Paris, Tennesse

Best Places to Retire in Tennessee


Paris (population 10,000) is located about 60 miles west of Clarksville and just 14 miles south of the Kentucky border. This section of the state between the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers is known as West Tennessee. The town was founded in 1823 and is the oldest incorporated community in West Tennessee. It was named for Paris, France, in honor of Lafayette who visited Tennessee in the early 1800s. The town of Paris area and Henry County offer a great many opportunities for outdoor activities, including golf, picnicking, swimming, boating, hunting and fishing. There are numerous camping and hiking facilities and Kentucky Lake boasts 2,000 miles of shoreline. It is the largest man-made lake in the U. S. The community offers a historical walking tour through its downtown section, North Poplar Street Historic District and the Old City Cemetery, which are all on the National Register of Historic Places. Audiotapes, maps and cassette players are available at the W. G. Rhea Library at no cost.

Paris, which is located near the center of the county, is well connected by a network of roadways and serves as the hub for regional activities. Its civic activities include “The World’s Biggest Fish Fry” which is a week-long festival with many events and activities. Other activities include the Eiffel Tower Sports Day, Freedom Festival, the annual county fair, the Arts and Crafts Festival at Paris Landing, and Pioneer Days in nearby Henry, which includes a parade, country music, and games. Paris is also a center for antique shopping, including a 60,000 sq. ft. antiques mall. There is also a selection of specialty shops with collectibles, jewelry, furniture, and more.

Yes, Paris has an Eiffel Tower! It is a 60-foot replica that was carefully constructed at Christian Brothers University at Memphis, under the guidance of a civil engineering professor. The tower, which stands in Memorial Park, was gifted to the city in 1992 and dedicated in 1993.

Nearby Kentucky Lake draws a great number of visitors and many have returned to retire here, settling along the shores of the lake. It has been written about as a retirement location by major national publications, including The Wall Street Journal.

Arts & Culture

The Paris-Henry County Arts Council is a very active force in supporting and encouraging the arts through sponsored exhibits and showcasing the arts, plays, musicals, concerts and through programs for the schools.

Krider Performing Arts Center at the Paris Civic Center hosts a wide variety of performances and special events.

The Paris-Henry County Heritage Center is housed in Cavitt Place, which is a beautiful two-story mansion built in 1916. It features painted-glass windows, a marble staircase and floors, wall murals and mahogany woodwork. The Center features temporary exhibits and a permanent exhibit of the history of the county.

The “World’s Biggest Fish Fry, which is held during the last full week of April, is one of Tennessee’s premier annual festivals. Over 12,500 pounds of catfish are served and there are beauty pageants, a rodeo, grand parade, and much more. The festival draws an estimated 100,000 visitors. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center at Nashville (100 miles away) hosts Broadway shows, ballet, symphony concerts, plays, and special events.


Paris Parks and Recreation Department operates eight parks with facilities that include a junior Olympic pool, sand volleyball court, picnic pavilions, soccer fields, basketball courts, ball fields, and 10 lighted tennis courts.

The area is popular for hunters with an abundance of wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, squirrel, quail, rabbits, wood duck, raccoon, duck and geese. Kentucky Lake is also a major migration point on the flyway.

Paris hosts several fishing tournaments each year. There are over 100 species of fish in Kentucky Lake, including crappie, bass, catfish, walleye, bluegill and stripers.

Paris Landing State Park is an 841-acre site on Kentucky Lake– the country’s larget man-made lake. The park is 18 miles east of Paris. Amenities include golf (a four-star rated course), camping, rental cabins, fishing, a marina, picnic facilities, and swimming. There is also a restaurant and conference facilities. Other activities include tennis, softball, volleyball, archery, basketball and playground areas. 

There are two excellent golf courses nearby, the Tennessean Golf Club, which has been rated the fourth best course in the state available for public play, and the championship layout at Paris Landing State Park.;

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is a 170,000-acre U.S. Department of Agriculture site with 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline. It offers mountain biking, hiking, horseback trails, hunting, and fishing.

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge consists of 25,000 acres of water, 19,000 acres of woodland and 5,000 acres of farm and pasture land. The refuge provides habitat for more than 226 species of birds, 47 species of mammals, 90 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 109 species of fish.


Murray State University in Murray (21 miles) is a nationally recognized academic institution offering degrees in a wide range of disciplines. It has a student enrollment of approximately 10,000. In addition to its academic programs it competes in a full range of men’s and women’s athletics in the Division 1, Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.

University of Tennessee, Martin Campus (30 miles).

Bethel College in McKenzie (16 miles) is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

Tennessee Technology Center (in Paris) is a vocational educational institution dedicated to providing quality technical training to meet occupational needs of the region. It has a full-time enrollment of about 300.

Austin Peay State University in Clarksville (60 miles) is a public four-year institution offering a wide range of study programs leading to Bachelor and Masters degrees.

Jackson State Community College in Jackson (60 miles) is a public non-residential institution and a part of the state’s higher education system. Convenient education is offered to residents of 14 West Tennessee communities, including Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Madison, McNairy, and Weakley. It has a student enrollment of about 3,000.

Lane College in Jackson (60 miles) is a small private, co-educational, church-affiliated institution. The college was founded to assure that newly freed slaves would be able to “read, write, and speak correctly.”

Lambuth University in Jackson (60 miles) is a liberal arts institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church and supported by the Memphis Annual Conference.

Union University in Jackson (60 miles) is a Christian four-year, co-educational liberal arts institution affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Enrollment is approximately 2,800.

Senior Programs

Murray State University offers programs of continuing education, including non-credit courses, Internet-based courses, and much more. Continuing Education and Academic Outreach

Paris Senior Citizens Center – (731) 642-4566).


Henry County Medical Center is comprised of a 142-bed acute care hospital, a 174-bed Henry County Nursing Home, a Henry County Home Health and Hospice, the county emergency medical service, and the off-site Center for Wellness & Rehabilitation.


Barkley Regional Airport at Paducah, Ky., (64 miles away) serves Western Tennessee and Kentucky, Southern Illinois, and Southeast Missouri. It offers scheduled daily commercial service into St. Louis and Memphis.

McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport, Jackson, Tenn., (60 miles away) is the nearest airport that offers regular commercial service. Connections are into St. Louis.

Henry County Airport, with two runways, is owned and operated by Henry County. There is no scheduled commercial service.


The average temperatures for January are a high of 42 and low of 25 degrees. The average temperatures for July are a high of 82 degrees and low of 66 degrees. There is an average snowfall in January of 3.5 inches, with 3.1 inches in February.


The Paris Post-Intelligencer –

The Leaf Chronicle (Clarksville) –

Property Taxes

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Big Sandy – 15.5 miles
Buchanan – 15 miles
McKenzie – 16 miles
Murray, KY – 21 miles
Dresden – 21 miles
Camden – 22 miles
Huntingdon – 23 miles
Martin – 30 miles
Dover – 31 miles
Clarksville – 60 miles
Jackson – 60 miles
Paducah, KY – 64 miles
Nashville – 100 miles
Memphis – 140 miles
Louisville, KY – 245 miles

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