Little City. Big Attitude.
Knoxville will surprise you. The pure walkability of downtown allows you to explore and discover vibrant murals, local music, historic sites, and museums. Just three miles from downtown, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness features quarry lakes and more than 50 miles of mixed-use trails for hiking, biking, and birding. Just save room for dinner. Knoxville is emerging as one of the best culinary and craft beer towns in the Southeast, and is home to a few stops on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. We look forward to welcoming you to the city we love to call home!
Things to Do
Here is our list of some of Knoxville’s greatest restaurants, attractions, and sites.
Best Breakfast: The Plaid Apron
Phone: (865) 247-4640
Address: 1210 Kenesaw Ave, Knoxville, TN
Tucked in the center of Sequoya Hills, this hidden gem is not to be missed. The modern artworks of farm animals and mason jar pendants adorning their walls is pleasing to the eye, but it is their farm-to-table menu that has patrons coming back all the time. It is no wonder the Plaid Apron is a popular breakfast and brunch spot. Savor their dishes like Sausage Omelets, Eggs Benedict, Smoked Beef, Chicken Thighs, Rib Tips, and Cheesy Grits. Though their fare is seasonal due to the availability of the ingredients in the market, you can be assured of delicious food anytime you head there.
Best Dinner: J.C. Holdway
Phone: (865) 312.9050
Address: 501 Union Avenue, Knoxville, TN
Chef Joseph Lenn is back in the kitchen after spending 10 years as one of five executive chefs at Tennessee’s fine-dining destination Blackberry Farm — where he became the first person in Tennessee to win the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast. Lenn left Blackberry Farm last year to open his own place: J.C. Holdway. The menu also has some Southern favorites like hushpuppies, pimento cheese, and chicken wings topped with Alabama white sauce. Lenn describes the cuisine as “southeastern regional,” so a soy sauce made in Kentucky or beautiful lamb from Virginia is just as relevant as produce from the big farmer’s market that takes place just a block away. THIS IS A MUST IF YOU ARE A LOVER OF FOOD.
**Reservations highly recommended.
Best Burger: Stock & Barrel
Phone: (865) 424-2075
Address: 35 Market Square Knoxville, TN 37902
Specializing in the three Bs – Burgers, Bourbon, and Beer – Stock & Barrel demands that you come with an appetite. Sip on their extensive selection of bourbon whiskeys and draft beer while you peruse their menu of locally-sourced burgers with delightfully clever names. As if that wasn’t enough, be sure you’ve saved room for a side of Duck Fat Fries and their signature S’mores Milkshake topped with toasted marshmallows.
Best Beer Selection: Pour Taproom
Phone: (865) 337-5726
Address: 207 W Jackson Ave, Knoxville, TN
Located in Jackson Terminal in the Old City, this place is a must stop for beer lovers! With over 68 different taps of craft beers, ciders, mead, and wines there is something for everyone. No prepaying, just open a tab and you’re free to taste as little or as much as you would like. With the most unique selection in Knoxville, you pour and pay by the ounce.
Best Wine Menu: Water Into Wine
Phone: (865) 392-1586
Address: 607 North Campbell Station Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37934
With a selection of over 200 wines, Water Into Wine is biblical in name and spirit. Water Into Wine was created with the vision of establishing a Knoxville “Cheers” where patrons could come not just for the wine and charcuterie, but for friends and fellowship as well. Located in the Knoxville, suburb of Farragut, Water Into Wine is a bistro lounge with a casual vibe. Enjoy daily specials, live music, wine, and, of course, conversation. Are wine and charcuterie not your thing? Don’t let the name fool you. Water Into Wine provides craft cocktails, beer, and fine foods by their local executive chef.
Best History Walking Tour: Cradle of Country Music
Phone: (865) 523-7263
Address: 301 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN
This one-hour tour, provided by Visit Knoxville, takes visitors through parts of downtown, where some of country music’s greatest got their starts. The walking tour has 19 stops, including WIVK, where Dolly Parton had her radio broadcast debut at age 7, and the former location of Bell Sales Co. in Market Square, where Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right, Mama” played over the airwaves. An RCA scout was in Knoxville at the time, purchased the demo and ultimately helped Elvis get his contract with RCA Records, which bought it from Sun Studios in Memphis, TN.
Best View: World’s Fair Sunsphere
Phone: (865) 363-9538
Address: 810 Clinch Ave, Knoxville, TN
One of the remaining structures from the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville is a can’t-miss: the golden dome of the Sunsphere. Although interesting to look at, the Sunsphere which includes an observation deck, is splashed with factoids on the World’s Fair and Knoxville. Learn interesting tidbits about “Knox”; for instance, did you know that the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube is located at the Knoxville Convention and Exhibition Center?