Being one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville is a repository of Appalachian culture and is one of the starting points of the route to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Additionally, the terrain, culture and people make this city a mix of natural beauty, adventure and plenty of cultural attractions. So if you’re planning to discover and find rooms for rent in Knoxville, here’s everything you need to know.

Getting to Know Knoxville

Knoxville is situated in the Great Appalachian Valley, aka, Tennessee Valley, about halfway between the Great Smoky Mountains to the east and the Cumberland Plateau to the west. With its abundant outdoors, it is also the largest city in the East Tennessee Grand Division. So if you’re looking for rooms for rent in Knoxville, get started with our Roomi City Guide.

Finding rooms for rent in Knoxville

The residential architecture in Knoxville is like a timeline of the city’s development over two centuries. From Greek revival to neoclassicism, there is varied architectural styles wherever you go in the city, though the neighborhoods developed after World War II typically consist of Ranch-style houses.

When looking for cheap rooms for rent in Knoxville, you should know that the division of Knoxville branches into the Downtown area and sections based on the four cardinal directions: North Knoxville, South Knoxville, East Knoxville, and West Knoxville. Many neighborhoods here are named after lakes, hills or forests, owing to it being surrounded by natural beauty.

Top neighborhoods in Knoxville

Oakwood/Lincoln Park

Minutes away from downtown, this neighborhood is home to casual, front porch homes. They’re generally affordable, making this a good starting point to find cheap rooms for rent in Knoxville. Moreover, a diverse population from all backgrounds calls the neighborhood home, and lots of variation between blocks makes this an aesthetically interesting place.

Lake Forest, Colonial Village

Love being in the woods? Then we recommend you find rooms for rent in Lake Forest in Knoxville. Surrounded by the forests, this neighborhood is home to families, young professionals and active seniors.

Fourth and Gill

A pedestrian friendly neighborhood, this one’s home to architecture enthusiasts, artists, professionals, students, and families. When you go here to find rooms for rent in Knoxville, you’ll come across improved historically distressed properties, and cottage style gardens around homes.

Average rent in Knoxville

Rooms For Rent in Knoxville Average Rent
1 Bedroom Apartment For Rent in Knoxville$568
2 Bedroom Apartment For Rent in Knoxville$1,552

University life in Knoxville

A wide range of courses are available in the universities of Knoxville, offering full time as well as distance learning courses in private or public colleges. Here are the top universities in Knoxville:

How transit-friendly is Knoxville?

Walkability & cycling

Redditor sir_culo, a resident of Knoxville says

Knoxville is great, but outside downtown, it’s not very walkable or bikeable compared to other cities. Many streets don’t even have shoulders to walk on, making it impossible to walk. If you live near one of the greenways (like in Bearden) then it’s easier to get downtown.

Public transport

The Knoxville Area Transit, aka, KAT operates over 80 buses, road trolleys, and paratransit vehicles. You’ll find commercial, as well as recreational shipping (such as john boats, fishing boats and yachts) on the Tennessee river barge terminals in Knoxville.


Alcoa highway connecting the Downton area with McGhee Tyson airport and Maryville is known as Knoxville’s busiest road. So be prepared to lose some time to traffic when you’re looking for rooms for rent in Knoxville

Cultural activities in Knoxville

Dogwood Arts Festival

Dogwood trails began as a civic beautification project led by the citizens of Knoxville in response to a New York newspaper reporter calling it ‘the ugliest city in America.’ Additionally, that led to the Dogwood arts festival celebrating art in Knoxville through yearly events. It’s free to attend, and you can volunteer at the event too!

Mountain Makins

Mountain Makins started in 1976 and is an annual festival that helped raise funds to save historic Rose School, and still does. Moreover, the festival provides arts education for residents of 5 counties, and serves to keep Appalachian history and culture alive and vibrant.

Ramsey House Country Market

An annual event, the fall country market has been a tradition in Knoxville for more than four decades. Additionally, it hosts fair booths with antiques, crafts, plants, folk art, tours, and workshops.

Historical spots in Knoxville

Crescent Bend House & Gardens

An exquisite historic home filled with 18th century antique furniture and decorative arts. The property is home to fountains, terraces and manicured Italian gardens for you to enjoy.

Confederate Memorial Hall – Bleak House

Built in the 1800s as a wedding present for Louisa Franklin and Robert Houston Armstrong, it was originally named Bleak house, after the Dickens novel. The mansion is open for tours displaying its antique furniture, artefact museum, library and more. In fact, it also doubles up as a venue for weddings, receptions, parties and other functions as well.

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

For a taste of culture from the past, visit this museum with a mission to preserve and display the culture of inhabitants of the Southern Appalachians. Additionally, exhibitions, and educational and cultural programs, make this a great place to indulge in cultural history.

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