What is the best way to see Knoxville in one day?

Katy Koontz

Forget the tour buses and museums, cruise the Tennessee River on a 149-passenger, 96-foot luxury yacht and see the city in a day. The Volunteer Princess floats down the river, departing from Volunteer Landing Marina, in the shadow of the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium. As you mosey on down the river, you’ll pass the iconic Sunsphere, Thompson Boling Arena, the University of Tennessee, the upscale residential neighborhood of Sequoyah Hills (once home to author Alex Haley) and Loony Island. On the longer cruises, you’ll also see Cherokee Country Club and Lakeshore Park. Cruises run all year long, thanks to the yacht’s two fully enclosed climate-controlled decks.

  • On June 21, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What are the best coffee shops in Knoxville?

    One of my favorite coffee shops in Knoxville is situated right off Market Square in downtown Knoxville. Coffee and Chocolate is as delectable as it sounds. Grab a caramel, ganache or chocolate marshmallow (my personal favorite), or indulge a bit more with a tiramisu, espresso mousse cake or cannoli. There's so much to choose from and that's not even mentioning the coffee. Choose from all sorts of hot and cold selections — mochas (peppermint, hazelnut and more), lattes (yummy amaretto, chai, pumpkin spice) or just a regular cup of joe. And if you want something frozen, the selection of frappes ranges from vanilla to raspberry or even the refreshing lemonade flavor.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What should I pack for a trip to Knoxville?

    Knoxville is a land of ever-changing weather and all four seasons. Though it’s never too dramatically cold in the winter, it still gets pretty chilly (at least from a Southerner’s point of view), so make sure to check the weather before heading to the East Tennessee city in case you need to pack some heavy sweaters or take a big coat. In the fall and spring, outfits ranging from shorts and a t-shirt to a big sweatshirt and jeans suit the constantly shifting weather. But you’ll want light fabrics and cooler clothes for the summer — if the high temperatures (going up into 90 degrees Fahrenheit and sometimes higher) don’t get you, the humidity will. Pack a nice outfit for dinner or a night on the town, and perhaps a pair of boots and active wear for a hike in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • On June 17, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What’s new in Knoxville?

    While not the most recent thing to hit town (it opened in October of last year), I finally got a chance to dine at Tupelo Honey Café. This farm-fresh, Southern eatery sits in a corner spot in Market Square in downtown Knoxville. It’s an Asheville restaurant that, thankfully, made its way to Tennessee (with new locations planned for Chattanooga, Johnson City and Greenville, South Carolina).

    A friend and I popped in for lunch and sat outside on the outdoor patio, a spot perfect to catch some rays, enjoy the warm weather and people watch (and with all the activities going on in this part of town, you’ll always see someone you know or someone interesting going about their business). We started with the fried green tomatoes, served with delicious goat cheese grits, and then were each served a generous biscuit and jam. For my entrée, I ordered the roast beef po’boy (with the meat served cold for the full roast beef flavor), topped with fried green tomatoes, cherry pepper aioli and served on Gambino’s bakery bread and fried okra as a side. All of the sandwich’s elements blended perfectly and made for quite the lunch. My friend picked the Venerated Veggie Bowl—a huge helping of salsa verde black eyed peas, sautéed greens, fried okra and goat cheese grits. It was a tall, but delicious order (which I was fortunate enough to get to try). And the service (attentive and helpful but not overbearing) combined with the delicious food made for a superb experience on the Square.

    Oh, did I mention that the mimosa here comes in a pint glass?
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  • On June 17, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What’s new in Knoxville?

    While not the most recent thing to hit town (it opened in October of last year), I finally got a chance to dine at Tupelo Honey Café. This farm-fresh, Southern eatery sits in a corner spot in Market Square in downtown Knoxville. It’s an Asheville restaurant that, thankfully, made its way to Tennessee (with new locations planned for Chattanooga, Johnson City and Greenville, South Carolina).

    A friend and I popped in for lunch and sat outside on the outdoor patio, a spot perfect to catch some rays, enjoy the warm weather and people watch (and with all the activities going on in this part of town, you’ll always see someone you know or someone interesting going about their business). We started with the fried green tomatoes, served with delicious goat cheese grits, and then were each served a generous biscuit and jam. For my entrée, I ordered the roast beef po’boy (with the meat served cold for the full roast beef flavor), topped with fried green tomatoes, cherry pepper aioli and served on Gambino’s bakery bread and fried okra as a side. All of the sandwich’s elements blended perfectly and made for quite the lunch. My friend picked the Venerated Veggie Bowl—a huge helping of salsa verde black eyed peas, sautéed greens, fried okra and goat cheese grits. It was a tall, but delicious order (which I was fortunate enough to get to try). And the service, combined with the delicious food, made for a superb experience on the Square.

    Oh, did I mention that the mimosa here comes in a pint glass?
  • On June 12, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    Should visitors rent a car in Knoxville?

    If you want to go anywhere outside of downtown, you won't technically need to rent a car with Knoxville's bus system (KAT), but it might be a good idea for the flexibility. Walking anywhere outside of the downtown area is fairly rare, and with the city being spread out, you'll want a car for easy access to other parts of town — not to mention for exploring the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

    But if you're just staying downtown, and you don't feel like exploring, just grab a cab at the airport and head to your destination. Otherwise, it's a good idea to rent a car.
  • On May 17, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What are the best parks in Knoxville?

    While in Knoxville, you have the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to quench your thirst for an adventure in nature, but if you're looking for a great park to spend a sunny afternoon closer to downtown look no further than World's Fair Park. As the site of the 1982's World Fair, the sprawling park has plenty of green space and well-manicured lawns for you to relax, toss the football or throw the frisbee. If it's a hot day, take the kids to the fountains, or join in the fun yourself for a little cooling splash. There are also a few paths with pretty scenery for you to enjoy. While here, don't forget to take a ride up to the top of the Sunsphere and catch great glimpses of Knoxville and the mountains in the distance.
  • On May 9, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What is the weather like right now in Knoxville?

    There’s one thing you can count on in Knoxville for the spring — the weather this time of year is going to be unpredictable. Expect warm, sunny and gorgeous days and then rainy, cold and miserable days (if you’re not curled up inside, that is). The weather can change on a dime, and it’s extremely hard to plan ahead for a trip there as it could go either way. So pack anything that will keep you warm in the low 50s, keep you dry during sometimes intense thunderstorms and clothes that won’t make you hot when it’s beautiful outside and you want to enjoy the 80-degree weather.
  • On May 7, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    When is the best time to visit Knoxville?

    There’s no doubt you’ll want to visit Knoxville during the fall. Summer is hot and muggy, with a lot of high humidity (though I don’t mind it too much) and while winter is mild, the fall and spring seasons fill Knoxville with energy. Cooler temperatures, stunning mountain scenery and football in the air make fall East Tennessee’s most popular season. With the golden brown, orange and yellow leaves everywhere you turn — and especially in the Great Smoky Mountains, just a short drive away — the changing colors are an attraction all their own. And take advantage of the cool weather to explore some of downtown Knoxville’s attractions like the restaurants and shops in Market Square.

    Can’t make it for the leaves? Try to stop in for the blooming flowers of the colorful spring. You won’t want to miss the Dogwood Arts Festival in April. The main feature, as you can probably guess, are the beautiful dogwood trees blooming around Knoxville. Explore the trails that cover more than 60 miles around town. An art fair, concerts, exhibits and more are also incorporated into this annual event each spring.

    One of the best ways to take advantage of spring or fall (and maybe an early morning in the summer) is by going taking a less than two-hour driving trip to Cades Cove. The drive up there is scenic, but the 11-mile loop is the real treat. It is a gorgeous sampling of the beauty in East Tennessee’s nature that you can drive around, or take a walk or bike ride — it’s restricted to foot and bike traffic from May until late September until 10 a.m., so get there early if you don’t want to share the road with cars.
  • On May 7, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    When is the best time to visit Knoxville?

    There’s no doubt you’ll want to visit Knoxville during the fall. Summer is hot and muggy, with a lot of high humidity (though I don’t mind it too much) and while winter is mild, the fall and spring seasons fill Knoxville with energy. Cooler temperatures, stunning mountain scenery and football in the air make fall East Tennessee’s most popular season. With the golden brown, orange and yellow leaves everywhere you turn — and especially in the Great Smoky Mountains, just a short drive away — the changing colors are an attraction all their own. And take advantage of the cool weather to explore some of downtown Knoxville’s attractions like the restaurants and shops in Market Square.

    Can’t make it for the leaves? Try to stop in for the blooming flowers of the colorful spring. You won’t want to miss the Dogwood Arts Festival in April. The main feature, as you can probably guess, are the beautiful dogwood trees blooming around Knoxville. Explore the trails that cover more than 60 miles around town. An art fair, concerts, exhibits and more are also incorporated into this annual event each spring.

    One of the best ways to take advantage of spring or fall (and maybe an early morning in the summer) is by going taking a less than two-hour driving trip to Cades Cove. The drive up there is scenic, but the 11-mile loop is the real treat. It is a gorgeous sampling of the beauty in East Tennessee’s nature that you can drive around, or take a walk or bike ride — it’s restricted to foot and bike traffic from May until late September until 10 a.m., so get there early if you don’t want to share the road with cars.
  • On May 7, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    When is the best time to visit Knoxville?

    There’s no doubt you’ll want to visit Knoxville during the fall. Summer is hot and muggy, with a lot of high humidity (though I don’t mind it too much) and while winter is mild, the fall and spring seasons fill Knoxville with energy. Cooler temperatures, stunning mountain scenery and football in the air make fall East Tennessee’s most popular season. With the golden brown, orange and yellow leaves everywhere you turn — and especially in the Great Smoky Mountains, just a short drive away — the changing colors are an attraction all their own. And take advantage of the cool weather to explore some of downtown Knoxville’s attractions like the restaurants and shops in Market Square.

    Can’t make it for the leaves? Try to stop in for the blooming flowers of the colorful spring. You won’t want to miss the Dogwood Arts Festival in April. The main feature, as you can probably guess, are the beautiful dogwood trees blooming around Knoxville. Explore the trails that cover more than 60 miles around town. An art fair, concerts, exhibits and more are also incorporated into this annual event each spring.

    One of the best ways to take advantage of spring or fall (and maybe an early morning in the summer) is by going taking a less than two-hour driving trip to Cades Cove. The drive up there is scenic, but the 11-mile loop is the real treat. It is a gorgeous sampling of the beauty in East Tennessee’s nature that you can drive around, or take a walk or bike ride—it’s restricted to foot and bike traffic from May until late September until 10 a.m., so get there early if you don’t want to share the road with cars.
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