by kim guerra
Tennessee Tourist Development
In just over two hours, you can find yourself in between the beautiful Cumberland Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains in Knoxville, Tennessee. Driving on the wonderful winding roads, through the lush greenery of the many wooded forests along the way from the airport you can’t help but breathe a little deeper as you smell the clean, crisp air.
This quaint, college town of just around 175,000, is the perfect getaway for a family. With beautiful backdrops, direct flights and ample year-round activities, choosing Knoxville as a new family vacation destination this summer is a smart choice for active kids.
There are over 5,236 acres of park and recreation space and over 60 miles of greenway and walking trails. The Zoological Gardens and Ijams Nature Center are definitely not to be missed. (The Zipline adventure at the Nature Center was my fave!) The Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Norris Dam State Park are within close proximity and offer a world of outdoor and historical opportunities.
So if you are looking for things to do with energetic offspring, you will have choices galore! Take a trip to Tennessee! I am sure you will not be disappointed.
- Stay close to World’s Fair Park and you are sure to be in the heart of it all
- Walk to Market Square park and stroll through the numerous local boutique & shops
- Choose from over 70 restaurants catering to every budget and taste
- Paddleboards, Kayaks or bikes can be rented to venture through the Urban Wilderness
- Visit the SunSphere, a remnant from the 1982 World’s Fair, a have a unique view of the city
- Include a Saturday in your visit and check out the Farmers Market at Market Square for local delectables and one of a kind items
- Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park – 877.859.5095
- Knoxvilel Marriott – 865.637.1234 www.marriott.com
- The Oliver Hotel – 865.521.0050 – www.theoliverhotel.com
SPOTLIGHT ON THE FOOD
One spot you will surely not want to miss is The French Market Creperie! If you love crepes, then this place is pure heaven for you!
With an extensive menu of both sweet & savory crepes to choose from, all palates will be satisfied. If you opt for a savory crepe, I highly recommend sampling an eclair with coffee. Divine! The French Market Creperie, 526 S. Gay Street, Knoxville,
SPOTLIGHT ON THE MUSIC
Love Country music? Bluegrass? Southern Rock? Then this is the town for you.
Visit the WDVX 89.9 fm studio for a taste of some of the Blue Plate Special with live performances daily during the lunch hour. Best part, it’s free! The venue is small, so be sure to get there early to snag a seat! WDVX, 301 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, www.wdvx.com
SPOTLIGHT ON FUN
- Outdoor Knoxville is a great place to start if you are looking for some outdoor fun.
Designed as a robust resource of information, the Outdoor Knoxville Center offers a great place to start when researching and booking your outdoor adventures. From here you can coordinate, hikes, bikes, paddleboards, kayaks or most nature activities
- Recommended activities:
- Ijams Nature Center Navitat Canopy Experience – Spend 2.5 hours zipping and navigating over bridges, swings, nets, through tunnels and more up in the trees! www.ijams.org
- Tennessee Valley Bike Mountain Bike Experience – Hit the trails! www.tnvalleybikes.com
- SUP 101 Stand up Paddleboarding – Navigate the local river! www.billylushboards.com
- Hiking Norris Dam State Park – Over 20 mi of trails to choose! www.tnstateparks.com
- Norris Paddling Adventures Kayaking on Lake Norris – www.facebook.com/norrispaddling
- Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains 750 miles of streams – www.nps.gov/grsm
SPOTLIGHT ON EDUCATION
Venture out and check out the numerous historical sites and museums to get a great understanding and appreciation of all this state has contributed to our rich history.
- Museum of the Appalachia – www.museumofappalachia.org
- Knoxville Museum of Art – wwwknoxart.org