The Best Neighborhoods in Knoxville

Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location—it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods in Knoxville, to help you narrow down your search. If this isn’t quite what you’re looking for, check our family-friendly neighborhood guide to Knoxville..

(and by the way, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Knoxville movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods. And we’ve created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon you’ll be living like a local. 

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A Little About Knoxville and its Neighborhoods

Like many other cities in the country, Knoxville saw its hard times with a collapse in its industrial and manufacturing sectors in the ‘70s. But in 1982, Knoxville hosted one of the most popular world fairs in U.S. history (the 1982 World Fair), and 11 million visitors flooded into the city. Knoxville was back on people’s maps.

Since then, revitalization initiatives by city leaders and private developers have continued to help reinvigorate the city. Knoxville, especially its downtown area, has seen major growth and success. Today, Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee, after Nashville and Memphis. 

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 are moving in. And many new or redeveloped condominiums now cluster throughout the Knoxville skyline. 

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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. 

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 the Marble City, look below. We’ll walk you through the streets of the best neighborhoods in Knoxville.


Downtown is where the action takes place, making it our first choice for the best neighborhoods in Knoxville. 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. 

What’s Happening in Downtown

For an introduction to downtown’s best cultural offerings, visit the Knoxville Museum of Art. Or 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 Manyard Elementary School, Cedar Bluff Middle School, and L&N Stem Academy among others. 

Homes in Downtown

You’ll find a blend of residential offerings in downtown, from condos and apartment complexes to row houses and detached homes. This area is one of Knoxville’s priciest, but the numbers are going up, making it a good area for investment still.

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Oakwood is a popular family spot in the city, but also is home to many singles and retirees. Located in North Knoxville, Oakwood is 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.

This area emits friendly vibes. Oakwood’s streets are lined with walkable sidewalks. Homes sport clean and well-kept yards. During the holidays, locals go all out decorating. Dog walkers and stroller-pushers peruse the area on the regular. 

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

Oakwood features a unique and aesthetic architectural style. Many of Oakwood’s homes were built between the ‘20s and ‘50s and feature beautiful front porches. You can still snag an affordable home in this neighborhood, although prices are moving up as its popularity grows.

Old City

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. 

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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. Old City also hosts many of Knoxville’s public events, like races, cultural festivals, live music and plays, and art walks. 

For a good overview of this neighborhood’s vibrant and unique eateries, bars, and boutiques, explore Central and Jackson Avenues. Check out the Lonesome Dove Bistro, Back Dough, Olibea, Pilot Light, Pour, and the Willow Creek Gallery for some of the locally-favorited 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. Lofts and condos dominate Old City’s housing market, making it a popular spot among professionals, singles, and small families.


This suburb is located about 17 miles east of downtown Knoxville and sits snug against Fort Loudoun Lake. The area features top family-friendly residential areas like The Cove at Turkey Creek, Fox Den, and Bridgemore. These areas within Farragut house great shopping destinations, quiet residential streets, marinas, golf courses, and country clubs. 

What’s Happening in Farragut

You’ll have your fill of great dining and drinking options in this suburb, like Admiral Pub, Apple Cake Tea Room, Clean Eatz, and Water Into Wine Bistro and Lounge. Farragut is also home to fitness gyms, creative studios, specialty shops, local boutiques, and antique shops. 

Farragut has a long and constantly updating list of family-friendly community events, like their Sounds of Summer Concert Series, 3-day Dog Daze event, and Q, Crafts, and Brew Festival. You’ll have no trouble getting outside in Farragut. This suburb contains 4 parks, 10 miles of greenways, and 18 sports fields.

Schools in Farragut

Schools in the area include Farragut Primary School, Farragut Middle School, and St. John Neumann Catholic School among others.

Homes in Farragut

You’ll find a wide range of housing options in Farragut. This area offers fancy new construction and humble fixer-uppers in a wide range of prices.

Fourth and Gill

This beautiful and conveniently located neighborhood is full of young professionals, 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. 

While Fourth and Gill have seen a lot of change recently, there’s still potential for advancement and growth. Residents commonly gather for community events (like ice cream socials 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

A walk through the charming streets, spilling with small gardens, is an activity commonly enjoyed by residents. Tucked in the center of the neighborhood is a charming and shady 1-acre park, complete with a gazebo, picnic tables, and a playground. The nearby Broadway Ave. provides the Fourth and Gill area with easy access to shopping, groceries, and other necessities. 

Fourth and Gill’s tight community hosts friendly competitions like The Golden Shovel Award for the best yard. Their neighborhood bulletin board posts information on local wildlife habitat. You’ll also find info about neighborhood 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. Fourth and Gill has undergone a lot of renovations. Its redevelopment has been a group effort, and the tight community works together often to continue the improvement of their homes and neighborhood.

There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in Knoxville!

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

Harrison Stevens