Knoxville not only takes pride in its deep historic roots, but in always working hard to serve up a heaping helping of southern hospitality. Both of those ingredients are on display in a big way when you experience some of the city's best-known and best-loved attractions. From the historic to the glitzy to nature itself, enjoy the essence of Knoxville at these top-drawer attractions.
The Alex Haley statue
is a visually arresting tribute to the author of Roots
. This honorary statue is located by a children's playground and is not only educational but interactive so that you can learn a little more about this pioneering American writer. Also, make sure your camera is photo-ready, as the statue is one of the most unique backdrops for photos in Knoxville.
Address: 1600 Dandridge Avenue, Morningside Park, Knoxville, TN 37915 - MAP
Phone: (410) 956-9090
The Armstrong Lockett House
in Crescent Bend is a stunning mansion built in 1834 and stands as a majestic centerpiece on 600 acres of rolling Tennessee land between the river and the mountains. The structure was restored in 1977 and the interior features authentic 18th century furniture and classic fountains, among other aesthetically pleasing items. This attraction provides a low-keyed but compelling tour full of history and class. Just make sure to call on weekend afternoons to make sure that they are welcoming visitors, as the mansion is frequently the site of weddings on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Address: 2728 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919 - MAP
Phone: (865) 637-3163
The Ijams Nature Center
aspires to encapsulate as much of the area's natural beauty within its perimeter. Given the size of the center, be prepared for lots of great attractions and displays of creatures and foliage that are synonymous with Knoxville. The venue includes 3.5 miles of marked trails, rolling meadows, colorful gardens and dramatic bluffs all punctuated by the intrepid Tennessee River. This park sprawls out over an incredibly breathtaking 80 acres, and no matter the size, the main goal of the Ijams Nature Center is to educate visitors about the environment by offering free tours, workshops and other special presentations.
Address: 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37920 - MAP
Phone: (865) 577-4717
History buffs and lovers of great architecture alike will truly enjoy a visit to the Ramsey House Plantation
. The two-story Georgian-style home has the distinction of being the first stone house built in this region. The home was built for Colonel Francis Alexander Ramsey and his residence became the center of social, political and religious life in Knoxville at the turn of the 19th century. Visitors will marvel at the 18th century architectural design and vintage furnishings that adorn the house. There are also gardens and a museum on site as well.
Address: 2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914 - MAP
Phone: (865) 546-0745
Knoxville had the honor of hosting the World's Fair
in 1982. Nearly thirty years after that momentous occasion, the site of the celebration still draws visitors. Attractions include The Candy Factory, a group of Victorian homes that house shops that sell arts and crafts, and Fort Kid which is a playground that features historically-themed rides and play areas. You'll find the Knoxville Museum of Art on the site, as well. The celebration of the World's Fair clearly still echoes at this fun, family-friendly attraction in Knoxville.
Address: 1600 Worlds Fair Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37916 - MAP
Phone: (865) 523-4227
Knoxville's great outdoors await at the Obed Wild and Scenic River
. Not only can you enjoy the scenic landscape that is spread out over 8,500 acres of virgin woods and mountains, you'll also be able to take part in a dramatic adventure. The center of that drama is on the untamed Obed River itself, as the whitewater courses will challenge even the most seasoned whitewater rafter. You can also enjoy camping, picnicking, hiking, rock climbing and hunting when you visit this marvelous natural attraction in Knoxville.
Address: 208 Maiden Street, Wartburg, TN 37887 - MAP
Phone: (423) 346-6294
The Knoxville Zoo
covers an impressive 80 acres and is home to an incredible array of attractions featuring nature's most incredible creatures. See the animals in their natural habitats and don't forget to catch the zoo's highly-touted bird show and excellent petting zoo. The kids will absolutely love the chance to get close to the animals and feed them, especially the kid-friendly llamas, among others. Great photo opportunities are everywhere, including penguins, bears, otters and many, many more.
Address: 3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive, Knoxville, TN 37914 - MAP
Phone: (865) 637-5331
is no ordinary attraction. But then again, Dolly Parton, the park's namesake, is no ordinary performer. This theme park is co-owned by Parton, and it's good, clean family fun for everyone that includes rollercoasters, kiddie rides, craft shops, and great restaurants. Plus, you may even have a chance to see Dolly take stage and perform all her biggest hits.
Address: 98 McCarter Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37862 - MAP
Phone: (865) 428-9488