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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.

Adult Admission Tickets for Two or Four to Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (Up to 59% Off)
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Knoxville
4.8
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$15.90 $6.80
57% discount_off
Adult Admission Tickets for Two or Four to Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (Up to 59% Off)
Cheese Tray with Complimentary Wine Glasses for One or Two at Tennessee Mountain View Winery (Up to 42% Off)
Tennessee Mountain View Winery
Pigeon Forge
4.9
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$19.00 $11.00
42% discount_off
Cheese Tray with Complimentary Wine Glasses for One or Two at Tennessee Mountain View Winery (Up to 42% Off)
Cocktail Class & Tour or Party Package at Short Mountain Distillery (Up to 50% Off) Email Reservation Required.
Short Mountain Distillery
Smithville
4.8
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$70.00 $35.00
50% discount_off
Cocktail Class & Tour or Party Package at Short Mountain Distillery (Up to 50% Off) Email Reservation Required.
One, Two, or Four Admissions to Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo (Up to 42% Off)
Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo
Horse Cave
4.7
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$25.95 $17.10
34% discount_off
One, Two, or Four Admissions to Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo (Up to 42% Off)
Admission for Two, Three, or Four to Marble Springs State Historic Site (Up to 52% Off)
Marble Springs State Historic Site
Knoxville
4.1
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$10.00 $4.80
52% discount_off
Admission for Two, Three, or Four to Marble Springs State Historic Site (Up to 52% Off)
General Admission for Two, Four, or Six to Homestead Tower Museum (Up to 30% Off)
Homestead Tower Museum
Crossville
5.0
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$10.00 $6.91
30% discount_off
General Admission for Two, Four, or Six to Homestead Tower Museum (Up to 30% Off)
Visit for One or Two Adults or Two Adults and Two Children to Titanic Pigeon Forge (Up to 25% Off)
Titanic Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge
4.8
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$30.00 $23.25
22% discount_off
Visit for One or Two Adults or Two Adults and Two Children to Titanic Pigeon Forge (Up to 25% Off)

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

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

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

Visitors will find plenty of indoor activities in Knoxville. The art museum is a great choice, as well as the Frank H. McClung Museum. Artsy types will enjoy Painting with a Twist or throwing pottery at Mighty Mud.

Knoxville things to do indoors include:

  • Touring art galleries on First Fridays
  • Going ice skating
  • Rock climbing indoors at Onsight
  • Taking a letterpress class at Striped Light
  • Trying a class at Blue Ridge Yoga

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