5 Best Things to Do in Knoxville (TN)

The great city of Knoxville,Tennessee where it is also blessed by an abundance of beautiful surrounding landmarks like the Tennessee River, the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains, and the equally breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

You can learn all about the history and culture of Tennessee on a trip here, with gems like museums, history centers, parks, fairs, and theaters, as well as a range of historical buildings and monuments.

Knoxville was a prominent location during times such as the Civil War, and as such this history is showcased throughout the city through a range of beautiful historical attractions that will capture the imagination of history buffs.

For anyone travelling with children, Knoxville also won’t disappoint, with museums, educational exhibits, and the mighty Knoxville Zoo.

There is even a dedicated theater called the Children’s Theater that is run by children, for children.

1. World’s Fair Park

World’s Fair Park was the venue of the World’s Fair in 1982 and is now, all these years on, still one of the most loved attractions in Knoxville.

The park is made up of grassy knolls, fountains, and paved walking trails, and if you want to come here in the summer months then you are in for a treat.

When the weather heats up, you can cool down in the quirky fountains and geysers that are set up here or you can just catch some of the live music events that take place here over holiday periods.

There is also a sun sphere observation deck in the park where you can look across at the Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River and enjoy some of the local landscapes.

2. McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture is easily recognizable thanks to the dinosaur that welcomes guests on the front lawn called Monty.

The aim of the museum is to showcase the best of the local historical and archeological background of Tennessee, and to that end you can find fossils and dinosaur bones on display as well as exhibits that delve into periods such as the Civil War.

3. Tennessee Theater

The Tennessee Theater dates from 1928 when it was charmingly referred to as a ‘movie palace’. Nowadays the theater is still an icon thanks to its Spanish-Moorish style of architecture, and you will find period antiques here like the original crystal chandeliers as well as marble floors and Asian textiles.

If you are looking for some culture in Knoxville, then this is one of the best places to find it, as you can expect classic films, musical concerts, and Broadway shows.

The Knoxville Opera and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra also play here.

4. Mabry-Hazen House Museum

The Mabry-Hazen House Museum is located on the gorgeous Mabry Hill and used to be the home of one of the most famous families in Knoxville.

The house dates from 1858 and has a huge collection of antiques that used to belong to the Mabry-Hazen family and will give you a unique insight into how people would have lived in Tennessee in days gone by.

The home was also used by Union and Confederate forces and has a key role during the Civil War, meaning that history buffs shouldn’t miss the chance to visit if they are in the area.

5. Ijams Nature Center

For anyone who is a nature lover, the Ijams Nature Center is not to be missed on a trip to Knoxville.

The center is the brainchild of Harry Ijams who opened it originally as a sanctuary for birds, although the area has now grown to include 300 acres of land and is now a wildlife preserve as well as an educational center.

Amazingly, the center is only 3 miles outside of Knoxville, and yet it can feel like another world as you explore creeks, groves, and hiking trails.

There is also a rock climbing section of the center, or you can choose to go on a relaxing canoe ride.

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