There is much to love about life in Blount County. After all, it plays home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, making it easily one of the most scenic places in the United States. Yet, it is not just the visual beauty of the area that is what ensures it is a fantastic place to live and work all year round.
- Lower than average daily commutes
The national average travel time to work is more than 26 minutes. In Blount County, that drops to roughly 23 minutes, making it one of the shortest daily commutes in the state and the country. While commuting often means enjoying nice scenery and good weather and roads, it is also nice to know that most of us working and living here don’t have to sit in traffic for an hour or more each day!
- It is home to the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway
This nine-mile trail is paved for hikers and bikers, as well as walkers, stroller pushers and more! With access points in some of Maryville’s nicest parks, along with Alcoa’s Richard Williams Park, it is a local treasure. Easy for people of all ages, it is a great spot in the fall, when canopies of trees flood the area with color, but also gorgeous in the spring as bridges pass over babbling streams, and in summertime when the world is flooded with green.
- It is more affordable
According to Sperling’s Best Places, the Blount County cost of living is currently 99.7% of the national average, meaning it is slightly cheaper to live here than in many other parts of the U.S. Transportation, groceries and housing are among the most affordable factors in the area, meaning your hard-earned dollars go farther because you choose to work and live here!
- Unemployment is lower
Another benefit of living and working in Blount County is that its unemployment rate has held steadily below the national average for a long time. At the end of the summer of 2018, it was at 3.4 percent, making it less than the national average of close to 4%.
- It may be popular with tourists, but there are a lot of non-tourist spots
Google “Blount County” and you see all kinds of tourism sites and attractions that go well beyond the national park within the county’s borders. The amazingly scenic drives; the wonderful towns of Maryville, Townsend, Alcoa and Louisville with their shops and restaurants; and an ongoing array of festivals and events draw millions into the area.
As someone living and working in the county, it may seem that there would be few spots free of tourists, and yet the county is brimming with “secret” local areas and hideaways. Upper Tremont Rd. inside of the national park is often touted as one of the best drives and yet it is also described as “a secret little place” by those in the know!
Affordable living, amazing scenery, year-round good weather, and lots of secret places to explore add up to a wonderful spot to live and/or work. We are super grateful to call Blount County home, and with these five facts, we hope you are happier than ever to live or work here, too.