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Knoxville, Tennessee

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Why Knoxville Should be Your Next Vacation Destination

Are you planning a vacation and looking for the perfect destination? Have you heard about Knoxville, Tennessee, and are curious to learn more? If so, then this blog post is for you! This vibrant city offers something for everyone – from outdoor adventures to cultural attractions, Knoxville has it all! Prepare to be amazed as we explore all this Tennessee town provides.

Overview of Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee, is an exciting and progressive city in East TN. With its unique location along the banks of the Tennessee River, Knoxville is home to the University of Tennessee, making it a great college town. But this city offers much more than just collegiate life. The city has delicious Southern cuisine, a revitalized downtown, and plenty of outdoor activities close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since the 1800s, Knoxville has been taking advantage of its river access and railroad system to become an industrial powerhouse with investments from the North and South and immigrants from several European countries. Blount College was founded in 1794 and is known today as the University of Tennessee. Knoxville truly has something for everyone!

Knoxville, Tennessee, is steeped in history and has been a centerpiece of the South since its inception. Founded by Revolutionary War veteran James White in 1786, it was originally known as White’s Fort. It later became the capital of the Territory South of the River Ohio (or Southwest Territory). Throughout the 19th century, Knoxville served as a way station for westward-bound travelers and grew steadily during this period. In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority established Knoxville as an important center in planning, architecture, and engineering. It soon became internationally famous as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal.

In addition to its historical significance, Knoxville has had its fair share of Wild West flare. In 1901, outlaw Harvey Logan, also known as Kid Curry, shot and killed two people in the city. Knoxville is proud to preserve its heritage today and welcomes many visitors to enjoy its sights and attractions.

Outdoor Adventures

Visitors to Knoxville, Tennessee, can experience an array of outdoor activities. From mountain biking to hiking to kayaking, there is something for everyone! Ijams Nature Center is a 318-acre urban green space great for exploring with its 12 miles of hiking trails. Nature Park and Veterans Park in Spring City offer plenty of fishing, swimming, boating, and camping opportunities. And visitors can enjoy white-water rafting and waterfall hikes with several Tennessee State Parks within an hour from Knoxville. Plus, there are plenty of pet-friendly spots throughout the city, so you won’t have to leave your furry friend behind! So come explore Knoxville and all it has to offer in terms of outdoor adventures!

​​​​Ijams Nature Center

Ijams Nature Center is an inspiring nonprofit organization encouraging people to care for the Earth through engaging education programs and outdoor experiences. Located off the Burnett Ridge Trail in Knoxville, Ijams offers 315 acres of woodlands, a museum store, and over 10 miles of hiking, running, and mountain biking trails. For climbers, the Crag provides outdoor climbing opportunities for beginners and experienced alike. There are also wetlands, rock formations, and bike and canoe rentals. Ijams Nature Center has something for everyone, so come down to Knoxville and explore the natural beauty that Ijams offers!

Nature Park and Veterans Park in Spring City

Nature Park and Veterans Park in Spring City offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. With 72 acres of Lake Meridian, visitors can cool off with a swim or drop a line and try their hand at fishing. At the 97-acre Veterans Memorial Park, rolling hills, grassy picnic areas, a large pavilion, and camping areas await those looking to spend some time outdoors. And for those with four-legged friends, there’s the Gemini Springs Dog Park. Bear Creek Lake Park also offers many activities, such as hiking, fishing, boating, windsurfing, biking, and swimming at the beach. There are 496 improved campsites with 11 modern bathhouses featuring pull-based services for those looking to camp out overnight. With over six miles of water surrounding the reservoir, Nature Park and Veterans Park in Spring City offer abundant opportunities for fun and relaxation in nature.

Tennessee State Parks  

Suppose you’re looking for an exciting adventure near Knoxville, Tennessee. In that case, it’s time to head out to one of the Tennessee State Parks within an hour’s drive. From white-water rafting to waterfall hikes, these parks offer something for everyone. Grotto Falls, Fall Creek Falls, and Cumberland Falls are all great spots for exploring nature and getting a thrill. For a more adrenaline-packed experience, check out the Ocoee Scenic River State Park, where you can take part in class III rapids or go canoeing, rafting, fishing, and hiking. There’s also the Pinnacle Knob 1937 Fire Tower and Eagle Falls Trail for those wanting to take on something a little different. And for the miners out there, don’t forget about the Gem Mine! Whether you’re looking for a peaceful wilderness hike or something with a bit more of a rush, Tennessee State Parks have something to offer everyone just an hour from Knoxville.

Pet-friendly Spots

Your four-legged family member will love the city of Knoxville. Everyone may find an activity they enjoy here, from hiking to relaxing in one of the many local “drinking holes.” PetSafe Dog Park, Ijams Nature Center, and Southside Garage are all wonderful places to take your dog in the downtown area. Dogwood Park in Victor Ashe is an excellent choice if you want to spend some time in a park. One other enjoyable place to take Fido for a stroll is A.C. Moore. And if you find yourself in South Knoxville, stop by the Pet-Friendly Place at 4901 Bradshaw Road. Countless choices mean you can give your dog exactly what they want.

Food & Drink Scene

Knoxville is becoming well known for its diverse food and drink scene. The city is home to many restaurants, craft breweries, and distilleries, offering visitors an array of options for enjoying the local cuisine. Visitors can explore the city’s vibrant food culture through food tours that feature tastings from local craft breweries, distilleries, and wines. Central Filling Station is Tennessee’s first full-service food truck park, allowing visitors to sample the best of Knoxville’s offerings. Additionally, beer and pizza are a classic combination for those looking for a more casual meal. Four basic guidelines should be followed to make the most out of beer and food pairings: balance, intensity, flavor compatibility, and contrast. With so many delicious options in Knoxville, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Central Filling Station

Central Filling Station in Knoxville, Tennessee, is the state’s first full-service food truck park. It is a family-friendly and pet-friendly neighborhood hangout with a daily rotating selection of food trucks. The park offers rows of brightly painted tables, outdoor string lights looping overhead, and even some defunct cars in its unique ambiance. Located at 900 N Central St., Knoxville, TN 37917, Central Filling Station is in the same area as the city’s night shift, responsible for all downtown maintenance. This ensures quality services with minimal inconvenience to the citizens of Knoxville, a city in and the county seat of Knox County in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of approximately 193,000, according to the 2020 United States census.

Arts & Culture

Knoxville, Tennessee, is a thriving Southern city known for its festivals, great outdoors, diverse music scene, and a wide variety of arts and culture. On the First Friday of every month, Downtown Knoxville overflows with art exhibitions, wine tastings, music, and special sales. The city is home to an ever-growing arts district where galleries, historical landmarks, museums, and theatres can be found. In addition to world-renowned performances, Knoxville also features a variety of artist displays and live music in its growing number of galleries and venues. Anchoring downtown Knoxville is The Knoxville Museum of Art and The Tennessee Theatre, which showcase the city’s vibrant fine arts community that highlights East Tennessee’s unique character. With something for everyone to explore in Knoxville’s art culture scene, it’s no surprise that the city continues to attract visitors worldwide.

Historic Landmarks & Museums

Knoxville, Tennessee, is home to various historical landmarks and museums. One of the most notable is the Tennessee Theatre, a National Historic Landmark built in 1928. The theatre has undergone extensive renovations over the years, and today it is a popular performing arts venue. Another notable landmark is the Knoxville Museum of Art, which offers discounts to visitors. This museum houses works from famous artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol, as well as an impressive art collection from East Tennessee. In addition to these two notable landmarks, Knoxville also boasts several civil war sites, historic homes, and other attractions that preserve its rich history and heritage.

Accommodations & Transportation

Knoxville offers a variety of accommodation options for its visitors, including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and vacation rentals. Hotels in Knoxville range from 5-star luxury resorts to budget-friendly motels. Bed & breakfasts offer a more intimate setting with homemade breakfast and personalized service. Vacation rentals are another great way to experience the city, with options ranging from cozy cabins to large family homes.


Knoxville is a great destination for travelers looking for comfortable and quality accommodations. There are several notable hotels in the area, including the Drury Inn & Suites Knoxville West, Best Western Plus Knoxville Cedar Bluff, Hilton Knoxville, The Tennessean Personal Luxury Hotel, and Days Inn by Wyndham Knoxville North. Each location offers something unique to visitors, with amenities ranging from comfortable bedding to swimming pools to on-site restaurants. The Cumberland House Knoxville Tapestry Collection by Hilton is a particularly noteworthy option for those looking for a more luxurious stay. Regardless of your budget and preferences, there is sure to be a hotel in Knoxville that fits your needs.

Bread and Breakfasts

Knoxville offers a variety of bed and breakfasts for travelers looking to experience some Southern hospitality. The Royal Inn & Suites is a popular choice and features an 11 bedroom/11 bath, an 87-year-old mansion on the bluff overlooking the Tennessee River in downtown Knoxville. It is conveniently located near three museums, restaurants, and the University of Tennessee. Another popular choice is Hummingbird House, Garden Room, which offers a pool. For budget-minded travelers, Mary’s Farm and Magnolia House are good choices. Prices for Knoxville bed & breakfasts range from $113 to $42 per night, depending on the size of the room and amenities offered. With so many options available for an enjoyable stay in Knoxville, visitors can find the perfect bed and breakfast to fit their needs.

Vacation Rentals

Vacationers planning a trip to Knoxville, TN, can find various rental options from providers like VRBO, Airbnb, and more. With over 1000 properties, visitors will find the perfect house or cabin. Pet-friendly and private pool options are available for those who need them. There is also a range of unique accommodations available, such as Nokno Flats and The Pineapple Pad. With over 554 rentals to choose from and 8187 reviews, visitors can be sure to find the perfect place for their trip. TripAdvisor’s 2612 unbiased reviews provide an excellent resource for finding the best rental option for those looking for a cabin.

Transportation Options

Knoxville has several transportation options available for getting around the city. The Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) operates a network of buses that cover most areas of the city, with routes running every 30 minutes or less. Several rental companies are located near the airport and downtown for visitors who prefer to rent a car. The city also has multiple ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft. Additionally, Knoxville has an extensive bike share program that allows users to rent bikes from designated stations.

Local Events & Festivals

Knoxville is a vibrant city with cultural activities, events, and festivals. Each year, locals and visitors alike look forward to the annual Dogwood Arts Festival, held on the beautifully redesigned World’s Fair Park. Established in 1961, this festival is one of Knoxville’s most celebrated cultural events. It features various Appalachian arts and crafts, quilting, bluegrass music, and much more. Other noteworthy events include the Knoxville Film Festival and the Knoxville Marathon. These events provide locals with a taste of Knoxville’s daily diversity in food, language, dance, and song. The city also offers Arab cultural events and festivals that celebrate the city’s rich culture and heritage. With so much to offer, Knoxville is truly an amazing place to live, work and play!

Dogwood Arts Festival

The Dogwood Arts Festival, held annually in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been a cultural fixture for over 80 years. Founded in 1961 by the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Dogwood Arts, the festival celebrates and promotes art, culture, and natural beauty in the region. This year’s 58th annual festival will be held on April 26-28 in the heart of downtown Knoxville. The festival features a variety of art forms such as paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, basket making, and more. It also has a variety of activities, including live music performances, culinary events, and guided tours of local galleries. With something for everyone to enjoy, the Dogwood Arts Festival will surely be a memorable experience!

Knoxville Film Festival

Knoxville Film Festival is a vibrant and exciting event that brings together film professionals worldwide. It offers an amazing selection of short films, feature films, and workshops. The festival pass for the event is only $50 and is well worth the cost. There will be award-winning films, contenders, and special events to keep everyone entertained. The first event is scheduled for Fall 2023, so don’t miss out! 

Knoxville Marathon

The 18th annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is set to take place on April 1-2, 2023, and will offer something for everyone. Runners and walkers of all levels are welcome to join in the Marathon, Half Marathon, Relays, 5k, and Kids Run. Starting on the Clinch Avenue bridge, the scenic course will have something for everyone to enjoy. Those looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon can also take advantage of this opportunity. The Knoxville Track Club hosts this premier event each year and has been doing so since 2005. All races are open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to join in on the fun!


When planning a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, visitors should be sure to experience the city’s many offerings. With its outdoor adventures and urban attractions, Knoxville provides something for everyone. From the Great Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian Trail to live music, culture, eclectic shopping, and highly acclaimed cuisine, Knoxville offers a unique blend of experiences. The city is also home to a vibrant event calendar year-round, with activities for visitors of all ages and interests. With Visit Knoxville’s Board appointed by the City Mayor and the County Mayor, visitors can be sure they are getting all of the best advice on where to go and what to do in Knoxville. Whether it’s a family vacation or an adventurous getaway, visit Knoxville for one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t find anywhere else!