Located just 2.5 hours east of Nashville, Knoxville, Tennessee has a wealth of activities to please even the pickiest of travelers. Nashville is more well-known for its music scene, but Knoxville has a lot to offer! For the history buff, there are several historical locations that played a role in the Civil War. For the adventurers, Knoxville has beautiful nature and landscapes to explore. Here are some of the attractions you’ll find in the area:
Brushy Mountain Penitentiary
Famously known as the “end of the line” and notorious for housing James Earl Ray, convicted of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Brushy Mountain is… an experience. With former inmates on the property to tell their stories and a whisky distillery on site, there is a little something for everyone with a sense of adventure. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, this prerequisite documentary will make the visit even more enjoyable.
And that is just the beginning of attractions to make your visit memorable. Here are a few more:
Knoxville has its very own backyard national park. Just an hour or so drive outside of downtown Knoxville, through Gatlinburg, TN is an access point to the Smokies and its over 800 miles of hiking trails. There are options for every skill level and desire, just be sure to pack some good hiking shoes and a bottle (or two) of water.
Market Square is the place where drinking, dining and shopping come together in an outdoor mall setting, originating back to 1864. If you are looking for a bite or a casual stroll, look no further. Market Square also hosts a Farmers’ Market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from May through mid-November. Who doesn’t love a good Farmers Market?
Tail of the Dragon
A little need for speed or just a sense of adventure? Visit the Tail of the Dragon and its “checkered” history. If you are a fan of the 1993 thriller The Fugitive, all the more reason to visit this 11-mile stretch of US-129.
The Tennessee Theater, located on historic Gay Street, first opened its doors in 1928 as a “movie palace.” The facility has a storied past that has resulted in the immaculate preservation that allows it to continue to serve the Knoxville community as a meeting ground for theater buffs and moviegoers alike.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Zoo Knoxville has a fantastic variety of exotic animals for your viewing pleasure, as well as lots of misters to help beat the heat. By late September you should find pleasant temperatures and active wildlife.
These are just a few gems in this metropolitan area surrounded by outdoor activities. For additional information or help planning your trip, check out Visit Knoxville.