The Upper Cumberland is the BEST Place to Live in 2023

The Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee is packed with small towns close to waterfalls, caves, local restaurants, boutiques and more. It is a great place to relocate if you are looking for a high quality of living at a reasonable cost. Here, we have a thriving economy and are home to some of nature's best creations. From the bright lights of Cookeville's historic downtown buildings, to the scenic State Parks, The Upper Cumberland offers up something for everyone. Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, jamming to country music, or looking for small-town charm, this region of the Volunteer State is the best place to live. 

There are a lot of benefits to living in Tennessee. It is famous for its country music, low cost of living, and beautiful natural landscape. It was ranked as the second cheapest state to live in the United States, and the number one state to retire in. US News ranked it as the number 3 state in fiscal stability. The fiscal stability of a state’s government is vital to ensuring the success of government-sponsored programs, and projects and the quality of life of the state’s residents. The use of renewable energy and the quality of roads and bridges were major considerations when Tennessee was ranked far above average for its infrastructure. US News also measured Tennessee’s economic stability and potential and shared its above average job growth and net mitigation. 

Only nine states in the US are considered tax friendly and Tennessee happens to fall on that list. The cost of homes in the state of Tennessee is comparatively lower than the national average, with property taxes ranking similarly. Another benefit to living in Tennessee is that it does not have a state income tax. This means that people are able to take home more with each paycheck, and retirees do not have to worry about being taxed on retirement accounts, Social Security, or Pensions. Tennessee also enjoys all four seasons throughout the year and holds so much natural beauty, from 56 state parks, including the Great Smoky Mountains, to the imagery in downtown Nashville and the season views in Knoxville. On top of Tennessee’s unique landscape, it also has a booming economy. It topped the chart in gross domestic product from 2020 to 2021 and saw an 8.6% growth rate in real GDP, just ahead of New Hampshire and California.

Let’s look deeper into The Upper Cumberland. Why is it the best place to live in 2023?

The Upper Cumberland is centrally located among Tennessee's best spots and it is one of the very few areas where you can take a step out of a big city and land in the country. The Upper Cumberland is known for its cascades, gorges, rock houses, and waterfalls nestled within its beautiful and unique landscape. There are roughly 1660 hiking trails throughout Tennessee, making it the outdoor lover's dream. Among the lush forests are extensive systems of rivers and streams to create particularly exceptional waterfall destinations. The top waterfall destinations to see in Upper Cumberland are Fall Creek Falls, Caney Creek Falls, Piney Falls, Burgess Falls, Great Falls, and Twin Falls. The Upper Cumberland is also known for its beautiful lakes including Dale Hollow Lake, Center Hill Lake, and Cordell Hull Lake. These lakes are much more than just lakes. There are several giant waterfalls and hiking trails that make these places a true destination. You can kayak, canoe, boat, or take a jet ski to the bottom of the waterfalls! 

The Upper Cumberland is full of southern charm and small-town hospitality. Cookeville is known as the region's best-kept secret. It is centrally located between Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. You are just an hour away from the streets of Nashville, Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, and the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, and only seconds away from several of Tennessee’s famous waterfalls. It’s a great area with both city-like amenities and breathtaking outdoor settings. It has delicious culinary creations, hidden murals, local breweries, upscale fashion, and endless hiking trails. This town is one of the best in rural Tennessee!

The cuisine in The Upper Cumberland is like no other. There are hundreds of restaurants ranging from small local diners to gourmet eateries. Stop by Ralph’s to try “Tennessee’s Best Donut” and then head to Seven Senses to try one of World Chef Challenge Winner Chad Combs' savory dishes.

Also located in The Upper Cumberland is Tennessee Technological University. TTU is a smaller campus with almost 10,000 students currently attending. It is located in Cookeville, Tennessee, and was voted the number one greatest affordable college town in the country. The University’s top 10 academic departments are Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Exercise Science, Physical Education and Wellness, Biology, Nursing, Business Management, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Elementary Education, Psychology, and Agriculture. Tennessee Tech is a small school with a big community. 

Of all the many things The Upper Cumberland Region is known for, its sense of community remains one of its best treasures. It is the perfect spot to raise a family with its safe community, affordable homes, and wonderful schools. There is a reason why it’s known as the gem of the South.

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