Downtown Knoxville

More than the sum of its parts.
Reliable unpretentious. Unpredictably fun.

 

Defined by its historic buildings and independent spirit, Downtown Knoxville is made up of several distinct areas all in less than one square mile for easy navigation by foot, bike, scooter or trolley. To truly appreciate Downtown Knoxville is to explore them all.

Gay Street

Named a Top Ten Great Street by the American Planning Association (APA), Gay Street is the prime corridor of Downtown Knoxville. The ten blocks from the Gay Street Bridge to West Jackson Avenue are home to beautifully preserved architecture, a lively cultural scene, and a bevy of activity day or night. Catch a show at one of the two historic theaters, shop, dine or simply take in the undeniable beauty of the streetscape at dusk. 

Photo Credit: @refused743 Instagram

Market Square

Staying true to its roots as a hub for buying produce, Market Square is a destination for residents, downtown employees, and visitors alike. Independent restaurant and retail options flank the well-appointed square that is as beautiful as it is busy. Enjoy outdoor activities year round, including the Farmers’ Market, festivals, movies, concerts, Shakespeare, and yes, ice skating! One visit is all it will take to understand why it is recognized as one of the Great Public Spaces in America.

Photo Credit: @cafe_4

Old City

With a fascinatingly complex history, the Old City is thriving today as a creative hub for artists, photographers, designers and architects by day and a hotbed of entertainment for the young and young at heart by night. Take in the city’s most concentrated collection of restored Victorian buildings while enjoying local coffee, art galleries, shops, and an eclectic mix of dining options. You can even watch a blown glass demonstration while enjoying a local craft beer. Anything but cookie-cutter, the Old City superbly blends old with new.

Photo Credit: Tod Sheley

Volunteer Landing

Experience Downtown Knoxville’s waterfront up close and personal. Volunteer Landing’s seven-mile stretch along the Tennessee River provides the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll or daily jog. Take to the water on paddleboard, kayak, canoe or hydro-bike. Or, enjoy a dinner cruise. And, during the University of Tennessee’s home football weekends, the sights and sounds of Vol Navy – some 200 boats tethered together adjacent to Neyland Stadium – is something you won’t soon forget.

Photo Credit: Tennessee Valley Authority

World's Fair Park

The lush landscape, large lawns, water features, and walking trails make World’s Fair Park the perfect oasis in the heart of a bustling city. Whether you take in a festival or performance, play in the fountains or on the playground, exercise or sunbath, the park provides fun and relaxation for all ages. Head to the top of the 266-foot high Sunsphere for dramatic 360-degree views of the city.

Photo Credit: City of Knoxville