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Knoxville Tennessee

7 Stunning Sights & Places to Visit in Downtown Knoxville, TN

Welcome to Knoxville, Tennessee, a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. You could be a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or merely wishing to experience the local culture; it doesn’t matter. These must-see destinations in Downtown Knoxville, TN, are sure to leave you awestruck. So, put on your shoes, grab a camera, and explore what Knoxville offers!

Explore The Best of Knoxville, TN’s Downtown Area

I know that tourists and locals seek out the most popular spots in Knoxville, and I totally get it. Anyone who’s seen a bit of Knoxville will want to discover more. So, I compiled a couple of must-see attractions and historic landmarks in Knoxville, TN’s Downtown area.

Knoxville’s Historic Old City

The nexus of Knoxville’s progressive and artistic cultures in Central and Jackson Avenues in Downtown Knoxville, TN. The trendiest art galleries, cafés, eateries, distilleries, vineyards, and concert halls can be found on these ancient lanes, all housed in stunning historical buildings that breathe fresh life into the neighborhood’s history. 

You can stroll around and shop all day and enjoy a drink or two in the finest Downtown Knoxville bars by nightfall. The Old City will likely develop into one of your best-loved Knoxville areas. 

Old City Hotspots

If you’re ever in Knoxville’s Old City, there are some spots you don’t want to miss. I recommend Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria, which serves delicious food, has live entertainment, a wide range of craft beer, and a fantastic variety of distinctive, custom-made pizzas. You can also check out Old City Java, a unique coffee establishment with a strong sense of community that serves delicious baked products, beverages, and “alternative” coffee.

Experience Knoxville’s History and Culture on Gay Street

You must trip along this famous street to truly appreciate Knoxville’s heritage and customs.

In Knoxville’s heritage and artistic development, Gay Street has been a key factor since the 1790s.

A number of the structures on Gay Street are part of the National Register of Historic Places. They are house galleries, classic multiplexes, and other establishments. 

Another thing that makes Gay Street so special is its welcoming community. The community embraces all kinds of parades every year, including Veterans’ Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Pride, and Christmas parades.

Do a rich history, unlimited fun, and vibrant nightlife sound exciting? If yes, you’ll definitely love Gay Street. From the East Tennessee History Center to the Tennessee Theater, you won’t run out of exciting new experiences on Gay Street. And the list goes on!

Check Out Knoxville’s Market Square

The giddy scenery of Market Square and the surrounding area of Knoxville’s Downtown offers one of the best ranges of distinctive leisure, dining, and shopping opportunities and some of the neighborhood’s most outstanding views. The most unforgettable outdoor performances, festivals, and other events occur in its dynamic setting.

Market Square in Knoxville offers a diverse range of food options, a variety of local shops to cater to your shopping needs, and welcoming merchants to assist you. The location is ideal for families as you can visit the Market Square Farmers Market. At the same time, your children enjoy playing in any of its two fountains. Additionally, it’s a perfect spot for a romantic dinner and an evening at the theater with that special person. No matter your taste, there’s a lovely experience waiting for you at Market Square in Knoxville.

Stop By The Famous World’s Fair Park

Without the one and only World’s Fair Park in Downtown Knoxville, TN, this list would be incomplete. This magnificent park, which served as the location of the 1982 World’s Fair, features miles of greenery, acres of blossoms, calm waterways, and numerous other gifts of Mother Nature’s splendor. These features combine to produce a welcoming setting for events, shows, gatherings, seminars, or some alone time for reflection. Plus, you can also access the Knoxville Convention Center within the park.

The Sunsphere: The Crowd-Pleasing Monument

things to do in Knoxville downtown TN

The Sunsphere is a one-of-a-kind structure built specifically for the 1982 World’s Fair. Its Observation Deck on the 4th Floor offers an amazing panoramic view of the city, the Tennessee River, the World’s Fair Park, and the University of Tennessee campus. Additionally, visitors can enjoy browsing through a timeline, gallery, and store dedicated to the 1982 World’s Fair and purchase souvenirs to remember their visit.

Tag In With An Experienced Local for Your Next Knoxville Property Move

Knoxville is more than just pubs, bars, eateries, and parks. It’s also a great place to secure a new home. In fact, as of March this year, Knoxville’s Downtown was a seller’s market. That means there were more buyers in the market than there were homes!

Ready to slam dunk your dream home? Team up with Haley today and make it happen!

Discover the Arts & Culture of Knoxville, Tennessee 

If you’re ready to discover this vibrant southern gem’s arts and culture, join me on a journey of exploration and discovery. Get ready to be inspired and delighted as we explore the three best landmarks of Knoxville’s arts and culture scene.

Visit McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

When you visit the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, be prepared to express your amazement. This historical center is a treasure trove of exciting stories from the past and expectations of the future. Upon entering, you can visualize a camel ride through the Egyptian desert, experience a chaotic battlefield on enemy lines, or sit on a porch listening to a fascinating Appalachian tale. 

what to do in Knoxville Tennessee

I get that not everyone enjoys history. But no one can deny how captivating a good story can be. And that’s what this well-known landmark is: captivating

Some exhibits and art room highlights include the following:

  • Freshwater Mussels from Tennessee 
  • Fossil ancestors and ancestry
  • Internationally inspired art and culture are shown in semester-long specials.
  • Repatriation, Tennessee’s Natives, and Archaeology
  • Tennessee’s geological and prehistoric records
  • The Public Gallery

The McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture can be found on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus, and features exhibitions that showcase Tennessee’s geological, historical, and artistic background, as well as various cultures from around the world. Admission and parking are free, so come on down!

Discover New Knowledge at the East Tennessee History Center

The Museum of East Tennessee History is a valuable resource for discovering Knoxville’s past. Its exhibitions, which have garnered numerous accolades and are frequently updated, tell the tale of the individuals, locations, and occasions that shaped this area. The Center is easily accessible to various people because it is located nearby the Tennessee Theatre and landmarks like James White’s Fort and Blount Mansion. 

The exhibition’s signature immersive exhibit, “Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee,” allows viewers to view actual relics from the area’s history and hear firsthand descriptions of everyday life amid an array of captivating historical pictures. 

The East Tennessee History Center also publishes a genealogical journal with a top-of-the-line research archive. Learning about their ancestral roots is an additional draw for tourists to Knoxville who study the city’s historic mansions and civil war events.

Appreciate The Symbolizations at Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA)

The Knoxville Museum of Art takes pride in showcasing the diverse and rich visual culture of East Tennessee connected to the world of art. The museum promotes diversity and inclusion in its operations, including displays, activities, employees, volunteers, tourists, and partners. It operates transparently and ethically as a public trust and welcomes and embraces everyone warmly. 

The KMA aims to enhance the community’s quality of life by meeting people where they are and encouraging lifelong learning and engagement. The museum offers various educational programs to support its permanent and temporary exhibitions, including school tours, workshops, lectures, concerts, and family activities. Every year, the KMA attracts over 60,000 visitors. Tens of thousands of young people in underprivileged areas are helped through outreach programs to area schools. To top it off, The KMA offers free admission for everyone!

Enjoy All of Downtown Knoxville and Beyond

Pin Down the Perfect Property in Knoxville With Haley

It’s impossible to capture the entirety of Downtown Knoxville’s beauty in one article. Even if it were possible, nothing could beat firsthand experience.

Living in Downtown Knoxville, TN, allows you to explore every part of the neighborhood and beyond. Knoxville has many more amazing destinations to discover, and I can help you explore them all! 

Ready to conquer the Knoxville real estate market? Together, we can realize your goals!

Book a call with Haley Jones

and find your dream home at a dream price.