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Best Tourist Spots in Knoxville

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Located against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounded by water, Knoxville is a year-round holiday destination. It offers a cornucopia of outdoor recreational activities, and historic, cultural and natural attractions. The splendour of the mountains and water, urban fun and historic charm enthuse the travelers to experience all that the city has to offer.  Check out these top-drawer tourist spots in Knoxville-

Cool off and relax at the World's Fair Park!

Sunsphere in Knoxville
Image By No machine-readable author provided. JGlover assumed (based on copyright claims). [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

World’s Fair Park is a popular site for events, festivals, performances, conferences and meetings. It was the site of World’s Fair of 1982 that attracted about 11 million people, making it the biggest World’s Fair. The park features several acres of lawn, magnificent natural amphitheatre, cascading waterfalls, man-made lakes and beautiful walkways. The popular spots of the park are the Court of Flags Fountain and the Sunsphere. Climb the Sunsphere’s observation deck and enjoy the panoramic vista of the city. It has plenty of activities and attractions to keep both the adults and children entertained. 

Address: 525 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-215-1158

Get you nature adventure fix at Ijams Nature Center!

Mead's Quarry
Image By Scott Basford (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River, Ijams Nature Center is an environmental learning center for people of all ages. It features meadows, woodlands, native flora and fauna, biking and hiking trails, a waterfront boardwalk, and perennial-gardens. Paddle boarding, hiking, biking, zip lining, ropes, you name it, and you’ll find it all here. Within the park, there are also several exhibits on natural history of Tennessee, including the Conservation Cottage and the Lost Species exhibit. It is a perfect place for nature and outdoor lovers!

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

Take a stroll through Tennessee’s history at East Tennessee History Center!

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

The East Tennessee History Center features the history of Tennessee from 1700s to the present day through various hands-on exhibits, a documentary and artifacts, including furniture art, quilts, Civil War items and textiles. It showcases the life in East Tennessee from its beginning and also the Knoxville World’s Fair history. The permanent exhibition at the center demonstrates how the story of East Tennessee and its influence on the culture of Tennessee, while the traveling exhibitions focus facets of the area’s history.  A trip back in time!

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

Science exploration at The Muse Knoxville!

The Muse Knoxville is a kid-friendly science museum with plenty of exhibits and play space. The museum focuses of STEAM-Science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Children of all ages will find something that interests them. There is building space to create structures, tiles and cars, kids’ space to play, and science exhibits like microscopes, wind tunnels, Newton’s mini-golf, concave and convex mirrors, and much more.  It also houses a planetarium that brings universe to life.

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

Explore McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture!

Map data: Google, DigitalGlobe

Located in the University of Tennessee campus, the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture features the natural and local history of the area, and exhibits on geology, fossils, medicine, archaeology, ancient Egypt, Native American life in the region, the Civil War, decorative arts and the Tennessee’s native people. The displays in the museum showcase the cultural trends, lifestyle, technologies, art and Tennessee’s past from 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

Walk through the galleries of art at Knoxville Museum of Art!

Fine Art
Image By Chris Molinski, Knoxville Museum of Art [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Knoxville Museum of Art features American contemporary art and several stunning pieces of art by the regional, national and international artists. It houses permanent pieces that demonstrate the 19th and 20th century history of Knoxville. The main focus is on the Southern Appalachian culture and East Tennessee region. Art from all mediums, including paintings, sculptures, prints and mixed media, is on display. You’ll find works by many well-known artists like William Morris, Charles Burchfield, Loretta Lux, Richard Jolley (glass sculptor), Joseph-Delaney, Impressionist Catherine Wiley, and Robert Longo, to name a few. It has five galleries, a gift shop and two outdoor gardens.

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

Tour the historic Ramsey House!

Georgian-style house
Image by Bms4880 at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Historic Ramsey House is a two-story Georgian-style stone house which was constructed for Colonel Francis Alexander Ramsey. During the 19th century, his residence became the hub of religious, social and political life of Knoxville. Take a tour of the homestead, marvel at the eighteenth century architectural design and period furnishings that embellish the house. It also has a museum and gardens, as well. Guided tours are available.

Address: 2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914, United States
Phone: 1 865-546-0745
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm

Tour the Blount Mansion! 

William Blount house
Image By Brian Stansberry (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Blount Mansion is a 1792 house of Governor William Blount. William Blount, the signer of the U.S. Constitution, was Southwest Territory governor from 1790-96.  This mansion features an art gallery and historical exhibits on the founding of the state, the Appalachian culture in the region and life in that era. The mansion is beautifully adorned with antiques. History comes alive at this mansion!

Address: 200 W Hill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902, United States
Phone: 1 865-525-2375
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 9:30am-5:00pm

A Tribute to the “Roots” Author at Alex Haley Heritage Square!

        Map data: Google, DigitalGlobe

Alex Haley Heritage Square is a historical landmark in the Morningside Park. The park features 13-foot bronze statue of Alex Haley, the author and Pulitzer award winner of the book “Roots”. The book was made into a mini television series. This spot encompasses inspiration and beauty, as well. The statue is surrounded by a city park, a children’s playground and walking paths.  Worth a visit to snap a few pictures, as the statue is looking towards Smoky Mountains, thus creating a unique backdrop. 

Address: 1620 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915, United States
Phone: 1 865-215-4311

Get up-close and feed the animals at Zoo Knoxville!

900 animals
Image By Richard from Canton, United States (Knoxville zoo - chimpanzee teeth) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Zoo Knoxville is home to an array of incredible creatures. Check out the animals in their natural habitat, visit the petting zoo, catch the bird show held at the zoo, enjoy the largest splash pad of Knoxville, catch an intimate view of white rhinos, red pandas, Komodo dragon, chimps, and several other animals and birds. Wolves, river otters, lions, tigers and black bear are among the many other animals to see. Awesome photo-opportunities everywhere! Over 900 incredible animals are waiting for you at the zoo!

Address: 3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive, Knoxville, TN 37914, United States
Phone: 1 865-637-5331
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:30am-6:00pm

Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Women's Basketball history
Image By Brian Stansberry (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame features the history of the women’s basketball from its start in 1892 until the formation of WNBA through hands-on exhibits. This spot pay tribute to the women and men who have contributed to the women’s basketball. It has a 30-foot tall basketball that sits atop the glass staircase resembling a basketball net. It also has memorabilia such as trophies, uniforms, rulebooks and other interactive exhibits of the sport. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, sports or just fun, this is the spot to find it!

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

A walk in a serene and beautiful Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum!

Native Flora and Fauna
Image By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum features native flora and fauna, historic horticulture, walking trails, community gardens, demonstration gardens and more than 2 miles of stone walls. Walk through the beautiful gardens and capture the beauty of nature on camera! It is truly a feast for the senses!

Address: 2743 Wimpole Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37914, United States
Phone: 1 865-862-8717
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm

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