Lived in Knoxville for 15 years before moving to Blacksburg/Roanoke area 4 years ago. It isn't bad here at all, but Knoxville is much better. Roanoke has nothing to compare to the Smokies, Obed/Emory, Walden's Ridge creeks, Big South Fork, French Broad, Pigeon, Ocoee, and is even closer to the Nolichucky. And for music/culture, Knoxville wins that comparison too- lots of great bands at the Tennessee and the Bijou, Roanoke just has a couple of clubs. All that said, I'm happy here- and we're closer to WV.