Situated on the banks of the Tennessee River and located just a short distance from the Smoky Mountains, Knoxville, Tennessee, has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike. Tennessee's third-largest city is close enough to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to allow easy access to hundreds of miles of pristine wilderness and beautiful trails.
At the same time, the city itself is home to a rich depository of cultural and historical attractions, including Market Square and the Knoxville Zoo, so there's always plenty to see and do. From the vibrant allure of the annual Dogwood Arts Festival to the charming shops and restaurants on Volunteers Landing, Knoxville is bursting with hidden gems and exciting surprises.
There are advantages to visiting Knoxville at virtually any time of year. Summers are great because of the nice weather, but hotel prices tend to peak at that time as more people flock to the city. A great way to sidestep this issue is by considering East Knoxville-Strawberry Plains hotels, which tend to offer more affordable rates than hotels in the downtown area.
Don't let the compact size of this zoo fool you. It's a truly state-of-the-art attraction with more than 800 animals and a variety of fun kids' activities and play equipment. The red pandas alone make this zoo well worth a visit. The fact that it's just east of downtown is another major perk.
Most locals regard Market Square as the beating heart of Knoxville, so be sure to check it out. This small, historic square is lined with an eclectic array of shops, cafes, restaurants, boutiques and other establishments, and a small fountain lends it a lively and pleasant ambiance.
If you're looking for a fun day trip while visiting Knoxville, you can't go wrong with this amazing national park. With more than 800 miles of trails and opportunities to enjoy everything from camping to fishing, it's a perfect place for an active trip.
This pleasant promenade extends along the Tennessee River. In addition to boasting a nice selection of restaurants, shops, bars and cafes, it features a series of huge fountains that are specifically designed for splashing and playing. What better way to cool off and have some fun on a hot, humid summer day?
Held every April, the Dogwood Arts Festival honors the annual blooming of the many dogwood trees that grow all around the city. Several home and garden shows are held to highlight the trees, as well as residents' gorgeous home landscaping and gardens. Appalachian arts and crafts feature prominently at the festival, and bluegrass music is often performed live throughout the event.
If you're flying to Knoxville, then you'll arrive at McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS), which is about 12 miles from downtown in the neighboring city of Alcoa. About half a dozen major carriers operate out of the airport, and regular service is available to and from major cities like New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
If a road trip is in your future, several major freeways cross through and near the city. Travelers from the north and south typically arrive via Interstate 75, while travelers from the east and west generally arrive via Interstate 40.
For bus travelers, there's a Greyhound station right in downtown Knoxville, and Greyhound offers nationwide service from the terminal. Megabus is another option; from its downtown station, daily service to and from Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Chattanooga; Memphis and Nashville is available for a very reasonable price.
Because it has a humid subtropical climate, Knoxville experiences cool winters and very little snowfall. Its relatively high elevation helps to offset the high temperatures and humidity that usually come with this kind of climate, and the average temperature in July is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Knoxville receives an average of 48 inches of rain per year, and conditions are pretty wet in the spring and summer in particular.
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