Top Attractions in Knoxville, Tennessee
Top Attractions in Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville is located in Tennessee and is surrounded by many beautiful landmarks, including the Tennessee River, the Smoky Mountains, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

With attractions like museums, history centers, parks, fairs, and theaters in addition to historical buildings and monuments, a trip to Tennessee can teach you a lot about Tennessee’s history and culture.

 As a result, there has a wide array of historical attractions that will captivate history buffs in Knoxville, TN. It was a prominent location during times such as the Civil War.

With its museums, educational exhibits, and mighty Knoxville Zoo, Knoxville will also not disappoint anyone traveling with children.

Children’s Theater is even run by children, for children.

Top Attractions in Knoxville

Market Square

In Knoxville, Market Square occupies a 13-acre area at the center of history and culture. Just like always, you can hang out here, watch people, and grab a bite. Since 1864, Market Square has been a gathering place and trading center. There are open-air stalls for up to 130 vendors at the Saturday Farmers Market—an event not to be missed!

Music events, art displays, and festivals liven up Market Square. Kids love playing in the interactive fountain. Krutch Park is a treed art sanctuary with benches and sculptures that provides a peaceful respite nearby.

Ijams Nature Center

Knoxville was known as Marble City before the turn of the century for its 35 marble quarries. In Washington, D.C., monuments and buildings  feature Knoxville’s pink marble. Ijams Nature Center was established in 1968 to reclaim quarry lands along the Tennessee River.

Ijams has 315 acres of parkland for the purpose of promoting recreation and natural history awareness. This is one of the most popular places for locals and visitors to walk, cycle, picnic, paddle, and swim. Weddings are often held here.

The nature center also offers live animal exhibits and displays along with its scheduled programs. In addition to selling arts and crafts, it operates a non-profit organization and maintains 10 miles of trails. Get on your bike and explore more than 16 miles of paved and dirt pathways that connect to 50 miles of Urban Wilderness trails.

Mead’s Quarry Lake offers canoe rentals. From the ramp, experienced paddlers can access the Tennessee River. Photographers, birders, and anglers enjoy the River Boardwalk, which cantilevers over the river.

Show at Tennessee Theatre

The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee. It is one of the most beautiful concert venues in the country. The theater was considered to be the finest in the American South when it opened in 1928 as a movie palace. In 2005, it was reborn as a concert and performance hall after undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Gay Street, the Tennessee Theatre is a magnificent venue for catching a show. You can book tickets on the theater’s website before your visit to Knoxville.

Neyland Stadium

If you’re a sports fan, there’s no better place to be in Knoxville than Neyland Stadium on game day. With over 102,000 seats, it’s one of the largest stadiums in the country and home to the Tennessee Volunteers . Be sure to get there early for some pre-game tailgating!

Knoxville Museum 

A collection of art showcasing East Tennessee’s creativity is housed at the Knoxville Museum of Art, which is centrally located. Higher Ground features a significant archive of the work of area artists.

Among the permanent exhibits is “Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity.” Designed by Knoxville artist Richard Jolley, it is the world’s largest “figurative glass and steel assemblage.” It is free to enter.

Sunsphere Tower

Knoxville’s Sunsphere Tower is an iconic symbol of its illustrious past. It was the focal point of the 1982 World’s Fair, the last one to be held in the United States. A 75-foot gold geodesic dome stands atop a hexagonal tower downtown. 

The tower stands 266 feet high. Knoxville’s skyline will be illuminated by the Sunsphere, which has been reflecting sun rays for over 40 years. At this time, the elevator to the Observation Deck is closed.

Tennessee Historical Society and Museum

Visit the East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum to learn about the origins of life and culture in the eastern region of the state. It has a permanent collection of more than 13,000 items, including interactive exhibits that bring history to life. One of these exhibits is “History HQ.” Children can weave baskets, knit quilts, and make stop-motion films here.

There is so much to see in this museum, from Davy Crockett’s rifle to Dolly Parton’s famous red dress. You can learn about East Tennessee’s heritage by attending a genealogy class or a lecture. Historic downtown includes the museum at the corner of South Gay Street and Clinch Avenue.

World’s Fair Park

When Knoxville hosted exhibits and international visitors in 1982, it created World’s Fair Park. Sunsphere Tower is surrounded by beautifully landscaped walkways with rock and water features. Peaceful lawns lined with trees provide a place to relax or enjoy a picnic.

Children play in the splash pad’s dancing fountains during the summer. Concerts and festivals on the Performance Lawn and in the Amphitheater are major crowd pleasers. Find upcoming events and join in the fun.

These are just a few of the top attractions in Knoxville – be sure to check out the rest of our website for more ideas on things to do while you’re in town!

Read More: The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Knoxville

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