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Things to do in Knoxville

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Trail
“It has a beautiful walk along the river. It has a quarry with pretty water. ”
  • 89 locals recommend
Entertainment
“Gorgeous renovated historic downtown theatre that books every musical genre”
  • 40 locals recommend
Plaza
“Market Square is in the heart of downtown Knoxville. Every Saturday during the spring, summer, and autumn (from about 8am-noon) there are vendors from around the Knoxville area selling goods, crafts, veggies, flowers, pastries and lots more. There are also numerous restaurants that surround Market Square.”
  • 48 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Free killer art museum with gorgeous view of World's Fair Park. Its worth a visit. They've got a cool kids area up front.”
  • 22 locals recommend
Nature
“Go up to the top level of the Sunsphere to see a Birdseye view of Knoxville. Best part: it’s free!”
  • 28 locals recommend
Nature
“Always something happening on the Square shopping,eating,partying parks, historical buildings”
  • 39 locals recommend
Burger Joint
$$
“This is still one of my favorite burger joints in town for two reasons: 1. They offer an impressive selection of burgers; and 2. They execute their recipes well. And I’ll add a third reason; 3. They have the right bourbon or beer to accompany any burger. Or would that be four reasons? Don’t overlook the appetizers, though. Their pan-seared feta with honey drizzle on a baguette is delish, and the Duck Fat Fries are indulgently good. The burgers — which are generally served up as a towering behemoth of beef (but not always), bun and toppings — include The Steakhouse (topped with A1 sauce, crispy onions and sautéed mushrooms) and The Elvis, beef topped with peanut butter, fried banana and Benton’s bacon. It’s the kind of burger that makes adventurous burger lovers say, “Thank you… Thank you very much…””
  • 29 locals recommend
Shopping Mall
“One of my favorite things to do (when I get the rare day off) is head over to West Town Mall for some shopping and a delicious caramel apple from "Chocolate Monkey" inside the mall. There are TONS of restaurants surrounding the area. Too many to even begin to suggest and share. Yet, Cheesecake Factory is attached to the mall and Cinnebar (a true dining experience within the movie theater in the mall). Forgot your makeup on vacation?! Yep...been there and I've definitely done that more times than I care to admit. Drive just a few minutes away to restock at the Dior, Chanel, MAC, Bare Minerals, Sephora, etc...you get my point. They've got the goods. I moved to Knoxville & didn't realize that there was a MAC here! I was so sad at first and then found a counter in the Women's Belk at the mall! Ran out of juice?! Our mall also has an Apple Store located within which has also come in handy many times when some of our bookings have "forgot" their laptop chargers, etc! You don't need an excuse for a rainy day. Enjoy just walking around, grabbing some great food, or pop into the movies there for a wonderful experience. Oh! When you buy popcorn at the movies there, it's bottomless. Enjoy it from your recliner with a cold beer.”
  • 18 locals recommend
Park
“Knoxville Zoo has created some interesting spaces for kids to learn and enjoy animals. ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Cafe
“This coffee shop is actually in Knoxville, which is about 30-40 minutes away from Pigeon Forge, but if you plan on going anyways, you have to stop by our favorite coffee shop! Kbrew opened a few years ago and quickly became a local favorite.”
  • 25 locals recommend
Sandwich Place
$$
“I love their Southwestern salad and blue chips and hummus. It is a fun place to sit outside and watch the people go by on Market Square.”
  • 28 locals recommend
University
“A few short miles from the cottage, it's great for football games, basketball, arena performances etc.”
  • 12 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Great pizza and great place to watch the game or see a great band at night.”
  • 26 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
$
“The Old City in downtown Knoxville is the place to go for late night fun. There are many bars, clubs, restaurants, and fun things to do. ”
  • 23 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“My favorite Calhouns restaurant of all! You can’t beat the atmosphere! Food is tasty too! It’s located in downtown off Neyland Drive ON the river, adjacent to the University of TENNESSEE. They have a full glass dining room overlooking the water and in summer when temperatures are warm, the outside patio is a dining option with nightly live music. ”
  • 26 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
$$
“Best Sushi in Knoxville. Located downtown. 1/2 price sushi on Monday and Thursday.”
  • 25 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Burger Joint
“This is still one of my favorite burger joints in town for two reasons: 1. They offer an impressive selection of burgers; and 2. They execute their recipes well. And I’ll add a third reason; 3. They have the right bourbon or beer to accompany any burger. Or would that be four reasons? Don’t overlook the appetizers, though. Their pan-seared feta with honey drizzle on a baguette is delish, and the Duck Fat Fries are indulgently good. The burgers — which are generally served up as a towering behemoth of beef (but not always), bun and toppings — include The Steakhouse (topped with A1 sauce, crispy onions and sautéed mushrooms) and The Elvis, beef topped with peanut butter, fried banana and Benton’s bacon. It’s the kind of burger that makes adventurous burger lovers say, “Thank you… Thank you very much…””
  • 29 locals recommend
Cafe
“This coffee shop is actually in Knoxville, which is about 30-40 minutes away from Pigeon Forge, but if you plan on going anyways, you have to stop by our favorite coffee shop! Kbrew opened a few years ago and quickly became a local favorite.”
  • 25 locals recommend
Sandwich Place
“I love their Southwestern salad and blue chips and hummus. It is a fun place to sit outside and watch the people go by on Market Square.”
  • 28 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Great pizza and great place to watch the game or see a great band at night.”
  • 26 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
“Best Sushi in Knoxville. Located downtown. 1/2 price sushi on Monday and Thursday.”
  • 25 locals recommend
Restaurant
“My favorite Calhouns restaurant of all! You can’t beat the atmosphere! Food is tasty too! It’s located in downtown off Neyland Drive ON the river, adjacent to the University of TENNESSEE. They have a full glass dining room overlooking the water and in summer when temperatures are warm, the outside patio is a dining option with nightly live music. ”
  • 26 locals recommend
Gastropub
“We love their brunch on weekends. They have 1 dollar mimosas. If you go for lunch or dinner, their potato chip nachos are a delicious appetizer. ”
  • 22 locals recommend
Bar
“Listen to traditional Irish and Scottish music Live while you enjoy a drink and a meal. ”
  • 27 locals recommend

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