Hotel near downtown Knoxville, University of Tennessee, and the Great Smoky Mountains; stay includes free WiFi and hot continental breakfast
Hotel at a Glance: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Knoxville
If you like to pair outdoor adventures with big-city attractions, consider Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains. This hotel puts you within 40 miles of the national park and just 10 miles from downtown Knoxville, where you can dive into the town’s bluegrass scene, try its famous biscuits, and visit the iconic Sunsphere.
- Where you’ll stay: Spacious guest rooms feature free WiFi and beds swathed in signature bedding.
- Most important meal of the day: Guests can start their day with hotel’s complimentary breakfast spread including a selection of hot dishes.
- Many restaurants and shops are within walking distance of the hotel.
- Stuff to do: Catch a show at the Clarence Brown Theatre or lock eyes with a western lowland gorilla at the Knoxville Zoo.
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.