Knoxville is a thoroughly southern city steeped in history and located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Eastern Tennessee. Banked on the Tennessee River, Knoxville was the home of the 1982 World’s Fair and the city proudly shows off its distinctive symbol from that time — a giant gold ball called the Sunsphere, which punctures the skyline. Bluegrass and old-time mountain music fill the air most days and nights as people populate the town’s outside cafés, restaurants and bars, particularly in Market Square. Knoxville is also home to the University of Tennessee, and you’ll likely see orange-face-painted fans cheering on the football and basketball teams all over town. Don’t be put off by their enthusiasm — locals are famously friendly and the whole city is blanketed with a laid-back, soulful vibe. Both the downtown district and the surrounding suburban communities are filled with great restaurants, unique shops, interesting museums and a number of historical sites.