Katy Koontz


  • Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Katy Koontz is a correspondent who lives in Knoxville, Tenn. and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. As a freelance travel writer, Koontz has lived in and written about East Tennessee for more than two decades. Her articles have appeared in major magazines and newspapers throughout the United States, as well as on several travel websites. She is the author of “Family Fun in the Smokies: A Family-Friendly Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains” (Great Smoky Mountains Association, 2012) as well as Smoky Mountain Travel Guide, a smartphone app available on iTunes.

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    What are the best things to do in Knoxville?

    From orange-face-painted University of Tennessee fans to cruising down the Tennessee River, there’s plenty to take in when you’re visiting Knoxville. Here are the five very best things to see and do in Knoxville:
    1. Visit the Sunsphere. Crowning the Knoxville skyline, this giant gold ball was the symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair held here. Take the elevator up to the observation deck to see views of downtown and the mountains in the distance.  
    2. Ride the Star of Knoxville. Cruise down the Tennessee River aboard an authentic paddlewheeler. Board downtown and choose between a sightseeing cruise or a dinner cruise with music and dancing. Soak up the Southern atmosphere as you float along the city’s coastline.
    3. Tour the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The world’s largest basketball tops the exterior of this interactive museum, devoted to the history of women’s basketball. Walk through a locker room, listen to tapes of coaches giving pep talks and even shoot some hoops on three courts with baskets of varying heights.
    4. Stroll through Old City. Knoxville’s fun and funky downtown urban neighborhood, Old City is filled with historic buildings, restaurants and bars, unique shops, and a very hip coffee shop.
    5. Visit the Frank H. McClung Museum. The University of Tennessee’s museum has fascinating exhibits on archaeology and the prehistoric Native Americans of East Tennessee, as well as exhibits on ancient Egypt, geology and fossils, decorative arts from around the world, and local Civil War history.