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What to Do on a Weekend Trip to Knoxville

Weekend Trip

Planning a weekend trip to the city of Knoxville, Tennessee? Here are our recommendations for the local attractions you simply cannot miss.

Take a Leisurely Stroll in the Shadow of the Sunsphere

Erected as the centerpiece of the 1982 World’s Fair, the Sunsphere is an iconic architectural marvel, a 75-foot gold-colored glass sphere atop a 266-foot-tower. Today, the Sunsphere continues to stand vigil over the fairgrounds, now a beautiful public park stretching across 10 acres of downtown Knoxville real estate.

Visitors can stroll the paved walking trails, have a family picnic, attend a live music festival, frolic in the fountains, bring their kids to the year-round playground area, or even take in the stunning view from the Sunsphere’s fourth-floor observation deck.

Enjoy Live Entertainment in Style at the Tennessee Theatre

The Tennessee Theatre originally opened as a “movie palace” in 1928, back when going out to see a film wasn’t just a way to kill time; it was an event. Though the venue still hosts movie screenings from time to time, it has since branched out to become one of Knoxville’s most popular destinations for live performances such as rock concerts and Broadway shows.

It is also the official home of both the Knoxville Opera and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Best of all, though, it has retained its 1920s splendor, boasting Czech crystal chandeliers, Italian terrazzo marble floors, and Asian-style drapery and carpets.

Take a Trip Back in Time at Downtown’s Historic “Old City”

A perfect marriage between the old and the new, Knoxville’s historic “Old City” district isn’t just a gorgeously preserved example of centuries-old architecture; it’s also a burgeoning hotspot for regional artists and artisans.

Dubbed “Knoxville’s independent alternative,” the area is home to a number of locally owned and operated businesses, including art galleries, coffee houses, boutique stores, and live music venues. Here, the best and brightest from Knoxville’s underground community of creatives showcase their diverse talent to the delight and entertainment of tourists and natives alike.

See the Countryside While Riding the Three Rivers Rambler

After a long day exploring Knoxville’s many unique shops, restaurants, and attractions, visitors might want to sit back and take a load off. There’s no better way to do that than with a ride on the Three Rivers Rambler, a steam train still operating with 19th century parts and equipment.

Riding the Three Rivers Rambler is an unforgettable experience, both because of its novelty as a living relic and because of its journey, which takes visitors through Knoxville’s surrounding farmland and past several historic locations, including the site of the first area settlement and the Three Rivers Trestle, where the French, Broad and Holston Rivers unite to become the Tennessee River.

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