Knoxville, Tennessee: Exciting Urban Attractions
By Vange Tapia
Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville is surrounded by scenic trails and verdant landscapes. Here, it’s easy to get out into nature, making the city an ideal destination for visitors interested in hiking, biking, kayaking and other outdoor activities. On my recent visit, I made a list of my favourite spots for entertainment, shopping, dining and nightlife. Come with me on a tour of this exciting city.
Market Square District, Knoxville’s Entertainment Centre
The urban centre of Market Square has much to offer. Located downtown, the Market Square District is a beautiful outdoor shopping area full of fresh fruits and vegetables in season, as well as exquisite local restaurants, boutiques, free concerts and entertaining street performers.
Since I was in the area, I strolled around and visited the shops. I loved the sister stores of Bliss – fashion and furniture/home accessories, across the street from one another. I also went to check out the cool shirts and sweatshirts at Nothing Too Fancy, just around the corner.
A block away is Gay Street, as light-hearted and carefree as its name implies, and a great choice for museums, galleries and theatres. Between Market Square and Gay Street, I found an alley full of truly artistic graffiti that represents Knoxville’s encouragement of the arts.
For nightlife, there are options for all tastes, including going to the theatre, listening to live music, having a drink at a bar or enjoying a quiet romantic dinner. The Market Square District is undoubtedly a must during your Knoxville visit.
Restaurants and Bars
Not surprisingly, Knoxville is home to an eclectic collection of restaurants and bars. Dining options range from Spanish paella and delicious sushi to upscale farm-to-table cuisine and original cafeterias.
In the morning, I drank hot chocolate at the Coffee and Chocolate restaurant in front of Krutch Park (they even have chocolate and bacon truffles on the menu). For lunch, I enjoyed a delicious tomato and basil cream soup, a custom salad and refreshing lemon water at the Trio Café. And for dinner, I had a succulent oven-baked pizza at The Tomato Head in Market Square.
A draft beer from The Casual Pint Craft Beer Market – just off Market Square – was an excellent choice to end the night.
Festivals, Celebrations and More
Knoxville is also home to renowned events throughout the year including the International Biscuit Festival, Rhythm n' Blooms, Dogwood Arts, Boomsday (the largest Labor Day weekend fireworks show in the nation) and other special events that make it an exciting city.
Don’t forget to visit the city’s historic homes, a handful of which are open to the public as museums and invite you to discover the moments and events that shaped the state.
A perfect blend of Southern hospitality, culture, art, entertainment and outdoor adventures makes Knoxville, Tennessee, a destination on your must-see list.