Knoxville & the Region
With a population of 190,000 living within a metropolitan statistical area of over one million people, Knoxville offers plenty of activities for those needing a break from their studies. Perhaps you might like to visit the Smoky Mountains National Park, the largest national park east of the Mississippi River and a short drive from downtown Knoxville. Maybe you can visit the Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee’s second longest cave system and home to the Bluegrass Underground which airs live monthly performances of bluegrass music on National Public Radio. Plenty of agencies offer the chance to perform public service work, including the renowned Highlander Research and Education Center, a seventy-five year old social justice training center with a long history of involvement in the fields of civil rights, labor and environmental activism, youth leadership, and immigration reform. Houses of worship, orchestras, opera companies, an endless array of scenic drives, trails for hiking or biking, shopping, cafes, and night clubs all contribute to the quality of life available in East Tennessee. Knoxville is also close to larger urban centers in Nashville, Atlanta, Louisville, and Birmingham.
CNN/Money Magazine has kept Knoxville on its list of “Top 10″ fastest growing cities, citing a 33% growth in population between 2000 and 2010. (Knoxville Among the 10 Fastest Growing Cities) Forbes Magazine has also named Knoxville one of America’s most affordable cities. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2014/03/11/americas-most-affordable-cities/)