwood

Schools in the area include Whittle Springs Middle School, Fulton High School, and Beaumont Elementary Magnet Arts & Honors Academy among others.

Homes in Oakwood

Many of Oakwood’s homes were built between the ‘20s and ‘50s and feature beautiful front porches. Here are some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area. 


Downtown is where Knoxville’s action takes place. At the heart of the city’s cultural scene, downtown features some of the city’s best museums, theaters, galleries, and historic landmarks. The streets are very walkable with plenty of bars, restaurants, nightlife options, and entertainment available to locals and visitors. This area is one of Knoxville’s priciest.

What’s Happening in Downtown

For an introduction to downtown’s best cultural offerings, visit the Knoxville Museum of Art. Looking for culture and entertainment? Spend an evening at The Tennessee Theater. This landmark is decorated with chandeliers, Italian-tiled flooring, and Spanish-style architecture. It was called “the South’s most beautiful theater” when it opened in 1928. 

Downtown Knoxville is a drinking and dining dream, packing in over 75 restaurants within one square mile. Join in with the locals as they celebrate all this grub during the annual International Food Festival held at the World’s Fair Park. 

Schools in Downtown

Schools in the area include Maynard Elementary School, Cedar Bluff Middle School, and L&N Stem Academy among others. 

Homes in Downtown

You’ll find a blend of residential offerings downtown, from condos to apartment complexes, row houses, and detached homes. Check out some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area. 


While South Knoxville is turning heads already and real estate sales are picking up, there’s still plenty of investment opportunity in the area. Located close to downtown as well as some of Knoxville’s best parks and green spaces, South Knoxville has started looking like the ideal spot for locals who want a balance of city and nature.

This fast-growing community is now drawing people from other parts of town as well as other cities. But we’re right at the beginning of the boom—housing prices are rising quickly, but they’re still far below the rest of the city.

What’s Happening in South Knoxville

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South Knoxville is a scenic passageway to the Tennessee mountains. Two miles away from the neighborhood, you’ll find Ijams Nature Center. This large and natural expanse features gorgeous wetlands. You can rent a canoe and hit the water or rent a bike and explore the 10-plus miles of hiking and biking trails.

Very new to the South Knoxville scene is the Baker Creek Bottoms development, which will include restaurants, coffee shops, a brewery, a theater venue, and lodging. For now, stop in at SoKno Taco Cantina, Sweet P’s BBQ and Soul House, and Landing House for some of the most mouth-watering dishes and drinks in the area. 

Schools in South Knoxville

Schools in the area include Sequoyah Elementary School, South Knoxville School, and South-Doyle High School among others. 

Homes in South Knoxville

Many homes in South Knoxville are built in a craftsman and bungalow-style. Here are some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area. 


Once known for its brothels and saloons, Old City saw a transformation in the late 20th century. The area was revitalized largely by two investors, Kristopher Kendrick and Peter Calandruccio, who bought large sections of the neighborhood and turned it around. Today, the area is packed with interesting restaurants, historic buildings, local shops, art studios, pubs, and cafes. 

What’s Happening in Old City

This culturally-rich section of the city sits conveniently on the northeast corner of Downtown, so reaching the center-city action is a breeze. And Old City hosts many of Knoxville’s public events, like races, cultural festivals, live music and plays, and art walks. 

Explore Central and Jackson Avenues for a good overview of this neighborhood’s vibrant and unique eateries, bars, and boutiques. Check out the Lonesome Dove Bistro, Back Dough, Olibea, Pilot Light, Pour, and the Willow Creek Gallery for some of the local favorite spots.

Schools in Old City

Schools in the area include Beaumont Magnet Academy, Holston Middle School, and Bearden High School among others. 

Homes in Old City

A neighborhood transformed but preserved, Old City features many rehabbed historic buildings and homes. Check out some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area. 


This beautiful and conveniently located neighborhood is full of many 20-somethings, families, and retirees. Sitting about 5 minutes from the heart of downtown, residents of this neighborhood have easy access to plenty of restaurants and specialty shops in the city center. Rent is relatively cheap in the area, and while Fourth and Gill have seen a lot of change recently, there’s still potential for advancement and growth. 

Redevelopment in the neighborhood has been a group effort, and the tight community works together often to continue the improvement of their homes. Residents commonly gather for community events (like their ice cream social or porch hops) or get together with a mission to improve the neighborhood as a whole, like their ‘Spring Cleanup’ event. 

What’s Happening in Fourth and Gill

Fourth and Gill has undergone a lot of renovations. A walk through the charming streets, spilling with small gardens, is an activity commonly enjoyed by residents. And the closeby Broadway Ave. provides the Fourth and Gill area with easy access to shopping, groceries, and other necessities. 

Tucked in the center of the neighborhood is a charming 1-acre park. This park features a beautiful gazebo, picnic tables, and a playground, all shaded under a canopy of large trees. Residents of Fourth and Gill form a tight community. The neighborhood hosts friendly competitions like The Golden Shovel Award for the best yard. And a neighborhood bulletin board posts information on wildlife habitat information. You’ll also find info about local events, artwork, and poems completed by residents on this board. 

Schools in Fourth and Gill

Schools in the area include Christenberry Elementary School, Holston Middle School, and South-Doyle High School among others. 

Homes in Fourth and Gill

Fourth and Gill is known for its charming, Victorian-style historic homes, many of which were built in the late 19th-century. Here are some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area. 

There you have it: five up-and-coming neighborhoods in Knoxville!

We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate long-distance and local moving services in Knoxville, and we would love to help.

Harrison Stevens