Johnson City, TN
After living in six cities in the northeast Tennessee area, I've come to appreciate Johnson City for the gem of a town it is. It offers everything from downtown art galleries, dance clubs, and ethnic/fine dining restaurants to amazing rivers, mountains, and trails. Due to its smaller population and location in the bible belt, the culture and diversity are limited compared to huge cities. As with anywhere, you run into ignorance and small-mindedness characterized by whatever region you're in, but it's fairly progressive for the south and easily competes with larger nearby cities in culture.
The economy is strong being built around education and health care. Cost-of-living is one of the lowest in the country and part of the reason I moved there in the first place. In-state tuition costs make it possible to work your way through school. It's probably one of the few places one can survive on minimum wage.
It's the city I met and married my amazing wife in. The city Al Capone once called home. Little San Fran. Little Chicago
Email if you have any questions. Some recommendations include:
The Roan Balds
Blue Hole Waterfall