Top 15 Things to Do in Knoxville, TN: Tours, Parks, Attractions, Nightlife, & More

knoxville tn at night

Discover the best things to do in Knoxville, including popular events, festivals, attractions, tours and free activities

Discover Knoxville through its many attractions, shopping, dining, and lively cultural scene. Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville is a charming city known for its old charm, beautiful natural surroundings, and diverse neighborhoods like Market Square and Old City. From the historic Tennessee Theatre to the scenic beauty of Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville offers a unique blend of Southern hospitality and urban excitement. With its lively nightlife, scenic parks, and bustling shopping districts, Knoxville has something new for anyone to enjoy.

So whether you are searching for apartments in Knoxville, homes for sale, or are already a local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here’s a list of the top 15 things to do in Knoxville, for both newcomers and long-time locals alike.

knoxville tn at night

Tours and Attractions

1. Tennessee Theatre

Visit the Tennessee Theatre, a beautifully restored historic venue that hosts a variety of performances, from Broadway shows to concerts and classic films. Known as “Knoxville’s Grand Entertainment Palace,” it offers a luxurious setting and is a architectural landmark. Be sure to check the schedule for upcoming events.

Tennessee Theatre

2. Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of Art, showcases the rich visual culture of East Tennessee. The museum features a diverse collection of contemporary art, rotating exhibitions, and educational programs. It’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts looking to delve into the region’s artistic heritage.

Knoxville Museum of Art

3. Ijams Nature Center

Discover the natural beauty of Ijams Nature Center, a 315-acre urban greenspace offering hiking trails, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing. Located along the Tennessee River, it’s an ideal spot for outdoor activities and environmental education. The center’s scenic landscapes provide a perfect escape from the city.

Ijams Nature Center

Shopping and Dining

4. Market Square

Explore Market Square, a vibrant area filled with unique shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. This historic district is a hub of activity with its bustling farmers’ markets, outdoor concerts, and eclectic boutiques. It’s a great place to enjoy local cuisine and soak in Knoxville’s lively atmosphere.

5. Bearden District

Discover the Bearden District, known for its upscale shopping and dining options. This trendy area features a mix of boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants, offering a sophisticated shopping experience. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or gourmet food, Bearden has something to offer.

Bearden District

6. Old City

Venture to Old City, a historic neighborhood famous for its vibrant nightlife and eclectic mix of shops and eateries. This revitalized area boasts a variety of bars, live music venues, and unique stores, making it a popular destination for both locals and visitors. Enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants and explore the lively streets.

Music and Nightlife

7. Bijou Theatre

Experience live performances at the Bijou Theatre, one of Knoxville’s oldest and most beloved venues. Hosting everything from concerts and plays to comedy shows, the Bijou offers an intimate setting with exceptional acoustics. It’s a cornerstone of Knoxville’s entertainment scene.

8. The Mill & Mine

Visit The Mill & Mine, a modern music venue that attracts a diverse lineup of artists and bands. Located in a renovated industrial building, it features state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. It’s a great place to catch a live show and experience Knoxville’s vibrant music culture.

9. Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria

Enjoy a night out at Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria, a popular spot for live music, craft beer, and delicious pizza. Located in the Old City, Barley’s hosts local and touring bands, offering a laid-back atmosphere perfect for a casual night out. With its extensive beer selection and tasty menu, it’s a favorite among locals.

Festivals and Events

10. Dogwood Arts Festival

Celebrate the beauty of spring at the Dogwood Arts Festival, an annual event showcasing the region’s arts scene. Held in downtown Knoxville, the festival features art exhibits, live performances, and craft vendors. It’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the city’s creative spirit and the blooming dogwoods.

Dogwood Arts Festival dogwood trees in a park

11. Big Ears Festival

Attend the Big Ears Festival, an internationally acclaimed event that brings together diverse musical genres and artists. Known for its adventurous programming, the festival features performances by renowned musicians, film screenings, and art installations. It’s a cultural highlight that attracts music lovers from around the world.

Big Ears Festival live music and fair rides

12. Knoxville Brewers’ Jam

Join the festivities at the Knoxville Brewers’ Jam, an annual celebration of craft beer and live music. Held in World’s Fair Park, this event features a wide selection of local and regional brews, food vendors, and entertainment. It’s a must-attend for beer enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy a fun day outdoors.

Knoxville Brewers' Jam brewery

Outdoor Activities and Parks

13. World’s Fair Park

Relax at World’s Fair Park, a beautiful urban park that offers walking trails, open spaces, and the iconic Sunsphere. This park, which hosted the 1982 World’s Fair, is a great place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or attending one of the many events held throughout the year. The scenic environment provides a refreshing escape in the heart of the city.


14. Knoxville Urban Wilderness

Explore the Knoxville Urban Wilderness, a vast network of parks, trails, and recreational areas that span over 1,000 acres. Ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and paddling, this outdoor haven offers a variety of activities for nature lovers. With its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, it’s a true urban escape.

15. Sequoyah Hills Park

Enjoy the scenic beauty of Sequoyah Hills Park, a picturesque park located along the Tennessee River. This park features walking trails, picnic areas, and beautiful views of the river and surrounding hills. It’s an ideal spot for outdoor activities, relaxation, and enjoying Knoxville’s natural charm.

The post Top 15 Things to Do in Knoxville, TN: Tours, Parks, Attractions, Nightlife, & More appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.

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