1) Listen to live music at the Knoxville Visitor Center.
The WDVX Blue Plate Special radio show takes place on Saturdays at the Knoxville Visitor Center at noon. They have an eclectic variety of music and we were able to see the Quebe Sisters who are amazing fiddle performers. It’s definitely not our preferred genre of music, but we had a blast watching them play live!
Bonus: There is free parking at the visitor center on the weekends.
2) Stroll Through the Knoxville Farmers Market
This market is an open-air Farmers Market in Market Square in the heart of downtown Knoxville and a short walk from the visitor center. All of the vendors sell products that are made locally, right in the East Tennessee region. Market square is a great place to grab a bite to eat and watch the people strolling by. There are also interactive fountains that kids love to play in- it’s a great outing for the whole family.
3) Do an oil & vinegar tasting
A block away from Market Square, you’ll find The Tree and Vine, which is a cute little shop that offers free olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings. They have a very large selection of flavored oil and vinegar, like black truffle garlic oil or fig infused aged balsamic. It was hard not to buy a bottle of each!
4) Ride the free trolley
The Knoxville trolley is free public transportation with three different lines; blue, green and orange. You can easily maneuver around the city on the trolley to get almost anywhere in the downtown area. Plus it runs every 10 minutes, making it super convenient to use.
5) See stunning views of the city from the Sunsphere at World’s Fair Park
Built for the 1982 World’s Fair, the Sunsphere offers amazing 360-degree panoramic views of the city and World’s Fair Park. You can actually go up inside the gold ball to the 4th-floor observation deck, where you’ll find an exhibit detailing the history of the World’s Fair that took place in Knoxville in 1982.
6) Visit the Museum of Art
A short walk from the World’s Fair Park is the Museum of Art that offers free admission. The museum features local artists from the East Tennessee region as well as some more well-known works and traveling exhibits. There is also a permanent glass exhibit on display, which is the largest figural glass display in the world. On a hot day, the air conditioning and calm nature of the museum was a very welcome experience.
7) Check out the World’s Largest Rubik’s Cube
Introduced by Hungary at the 1982 World’s Fair and invented by Hungarian architect Dr. Erno Rubik, the world’s largest Rubik’s cube can be found in the downtown Holiday Inn. Go straight through the lobby to the back of the hotel to find the giant rotating cube.