Knoxville is a wooded, rolling, valley town approaching the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Green spaces, rivers, lakes and mountain views have drawn visitors and inhabitants since the 1700’s. Knoxville is known for its natural beauty during all four seasons, particularly it’s springtime display of dogwood and redbud blooms. It’s no surprise that many of the neighborhoods here are named for hills, lakes, forests or some combination thereof.
North Knoxville has cachet as an up-and-coming area with tons of architectural character, ethnic diversity and easy access to downtown.
Flagship Neighborhood: North Hills
North Hills, which occupies a verdant rectangle of land bordered by Washington Pike, Whittle Springs Road, Prosser Road and Cecil Avenue, is a collection of architecturally unique homes built in the years between the two world wars. Visit in the spring to fully appreciate the area’s lovely, mature gardens. Despite a flourishing neighborhood association and garden club, many fixer-upper opportunities can still be found and its architecturally unique homes vary widely in price.
The Neighbors: Young professionals, families, garden enthusiasts, longtime Knoxvillians with diverse political views
Also Consider: Fairmont, Oakwood/Lincoln Park
These neighborhoods just minutes from downtown Knoxville have a casual, front-porch aesthetic and feature a range of affordable homes built primarily from the 1920s to the 1950s.
The Neighbors: Diverse in terms of income, ethnicity and politics
South Knoxville, Knoxville’s lightly traveled but scenic gateway to the mountains via Chapman Highway, is separated from the city proper by the Tennessee River. To reach it from downtown, take the Henley Street Bridge, the James C. Ford Memorial Bridge or the Gay Street Bridge.
Flagship Neighborhood: Island Home
If you love Craftsman and bungalow-style homes, you’ll adore Island Home, a charming and quaint haunt that has plenty of both. This neighborhood was founded in 1899 and named for the property on which it was constructed, a Knoxville businessman’s private retreat that he referred to as his “island home.” It features a wide central boulevard that used to be a streetcar line. Neighborhood landmarks include the Tennessee School for the Deaf and Ijams Nature Center, a park and wildlife sanctuary with hiking trails and educational programs for the public.
The Neighbors: Young professionals, university professors, community activists with diverse political viewpoints
Also Consider: Lake Forest, Colonial Village
Longtime staples on the Dogwood Trail, Knoxville’s springtime scenic driving tour, these intimate older neighborhoods are so cozily ensconced in the woods, you hardly notice you’re near a city.
The Neighbors: Highly diverse: families, business professionals, young do-it-yourselfers, active seniors
Knoxville’s wealth was once concentrated in the East, and for a glimpse into this past, look no further than grand old Magnolia Avenue. Broad, airy and tree-lined, Magnolia fell into disrepair and squalor when Knoxville’s fortunes moved west, but community activists are working to restore Magnolia to its former glory.
Flagship Neighborhood: Holston Hills
This neighborhood nestled along the Holston River was designed in the 1920s around a country club and golf course — which is still considered one of the best in the state. Its lovely, winding streets boast deep lots and a combination of large, ornate homes and quaint stone cottages.
The Neighbors: Old Knoxville families, professionals in a variety of fields; it’s similar to Sequoyah Hills but with a mix of mini-estates and more modest homes.
Also Consider:Corryton, Strawberry Plains
Looking for acreage? If you need room to spread out, these small communities on the east/northeast side of town offer a rural vibe just minutes from the city.
The Neighbors: Rural dwellers, *trade professionals
Since America started moving to the suburbs after World War II, Knoxville has been creeping steadily west along Interstate 40 and its parallel local road, Kingston Pike. It’s on the western side of town that you’ll find the most amenities, such as shopping and restaurants. In recent years, a boom in residential and commercial development west of Interstate 140 (aka Pellissippi Parkway), like the Turkey Creek shopping district, has drawn more Knoxvillians westward. Karns and Hardin Valley have developed significantly in the past few years, offering many new homes with modern floor plans and amenities.
Flagship Neighborhood: Sequoyah Hills
Sequoyah Hills is truly the granddaddy of all Knoxville neighborhoods. Annexed by the city in 1917, it’s one of Knoxville’s oldest and most prestigious residential areas, and it has lost none of its grandeur with age. Adjacent to Fort Loudon Lake, Sequoyah Hills has a central artery in wide, impeccably manicured Cherokee Boulevard, well-known in town as a great place to walk and bike. Sequoyah Hills homes are a variety of styles and sizes. Italianate, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Craftsman and ranch houses all coexist here, but they have one thing in common: a whopping price tag. A home in Sequoyah Hills is a sign not just of wealth, but of social connectedness.All in all, its riverfront setting, extensive jogging trails, green parks and skyline view make Sequoyah Hills one of Knoxville’s prime neighborhoods.
The Neighbors: Knoxville’s old guard, business owners, university professors and administrators
Also Consider: Forest Heights
This private little nook west of Sequoyah Hills has immediate access to Sutherland Avenue, home to an array of ethnic businesses and groceries and the Bearden area of Kingston Pike, packed with restaurants and shops.
The Neighbors: Longtime Knoxvillians (very little turnover in this neighborhood), professionals, university professors
Also Consider: Farragut
Bedroom communities abound in the suburb of Farragut, which is technically a separate town on Knoxville’s western boundary. The area has a reputation for large, beautiful homes, strong schools and well-maintained parks and outdoor recreation areas. Farragut is popular with relocating families and professionals, as seen in local buying trends.
The Neighbors: Families, professional transplants from all areas of the globe, residents tend to be politically conservative
Knoxville’s downtown area has experienced considerable growth in recent years. As amenities have arrived, making downtown more livable, the desirability of homes with access has skyrocketed. Mixed use properties in the Market Square area and property on the Tennessee River banks offer new housing options for buyers, many of which are graduates of the University of Tennessee.
Flagship Neighborhood: Fourth and Gill
This historic neighborhood was once the City of North Knoxville, but the city’s growth in all directions has rendered it firmly and proudly central. The homes in this neighborhood — primarily Craftsman and Queen Anne style — have undergone a renaissance in the last 20 years as its residents took interest in improving distressed properties. Fourth and Gill is a friendly, pedestrian-oriented place with loose, cottage-style gardens spilling out from between homes.
The Neighbors: In a word, diverse: architecture enthusiasts, professionals, families, artists, students
Also Consider: Downtown/The Old City
Knoxville’s downtown high-rises and Old City buildings are now home to a wealth of condominiums and loft apartments. The Fire Street Lofts, for example, are chic modern condos created from an old nightclub off the 100 block of Gay Street.
The Neighbors: In condominiums, primarily transplants, young professionals and retirees; in apartments, demographics vary.
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