Townsend TN : Tennessee


What It Is Like to Retire in Townsend TN

Townsend, Tennessee, a very small town in Blount County, is located on “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies”, and is one of the three gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in the United States.  Population during the 2010 census was just 448 residents.

Prior to 1900 this scenic area was called Tuckaleechee Cove, a name meaning “peaceful valley” that was given by the Cherokees, who built small villages along Little River as early as the 1600's. But by the time the first settlers arrived in Tuckaleechee in the late 18th century, the Cherokee had abandoned the villages as they had moved south and west to evade encroachment by the colonists. In 1900, Colonel W.B. Townsend of Pennsylvania, purchased 86,000 acres and began a lumber business. The town that sprang up around the mill was named after him, and there was rapid expansion of logging operations throughout the Smokies. When conservationist stepped in, Townsend sold his land to what has become the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Today, tourism helps to keep Townsend's economy healthy as it offers beautiful vistas, an array of outdoor recreation, bluegrass music, and a few restaurants and motels. Picture of Historical Marker near the site of the Cherokee Villages of Tuckaleechee and picture of  70-ton Shay engine at the Little River Railroad and Lumber Museum, and the The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center are all courtesy of Wikipedia and Brian Stansberry, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/


Where to Retire in Townsend TN and Home Prices

The median sale price of a home in Townsend was $208,500 in late 2019, according to Trulia. There is at least one active adult community in Townsend-see link at left.


What Is Special about Townsend TN

Townsend is considered a “gateway” to the Smoky Mountain National Park as an entrance to Park is located here. The popular and beautiful tourist destination offers 500,000 acres of forest land with waterfalls, rivers, and floral and fauna. The Smoky Mountains themselves make Townsend a special place as it experiences all four seasons, offers outdoor activities in the mountains and on the river, and is known for its music and crafts by local artisans.


What Is Not Special about Townsend TN

It is a very small town with a population of about 500, and is visited by many tourists and motorcyclists during the summer season. It's a bit isolated, with Knoxville being the closest large city 25 miles away. If you are not a fan of outdoor recreation, mountain music and Appalachian arts and crafts, you may not enjoy retiring here.


Who Will Like Retirement in Townsend TN

Retirees who want a small scenic spot with a low cost of living and enjoy arts and crafts, bluegrass, hiking, kayaking, and lots outdoor activities would enjoy it here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, Recreation, and Construction.


Climate and Physical Environment

The average January temperature is about 35 degress, with July's average about 73 degrees.  Townsend gets an average of 60 inches of rain annually.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center preserves the region's history and offers exhibitions, educational programs and live demonstrations; Rocky Branch Bluegrass is a music center where bluegrass musicians gather, as well as those that play gospel and mountain music; The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum recounts the logging history in the area; Several festivals are held throughout the year including Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day held in the spring and fall.  The town prides itself on its Mom and Pop restaurants serving home- cooked local favorites.



The crime rate is a little above the national average.


Medical Facilities

The nearest hospital is Blount Memorial Hospital in Maryville, 16 miles away.



The cloest airport is in Knoxville about 25 miles away, but for international flights Nashville is the nearest airport and is 200 miles away.


Valuable Links

About Townsend

Smoky Mountains

Townsend Chamber of Commerce


What people are saying about Townsend TN

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