Towns Outside of Nashville

The Best Small Towns to Move to

Located in Middle Tennessee

 Tennessee is among the lowest cost-of-living states in the US. 

Locals know the growth Music City has seen in the past few years. We have watched the cranes multiple, taxes increase by 34% just this year, traffic increase and housing prices climb even higher.

Nashville, Tennessee has seen a ton of growth. It’s hard to say what exactly put this place on the map because it was really a lot of different things.

A new interest in country music & singers, the hosting place of major nationally televised events, a huge marketing push, a housing boom…and well, because Nashville is a cool city so naturally people want to be there!

If you’re a local, you may be wanting to get out of town and find a place that isn’t that far with room to roam. Or maybe you are reading this right now in California trying to do some research on where to move.

Well, I’ve got a few options for you. Places where I have lived, grown up, and always known. If you’re looking at this region of Middle Tennessee, let me show you around and help you to understand this area a little bit better.

Small Towns outside of Nashville, Tennessee 

cookeville tn center hill lake

Waterloo Falls, Cookeville, Tennessee. Read about it.

1. Cookeville, Tennessee

Putnam Co population: 80,245

Cookeville population: 34,005

Average home price: $194,242

Cookeville, Tennessee serves as the hub for the Upper Cumberland region. Home to Tennessee Tech University, this is an up & coming area in Middle Tennessee.

Directly between Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, this town is great for those who are wanting to live on the outskirts of major cities. With I-40 running through the town, it’s great for those commuting.

Several waterfalls are in neighboring towns making it an outdoorsman’s dream.

In both 2018 and 2019, Cookeville was noted by the US Census as one of the top 10 fastest growing micropolitan areas in the US. With promising growth, this is a great place to call home.

cookeville tn center hill lake

Burgess Falls, Sparta, Tennessee. Read about it.

2. Sparta, Tennessee

White Co population: 27,107

Sparta population: 4,945

Average home price: $100,638

Sparta and White County Tennessee have more caves, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks per square mile than anywhere else in the United States. There are also 100+ miles of paddleable water and scores of hiking trails nearby.

Sparta is a low key, rural area with some of the most scenic places. Sweeping hillsides, rolling distant hills and sprawling farms, this area is great for farmers, families or businesses. With popular attractions like Burgess Falls, Virgin Falls and some parts of Center Hill Lake & the Caney Fork River, Sparta is stunning countryside ideal for those who love the great outdoors.

With easy access to I-40, Highway 111 and the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport, this is ideal for working professionals, investors, businesses and families alike.

Known as “Bluegrass USA”, Sparta is home to legendary bluegrass artists like Lester Flatt, Benny Martin, and Blake Williams.

Sparta is located near the middle of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s electrical service area making volumes of electricity both reliable, and affordable. It is also the most centrally located town to three of Tennessee’s largest cities; in fact, White County lies less than 90 minutes from the airports in Nashville, Knoxville, or Chattanooga.

Sparta ranks lowest where it counts most, White County is among the lowest cost-of-living counties in the state Tennessee.

cookeville tn center hill lake

3. Smithville, Tennessee

DeKalb Co population: 20,138

Smithville population: 4,793

Average home price: $198,445

Home to Center Hill Lake, Smithville is in fact that town 60 miles east of Nashville that is hard not to love. While this is a rural area, it is close to larger cities including Murfreesboro, Lebanon, Cookeville and Nashville.

This is ideal for developers, investors or those looking to escape to easy living outside of the big city of Nashville, Tennessee. Smithville continues to be a popular escape from Nashville – attracting thousands of newcomers every year and convincing others to call it home or at least have a houseboat or lake home.

With rolling ridgetops, serene lake coves, Tennessee valleys and creeks, it’s easy to get lost in this place – in a good way! By the way, did we mention there are two waterfalls accessible by water on Center Hill Lake? Burgess Falls and Fancher Falls are a must see. 

Read more about them here

There are also three scenic state parks that contain portions of Center Hill Lake‘s shoreline. Rock Island, Edgar Evins and Burgess Falls are all worth seeing.

(It’s also my hometown so you know I love it!)

cookeville tn center hill lake

4. Baxter, Tennessee 

Putnam Co population: 80,245

Baxter population: 1,536

Average home price: $168,003

This is where I live! I love Baxter. Have you ever seen those movies about a small town and there’s a quaint downtown area and cool hometown events and it’s a slower pace but it’s just right? That is Baxter, Tennessee. If you’re in Tennessee, think Franklin back in the day.

Baxter is a small lake town located west of Cookeville. This is a popular place for locals who live in Cookeville. If you are wanting to have a farm near the lake, this is where you go.

Home to attractions including Center Hill LakeBurgess Falls, DelMonaco Winery & Vineyards, Beau & Belle Acres, Twin Lakes Catfish Farm and everything beautiful in the region. Located right off of I-40 and 56, this town is only an hour from downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

cookeville tn center hill lake

5. Silver Point, Tennessee

Putnam Co population: 80,245

Silver Point population: 1,496

Average home price: $198,445

Silver Point is right by Baxter – just closer to Nashville. If you have been to Center Hill Lake, you probably got off at Exit 273 – that’s Silver Point! Blink and you will miss it! This is basically that town near the lake in between the dam and Cookeville, Tennessee.

This area is known as a smaller community next to Center Hill Lake. With lake and river views, this is an ideal place to build homes. Convenient to Edgar Evins State Park, Center Hill Dam, and Hurricane Marina, this is a great area for a vacation home or year-round lake home.

There’s plenty to do though! Canoe the Caney Fork River, fish, hike or just be outside and enjoy the lake views!

So…are you ready to make the move? As a local who has also lived in Nashville and Knoxville, I can help you navigate the area. I am so hometown proud! Let me help you make it your town too.