There’s no shortage of things to do in Knoxville, TN! From tourist attractions to historical sites and nature preserves, the Marble City has something for everyone. Let’s go through everything worth seeing.
Things to Do in Knoxville, TN – Downtown
Downtown Knoxville is vibrant and bustling, with a variety of things to see and do. For starters, the Sunsphere, a 266-foot steel tower with a glass globe on top, offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation deck. Or the University of Tennessee. What are some things to do in Knoxville, TN?
Visit the East Tennessee History Center
For history buffs, the East Tennessee History Center is a must-see. It chronicles the region’s unique history, from the early days of settlement to the present. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children.
Tour the Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art is another great place to visit downtown. It features a permanent gallery of American art, as well as temporary exhibitions of European and Asian artworks. Admission is free.
Take a Walk Through World’s Fair Park
World’s Fair Park was created for the 1982 World’s Fair, and it’s now one of the most popular places in Knoxville. The park is home to the Sunsphere, as well as a number of sculptures and fountains.
Explore Knoxville’s Old City
The Old City is one of the most lively and vibrant parts of Knoxville. It’s home to a variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. There’s always something going on in the Old City! History enthusiasts will enjoy James White’s Fort and the Blount Mansion.
Admire the Many Knoxville Murals
Knoxville is home to a number of amazing murals. If street art is your cup of tea, you can’t miss these sights. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Greetings from Knoxville,
- Historic Train,
- Weaving Rainbow Mountains,
- Knoxville History Music.
Explore the Market Square
The Market Square is another great place to explore in Knoxville. It’s home to a number of shops and restaurants, as well as the Knoxville farmers’ market. If you’re looking for some local food to taste, you’ll find it there.
Watch a Game at Neyland Stadium
If you’re a sports fan, you can’t miss Neyland Stadium. It’s the home of the Tennessee Volunteers football team, and it seats over 102,000 fans. Even if you’re not into football, it’s worth checking out for the experience.
Pay a Visit to the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture
The McClung Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in natural history and culture. It houses a variety of collections, including fossils, minerals, and Native American artifacts. Admission and parking is free, but you’ll need to book your visit.
Things to Do in Knoxville, TN – Outside of Downtown
Looking for interesting places to visit away from the hustle and bustle? There are plenty of things to do in Knoxville, TN outside of downtown, for lone travelers and families alike!
Visit the Knoxville Zoo
The Knoxville Zoo is one of the best things to do in Knoxville, TN. It’s home to a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, and bears. There are animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, night safaris, and more exciting programs. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for children.
Take a Hike Through Ijams Nature Center
Ijams Nature Center is a 300-acre nature preserve that’s perfect for hiking, biking, and bird watching. Walking the grounds is free, and there are also learning programs for children and even a whole preschool of playing outside!
Visit the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum
The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is a must-see for any plant lover. It features a variety of gardens, including a rose garden, an herb garden, and a children’s garden. You can walk the entire 47 acres for free.
Lose Yourself in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness
And for those who want to get outside, there’s Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a spectacular 1000-acre outdoor adventure area consisting of a network of trails and parks. Visitors can hike, bike, climb, paddle and more.
Tour the Mabry-Hazen House
Mabry-Hazen House is a historic house that was built in 1858 and preserved as a museum to fulfill the last will of its owner. It features a variety of rooms and halls with the original collection of family belongings. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children under 13.
Relaxing Natural Areas around Knoxville
For nature lovers, there are plenty of things to do in Knoxville, TN, and its close neighborhood. If you’re looking for relaxation, you’ll find it within a short drive. For those who want to take it easy, there are a number of beautiful parks and nature areas to enjoy.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a 40-minute drive from Knoxville and has lots of secluded places to engage in your favorite activities – hiking, camping, fishing, or picnicking.
- Cherokee National Forest. Just an hour away, it’s another place to go if you’re into hiking, camping, fishing, or horseback riding.
- Seven Islands State Birding Park. This park is a great place to go for bird watching and nature photography, and it’s just a 20-minute drive away.
What’s the weather like in Knoxville? Generally mild, but can vary depending on the season. The summers are hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching into the 90s. The winters are cool, with occasional snowfall. Spring and fall are pleasant, with moderate temperatures.
Muse Knoxville – A Paradise for Children
Muse Knoxville deserves a separate mention. If you’re looking for things to do in Knoxville, TN with kids, definitely take them there! It’s an interactive children’s museum with a focus on the arts, sciences, and humanities. It features hands-on exhibits, educational programs, and a planetarium.
Tickets are $10, and the exhibits include:
- Augmented Reality Sandbox – kids can design topographical maps with volcanoes, ocean depths, and more.
- Make Space – children can learn to tinker with real tools, create artworks or learn to code.
- U.S.S. Muse – a planetary explorer simulator that will take your kids on a space journey.
Is There Nightlife in Knoxville?
Yes, there is! Knoxville has a great nightlife scene with something for everyone. Check out these places:
- The Bijou Theatre – a historic theater that’s now home to live music and other performances.
- Knoxville Symphony Orchestra – one of the best orchestras in the country, performing at the Tennessee Theatre.
- Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria – a local favorite for great pizza and live music.
- The Oliver Hotel – a stylish boutique hotel with a rooftop bar that offers stunning views of the city.
Ready for Your Unforgettable Trip to Knoxville?
So there you have it – a list of things to do in Knoxville, TN! Whether you’re looking for historic sites, outdoor adventures, or just a place to relax, you’ll find it here. What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
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