Knoxville: Big Orange is only part of the draw

Knoxville: Big Orange is only part of the draw

August 28th, 2016 by Compiled by Kendi A. Rainwater in Glimpse 2016

The Sunsphere was a symbol of the 1982 World's Fair.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Gallery: Knoxville: Big Orange is only part of the draw

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The state's third-largest city offers a vibrant — and walkable — downtown, a variety of outdoor activities and festivals throughout the year. And a lot of orange. Neyland Stadium, on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's campus, is the nation's fifth-largest stadium, and the college's Vols football team packs the stands for home games.

But Big Orange Country is way more than a college town, with plenty to see and do for all ages. Knoxville was recently named by TripAdvisor as a Top 10 Destination on the Rise.

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*UNIQUE EVENTS

  • Tennessee Valley Fair: Founded to celebrate East Tennessee’s agricultural heritage, the fair also includes a concert series, carnival rides and lots of entertainment. This year’s event is Sept. 9-18.
  • Movies on Market Square: If you happen to be in town on a Friday in September or October, stop by Market Square to watch blockbusters and classics alike. Sponsored by the Knox County Public Library to showcase its broad collection of movies and music, Movies on Market Square has been delighting audiences since 2005. This year, the square will be transformed Sept. 9-Oct. 14.
  • Scruffy City Comedy Festival: This multi-day, multi-venue live comedy event features dozens of comedians from all over the country, including nationally known headliners. Prepare to laugh Nov. 4-6 this year.
  • Christmas in the City: Knoxville’s most anticipated winter festival dresses the city for the holidays with lighted trees and decorations — including the popular and growing Up on the Rooftops displays — plus dozens of events guaranteed to bring holiday cheer. This year the festivities run Nov. 1-Dec. 31.
  • International Biscuit Festival: Drawing over 20,000 biscuit lovers to downtown each year, this was selected the No. 1 Food Festival in the U.S by Livability.com and has been featured in Southern Living, Garden and Gun, the New Yorker, the New York Post, as well as on CNN. Come May 27, 2017, to sample biscuit creations at the Biscuit Boulevard tasting area, cheer on competitors in the Biscuit Baking Contest, shop at the Biscuit Bazaar, or vie for the pageant title of Miss or Mr. Biscuit.
  • Knoxville Powerboat Classic: Every summer, Superleague Racing, the nation’s oldest and most respected powerboat racing circuit for Formula 2 and Formula 3, draws the hottest race boats in the world to the Tennessee River to power through turns and streak down the straights at top speeds over 100 mph. Free to the public.

*Source: visitknoxville.com

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*PLAYING TOURIST
*There are several types of downtown tours to help you make the most of your visit.

  • Civil War Driving Tour: This tour is self-guided and highlights the city’s Civil War history. Stop by the Visitor Center at 301 S. Gay St. to pick up a brochure for the tour and enjoy each stop along the tour at your own pace. Call 800-727-8045 or 865-523-7263 with any questions.
  • Cradle of Country Music Walking Tour: Experience the roots of country music throughout downtown Knoxville on this self-guided walking tour. The tour begins at Knoxville’s first Custom House and Post Office and continues throughout the city. Pick up a brochure at the Visitor Center.
  • Knoxville Food Tours: There is always a new restaurant to discover in Knoxville! This tour offers the history of some of Knoxville’s most notable food districts, provides samples of food and drinks from a rotating selection of locally owned restaurants, and a chance to meet some of the people involved in Knoxville’s food scene.
  • Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours: This is one of America’s leading historical, investigation-based ghost tours. It is said to be a true, researched and educational experience that will come with a dash of chills!

*Source: visitknoxville.com

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*GET OUT
*Whether your idea of “parking” it is enjoying a riverside picnic, playtime with man’s best friend or some high-energy adrenaline, Knoxville offers hundreds of acres with outdoor opportunities in diverse park and greenway settings.

  • Volunteer Landing: The landing runs parallel to the Tennessee River and is a convenient and beautiful riverside park. The park offers fishing, biking and accessibility for other water sports.
  • Petsafe Downtown Dog Park: This dog park was awarded a grant by the state of Tennessee to incorporate an infiltration system that prevents pollutants from entering the nearby First Creek. The park has separate sections for small and large dogs, and water fountains for humans and their canine best friends.
  • Krutch Park: This scenic park is located in downtown Knoxville. The park has a small stream and picnic tables for everyone to enjoy.
  • World’s Fair Park: Once the site of the 1982 World’s Fair, this park features miles of lawn, acres of flowers and several waterfalls. The park is also the home of the Knoxville Convention Center and offers a place for meetings and quiet moments outside.
  • Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center: The Adventure Center is a great first stop, as it provides visitors with the information they need about Knoxville’s extensive outdoor activities. Brochures and experts are on-site to guarantee that everyone is able to enjoy all of the outdoor activities that Knoxville and the Tennessee River have to offer.

*Source: visitknoxville.com; outdoorknoxville.com