Brimming with live music, outdoor adventures, and artisan foods you’ll want to fill your suitcase with, it’s no wonder Knoxville was named a “Top 10 Destination on the Rise” by TripAdvisor. Home to the International Biscuit Festival and DockDogs –a canine aquatic competition– Knoxville always has something new and interesting going on. With so many things happening every day, we put together our top picks to inspire and streamline your next trip.
Live Like a Local
Channel your inner “Dude” with a Big Lebowski themed drink inside the Maple Hall Bowling Alley. Don’t let the name fool you. With a concrete bar, retro style seating, and industrial lighting, this is where the hip go to bowl. For a taste of nostalgia, head to a Knoxville local favorite, Long’s Drug Store, which has been serving up classic two-dollar milkshakes in funky flavors since 1956. Ready to wind down? Make a reservation for a sunset dinner at Windows on the Park, where you can soak in floor-to-ceiling views of the iconic Sunsphere from the Holiday Inn World’s Fair.
The Tree & Vine is a great shop to get those much-needed souvenirs in the form of delicious artisan olive oils. Do a tasting of their popular olive oils, and they’ll bottle your favorite one on the spot. With infusions like bacon, black truffle garlic, and Persian lime, it may take you a while to decide! For a sweeter artisan treat, Honeyberry Farm offers delicious honey-based jellies that come in flavors like pecan, peach, and cinnamon. At the end of all this snacking, you might want something a bit heartier in your belly. For some finger-lickin’ good food, nothing beats the award-winning baby back ribs at Calhoun’s On the River, which specializes in Tennessee-style barbecue.
Filled with mountains and rivers, Knoxville is a great place to get your outdoor adrenaline pumping. Earn your whitewater bragging rights by conquering the Class 3 and 4 rapids of the upper Pigeon River, which features 70 rapids in total. In Knoxville Urban Wilderness, you can conquer the land on bike by choosing between 35 miles of single-track trails or an urban 12.1-mile South Loop. And to save the best for last, visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, where you can see 80-foot high caves and unusual rock formations.
Have some family time at the local non-profit coffee shop –the Empty Cup– which has a kids’ corner filled with murals and cozy couch nooks for the adults. And when you buy a cup of joe, you fill the coffers of adoption grants for families in the area. At night, Preservation Pub pumps out live tunes ranging from dirty blues to classic country. Finally, no visit to Knoxville is complete without seeing the 10-acre World’s Fair Park, which holds events year-round.
In order to take advantage of Knoxville’s best sights and sounds, it’s important to stay near the center of it all. At THE TENNESSEAN Hotel, you’ll be right next to World’s Fair Park –the epicenter of Knoxville– and enjoy an elegance and style unmatched in the area. With a thoughtful design, state of the art fitness center, personal concierge, and uniquely crafted cocktails at The Drawing Room, THE TENNESSEAN Hotel provides an above and beyond experience for its guests.