Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

March 03, 2021 | Tom Ballard

PureWow ranks Knoxville as second “coolest city” in America based on COL, subjective factors

Wonder why the Knoxville area housing market is so tight?

One of the reasons, which we have noted in several recent articles, involves the relocation of people who can work remotely from high-cost locations like California, Chicago and New York. Now, we find further evidence in the latest edition of the Knoxville Chamber’s In the Loop newsletter.

PureWow, a digital media company that publishes women’s lifestyle content, has ranked the city #2 in a listing of “The 10 Coolest Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S.” That’s ahead of places many think are really cool like Greenville, SC and Savannah, GA.

Here’s what PureWow says about Knoxville: “Right smack between the ever-popular destinations of Asheville and Nashville is this city that sits on the Tennessee River. Once dubbed the ‘scruffy city,’ the moniker isn’t quite as sticky as it once was, considering all the food and culture that’s popped up in the area. Cute eateries dot the walkable Market Square, and art lovers can wander Strong Alley for street art or move things inside to the free Knoxville Museum of Art. And yes, the city has a hip speakeasy bar, which by default means it’s officially ‘cool.’ But c’mon, it’s Knoxville’s one-of-a-kind landscape on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, that means access to views, hikes and that requisite breath of fresh air when you need it most.”

What methodology was used? PureWow writes that it “cross-referenced data from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index (for reference, the U.S. cost of living benchmark average is 100, so anything under that is good) with some qualitative analyses (like, is there anything to do in these towns?) to find the happy meeting place of the coolest and most affordable cities in the country.”