What are the best things to do in Knoxville?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Jordan Lawson

Whether it’s catching a show or a game or just having a great downtown adventure, Knoxville has something for everyone.
 
1. Go to Market Square. This open-air space of downtown Knoxville is all about great food, unique shops and all-around fun. Bring the kids to play in the fountains in summer, browse the stylish and quirky shops and then grab dinner at one of the delicious cafés and a pick-me-up or dessert at Coffee and Chocolate. On certain nights, live music fills the square and for a fun night out, grab a beer or cocktail at one of the great bars here.
 
2. Catch a show — or a tour — at the Tennessee Theatre. This gorgeous venue, established in 1928, was renovated and restored in 2005 and has everything from operas and symphonies to a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show every year for Halloween. If you’re not in town for a show, arrange a tour to see the grandiose interior.
 
3. Attend a University of Tennessee football game. The Volunteers play in Neyland Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in the U.S., and there’s nothing quite like game day in Knoxville. Enjoy tailgates around campus and watch the big orange team play at home.
 
4. Visit World’s Fair Park. The site of the 1982 World’s Fair, this park is a beautiful place to spend a relaxing day in Knoxville. Have a stroll around the gorgeous grounds and  run through the popular fountains if you’re feeling adventurous. Check out the Sunsphere, the symbol of the World's Fair and a great place to see all of Knoxville.
 
5. Have a night out in Old City. This vibrant neighborhood has plenty of options for dining and nightlife. Whether you want to have a slice of pizza and a beer or an evening of dancing, the Old City’s got you covered. 

Katy Koontz

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.

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