Knoxville Things to Do
Looking to explore history or enjoy recreational outdoor activity? There is no shortage of things to do in Knoxville, Tennessee.
What to See
Opened in 1999, Volunteer Landing is a beautiful and scenic one-mile paved riverwalk offering a beautiful view of Tennessee River. The walk is also lined with restaurants and historic sites. The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame is here and is a must-see museum for the sports fan.
In 1982, Knoxville was host to a very successful World’s Fair. The theme of the fair was the Sun, and the Sunsphere was the signature structure around which the fair was built. This is now the site of a permanent Knoxville World’s Fair Park. Adjacent to the park is a neighborhood of quaint, brightly-hued Victorian houses. Today these contain shops, studios, and galleries. A favorite is the Candy Factory, in operation since 1917.
The Knoxville Zoo
A wonderful facility for animal lovers and admirers. The animals appear well-cared for and comfortable. There is a fun area for children called Kid’s Cove that includes a petting zoo. Photo opportunities are everywhere. Wear good walking shoes and be prepared to traverse some hills.
Tours to Take
The “Cradle of Country Music walking tour” is located in downtown Knoxville and highlights the beginnings of country music in the city. The tour includes markers regarding Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, The Everly Brothers, Roy Acuff, and other greats.
Tennessee Riverboat Company
The “Star of Knoxville” is an authentic paddlewheeler. If you enjoy boating, you will love this activity. Sightseeing cruises are offered as well as other events.
Three Rivers Rambler
This vintage steam engine train takes you on a 90-minute excursion to the Forks of the River and back, through some of Knoxville’s most historic and beautiful countryside.
Visit a Museum or Historic Site
Museum of Art
This place is definitely worth a visit while in the downtown Knoxville area. From abstract urban to more traditional pieces, any art lover should be able to find something they enjoy at these exhibits. You can take photos without flash here.
Museum of East Tennessee History
This museum is bigger than you would think. A $5 admission is not bad considering the impressive collection inside. It walks the visitor through pioneer days up to modern industry. Lots of Civil War artifacts.
James White’s Fort
James White’s Fort was built in 1786 as the first pioneer structure of what is today Knoxville. The reconstructed fort is furnished with original artifacts and creates an accurate picture of everyday life on the frontier.
Other places to see include Fort Dickerson Civil War Park, Old Gray Cemetery, Ijams Nature Center (a wildlife sanctuary) and the Tennessee Theater. Also, if you visit during Labor Day you can go to the Boomsday Labor Day Festival and experience a sensational fireworks display.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Knoxville, Tennessee.