Updated: Jan 20, 2020
Often times when you think of visiting Tennessee, most think of Memphis, Nashville, & Chattanooga. I’ve always been interested in historical landmarks, good places to eat (even if it’s in an interesting part of town), and cultural things to do. Being born and raised in the 865, I can tell you first hand that growing up there, I didn’t appreciate it. Now that I’m older, not only am proud to be from Knoxville (honorable mention goes to my Roadrunners), but I love it more than ever! There’s more to do than ever before these days. Full of life, culture, southern food and history, Knoxville should definitely be on your summer road trip itinerary.
Knoxville College: Once it opens it's doors back up this year, take a tour of Knoxville’s HBCU, a historically black liberal arts college. Founded in 1875, it’s a United Negro College Fund member school that has strong ties to Knoxville’s civil rights history. After recent woes, they’re planning to re-enroll students this year (2018).
Address: 901 Knoxville College Dr., Knoxville, TN 37921
9/11 Memorial: Built by Knoxville native Randy Vaden, you can visit this statue and pay your respects to those we lost on 9/11.
Address: 400 Main St., Knoxville, TN 37902
Alex Haley Heritage Square: Residing in Morningside Park in East Knoxville, it includes a 13 ft. high bronze statue of Alex Haley himself, a park for kids, water fountains and more. Designed by Tina Allen and cast in bronze in New York, the Pulitzer Prize winner’s statue has resided in Morningside since 1996. Haley is best known for his book, “Roots”, a classic that traces his origins back to Africa. Haley spent his early years in Henning, Tennessee and ended up living his final years in Clinton, Tennessee.
Address: 1600 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915
World’s Fair Park: One of the many spots that hold my childhood memories, the World’s Fair Park is one of Knoxville’s most beautiful landmarks. Filled with water parks and gardens, it’s the home of most festivals & special annual events.
Address: 525 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902
Market Square: This is one of Knoxville’s oldest districts and it’s become more alive than ever over the recent years. Home to the best boutiques, restaurants, and farmers markets, Market Square will give you an experience of a lifetime.
Address: Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902
Beck Cultural Exchange Center: This center means a lot to me, as it preserves & exhibits African American achievements and culture. I’ve always been proud to know that the Beck Cultural Center actually has the largest African American membership in East TN, as it’s one of the most extensive exhibits in American History. Getting it’s first start in 1975, it houses audio, memorabilia, books, journals, and more. Bonus fun fact: It’s in walking distance from the Alex Haley Heritage Square.
Address: 1927 Dendrite Ave., Knoxville, TN 37915
Bijou Theatre: Known for being Knoxville’s oldest building, dating back to 1813 as a tavern and the 1830s as “The Grandest Hotel in the South”, this is your go to for wonderful shows and performances.
Address: 803 South Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902
Tennessee Theatre: Built as a fantasy-like palace, this beauty has been standing tall since 1928. Many top artists like Johnny Cash, Diana Ross, Elvis Presley to name a few, have made an appearance as this historical location.
Address: 604 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902