Moving to Tennessee Guide: Discover the Volunteer State
We created this guide for moving to Tennessee to help those who are in their very early stages of researching where they’d like to move. So, what exactly do you need to know before moving to Tennessee? We’ve complied some of the most important items you should consider when making this big decision. According to 2020 Census data, Tennessee saw sizable growth over the last decade, with an 8.9% growth in population. So, is moving to Tennessee right for you?
What You Need to Know about Tennessee’s Geography
Tennessee is a Southeastern state bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the southwest, and Missouri to the northeast. Fun fact: its name derives from “Tanasi,” a Cherokee town in the eastern part of the state that existed before the first European settlement. If you love exploring the outdoors, Tennessee may be the right place for you. In fact, with an area of 42,143 square miles, Tennessee can be divided into three distinct geographic regions: the Grand Divisions of East, Middle, and West Tennessee. Each Division is about one-third of the state’s land area and are geographically, culturally, legally, and economically distinct. They are even represented on the state’s flag!
From the Blue Ridge Mountains along the eastern border, to the many scenic valleys and waterfalls of the Cumberland Plateau, and not to forget the mighty Tennessee River that twice bisects the state, you’re sure to be inspired by Tennessee’s natural beauty. The variety in the typography is just one of the many things to love about moving to Tennessee.
Tennessee’s highest point is in the Clingmans Dome, standing at 6,643 ft tall. By comparison, Tennessee’s lowest point is in Mississippi River, where the river forms the state’s border with the state of Mississippi, and that’s only 178 ft! Speaking of high points, the Great Smoky Mountains are considered Tennessee’s most famous mountain range, and they are the nation’s most visited national park!
Moving to Tennessee Guide on the Weather in Tennessee
Tennessee’s climate is stable across the state – mostly humid subtropical with some exceptions in the higher elevations of the Appalachians. It may surprise you to learn that the Gulf of Mexico is the dominant factor in Tennessee’s climate, with winds from the south responsible for most of the state’s annual precipitation. This just means monthly normal high and low temperatures really depend on season. Summers are generally hot and humid, with temps averaging around 90 degrees. Winters, by contract, tend to be mild to cool, decreasing in temperature at higher elevations. For areas outside the highest mountains, the average overnight lows are generally near freezing!
The state has dangers associated with tropical cyclones, flooding, and tornados, which should be something to consider if you plan to build a home after moving to Tennessee.
Moving to Tennessee Guide on Getting a Job in the Volunteer State
If you’re looking for a place to grow your career, consider moving to Tennessee! According to an article published by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, at the time of writing this article, the state of Tennessee has seen a steady job growth rate with unemployment rapidly decreasing across the state. In fact, Tennessee continues to add more drops, resulting in a steady unemployment rate of around 4.2%. The top industries in Tennessee are health care, transportation, music and entertainment, banking, and finance.
What’s the situation on buying alcohol in Tennessee?
Who isn’t curious about how to toast moving to a new state! Under Tennessee alcohol laws, individuals below age 18 cannot by any means serve or sell alcohol. You must be at least 18 years or older to be employed as a server or as a bartender. Regardless of the nature of work, only persons 21 years and above are allowed to purchase and consume alcohol.
Restaurants and bars may serve alcohol by the drink from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays. On Sundays they may sell from 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. It’s illegal to sell alcoholic beverages on January First, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25th. In fact, there are quite a few counties in Tennessee that are dry!
The real drink of choice across the state is whiskey. By 1810, registered distilleries numbered 14,191 and were producing 25.5 million gallons of whiskey. In 2009, the Tennessee General Assembly amended the statute that had for many years limited the distillation of drinkable spirits to just three counties (Lincoln, Moore, and Coffee). The revised law allows distilleries to be established in 41 additional counties and this change was expected to lead to the establishment of small distilleries, thus increasing the number of producers of Tennessee whiskey. Cheers to moving to Tennessee!
What is there to do in Tennessee?
Hopefully you like hiking and camping! Tennessee’s natural beauty is sure not to be missed. There are thirteen national parks in Tennessee, including Appalachian National Park and Big South Fork National Park, that will make every weekend an adventure! Looking for something a little wild? There are also multiple state parks and wilderness and conservation areas that might pique your interest, too!
Another choice is to head over to Nashville for culture, food, and fun. A growing big city, Nashville boasts a variety of fun and interesting things to do including the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Johnny Cash Museum. However, if you’re like us, we’re sure you’ll agree that outdoor Tennessee is the best. You’ll be in awe each and everything you step outside after moving to Tennessee!
Important State Symbols in Tennessee
The state of Tennessee has over sixty official state symbols; we’ve included a few of our favorites here. The first, and most important, is the state fruit – the tomato! Tennessee’s agricultural sector supplies many products, but its tomato crop is the third largest nationwide yield!The state dog is the bluetick coonhound, and the flowers are the Passionflower, the Iris, and the Tennessee Coneflower. Another one of our favorite Tennessee symbols is the state artifact: Sandy. Probably the most unexpected state symbol is the state pet – the rescued dog or cat!
Lesser-Known FAQs About Moving to Tennessee
Q: What is the capital of Tennessee?
A: The capital of Tennessee is Nashville. Nashville is also the most populated city in Tennessee. The Nashville metropolitan area has a population of almost 2 million people, making it the most populated metropolitan area in Tennessee, and the third most populous in the southeastern United States. If you plan to move to Tennessee, you’ll probably find yourself here!
Q: How do Tennessee’s public schools rank nationally?
A: According to a study by US News, Tennessee public high schools rank 36/50 in a national breakdown tracking state-by-state high school performance. While education quality can vary widely depending on where in the state you live, this report takes the weighted average of the state’s high school performance into consideration.
Q: What kind of taxes can you expect to pay in Tennessee?
A: Tennessee has no income tax but does have a “hall tax” — that is, a 6% tax on interest and dividends, which is specifically allowed by the state constitution. Tennessee also has a 7% sales tax, but food, food ingredients, and prepared foods are exempt from sales tax. Additionally,
Residents pay no sales taxes on social security benefits, pensions, or distributions from their retirement plans and the median annual property tax is about half the national average. The state has the third-lowest tax burden in the U.S.!
Q: What’s it like to vote in Tennessee?
A: You must have a Tennessee driver’s license or Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ID in order to submit an application online. If you do not have a Tennessee driver’s license or Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ID, you will be able to print the voter registration form and submit by mail.
In order to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Tennessee, at least eighteen years on/or before the next election, and if you have been convicted of a felony, your eligibility to register and vote depends upon the crime you were convicted of and the date of your conviction.
Q: What are the rules for switching your driver’s license in Tennessee?
A: New residents, or those returning to Tennessee and holding a driver license from another state, must obtain a Tennessee driver license no later than thirty days after establishing residency. New residents will need to go to any of the state’s full-service driver service centers located throughout the state. New residents holding a valid learner’s permit from another state must meet separate requirements to obtain a Tennessee learner permit or driver license.
You will be required to surrender your out-of-state license when you apply for a Tennessee license, and all new or returning residents will need to take a vision test. If your license is expired, you’ll need to take a knowledge exam, too. Don’t forget to check online what paperwork you’ll need to bring and fees you’ll need to pay so you don’t leave empty handed!
Q: When do you need to update your car plates after moving to Tennessee?
A: Tennessee requires that you register your vehicle in the state within 30 days of establishing residency. You’ll need to go to your local County Clerk’s office to update your vehicle’s registration. Make sure to bring along the required documents listed on the Clerk’s website! There is also a fee and an emissions test requirement, so don’t be surprised if your trip takes longer than expected.
Q: What’s it like driving in Tennessee?
A: Like most state, the driving conditions in Tennessee are very different in urban and rural areas. Thankfully, Tennessee, in a tie with its western neighbor Missouri, ranked at number 9 as the state with the worst drivers in America. Now, that doesn’t mean Tennessee drivers are all the worst – that just means you have more to do than to look at out the window of the car!
Q: Does Tennessee have any walkable cities?
A: Of all cities in Tennessee, the best bet for having a walkable lifestyle is going to be in Nashville, but even that’s going to be difficult. The city has minimal public transportation, but it is somewhat bikeable.
Is Moving to Tennessee Right for You?
For those of you looking for outdoor adventure, while still enjoying the creature comforts of city living, Tennessee (and specifically Nashville) may be the right fit for you. The beautiful typography of Tennessee, low taxes, and booming economy all lend themselves into making life great in the Volunteer State.
However, natural disasters like tropical cyclones and flooding and middle of the pack schools prove that while exceptional, Tennessee isn’t perfect.