This southeastern city offers many treats that attract retirees. When it's football time in Tennessee, the city of Knoxville, TN erupts into a sea of orange that covers the University of Tennessee campus and surrounding streets. Passionate fans flow out of local restaurants, bars and parking lots towards Neyland Stadium for kickoff. Game day in Knoxville is truly a sight to behold, but those looking for best places to retire will find even more than that here.
Each season brings new sports to watch, activities to try and natural blessings. Knoxville's rolling hills, historic architecture and college town vibe create an innovative atmosphere. Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, on the Tennessee River and surrounded by seven lakes, the city pops with color during the fall. Outdoor recreation options in Knoxville keep residents on the go. The city scored high in parks, and its residents frequently engage in cultural activities.
Knoxvillians are constantly forced to choose between entertainment options that range from concerts and theater performances to festivals, sporting events, and art shows. Children of all ages enjoy trips to the Knoxville Zoo and watching the fireworks over the river during the annual Labor Day celebration known as Boomsday. The city's downtown bustles with activity day and night as people trickle in and out of the many venues, bars and restaurants. Throughout the year, Market Square hosts free concerts and movies. Artists create thought-provoking works at the Emporium Center for Arts and Culture, while musicians sing at pubs like Boyd's Jig and Reel. Knoxville restaurants serve innovative dishes often inspired from travels to far off lands or simply adding twists to traditional Southern cooking.
Many older adults take advantage of the conferences and noncredit classes offered at UT, which include the Smoky Mountain Field School, the Culinary Institute Knoxville and professional development programs. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in the state, the University of Tennessee Medical Center is one of six hospitals in Knoxville. RetireNet.com lists more than 160 retirement communities in Knoxville and the surrounding area.
Population 65 and Over: 12.6%
Colleges: University of Tennessee
Top 100 Rank 2014: 62
Liv Score: 594
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