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Two Days in Knoxville

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Nestled next to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River, this beautiful city is a hotbed of culture that blends with history, art, music and culinary scenes. The city is a full package, with magnificent architecture, world-class museums and theaters, unique attractions, breathtaking views, historic streets and beautiful parks, as well as an array of restaurants, shopping centers and nightclubs. Here’s how to jam-pack 48 perfect hours with all that the “Queen City of the Mountains” has to offer.

Knoxville in two days
Image By Brian Stansberry (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Day 1 in Knoxville “The Marble City”

8:00am- Breakfast at OliBea!

Kick off your day 1 in Knoxville with a hearty breakfast at OliBea. It has received rave reviews for its breakfast and brunch fare. It serves up Southern classics like Omelet, stuffed acorn squash and chicken biscuit. A perfect place to start your morning!

Address: 119 S Central Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-200-5450
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 7:00am-1:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 8:00am-2:00pm

9:00am- Tour the Blount Mansion!

Head to the Blount Mansion, a 1792 house of Governor William Blount, also the signer of the U.S. Constitution. Check out an art gallery and historical exhibits on the founding of the state, the Appalachian culture in the region and life in that era. The antiques and design is particularly impressive.

Address: 200 W Hill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-525-2375
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 9:30am-5:00pm
Distance from OliBea: 1.0mile or 4minutes drive


10:00am- Get Cultured at Bijou Theatre!

From live music to theatre productions, Knoxville has it all. Catch a performance at the Bijou Theatre. The theatre enjoys a vibrant and long history. The theatre offers entertainment in several forms like vaudeville shows, traditional theatre shows, dance troupes, local art, films, classic productions and live music. A perfect venue to catch contemporary acts! Get ready to be dazzled by an amazing act/performance!

Address: 803 S Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am-3:00pm
Distance from Blount Mansion: 0.2miles or 1minute drive


11:00am- Walk through Knoxville’s history at White’s Fort!

Next, head to White’s Fort that offers a glimpse into lifestyle of the early settlers in the region. This fort is named after the founder of the city- James White who settled in the region in the early 1780s. The fort is surrounded by simple log cabins, and a stockade wall. Experience the hands-on interpretation of frontier lifestyle by spinning wheel, blacksmithing or cooking on an open-hearth, and check out the artifacts and original tools of that period. 

Address: 205 E Hill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915, United States
Phone: 1 865-525-6514
Distance from Bijou Theatre: 0.4miles or 1minute drive

12:00pm- Experience life in East Tennessee from its beginning at East Tennessee History Center!

Next, head to the East Tennessee History Center features exhibits and pieces that tell the story of several aspects of the East Tennessee. It demonstrates the 20th century life in the region through fascinating collection of exhibits, a documentary and artifacts, including furniture art, quilts, Civil War items and textiles. 

Address: 601 S Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-215-8830
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am-4:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm; Sunday: 1:00pm-4:00pm
Distance from White’s Fort: 0.5miles or 3minutes drive


1:00pm-Indulge your Taste Buds!

Enjoy sushi & Japanese cuisine at Nama Sushi Bar (506 S Gay St). For French cuisine, make your way over to The French Market Creperie (526 S Gay St). Enjoy Southern comfort food at Tupelo Honey Cafe (1 Market Square)


2:00pm- Peruse the art at Knoxville Museum of Art!

Post lunch, head to the Knoxville Museum of Art and walk through its wonderful galleries of fine art. The museum features art in several mediums, including paintings, sculptures, prints and mixed media. From classic to contemporary art, there is something for every interest here. The main focus of art on display is on the Southern Appalachian culture and East Tennessee region. You’ll find works by many well-known regional, national and international artists, including William Morris, Charles Burchfield, Loretta Lux, Richard Jolley (glass sculptor), Joseph-Delaney, Impressionist Catherine Wiley, and Robert Longo, to name a few.

Address: 1050 Worlds Fair Park Dr, Knoxville-37916, TN, United States
Phone: 1 865-525-6101
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm

3:00pm- Enjoy nature at its best at World's Fair Park!

A short walk from the Knoxville Museum of Art is the World’s Fair Park. A unique Knoxville experience awaits you at World’s Fair Park. The park features manicured lawns, waterfall, walkways, man-made lakes, and sunsphere’s observation deck that offers striking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River. Many events, performances and festivals are held at this lovely park.  Climb up the Sunsphere and enjoy the stunning views of Knoxville from the observation deck.

Address: 525 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-215-1158
Distance from Knoxville Museum of Art: 0.2miles or 1minute drive

4:00pm- Discover natural history of the region at McClung Museum!

Visit the McClung Museum that features an extensive collection of exhibits on natural history, local history, medicine, archeology, anthropology, ancient Egypt, the Civil War artifacts, and art. The museum tells the story of the area from the prehistoric times to the present day.

Address: 1327 Cir Park Dr, Knoxville, TN 37916, United States
Phone: 1 865-974-2144
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Distance from World’s Fair Park: 1.1miles or 5minutes drive

5:00pm-Shop like a local!

Head to Market Square that blends the rich history of Knoxville with the modern art and culture. This spot has many boutiques and specialty stores. Browse the wide variety of shops selling items, ranging from arts and crafts to fashion clothing and accessories to home decor. It has something to get everyone’s retail fix!

Distance from McClung Museum: 1.8miles or 9minutes drive

If you wish to pick up some souvenirs, head to Rala, a shop that features items by local artists and crafters. It houses items like postcards, printed t-shirts, modern jewelry and one-of-a-king art pieces. It is a one-stop shopping experience when looking for souvenirs and memorabilia for yourself or someone back home! 

Address: 323 Union Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-525-7888
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 11:00am-9:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-6:00pm
Distance from Market Square: 0.3miles or 3minutes drive

Or

To shop for a gift for someone special, head to Earth to Old City. The Earth to Old City features an array of gift items like jewelry, toys, accessories, books, bath and beauty products, posters, household items and photographic art that can be framed. Take a gift basket for someone back home from this spot!

Address: 22 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-522-8270
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm
Distance from Market Square: 0.4miles or 3minutes drive

7:00pm- Drinks and Dinner!

Satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst at the Downtown Grill & Brewery. The brews are brews in-house at this restaurant. It has a tempting menu of bar food. From seafood to fine steaks to Mexican cuisine to pastas, the food menu has something to please every palate. Wash down the food with hand-crafted brews. After supper, patron can head to the bar with pool tables and Foosball. 

Address: 424 S Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-633-8111
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:00am-12:00am; Friday & Saturday: 11:00am-1:00am; Sunday: 11:00am-12:00am
Distance from Earth to Old City: 0.1 mile or 1minute drive

Fill up on comfort fare at Bistro at the Bijou. The dishes are fresh and made from scratch. Live music and extensive wine selection compliments the food.

Address: 807 S Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-544-0537
Opening hours: Monday: 11:00am-9:00pm; Tuesday to Thursday: 11:00am-11:00pm; Friday: 11:00am-12:00am; Saturday: 10:00am-12:00am; Sunday: 10:00am-9:00pm
Distance from Earth to Old City: 0.7miles or 4minute drive

For Tennessee barbecue, make you way over to the Calhoun's On The River. It is known for its lip-smacking wood-smoked barbecue and signature oysters. Enjoy your meal, while taking in the beautiful views of the Tennessee River. 

Address: 400 Neyland Drive, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-673-3355
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:00am-10:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 11:00am-11:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-10:00pm
Distance from Earth to Old City: 0.9miles or 5minutes drive

10:00pm- Night on the town!

End your day 1 in Knoxville with a drink or two, live music and some dancing at one of the many hopping nightspots in the city. 

Head to Sassy Ann's for dance and drinks. It is a high-energy nightspot with throbbing music, lively crowd and extensive selection of libations. Get grooving while sipping a drink or two.

Address: 820 N 4th Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917, United States
Phone: 1 865-525-5839
Opening hours: Thursday: 9:00pm-3:00am; Friday: 6:00pm-3:00am; Saturday: 9:00pm-3:00am 

Or

Head to Suttree's High Gravity Tavern for a relaxed night out. It has a great selection of draft beers, wines and spirits. Quaff a few drinks while enjoying a good conversation and music. 

Address: 411 S Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-934-3814
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 3:00pm-1:00am; Friday: 3:00pm-2:00am; Saturday: 2:00pm-2:00am; Sunday: 3:00pm-9:00pm

Day 2 in Knoxville

9:00am- Breakfast at Cafe 4!

Fuel up with Southern comfort breakfast at Cafe 4. Delicious highlights on the food menu include Tennessee cheese steak, flash-fried calamari, a low country shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, pork-chops, steak frites, eggs Benedict, smoked salmon bagels, and waffles, too. It is a perfect place to fill up for the day ahead.

Address: 4 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-544-4144
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 7:00am-9:30pm; Friday: 7:00am-10:30pm; Saturday: 9:00am-10:30pm; Sunday: 9:00am-8:30pm

10:00am- Discover Natural Beauty at Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum!

Take a relaxing stroll in the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum and explore the natural wonders. This garden has an historic landscape that is bedecked with native plants and foliage. You’ll find native flora and fauna, walking trails, community gardens, demonstration gardens and more than 2 miles of stone walls. A delight for nature lovers!

Address: 2743 Wimpole Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37914, United States
Phone: 1 865-862-8717
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Distance from Cafe 4: 2.9miles or 10 minutes drive


11:00am- Kids Edutainment at The Muse Knoxville!

Next, head to The Muse Knoxville that features hands-on exhibits on geology, technology, aerospace, taxidermy, paleontology and more. Children of all ages will enjoy and learn about the world culture, art, science and natural history. It also has a planetarium on-site. Kids can become astronauts in the Discovery Space Shuttle, build structures, explore the outer world, and check out the curved mirrors . From reptiles and insects on display to fish tanks to space exhibits, the center has everything.

Address: 516 N Beaman Street, Knoxville, TN 37914, United States
Phone: 1 865-594-1494
Opening hours: Monday: 9:00am-12:00pm; Tuesday to Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Distance from Knoxville Botanical Garden: 1.4miles or 5minutes drive


12:00pm- Experience the wildlife at Zoo Knoxville!

Next, make your way to experience the wildlife at Zoo Knoxville. Take a closer look of over 900 fascination animals from all around the world.  See chimpanzee, gorillas, giraffes, elephants, penguins, bears, otters and more as you traverse the African forests and grasslands.  Feed a giraffe and llamas, ride a camel, get up-close and personal with diverse flora and fauna, and do catch the bird shows.

Address: 3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive, Knoxville, TN 37914, United States
Phone: 1 865-637-5331
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:30am-6:00pm
Distance from The Muse Knoxville: 1.5miles or 5minutes drive

1:00pm- Lunch!

Head to Chandler’s Deli LLC (3101 E Magnolia Ave) or The Lunch House (3816 Holston Dr) for American fare. In mood to eat something different, taste the Philippine or Asian cuisine at Philippine Connection Carry (3225 E Magnolia Ave). For barbecue, head to Smoke Box (2827 E Magnolia Ave) or Buddy’s Bar-B-Q (3700 E Magnolia Ave).

2:00pm- Insight into the lives of early residents of Knoxville at Mabry Hazen House!

Visit the Mabry-Hazen House that was built during the Civil War era. It is a Victorian-style building that features the pieces of Civil War and Victorian periods. The house highlights the reconstruction and Civil War history. It houses one of the largest collections of Victorian antiques and Civil War items in American. The original artifacts include antique furnishings, china, crystal and silver. Catch a glimpse of the lives of the residents and events that happened during that period!

Address: 1711 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915, United States
Phone: 1 865-522-8661
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 11:00am-5:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-3:00pm


3:00pm- Early women’s basketball story at Women's Basketball Hall of Fame!

Next, head to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame that is home to the largest basketball in the world- 30-ft tall and weighs 10 tons. This spot also has plenty of artifacts and memorabilia of early women’s basketball, including uniforms, an original rulebook of 1901, trophies and other exhibits. Do climb up to the top of the Sunsphere and enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the mountains.

Address: 700 Hall of Fame Drive, Knoxville, TN 37915, United States
Phone: 1 865-633-9000
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 11:00am-5:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Distance from Mabry Hazen House: 0.9miles or 3minutes drive

4:00pm- Nature Calling at Ijams Nature Center!

Visit the Ijams Nature Center that is located on the banks of the Tennessee River. It is a delight for hikers, bikers, birders, outdoor and nature lovers. The park features a waterfront boardwalk, paved trails, wildlife viewing spaces, woodlands, rolling meadows, and much more. Walk through the gardens, woods and meadows and explore the nature and see the fascinating creatures in their natural habitats. Several seasonal events are held at the center. A memorable nature adventure!

Address: 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37920, United States
Phone: 1 865-577-4717
Opening hours: Monday & Tuesday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Wednesday to Saturday: 9:00am-7:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm
Distance from Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame: 3.2miles or 6minutes drive


5:00pm- Alex Haley Heritage Square!

Head to Alex Haley Heritage Square that features a visually-appealing Alex Haley statue, which is a tribute to the “Roots” author. Learn about the famous American writer at this spot. Do get your camera to click a photo of a replica of the statue facing towards Smoky Mountains. The statue is surrounded by a city park, a children’s playground and walking paths.

Address: 1620 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915, United States
Phone: 1 865-215-4311
Distance from Ijams Nature Center: 3.2miles or 7minutes drive

6:00pm- Shopping at Knoxville Center!

Next, take I-40 and head to Knoxville Center that features over 130 retailers. The center is anchored by Sears, Belk and JCPenney. Other popular retailers include Gymboree, Old Navy, Bath & Body Works, Gap, Limited, Claire’s and Children’s Place. Shopping, bite to eat and entertainment, all is available under one-roof.

Address: 3001 Knoxville Center Drive, Knoxville, TN 37924, United States
Phone: 1 865-544-1500
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm
Distance from Alex Haley Statue: 7.4miles or 12 minutes drive via I-40

8:00pm-Dinner!

Try Japanese cuisine for dinner at the Sarku Japan (3001 Knoxville Center Dr #2227). For American eats, make you way over to Applebee’s (2912 Knoxville Center Dr). Head to The Tomato Head (12 Market Square) that serves up mouth-watering pizza and several vegetarian options. For seafood, stop by Chesapeake’s (600 Union Ave). 

10:00pm- Toast your Visit to Knoxville!

Wrap up your day 2 in Knoxville with night on the town! Head to Jig and Reel, a Scottish nightspot. Irish and Scottish music and drinks keep flowing all night long. From Scottish music to blue grass to traditional Irish and everything in between is played at this pub.  This spot is lively with laid-back vibe and comfy seating. 

Address: 101 S Central Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-247-7066
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 11:00am-3:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 4:00pm-3:00am

Day 2 in Knoxville Map Guide

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