Hotel at a Glance: Baymont Inn and Suites Knoxville/Cedar Bluff
Wake up with a free spread of bagels, waffles, and pastries at the Baymont Inn and Suites Knoxville/Cedar Bluff. After breakfast, head into the city or to nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
- Practice your backstroke in the outdoor pool.
- Spacious rooms are equipped with a microwave, mini-fridge, and flat-screen TV.
- Work up a sweat with the fitness center’s treadmill, elliptical, and weight machine.
- Bring your four-legged friends: The hotel is pet-friendly (additional fees apply).
- Nearby attractions: include the University of Tennessee campus (10 miles), the Knoxville Zoo (15 miles) and Great Smoky Mountains National Park (about 38 miles southeast).
Knoxville, Tennessee: College Town near the Great Smoky Mountains
The Tennessee River cuts right through the middle of Knoxville, and along its banks lies one of the cornerstones of the city: the University of Tennessee campus. The university’s football team, the Tennessee Volunteers (or “Vols”), has won six national championships since their first season in 1891. They play right on campus in Neyland Stadium, a beast of a venue that can hold more than 100,000 fans. Not to be outdone, the women’s basketball team has won eight national championships and are a perennial powerhouse. It’s largely thanks to the Lady Vols’ success that Knoxville was chosen as the site for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
But there’s more to Knoxville than its fabled athletic programs. In 1982, it hosted the World’s Fair, which produced perhaps the city’s most recognizable landmark: the Sunsphere, a giant, shimmering golden ball on top of a tower. From World’s Fair Park downtown, you can walk to Market Square, which features boutiques, restaurants, and a seasonal farmers market. A few blocks away, the opulent Tennessee Theatre hosts musical acts, touring Broadway shows, and classic films.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just about an hour’s drive from Knoxville, and is one of the most visited national parks in the country. It has 800 miles of hiking trails leading to waterfalls and scenic overlooks; keep your eyes peeled for black bears. One of the best ways to explore the park is on a scenic drive along Newfound Gap Road. The road climbs 3,000 feet through cove hardwood, pine-oak, and northern hardwood forests to Newfound Gap, where it connects with a 7-mile road to Clingman’s Dome.