T.A.T. in Tennessee?
As told by Leena Kollar

Ranking: The 10 Best Cities in Tennessee to Raise A Family

Part of what drew me to the south, particularly to Tennessee, is its family-oriented way of life. The people are friendly, there are lots of things to do and even places way out in the country have something to offer.

Now that I’m a mom, living somewhere that will benefit my children is important to me. But I also want to be in a place that I enjoy living too.

Most people who live in Tennessee are actually “transplants” from other states, and many who move here find it very hard to leave. With our Southern hospitality, amazingly delicious food and incredible scenery all year, it’s no wonder so many people call Tennessee home.

For families who are considering a move to The Volunteer State, these are the best 10 cities for raising a Southern family.

10. Knoxville

National League of Cities Sustainable Cities Institute

It’s where you’ll find the University of Tennessee, which is what gives Knoxville its reputation as a “college town.” Because of the college’s presence, there are a lot of people (both from Knoxville and other cities) who enjoy college football games and other sporting events in the city.

Living in Knoxville means you’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has lots to see and do. Not far from Knoxville you’ll also find area attractions like Dollywood theme park.

9. Spring Hill

Spring HIll
Spring Hill Family Fellowship

If you head down US Highway 31 and drive about 30 miles south from Nashville, you’ll find yourself in lovely Spring Hill. The quiet town is great for families who want small town living and an inviting community.

Some of the city’s most prominent businesses are Goodwill, Ryder, General Motors and Mars, Inc. In the fall, many people also go to Spring Hill to enjoy the Ripavilla Plantation, which is known for its annual corn maze.

8. Mt. Juliet

Mt. Juliet

Not far from Nashville is the family-friendly city of Mt. Juliet. It has the largest shopping center between Nashville and Knoxville, and is a short commute to higher learning institutions like Belmont University, Middle Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University.

With a population of over 28,000 residents, Mt. Juliet is a great place to call home. Recent estimates show the median household income to be $74,670, which is more than enough to raise a family here.

7. Chattanooga

PechaKucha / Jean Snow

With a population of 176,588, Chattanooga is the 4th largest city in Tennessee. It’s so awesome, that it’s the first city in America to have its own typeface. Yep- Chatype launched in 2012.

If you need somewhere to take the kids in Chattanooga, you’ve got plenty of options. There’s the Chattanooga Zoo, the Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum. There are also many choices of schools, a public library and three hospital systems.

6. Brentwood

Livability / Antony Boshier

One of the more prestigious cities in Tennessee, Brentwood, is a wonderful place to live. The city is located south of Nashville, and has easy access to shopping, restaurants and downtown.

Brentwood is one of the wealthiest cities in America (relative to the cost of living), and as of 2014 has a population of 40,982. Area hot spots include Crockett Park, Concord Park, the Brentwood Public Library and the YMCA.

5. Murfreesboro

Taste & See Cookbook

With shopping malls, museums and seasonal events, Murfreesboro is a bustling city surrounded by country-style homes. It is the fastest growing major city in Tennessee, and home to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), which is the largest undergraduate university in the state.

There’s plenty to do in Murfreesboro, but you will find that most of the family homes are nestled away from the busy city. You get the best of both worlds -city life and country living- with Murfreesboro.

4. Franklin

Facebook / Visit Franklin, TN

Located 21 miles south of Nashville is the city of Franklin. It’s an historic city rich in arts & culture. Downtown is a popular shopping spot, and is also where many seasonal events take place.

Homes in Franklin range from ranch style farmhouses to small, rustic homes. The cost of living is on the higher end, but you won’t have to travel far to work or play.

3. Nolensville

active rain / Carol Castillo

If you drive through downtown Nolensville, you’ll pass several antique stores. You might also find a post office and Town Hall, because the city isn’t very big. However, the average household income is between $102,000 and $106,000.

The city does have several sports leagues for kids, and uses local sports fields and parks for practices and games. Because of its sustained growth, Nolensville is opening three new schools (an elementary, middle and high school) in the fall of 2016.

2. Smyrna

Facebook / Town of Smyrna, TN

If you enjoy parks, you’ll love Smryna. The city has 10 parks! It also has a public golf course, an outdoor water park and a public fitness center with an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

With affordable housing and convenient access to shopping and restaurants, Smyrna has everything you need to raise a family. You’re not far from Nashville, and you’re just miles away from other small cities.

1. La Vergne

La Vergne
Facebook / Living in La Vergne

A public library, parks, two fire stations and a partridge in a pear tree. Ok, so just kidding on that last one. But the first are just a few of the great things that La Vergne has to offer.

The family-oriented city has reasonable sized homes that won’t break the bank. You’re also just miles away from stores, restaurants, gas stations, fast food and everything else you like having close by on a daily basis. Plus, with great neighbors and a safe community, you’ll feel good letting your kids play out front.

You see why Tennessee is awesome? I know I’m biased, but come on. Have you packed your bags for the big move yet?

Author: Leena Kollar

Leena Kollar is a freelance writer who has written on a variety of topics for several different websites. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending time with her family eating Southern food, tolerating the Southern humidity and spraying herself liberally with bug spray in the Nashville, TN area. She also has a fashion blog, Leather & Lip Gloss and recently founded a fashion website, The Style Spectrum.