The Top 10 Things to Do in Knoxville, Tennessee

Updated on August 28, 2018
Sherry Chapman profile image

I have lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for the majority of my life, and I still can't get enough of this gorgeous city. Join me on a tour!

Source

I have lived in Knoxville, Tennessee the majority of my life, and it simply never gets old. Knoxville is a medium-size city and the third largest in the state. It is well known for the University of Tennessee and the UT Vols football program (Go Big Orange!), but there's much more to the city than that. It is a wonderful place to live and an even better place to visit.

Knoxville has a lot of things going for it geographically. It straddles two of the biggest interstate systems in the country: I-75, which runs from north to south, and I-40, which runs from east to west. The most visited national park in the country—the Great Smoky Mountains, with over 11 million visitors annually—is only a half hour’s drive away. Knoxville is also within a day’s drive of over half of America’s population, so getting there by car is easily done.

No matter what time of year it is, there is always something exciting to do in Knoxville. Here are 10 of my favorite activities in this fun city.

Knoxville's free trolleys.
Knoxville's free trolleys. | Source

1. Market Square, Downtown

I love spending time downtown, and Market Square is the heart of downtown. It is full of restaurants and bars and is very entertainment friendly. Culturally, there is always something going on. It is extremely dog-friendly, and many of the restaurants and cafes allow dogs on their patios. There are outdoor concerts and a fantastic farmer’s market on Saturdays. It’s a great place to walk and spend time.

2. Tennessee Theatre, Gay Street

This is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and first opened in 1928. Over $25 million was spent in 2005 to restore the theatre to its former glory, and it is definitely worth a visit. It is a feast for the eyes, a trip back in time, and small enough for every seat in it to be a good one. On offer are concerts, movies, and Broadway-style musicals.

On a side note, while you are visiting the Tennessee Theatre, plan to stroll up and down Gay Street. There are numerous cafes and unique shops. It has even been declared the Theater District of Knoxville. Along with the Tennessee, there is the historic Bijou Theatre and the modern Regal Riviera Cinemas.

The historic Tennessee Theatre on Gay Street, Knoxville.
The historic Tennessee Theatre on Gay Street, Knoxville. | Source

3. World’s Fair Park

Between the downtown area and the campus of the University of Tennessee is the World’s Fair Park. Knoxville hosted the last successful World’s Fair in 1982. There are a few affectionate remnants from that fair, two of which are the Sunsphere and the Amphitheatre. The park is a beautiful area with pathways, fountains, ponds, connecting greenways and lawns. A nice, relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

4. Ijam’s Nature Center

Also close to downtown is an urban greenspace that is Ijam’s Nature Center. The variety of things you can do here is amazing and will satisfy all ages. Beautiful trails that meander for miles, water for fishing, swimming and paddle sports, wildlife viewing and interactive events can all be found at Ijam's. The events calendar has something going on all the time. Be sure to check out their website to plan your day there.

World's Fair Park with the Sunsphere.
World's Fair Park with the Sunsphere. | Source

5. Navitat Canopy Experience

Navitat is within Ijam’s Nature Center. It is a park inside the park. On their website, it is described as a tree-based adventure park that includes zip lines, swing bridges and obstacle courses suspended within the trees. You choose how challenging you want your adventure to be. It’s exhilarating and unique. If you are visiting Ijam’s, it is definitely worth a visit.

6. Knoxville’s Greenways

We have over 112 miles of paved greenway and trails in Knoxville. All sections of Knoxville are served by these greenways and the majority all connect to be a tiny, car-less roadway between all parts of Knoxville and surrounding Knox County. It is a cycling commuter’s dream come true. Check out the City of Knoxville website for detailed maps, greenway conditions, and difficulty levels.

7. Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville is certainly worth putting on your list. The zoo has become historic in its successful breeding of African Elephants, red pandas, and tortoises. People of all ages will love this place—especially the kids.

8. East Tennessee History Museum

Right across the street from the Tennessee Theatre, the East Tennessee History Museum is open seven days a week. Admission is only $5 for adults and free for children 16 and under. On Sundays, admission is free for all. The permanent collection housed here consists of over 13,000 artifacts, and throughout the year, there are traveling exhibits as well. I promise you will come out knowing something very interesting that you probably didn’t know about the region before your visit.

Neyland Stadium
Neyland Stadium | Source

9. UT football game at Neyland Stadium

This is something that cannot be described, it must be experienced. Attend a football game at Neyland Stadium. It doesn’t matter who the opposing team is, for you will not be disappointed by the team spirit of the fans. The stadium seats over 102,000 people, which makes it the fifth-largest stadium in the country and the sixth-largest in the world. If you can snag some tickets, put on your orange attire and get ready for a “spirited” afternoon.

10. Knoxville Visitors Center

We have a really cool visitor center! Monday through Saturday, there is live music being broadcast over the radio. It’s called the Blue Plate Special and features local artists and bands. It’s a unique and free memory to add to your Knoxville trip. Also, the mural on the side of the building is totally photo-worthy.

I hope you will consider my hometown as a vacation destination or at least linger if you are in the area. Knoxville is a growing city that is surrounded by natural beauty, loads of interesting history and so many things to do that you’ll have to return just to see them all.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Sherry Chapman profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Chapman 

        5 weeks ago from Knoxville, Tennessee

        Thank you Liz, I am glad you enjoyed it.

      • Sherry Chapman profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Chapman 

        5 weeks ago from Knoxville, Tennessee

        Thank you Eurofile! I am very glad you found it interesting.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        This is an interesting article with good illustrations.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)