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Tellico Plains, Tennessee
Next to Cherokee National Forest and Great Smoky Mountain National Park in East Tennessee, Little Tellico Plains Has an Arts Center, a Nice Downtown and a Bounty of Outdoor Recreation
Tiny Tellico Plains sits where the Tellico River leaves the higher peaks of the Appalachians for its lower ridges and valleys in pretty East Tennessee. The Cherokee National Forest and Great Smoky Mountain National Park are town neighbors.
This is a rural place, supported by agriculture and some tourism as visitors wander in on their way to the nearby wilderness areas. The Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition has designated Tellico Plains as a Trail Town, promoting its nearby 200 miles of hiking, backpacking, equestrian and mountain biking trails as a great way to explore the outdoors.
Tellico Plains' downtown is not fancy but has diners, a bookstore, gift shops and markets. Residents also enjoy a community center, a library, a farmers' market, a small museum and an arts center that showcases fabric artists, fine artists, book binders, local writers, and musicians. Vestiges of Appalachian mountain traditions are visible around town.
Population: 750 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 44%
Cost of Living: 20% below the national average
Median Home Price: $300,000
Climate: Summer temperatures reach the mid-90s, and humidity is high. Winters are mild with temperatures in the 40s, 50s and 60s. On average, the area receives 55 inches of rain and a dusting of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Wood Memorial Hospital is12 miles away and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Wood Memorial Hospital is 12 miles away and is accredited.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Transit: The county operates an on demand van service that takes residents to health services.
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 10%
Is Tennessee Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: The poverty rate is slightly higher than the national average.
Notes: The population began to decline in 2019 but is now rebounding. Home prices have increased 6% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Explorer DeSoto visited this area in 1540, and in 1763 England won the land by winning the Indian Wars. Early pioneers named the new state Franklin, and in the mid-1780s, the region was allowed to send representatives to the legislature. The state joined the union in 1796 and the Confederacy during the Civil War. Many residents remained pro-Union and the state was the scene of extensive fighting.
Today the majority of Tennessee locals live in urban areas. Textiles, chemicals, electrical machinery, leather goods and furniture are the state's primary products. Tennessee also produces a lot of tobacco, but other income is derived from dairy products, livestock, nursery and greenhouse products, as well as cotton.
A few of the state's points of interest are the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Hermitage (home of Andrew Jackson), the American Museum at Oak Ridge (atomic energy), three national military parks, and Rock City Gardens (in Chattanooga).
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