If you’ve never held a meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee or it’s been years since you last were here, then your attendees are in for a fun and exciting adventure when the business is over! Situated in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Knoxville offers a plethora of outdoor activities, but also boasts a community thriving with arts and culture venues, renovated buildings and an impressive mix of shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural activities, and nowhere is that more obvious than in downtown.
The Heart of Knoxville
The heart of Knoxville is Market Square, which serves as the hub of downtown. It’s been in existence since 1854 and has always served as a market area to Knoxville. Today, shops and restaurants line the square and it is always bustling with activity. Every Wednesday and Saturday from May to November there is an extraordinary Farmer’s Market, followed by First Friday celebrations each month, as well as other special festivals throughout the year, including the International Biscuit Festival and First Night.
My Four Must-Do Knoxville Experiences
And since no one knows what the locals know…I personally recommend tapping into these four activities to get a true taste of Knoxville:
- For arts and culture, one experience you can’t miss is the Tennessee Theatre. An original movie palace back in late 1920s, the Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the Register of Historic Places. The theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace and went through a massive restoration in 2003. Its stunning beauty and incredible acoustics has made the Theatre the region’s leading performing arts center with advanced technology, staging and lighting that draws leading entertainers to the Knoxville area.
- For shopping, Mast General Store is known in the south to carry everything “from cradles to caskets”. They really do have a little bit of everything. Kids will enjoy the candy barrels while mom and dad can browse local wares, outdoor clothing and camping equipment.
- If you’re in the mood for some libations, the Blue Slip Winery is Tennessee’s only urban winery. Blue Slip offers fruit-based wines with strawberries, blueberries and muscadines.
- Even the Knoxville Visitor Center gets in on the action with live Americana and Bluegrass music each day around noon provided by the in-house radio station WDVX. Also unique, is the Coop Café located in the visitor center that provides sandwiches, soup and salads.
A Walkable, Centralized, Easy to Navigate Meeting’s Landscape
The first thing meeting attendees notice about Knoxville is that our city has a very walkable downtown, and visitors can easily access downtown shopping and restaurants because of the close proximity to hotels, meeting venues, and the Knoxville Convention Center.
The Knoxville Convention Center (KCC) is the cornerstone of the city’s meeting venues. With the beauty of the 500,000 square-foot convention center and the rocking chairs looking over World’s Fair Park, the KCC is truly an authentic and relaxing meeting space. The KCC is also going green. Over the last several years, the convention center has installed a solar panels system on its roof to generate renewable energy for the area, planted a garden and promoted the Farm to Table concept, and many other initiatives as part of a sustainable program to improve the surrounding environment.
You can select from more than 1,500 hotel rooms downtown and more than 8,000 throughout Knox County. Is a bed and breakfast, extended stay or campground more your style? We’ve got that too! Also, don’t forget that the city’s vibe changes considerably when The University of Tennessee at Knoxville hosts a football game. So, make sure to book your accommodations in advance when traveling to Knoxville in the fall months.
Something New To Talk About
If you have attendees who insist on getting physical, many recreation enthusiasts are taking advantage of the new Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center. Located on the Tennessee River at Volunteer Landing, the Adventure Center is home to the Legacy Parks Foundation and RiverSports Outfitters. Rent a bike or kayak, and enjoy an incredible day exploring the mountains and rivers of East Tennessee.
A Very Helpful and Free Transportation Tip
You may not know Knoxville offers a free trolley system downtown and parking after 6:00 p.m. is free-every day of the week! Knoxville also offers heritage tours, ghosts tours, tours of historic homes and lots more.
In the end, Knoxville offers you, as a planner, a wonderfully diverse mix of big-city amenities that are all delivered with small-town hospitality. All of us at the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation are committed to making your meeting a success in our destination and to help you every step of the way.
For more information about Knoxville visit www.knoxville.org