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Top Things To Do In Knoxville

Knoxville is a city in the eastern part of Tennessee, and it is full of fun attractions for visitors of all ages. The city is home to the University of Tennessee, which has about 27,000 students. The university is walking distance from downtown and next to the popular World’s Fair Park. There are plenty of options for shopping in the area, as well as sports teams to cheer on. Keep reading to find the best things to do in Knoxville.

Visiting Historic Market Square is one of the best things to do in Knoxville. Located in the center of downtown, this square is surrounded by restaurants and shops and it often attracts street performers in the warm weather. World’s Fair Park is another popular destination. The park was the site of the 1982 World’s Fair, and it includes fountains for kids to play in as well as an observation deck.

The best things to do near Knoxville include:

  • Exploring Old City
  • Shopping in Gay Street
  • Walking through the University of Tennessee campus
  • Dining at the Knoxville Farmers’ Market
  • Touring the Knoxville Zoo

There are many cheap things to do in Knoxville. One option is Sundown in the City, which is a nightly free concert series in Market Square. For other live entertainment, check out Shakespeare in the Square featuring local actors. The Ijams Nature Center is another recommendation. This 150-acre nature sanctuary has concerts as well as guided nature walks.

Cheap things to do near Knoxville include:

  • Getting a view of the city at the Sunsphere
  • Visiting House Mountain
  • Catching a Possums of Knoxville rugby game
  • Dining at Nick & J’s Cafe
  • Learning about natural history at the Frank McClung Museum

Knoxville has several tourist attractions to hit when visiting the city. One place is the Knoxville Zoo, which is home to several red pandas. To learn more about the city, visit the Museum of East Tennessee History. As for festivals, make sure to plan a trip during the annual Dogwood Arts Festival. This festival involves more than 60 miles of walking trails lined with dogwood trees, as well as outdoor concerts and art exhibits.

Popular attractions near Knoxville include:

  • Visiting the Beck Cultural Exchange Center
  • Celebrating Labor Day at the Boomsday Festival
  • Touring the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Walking through the historic Blount Mansion
  • Learning about history among the gardens at James White’s Fort

Knoxville has many fun things to do during the day. Start with a walk through World’s Fair Park, as it was recently renovated to include beautiful walkways and landscaping. End the day with an action-packed game at the University of Tennessee.

Exciting activities near Knoxville include:

  • Watching a Lady Vols basketball game
  • Walking through the University of Tennessee Gardens
  • Shopping along Gay Street
  • Grabbing a slice at the Tomato Head
  • Eating Brazilian cuts of meat at Brazeiros Churrascaria

Knoxville gets lively at night due to its college population. As for things to do tonight, head to Old City. Barley’s is a popular spot, as it has 48 beers on tap and concerts on the weekends. Another good option is Fort Sanders Yacht Club, which has a series of arcade games such as Street Fighter and Donkey Kong. The Tennessee Theatre is another vibrant spot as it features touring acts such as John Legend and David Sedaris.

Nighttime activities near Knoxville include:

  • Listening to music at Baker Peters Jazz Club
  • Dinner at Cru Bistro and Wine Bar
  • Dancing at Sassy Ann’s
  • Attending the Knoxville Symphony
  • Catching live music or comedy at Scruffy City Hall

There are plenty of things to do this weekend in Knoxville. Football fans can make their way to Neyland Stadium and catch the Tennessee Volunteers play. Those who enjoy the outdoors should head to the Fort Dickerson Quarry for swimming and hiking.

Weekend activities near Knoxville include:

  • Brunch at Tupelo Honey
  • Camping in the Smoky Mountains
  • Motorcycling through the Tail of the Dragon
  • Attending the Greek Festival
  • Walking through the African American Kumba Festival

Families will find plenty of things to do with kids in Knoxville. The Knoxville Zoo is a great place to start, as it covers 53-acres and has about 800 animals. There’s also the Muse, which is a science museum that has several hands-on activities for kids.

Family-Friendly things to do near Knoxville include:

  • Playing paintball and mini-golf at Sir Goony’s Family Fun Center
  • Exploring Jo’s Grove at Ijams Nature Center
  • Riding the Three Rivers Rambler Steam Engine
  • Watching the Knoxville Holstons play vintage baseball
  • Springing upward on the trampolines at JumpJam Trampoline Park

Knoxville is a very romantic city with no shortage of date night ideas for adults. For an intimate dining experience, try Ye Olde Steakhouse. This family-owned restaurant is known for having the best steaks in Knoxville. Mix it up a little and try a low-priced swing dance lesson with the Knoxville Swing Dance Association.

Date night ideas near Knoxville include:

  • Eating an Italian dinner at Naples
  • Listening to live jazz at Baker Peters
  • Going on a sunset dinner cruise
  • Touring the Knoxville Museum of Art
  • Book a couples massage at Tennessee School of Therapeutic Massage

One group activity idea is to book an escape room at Breakout Knoxville. Hockey fans will enjoy cheering on the Knoxville Ice Bears or the Hard Knox Rollergirls. There’s also Knox Whiskey Works, which has tasting rooms and tours of the facility.

Things to do with your friends near Knoxville include:

  • Going on an urban scavenger hunt
  • Bowling at Maple Hall
  • Sipping on bottomless mimosas at Seasons Innovative Bar
  • Hiking through House Mountain

Knoxville has many fun outdoor activities. Other than the parks in the city, there’s hiking in the Smoky Mountains and at House Mountain. People can rent jet skis in downtown Knoxville or rent a bike and travel through the many greenways.

Active things to see in Knoxville include:

  • Touring the Victorian homes in the Fort Sanders neighborhood
  • Walking through Volunteer Landing
  • Viewing the University of Tennessee Gardens
  • Ziplining at Navitat Canopy Adventure
  • Fishing for bass at the Tennessee River

One of the best attractions in Knoxville is the speakeasy at the Oliver. This secret spot is called Peter Kern Library and all the drinks are named after authors or novels. Locals know that Long’s Drug Store has the best milkshakes in Knoxville. They also serve burgers and fries at low prices.

Must-see places near Knoxville include:

  • The arcade at Suttree’s High Velocity Tavern
  • Exploring used books at McKay Used Books & CDs
  • Visiting the Manhattan Project Site at Oak Ridge
  • Shopping for old toys at Nostalgia
  • Dining at Back Door Tavern