You may want to consider the Chattanooga area, no state taxes and 1.5 hours from Atlanta. I'm in metro Atlanta and lots of friends have houses in the panhandle in FL. Wife and i are talking about 2nd house near Tampa-St Pete (The westside is the bestside). You can't miss in Blue Ridge or North Georgia, beautiful area.
Charlotte is often called Lil Atlanta, very nice city, love to visit. Anywhere south of Atlanta and you are subject to gnats.....of course the farther south and east you go.... the harder the bite.
As a disclaimer, please do not move to the Atlanta area, we are full up and our highway system is from the 1920s.