Aerial view of the Sunsphere at World's Fair Park
Al fresco dining in Market Square
Mountain biking on The Devil's Racetrack trail in the Urban Wilderness
Singer-songwriter Erick Baker performing at the Bijou Theatre
Gay Street, one of the city’s popular nightlife spots
Tackling an aerial adventure course in the trees at Navitat
A colorful mural in this dog-friendly city
The ornate interior of the historic Tennessee Theatre
A festive evening during Oktoberfest at the Schulz Bräu Brewing Company
Feeding a giraffe at the Knoxville Zoo
A nature-loving, adventure-seeking, artsy Tennessee town
Knoxville is an ideal city to see a snapshot of U.S. history, ranging from the time of Spanish encounters with Native Americans to frontier settlers in log cabins to the U.S. Civil War to the 1982 World’s Fair. Take a guided tour of one or more of the seven Historic Homes of Knoxville, which showcase eras in the city’s past from an original fort settlement to an opulent Victorian mansion. The East Tennessee History Center tells the stories of both determined pioneers and country music musicians. Be sure to visit the Sunsphere, a sister structure of the Eiffel Tower and the Seattle Space Needle. This iconic symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair offers a stunning 360-degree view of the city from its observation deck.
Downtown Excitement and Outdoor Adventure
Knoxville’s vibrant and walkable downtown beckons with a variety of fun and unique entertainment. Start your explorations in and around Market Square to take advantage of local shops and more than 90 eateries. This popular gathering spot regularly hosts live music, outdoor movies, festivals and other events. Also in the heart of the city is Knoxville’s popular Urban Wilderness, located only 4.8 kilometers from downtown. This gorgeous stretch of nature includes more than 80 kilometers of walking, hiking and biking trails, which connect parks, nature centers, Civil War sites and recreational amenities.
Cultural Scene: Food, Artisans and Music
Thanks to a group of talented chefs, the Knoxville culinary scene is receiving national attention. It includes a growing number of distilleries and craft breweries on Knoxville’s Ale Trail. Music lovers will find that Knoxville is one of the USA’s most active cities for live music. From classical to bluegrass, country to rock, live music can be found on the streets, the square and stages of famous venues like the historic Tennessee Theatre, the Official State Theatre of Tennessee. Walk the Cradle of Country Music Walking Tour downtown to see historic sites instrumental to the development of Knoxville’s music culture.
It's possible to travel by boat from downtown Knoxville to either the Gulf of Mexico or the Great Lakes.
Musical legends Roy Acuff, Dolly Parton and The Everly Brothers all played early in their careers at several Knoxville sites featured in Ken Burns’ “Country Music” documentary.
Knoxville’s neighboring city, Oak Ridge, is home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which provided instrumental research to allied efforts during World War II.