Why Blount County, TN, is a Great Place to Live
Frankly speaking, Blount County, TN, offers an outstanding lifestyle for residents.
Residents of Blount County love living in the region partly because it’s a place steeped in community pride.
Large and small businesses are relocating here and bringing people from across the country drawn by the community’s charming downtowns, ample outdoor opportunities, superior school systems, mild weather and other amenities.
“We’re a very hard-working, collaborative community, and we love everybody — we’re civil to each other and take care of our neighbors,” says Drew Miles, a lifelong resident of Maryville. “I feel very blessed to be from here, so I didn’t have to seek out a community like this.”
Miles is the proprietor of Miles Insurance and has two children, ages 3 and 6. His wife is a school teacher in one of the local school districts. Education is a big deal in Blount County — besides the appealing quality of life, area schools offer attractive salaries and benefits, drawing the best of the best teachers from the region. These educators are impacting the area with a 95% graduation rate.
For higher education, Maryville College and Pellissippi State Community College are also in the area, drawing more art, culture and innovation.
“I can’t say enough good things about the school system here, from my friends who are teachers to having my own kids in schools,” says Sarah Calkin, a partner at Express Strategic Services, which does small business development. “Two-thirds of the schools are Blue Ribbon Schools, and the things that the schools provide for the kids are incredible — from extracurriculars to the option to take college-level classes in high school.”
Calkin grew up in nearby Knoxville but knew she and her family would settle in Blount County, where her husband hails from — and she has no regrets. The area is known for being family-friendly and has the feel of a big small town. Families love having all the perks of a vibrant city at their fingertips, from restaurants and shops to youth sports and entertainment options — without the stress of crime or traffic.
In Easy Reach
“The Blount County Chamber of Commerce does such a great job hosting family-friendly events like festivals, theater and concerts in the park,” says Calkin. “You just don’t really have a need to go anywhere else — and along the greenway, it’s lined with shops, restaurants, bars, the library, boutiques and plenty of options to be active.”
Being active is easy for Blount County residents because they have such easy access to bountiful forests, mountains and streams — all in their backyard. Numerous hiking trails connect to the Appalachian Trail network, and water sports, from river tubing to fishing, are popular pastimes. The city also offers several urban oases like the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway and the Maryville College Trails.
“You can jump on the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway and ride for miles,” says Calkin. “There are lots of places where you can be active — parks will have playgrounds, tennis and pickleball courts, and softball and baseball fields.”
Even though Blount County has everything you need right there, mobility is also a perk locals appreciate. It offers easy access to road arteries, such as Interstates 75 and 40, which connect the area to other major cities like Knoxville, Asheville and Chattanooga. Plus, the community continues to create an infrastructure that supports pedestrians and bikers, making transportation even easier.
Businesses know that people want to live in Blount County too. Major employers like Amazon and Smith & Wesson are moving to the area and creating opportunities for young and experienced professionals.
“We have had great industrial development and lots of job opportunities, and if you compare our region to the rest of the country, we have lower consumer spending, a lower tax base and lower cost of living,” says Miles. “We are having an unbelievable number of people moving here over the past 12 months — more than in the past 12 years — it’s become a destination.”
Want to know more?
If you’d like to learn more about the Blount County, TN, area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Blount County, Tennessee.