The 13-acre Market Square is the cultural and history hub of Knoxville. Since 1864, this public space has been a hub of activity for locals and tourists alike. Every Saturday, up to 130 vendors set up shop here. Other activities and events include public concerts, art displays, and festivals. The fountain in the Market Square is interactive, and the Krutch Park treed art sanctuary offers benches and sculptures.
Market Square Farmers’ Market
One of the most beloved gathering spots in Knoxville, the Market Square Farmers Market is a must-visit. From local produce to baked goods, you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables and eat healthy food at the same time. Market Square also features numerous vendors and local charm. Market Square also features art, including works by local artists, and the Knoxville Museum of Art, which celebrates Southern Appalachian culture and local art.
The city is home to the University of Tennessee and is well-known for its Southern cuisine. However, Knoxville is also a hub of sports and historical events, so if you’re not a college football fan, don’t skip the Ijams Nature Center, which is free to explore. Originally, the area was developed as a bird sanctuary, but it has now become a city full of activities for foodies and history buffs.
If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Knoxville Chocolate Company. This popular candy shop started out as Bradley’s Chocolates and was renamed in 1995. After purchasing a candy company in the area, Brad and Joy Hamlett have created a market that has become a staple of Knoxville’s dining scene. This is the perfect place to indulge your sweet tooth.
For outdoor activities, you can visit the famous Sunsphere Tower, Knoxville’s first and most prominent landmark. It stands in the heart of the 1982 World’s Fair Park. For history buffs, South Gay Street offers interactive exhibits in the Museum of East Tennessee History. For theatre lovers, you can watch a movie in the Tennessee Theatre, the official state theater. The Sunsphere Tower is the tallest building in Knoxville, TN
James White’s Fort
When you’re in Knoxville, make sure you visit the historic James White’s Fort. This 1786 fort was the nexus of the city. The fort is home to a number of fascinating facts about the frontier life of the early settlers. Today, more than 10,000 people visit the fort every year, and you can participate in hands-on activities like blacksmithing or spinning wool. For free, you can enjoy the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.
The fort is situated on the site of the Treaty of Holston, which was signed by Cherokee leaders in 1777. After the Treaty of Holston, the fort was renamed Knoxville by William Blount, the governor of the Territory South of the Ohio. James White hired Charles McClung to survey the land and divide it into sixty-four half-acre town lots. He later reserved some of the lots for himself. The fort now stands on a bluff near its original site. You can still see the stockade fence in place.
The town is home to the first art museum in Tennessee, the Emporium Center. This is an impressive building that features exhibits by local and regional artists. It is open to the public 10am to 5pm. The museum also features an interactive art space. You can even purchase local artwork or purchase an original vintage record. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir or a treasure, Knoxville’s arts scene is sure to please any taste.
Another one of the 50 things not to miss in Knoxville is the city’s craft beer scene. There’s a local brewery in town, Alliance Brewing Company, and a glass factory in the Old City. If you’re looking for a way to get around Knoxville by bus, you can book a pre-planned tour or even book a private tour.
Knoxville Botanical Garden
The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is a beautiful place to visit in the city of East Tennessee. The grounds are 47 acres and feature scenic walking trails, stone walls from the infamous Secret Garden, and a butterfly meadow. Visitors will have the chance to see more than 50 different species of plants, including a number of endangered ones.
Another beautiful place to visit is the zoo. Originally, a New York newspaper described Knoxville as the “ugliest” town in the United States. But the city’s garden club was able to change that perception. Together with concerned citizens, they created the first dogwood trail. Now, the city hosts an annual dogwood arts festival that celebrates the dogwood tree, natural beauty, and regional art. The event is held April 24-26.
Visiting the James White Fort is also a great idea for history buffs. This former home of the city’s founder, James White, earned a generous land grant after the Revolutionary War and led an expedition to find a suitable site for his fort. The park is free and open to the public. You can spend the entire day here or visit during certain holidays.
The museum has an eclectic collection of exhibits. The Civil War exhibit and the Human Origins exhibit are popular among visitors. A museum lab is open to research, and there are educational programs throughout the year. You can also take the kids to the botanical garden. All of these attractions are among the 50 things not to miss in Knoxville Tennessee. Once you’ve explored all that the city has to offer, be sure to visit the East Tennessee Museum of Art.
Knoxville Museum of Art
While visiting Knoxville, be sure to check out the Tennessee Theater. Once called a movie palace, this former theater has become one of the city’s most elegant venues, hosting over 150 events each year. The theater features Spanish-Moorish interior design, Italian terrazzo flooring, and Asian textiles. Check the Tennessee Theater website to see what’s on this year. After you’ve checked out the Tennessee Theater, visit the Knoxville Museum of Art, 50 Things Not to Miss in Knoxville Tennessee.
This Knoxville museum is free to visit. The building itself is beautiful, made of marble mined in Tennessee, and was recently renovated for an estimated six million dollars. Inside you’ll find the largest glass installation in the world, as well as a miniature diorama collection that features the work of local artists. You can also take a tour of the miniature rooms of the historic church and the outdoor sculpture garden.
Another place worth checking out is the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture. The museum is free to enter and features exhibits based on different historical periods. The museum also has a lab where scientists are constantly working on new projects. If you are interested in history, Knoxville is a great place to visit. The city’s history is rich with history, which is evident in the Mabry family’s history.
The Tennessee History Museum showcases exhibits from the Civil War and Ancient Egypt. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum also offers special events and speakers. The museum is free to visit but requires advanced registration. The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum are two other free attractions worth checking out. If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, check out the James White Fort. You’ll be glad you did.
For more than 100 years, Neyland Stadium has been a staple of the Knoxville waterfront. Home to the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team, Neyland Stadium has played host to major sporting events, including a few NFL exhibition games. Built in 1921, it is now the fifth largest stadium in the world and seats more than 102,000 spectators. Today, the stadium hosts a variety of events, including concerts, conventions, and exhibition games from the National Football League.
A sports fan will love attending games at Neyland Stadium. The University of Tennessee competes in the Southeastern Conference and hosts games against Florida and Alabama. Fans of Lady Vols basketball can also attend the university’s athletic events and enjoy the botanical gardens. The city also hosted the 1982 World’s Fair. Perhaps the most recognizable landmark in Knoxville is the Sunsphere, which offers a 360-degree view of the city.
Parking is a major issue, so it’s important to plan your visit around the availability of parking garages. Parking in the downtown area is free on game day, but you can find a parking garage nearby. Parking at the State Street Garage and Market Square Parking Garage are free after 6pm on weekdays. If you’re visiting for the first time, consider walking to the stadium – parking can be a challenge, especially early in the morning or late at night.
You can’t visit Knoxville and not see the Vols play! The 100th season of football will open at Neyland Stadium on September 2, which means the football season is just around the corner. The game will feature several exciting new fan experiences, as well as new twists on long-standing traditions. The Vol Walk, a Vol themed parade that begins two hours before kickoff, is another fun way to celebrate game day.