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Know All About Knoxville, Tennessee

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Nestled between the Tennessee River and the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville is a vibrant and modern city that offers historical, cultural, artistic, natural and outdoor experiences. In the midst of smoky mountains and mighty river, Knoxville holds a picturesque nature. The city has so much to offer- Want to enjoy nature and architectural marvels or want to explore the remnants of the time gone by or want to take in some art and culture, Knoxville provides you the option to do all that. Anytime of the day is fun and lively in the city. With so much to see and do, Knoxville definitely deserves to be on any traveler’s wish list! 

Knoxville Skyline
Image By Nathan C. Fortner (User:Nfutvol at en.wikipedia) (Own work) [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

History of Knoxville

Knoxville is steeped in history!

Before the European settlement in the area, Cherokee Indians were found in the region. In the late 17th century, the first Euro-American explorers were settled in the Tennessee valley.  In 1786, the founder of Knoxville, James White set up his home in the valley as “White’s Fort”. By 1791, the community called named as Knoxville and received the status as the capital of the Southwest Territory. In 1975, Blount College, which is today called as the University of Tennessee, was established. In 1796, Knoxville became the capital of Tennessee, United States until the 1817. In 1815, Knoxville was incorporated as a city. In the 1800s, with the arrival of railroads, river access and perfect geographical location, Knoxville became one of the south’s leading major distribution centers. During the U.S. Civil War, the town was divided between the gray and the blue. After the war, the city restored its economy through natural resources, commerce and industry. The natural resources and river-generated power established the city as a “New Deal” city in the early twentieth century, and also as a gateway to the Great Smokey Mountains. The city hosted the World’s Fair in 1982 that attracted millions of visitors. Ever since, Knoxville has been developing. Today, the city is home to several industries and leaders in the arts. The culture, art and history of Knoxville can be explored in its museums, galleries, performing arts venues, unique neighborhoods and historic districts.

Important Locations in Knoxville

Knoxville, nicknamed as “the Heart of the Valley”, offers plethora of things to explore and discover. From museums and performing arts venues to theme parks to outdoor recreation to historic neighborhoods, there is something of interests for everyone.

World’s Fair Park: To spend some time outdoors, head to World’s Fair Park, the 1982 World’s Fair site. With manicured lawns, magnificent natural beauty, cascading waterfalls, man-made lakes and beautiful walkways, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the events/festivals held year-round. Enjoy the panoramic views of the mountains and the Tennessee River from the sunsphere observation deck. Take a leisurely stroll along the walkways and browse the gorgeous landscapes. 

East Tennessee History Center: Learn about Tennessee’s past at East Tennessee History Center . It features exhibits, artifacts, Civil war items, art, and educational events and program that feature the 300 years of history in East Tennessee.  Highlights include annual events like East Tennessee History Fair and Blue & Gray Reunion.

William Blount Mansion: Know the intriguing story of the formative years of Knoxville at the William Blount Mansion. William Blount was the Governor of the Southwest Territory and U.S. constitution signer who built this historic house in 1792.

Ijams Nature Center: Ijams Nature Center  is a 300-acre park with wetlands, 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, wildlife sanctuary, perennial garden, homestead, groves, creeks, a spring-fed pond, and an outdoor rock climbing space. Have an adventurous and fun day, enjoy the natural landscape, or simply lie down and take in the beautiful natural surroundings. It is a perfect place for nature lovers. 

Knoxville Zoo: Experience wildlife up-close and personal at the Knoxville Zoo. It is home to more than 900 animals from across the world. Feed a giraffe, ride a carousel or camel, relax and unwind at a Forest Theatre Show, enjoy the largest splash pad of Knoxville, catch an intimate view of white rhinos, red pandas, komodo dragon, and several other animals and birds. Wolves, river otters, lions, tigers and black bear are among the many other animals to see.

Knoxville Museum of Art: Appreciate the art at the Knoxville Museum of Art. The museum features the South Appalachians art and culture, a permanent collection of American contemporary art and exhibitions from all around the world. It has five galleries, a museum shop and gardens. 

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture: The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture features the artistic, historical and natural past of Tennessee from prehistoric times to the present day.

The Muse Knoxville: The Muse Knoxville offers hands-on exhibits on science for kids of all ages. It also houses a planetarium. 

Tennessee Theatre: The Tennessee Theatre was a “movie palace” when it started in 1928. Today it features classic music concerts, vintage movies, Broadways shows, drama and rock concerts. There is something for everyone to keep them entertained!

Mabry-Hazen House Museum: The Mabry-Hazen House Museum tells the story of the city during the Civil War. It features the story of the most memorable families of Knoxville through artifacts and memorabilia. 

James White Fort: Catch a glimpse of the lifestyle of the early settlers in Knoxville at the James White Fort. The artifacts and exhibits tell the story of the birthplace of Knoxville. It houses interactive exhibits of pioneer spinning, cooking and blacksmithing.

Women's Basketball Hall of FameWomen’s Basketball Hall of Fame features the history of women’s basketball. Highlights include the All American Red Heads memorabilia and basketball courts displays.  It also has memorabilia such as trophies, uniforms, rulebooks and other interactive exhibits of the sport.

Knoxville Botanical Garden: The Knoxville Botanical Garden  features walking trails, unique horticulture, community gardens, demonstration gardens and native flora.

To know more about the important locations in Knoxville, click here.

Knoxville People and Culture

The culture of Knoxville is a mix of the Appalachian folk traditions and Southern hospitality and sophistication. The city is home to many cultural spots like professional theaters, museums, art galleries and performing art, all reflect the Knoxville culture. The vastness of Knoxville is apparent from its varied ethnic groups, namely White, Black, Native American, Asian, Latino or Hispanic of any race and Pacific Islander. Also, it is home to the most genuine, welcoming and friendliest people in the world.  

Time Zone and Phone Codes of Knoxville

Time Zone

Knoxville follows the Eastern Time Zone

UTC-GMT Offset: Knoxville is GMT/UTC-5hours during Standard Time and GMT/UTC-4hours during Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time Usage: Knoxville makes use of the Daylight Saving Time

Time Zone Abbreviation: EST is abbreviated for Eastern Standard Time and EDT is abbreviated for Eastern Daylight Time

Phone Code

Knoxville area code: 865

Best Time to Visit Knoxville

Knoxville climate is pleasant most times of the year.  However, the best time to visit Knoxville is spring and fall, but can vary with the likes of travelers. There are plenty of things happening in the city throughout the year.  From musical and cultural festivals to historic events and outdoor shows, the city has a full line-up of festivals and events throughout the year. 

PrideFest (June)
Jazz on the Square  (May to July) 
Asian Festival (August)
Hola Festival (September)
Boomsday Festival  (September)
Christmas in the City  (November to January) 
Auto Show   (February)
Big Ears Festival (February & March)

Important Locations in Knoxville Map Guide

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