Paradise in the Foothills

There’s nothing like an escape to nature for a few days of vacation bliss. Discovering charming towns, experiencing local favorites, and taking in scenic beauty—some getaway spots you just never want to leave. And when it comes to Unicoi County, you don’t have to. A lower cost of living and better work-life balance are just a few of the reasons more and more folks are planting roots where it’s real and wild.


⬇︎41% Crime*

⬇︎14% Cost of Living*

⬇︎37% Rent Costs*

*Percentages reflect livability of Uncoi County, Tennessee’s town of Erwin, and are based on U.S. averages.

Live a Real, Wild Life

Life in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains can be as peaceful or adventurous as you choose. With opportunities to hike the Appalachian Trail and explore the Cherokee National Forest, splash in the Nolichucky River, celebrate communities at numerous festivals, wander through quiet, charming towns, or make a short drive to vibrant, bustling cities, life in Unicoi County will never grow old.

Unicoi County’s lower cost of living is a nice bonus to the amenities you can enjoy while surrounded by our serene natural beauty. In 2017, Tennessee was recognized for having the 5th lowest cost of living in the nation, which is 10.2% below the national average.** But what does that look like for you? Well, if you’re moving from New Jersey for example, you can expect a decrease in expenses across the board, including over 50% less expensive housing, 13% less expensive healthcare cost, and 12% less expensive grocery costs. Perhaps you’re scoping out the region as a whole, and wondering if it’s worth it to live in Unicoi County when just over the mountain is the metropolis of Asheville, North Carolina. Well, we believe it is. You see, Unicoi County is uniquely positioned to give you all access to all the amenities you want, without the higher prices, and cost of living here is lower than in Asheville. By living just over the mountain, you can still enjoy all the finer things without compromising on quality of life or cost. Curious to compare further? Try out this interactive calculator to see how our numbers stack up as you consider a big move.

Located just off of I-26, Unicoi County has easy access to smaller cities like Johnson City and Kingsport, and large cities like Asheville, all within an easy and scenic 15-45 minute drive. This perfect location allows you to broaden your possibilities when considering employment opportunities. Our region is rich in healthcare, education, and industrial development, so there’s no shortage of fields in which to work. And if you’re feeling entrepreneurial, Unicoi County and the neighboring towns and cities offer thriving communities where many people choose to pursue their passion with local business ventures. Recently, the county has made strides in creating a welcoming community for those interested in working remotely by investing in a high-speed, broadband infrastructure so you can easily work from the comfort of your own home. All these investments in growth have helped our area become one of the Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in Tennessee.

For many, a big part of choosing where to grow your life involves choosing somewhere your children will thrive, too. Unicoi County schools are invested in seeing their students succeed, and have even partnered with The Ayers Foundation to prepare students seeking a path towards higher education and career building. For parents hoping to stay connected with their children when they go to college, Unicoi County is just a short drive from a variety of options, including East Tennessee State University, Milligan College, and more.

**Source: CERT calculations using the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) Cost of Living Index (COLI), 2017 Annual Averages

You know you’re home when you strike that perfect balance between a sense of content and an excitement for what your community has to offer. That’s real, wild living.

As you consider relocating to one of the most beautiful spots on earth, take a deeper look at the towns that make up this community nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In Unicoi County you’ll find everything from private mountain homes to friendly town communities, so you can find the perfect spot to create your own personal paradise.

From the Nolichucky River and the Appalachian Trail to fun festivals and farming communities, Unicoi County is bursting with exciting opportunities at every turn.

From working remotely to opening your own business, or making the scenic commute to a neighboring city, find just the right job fit with the vast work opportunities in our region.

Live where you love, without making financial sacrifices. Take a look at how Unicoi County cost of living compares to your current hometown, or others you’re considering.