The birthplace of the Blues, the home of Elvis Presley and the country music capital of the world, Tennessee is a cultural and historical hotspot like no other in the US. Yet one thing remains unchanged here: whether it’s the Blues or the latest show at the Grand Ole Opry, there’s always a reason to sing in Tennessee!
Fall and winter are the best times of year for moving to TN, as the weather isn’t as hot. However, listen to the weather reports and be prepared for foggy conditions or, when it’s colder, ice storms. If you’re moving to Tennessee during spring or summer, always listen to the radio in case there are storm or tornado warnings.
Tennessee hosts a number of popular festivals throughout the state, especially between April and October. Check your city’s calendar to avoid the crowds on moving day.
Though Tennessee doesn’t require moving permits, parking restrictions may apply in larger cities. Contact your city to find out if you need to take special measures for your truck.
- The climate is humid all year round. Bring tarps to cover any moving boxes or other items you might have to leave outside for a few hours. If you’re planning on using storage after moving to Tennessee, make sure the space is dry and free of mold.
- If you’re bringing any pets, give them at least 10 days to grow accustomed to the climate, Make sure they can go inside when they need to and have plenty of water. In addition, humid climates are hotbeds for parasites and insects, so remember to take adequate precautions against ticks, fleas and other creepy crawlies that might harm your pet.
- Before moving to TN, remember change your address online with USPS.
Cities and Metro Areas
There are many different cities and areas to choose from when moving to Tennessee, and each has its own distinct character.
There’s Nashville, nicknamed “Music City,” and Memphis, the state capital and cosmopolitan hub of Tennessee where the King once lived. There’s also Knoxville, with its diverse architecture and vibrant arts scene, and Chattanooga, a green city close to the Appalachian Trail.
Other important cities to consider when moving to TN are Clarksville, where the US Army has a strong presence; Murfreesboro, the famous college town nicknamed the “Athens of the South;” and Cleveland, Bartlett, Brentwood and Bristol.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Tennessee is 18.94 percent lower than the US average, and it ranks among the five most affordable states to live in the entire country. Though the costs of healthcare, groceries, consumer goods and utilities are all lower than in most of the rest of the country, the low cost of living in Tennessee is mainly due to the affordable price of housing.
In addition, property taxes are relatively low and the state of Tennessee does not levy any taxes on income earned from wages. With an average household income of just under $39,000, the lack of state taxation adds significantly to most households’ lifestyles.
Highways and Public Transport
Tennessee has an extensive infrastructure, but you’ll find not all roads are well-maintained, especially in rural areas.
Traffic is usually very busy around Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville, so check driving conditions when planning your move.
In the bigger cities, walking or public transportation is oftentimes a faster option than driving; but if you do bring your car, allow yourself plenty of time to find a parking spot. Outside of the cities, you’ll need your own vehicle.
- Roads: Memphis is served by a number of interstate routes that cross the state, most importantly the I-40 from west to east and the I-55, which runs from north to south and passes through Memphis. At the heart of the state, Nashville is served by I-24, I-40 and I-65. You can find more information on Tennessee roads and driving conditions at the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
- Railroads: Amtrak City of New Orleans serves Tennessee, with stops in Memphis and Newbern.
- Airports: Tennessee has a number of airports, most importantly Nashville International Airport and Memphis International Airport, the second-largest cargo airport in the world, with Hong Kong ranking first.
- Public Transportation: There’s public transit in all areas of the state, with MATA-Memphis serving the Memphis area and Nashville MTA the Nashville-Davidson area. After moving to TN, you can take the Music City Star commuter rail in Nashville.
Though the unemployment rate in Tennessee is 8.7 percent, slightly higher than the US average, the state is working hard to attract more business and create more jobs, as the 2011 opening of the Volkswagen manufacturing plant in Chattanooga demonstrates.
You can find Tennessee job listings at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website, which also contains reliable information about training and unemployment. If you’re already in Tennessee, consider attending a job service workshop or visiting a career center to get advice and assistance in your job search.
In addition, if you’re looking for Tennessee jobs for the state or local government, you can go to your city’s website to browse employment openings. Other places to look for Tennessee jobs are in local publications such as The Tennessean, The Tennessee Tribune and The Jackson Sun.
Tennessee has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Summer highs are around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter nights usually hover around the freezing point. The entire state gets lots of precipitation, averaging 50 inches per year, with some snowfall in the winter. When moving to TN, be aware that the state gets relatively severe storms, including thunderstorms with strong winds, rain and large hail, as well as severe tornadoes in western and middle Tennessee.
If you’re moving to Tennessee, you’ll have access to some top-notch and notable educational institutions. Start your search for schools with the following chart-toppers:
- Elementary Schools: Clarksville Academy in Clarksville, Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Knoxville, and the Westside Elementary School in Memphis are some elementary schools in Tennessee.
- High Schools: Some notable high schools are the Christian Academy in Knoxville, Cleveland High School in Cleveland, and Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, where President Obama personally delivered the school’s 2011 commencement speech as a reward for winning the 2011 “Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.”
- Higher Education: Students moving to TN can choose from a number of excellent state and private higher educational institutions, including the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Technological University.
The Tennessee State website contains a lot of useful information about moving to TN.
- Permits: You don’t need a moving permit when moving to TV.
- Tax: There’s no excise tax in Tennessee.
- Tolls: Currently there are no toll roads in Tennessee, but there are plans to make the I-69, which is under construction, a toll road.
- Voter registration: After moving to Tennessee, you can mail in a voter registration form or register in person at your county clerk’s office, public library or at the Department of Safety (Motor Vehicles division).
- Trash & recycling: If you live in an urban area, trash and recycling are handled by your city’s urban services. However, if you live outside of the city, general services—which are private companies—take care of waste management. Service and fees vary significantly. Contact your city or county for more information.
- Driver’s licensing: To obtain a TN driver’s license, you need to contact the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, Driver Services division within 30 days after moving to Tennessee.
- Vehicle registration: You must register your vehicle at your county clerk’s office within 30 days after moving to TN. Costs vary per county. It costs $5.50 to transfer a title, and lien recordings are free of charge.