Head to Zoo Knoxville for some ‘wildly fun’ experiences like the all-new Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) Campus. Opened in April 2021, this 12,000-square-foot facility is one of the biggest projects in the zoo’s history showcasing internationally recognized work with critically endangered amphibians and reptiles. With treat stands throughout the park and a full restaurant offering lunch, you’ll be able to eat whenever you’re hungry and see as many animals as possible until your hearts are content.
Take a stroll through the Knoxville Botanical Gardens & Arboretum and get a peek at some of the inspiration behind “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, who lived in Knoxville at the start of her writing career.
Take in Knoxville’s “Creative Corridor” with dinner in the Old City. Home to art galleries, architecture, shops, and East Tennessee’s most awarded coffee houses, you’ll see why Knoxville is the Maker City. Bring your group to Kefi for mezze-style eating and try a little bit of everything – this food for the gods is divine.
We hope you left some room to get your sugar fix! Take the free KAT Trolley up to Gay Street and find a Knoxville classic, Cruze Farm Ice Cream. There’s no better way than to finish out your day than with a Sweet Cream cone or a Rocky Top Road churn. Or stick around in the Old City and make your way over to Pretentious Glass Co. to watch one of our Knoxville Makers handcraft a glass treasure.
Start the day at World’s Fair Park, the site of the 1982 World’s Fair. Visit the Sunsphere observation deck to get 360-degree views of the city and the surrounding Smoky Mountains. Then walk the grounds of the park, once home to the Knoxville Energy Exposition. Pay tribute at the East Tennessee Veteran’s Memorial, then make your way up to the Knoxville Museum of Art. The Knoxville Museum of Art is a beautiful building made entirely of Tennessee Marble and is the permanent home to the largest steel and glass installation in the world created by artist Richard Jolley.
Load up on old fashioned candies and traditional home goods at the Mast General Store. You’re sure to find something to write home about!
Catch the WDVX Blue Plate Special, a live performance radio show, for free at Visit Knoxville on Wednesdays and Thursdays and at Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria on Fridays. You may see the next rising star! Some previous artists who’ve darkened the stage are The Avett Brothers, Chris Stapleton, and Old Crow Medicine Show.
Discover Market Square, our pedestrian-only square in the heart of downtown and home to unique shops, boutiques, and some of the finest restaurants in the city. Step into Fruit Jar Alley, where you’ll find moonshine-themed items along with home goods, jewelry, apparel, and more. The name is a tip to the owner’s husband “Digger” who stars on the Discovery Channel’s show “Moonshiners.” Just a few steps down, grab one of Knoxville’s best burgers at Stock and Barrel. Enjoy locally sourced ingredients and don’t sleep on the famous Benton’s Bacon.
Get ready to learn some southern secrets at the East Tennessee History Center! Take time to dig up your roots at the genealogical research library.
Go behind the scenes of the home to Broadway shows, live music, classic films, comedy and more by booking a private tour at the Tennessee Theatre. This historic venue is honored as the Official Theatre of Tennessee.
Soak in views of Knoxville from a different angle – a yacht! Volunteer Princess Cruises charters along the Tennessee River past downtown and Neyland Stadium, home of the Tennessee Volunteers. You’ll leave feeling inspired and ready to explore tomorrow.
Take some time to explore the University of Tennessee, one of the oldest universities in the state. Originally founded as Blount College in 1794, it’s two years older than the state of Tennessee! Make sure to check out the Smokey statues, the Torchbearer, Neyland Stadium, and Ayres Hall on “The Hill.”
Learn about the unique history that Knoxville plays in the world of women’s basketball at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Hint: Her name is Pat Summitt.
Dive deep into the roots of Knoxville at the historic James White Fort. The home of James White, the founder of Knoxville, portrays the lifestyle of the pioneer settler as it was in 1786 when he built this home.
Opened in fall 2021, grab lunch from one (or more!) of 11 vendors at Marble City Market. The spread includes fish & chips, poke bowls, po’boys, BBQ, pizza and more. You can even get cookies the size of your face from Myrtle’s Bakehouse or gluten free donuts that will change your world at the Donut Theory.
Did you know a signer of the U.S. Constitution resided in Knoxville? Explore Blount Mansion, home to Gov. William Blount and the city’s oldest operating museum, opening in 1926.
Explore more history at the Crescent Bend House & Gardens. The 18th century American and English furniture, décor and more will immerse you back in time.
Get one last look at the beautiful Tennessee River with dinner at Calhoun’s on the River. Have some good ‘ole Tennessee barbecue or splurge on a cut of steak.
End your trip in Knoxville by catching a show or a game at one of many great venues. Whether it’s football in Neyland Stadium, hockey at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum, or Broadway at the Tennessee Theatre, you’ll be planning your next trip before you’ve even left.