The local slogan for Knoxville is “KnoxRocks” and it’s perfect. Between local breweries, coffee shops, and restaurants, a vibrant shopping scene centered around Market Square, exciting outdoor recreation on the Tennessee River, and of course those orange and white weekends when the Volunteers play at home, Knoxville has a little bit to offer anyone. It’s no wonder I keep coming back to this beautiful, active, friendly city year after year.
But don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at these ten photos from previous trips to the city and book your next weekend getaway now. Stay at the Holiday Inn Knoxville Downtown to be within walking distance of Market Square and Gay Street. Get brunch at The Plaid Apron and dinner at Calhouns on the River. Then let me know what you thought about it all!
The Knoxville Zoo is one of the best I’ve come across in the Southeast. For a few bucks you (and I also mean the adult you) can feed the giraffes! Just watch out for their 9″ long tongues. Seriously.
And while you’re at the zoo be sure to visit these adorable bundles of furry fun. Knoxville is known as the Red Panda Capital of the World because this zoo breeds the red pandas that are seen in most other zoos.
The historic Tennessee Theatre on Gay Street is a must-see when you visit Knoxville. In the winter they have a special screening of It’s a Wonderful Life; the line wraps around the block for people to enjoy this once-a-year event.
The Sunsphere is a left over from the 1982 World’s Fair. The towering orb has an observation deck about a hundred feet above the ground. Just hop on the elevator and enjoy the panorama views of the city in this all-glass deck.
Market Square is very much the heart of downtown Knoxville. The large square is surrounded by local shops and restaurants. On the weekends the Farmers Market takes over the square for a few hours on Saturday mornings.
You’ll find all kinds of amazing locally-made arts and crafts at the Market Square Farmers’ Market. They also have baked goods (you need to find Dale’s Fried Apple Pies), produce, and some amazing apple butter!
Knoxville loves coffee. Head over to the Old City to find Old City Java is this rustic building and try their coffee.
Ready for brunch? On Saturday’s the locals known to head over to The Plaid Apron for some amazing foods. If you see a long line out the door don’t worry; service is fast, there is plenty of seating, and the wait is worth it. Besides long lines usually mean good food!
What do a couple of attorneys do when they’re not studying a law book? Open a brewery, of course! The Downtown Grill & Brewery puts the beer front and center, literally, in this nice restaurant with some pretty good food. There is also a nice lounge and game room in the back.
Have you ever tried chicken & waffles? My first was at Not Watson’s on Market Square and I’ve been hooked ever since. But try as I might I have not been able to find better chicken & waffles than I did right here on one very cold December night.
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Traveler. Writer. Photographer. Born and raised in Virginia, living most my adult life on the coast of the Carolinas, I am the Southeastern Traveler. I'm always looking for the next great travel story to tell. What's your story?