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Valentine's Day Like Never Before | 2021

Downtown Knoxville is the center of our city. The beating heart. So we're kicking off Valentine's early! February 1 through Valentine's weekend, celebrate with partners, friends, and family. You'll find blocks of heart art and vibrant red and pink murals, insta-worthy takeout meals, the best local gifts, awe-inspiring architecture, and experiences you won't soon forget.


Taste Decadent Chocolates

From fancy desserts to take-home candies, Downtown's chocolate game is strong! 💪 Try Emilia's decadent Dark Chocolate Sorbetto, Lonesome Dove's rich Ancho Chile Chocolate Cake, tasty chocolate cocktails from PoMo, and the Drawing Room's Ultimate Chocolate Cake...which is more than enough for two to share. Coffee & Chocolate spreads love with heart-shaped hand-painted chocolate treats, while Ham'n Goodys & Kilwins have you covered with chocolate-covered strawberries. Whether you're with friends or your partner, journey through the sweet side of things. 🍫

Photo Credit: Lonesome Dove

Write a Love Letter

Share what you love most about the people, places, and things of Knoxville! Write a love letter to your favorite local business, to the festival you're missing, or to the bartender who knows your name. We’ll do our best to deliver your sweet messages to the right places and people, we'll share your words of affection on social media, and we'll all have a little more love in our hearts as a result. Download this Love-Themed Coloring Page to get started, create your own special Valentine design, or just write a quick note. Drop your message electronically or in the I LOVE KNOX mailbox hand-painted by Paris Woodhull located on Market Square (by the bell on Union Ave) between February 1-14. ♥️

Stroll Through the Grove's Romantic Lights

The Grove's red-and-white wrapped oak trees will continue to light up Market Square through Valentine's Day, creating a magical experience. Plus, Krutch Park's dazzling trees are still wrapped in white sparkling lights. Stroll through the Square and take a moment in the Park. It's an awe-inspiring experience in a safe, outdoor environment. ✨

Photo Credit: @alliebuoniphoto

Browse the Special Valentine's Art

Downtown will transform into a Valentine dream with new photo ops hitting the streets! First stop: the Downtown Knoxville seasonal mural with a makeover! Pink and red hearts now adorn the winter scene. You can find this mural at the end of Strong Alley, right next to Coffee & Chocolate. Then, head to another alley beside the Oliver Hotel to snap a pic in front of the gorgeous new "Old Soul, Young Heart" red rose mural by artist Megan Lingerfelt. Steps away, you'll find a larger-than-life "Follow Your Heart" Valentine's message at the Knoxville Chamber on Market Square created by artist David Holland. Beautiful storefronts and streetscapes add to the charm of a Downtown Knoxville stroll.

Photo Credit: @tracimreed

Embrace the Heart Sculpture

After snapping some pictures in front of murals, head to Krutch Park for the belle of the ball. The Heart Sculpture has been a part Dogwood Arts' Art in Public Places Installation for several months, and now, it's stepping into its moment to shine! 💖 Sitting right in the center of Downtown, this silver and red heart will by illumiated 24/7, creating an insta-worthy spot for photos and some great people-watching.

Photo Credit: @sararengifo

Give a Special Gift

This Valentine's Day will be one to remember with a gift from a local Downtown shop. We've created a Valentine's Gift Guide with ideas for everyone, and at all price points. Since the day is about sharing love, you can give a special gift to more than just your beau or belle. Maybe it's a gift to your neighbor who needs a pick-me-up, maybe it's a "thank you" to a healthcare worker you know, and maybe it's a creative greeting card that says it all. Buying a gift supports local businesses, so you're giving in more ways than one. 🎁

Dine In With Takeout

Light the candles, set the table, and run to Downtown Knoxville to pick up a decadent dinner to-go. Or better yet, get it delivered! Nothing sets the mood like a romantic, gourmet meal with bottled cocktails or wine. After dinner, watch a movie, play a board game, or reminisce over past Valentine's together. We've rounded up 18 Date Night Spots for Takeout to make it a weekend to remember. And if you're with the crew celebrating Galentine's, check out these Girls' Night In takeout options.

Photo Credit: @alisonweakleyphotography

Dine In With Reservations

Dining out may be different this year, but an intimate meal can still be the best way to win over someone special. Some of our favorite gourmet dining spots can help you plan an enchanted night out, and keep the romance going from now through Valentine’s weekend and beyond. Explore restaurants accepting reservations, those offering Valentine's specials, and sweet treats to cap the night off.

Photo Credit: Lonesome Dove

Make a Signature Couple's Cocktail

What's Valentine's Day without spirits? Make this year all about the cocktails. Browse PostModern Spirits and Knox Whiskey Works Cocktail Recipes for inspiration. View their selection of bottled liquors, call to pick up curbside, and make your own Signature Cocktail at home! The Festivity Fizz, pictured here, features Jackson Ave Gin, Fleur de Vie, Cranberry Juice, Ginger Beer, Fresh Lime, and a Sugared Cranberry garnish. If you're more into wine, both Corks Wine & Spirits and Downtown Wine + Spirits deliver! Plus, call your favorite Downtown restaurant or bar for bottled cocktails to-go!

Photo Credit: Knox Whiskey

Go on a Day Date

The Nourish Knoxville's Winter Farmers’ Market is held outdoors at Mary Costa Plaza (Knoxville Civic Auditorium-Coliseum) every Saturday from 11am-1pm. Take your partner on a local day date to shop for Valentine's Night dinner! Browse the pasture-raised meats, eggs, winter produce, honey, and baked goods, and then plan your menu for the night. Don't leave without flowers!

Photo Credit: @nourishmarkets

Say It In Lights

Thinking about popping the big question? What about sending a sweet shoutout to your favorite person? You can put your special message on the Tennessee Theatre's marquee or the Bijou Theatre's sign! 💡 Not only will you make someone feel extra special, you'll also send love to Downtown's historic theatres, since your rental fee will help support them during these hard times. Say it in lights at the Tennessee Theatre or Bijou Theatre today!

Photo Credit: @gregmac13

Treat Yourself

Want to spend Valentine's Day with "me, myself, and I?" Treat yourself! Try Wake Foot Sanctuary's XOXO Package with a decadent foot soak swirled with lemon, lavender, and a nourishing pink clay blend, 40 minutes of massage, a signature tea service and chocolates. After enjoying a long soak, head to Lox Salon or the The Nail Room for a stylish medi/pedi, and end your spa day at Meadowsweet with a 60-minute Relaxation Massage. Valentine's Day never felt so good!

Photo Credit: Wake Foot Sanctuary

Be COVID-19 Safe

More than anything, share the love this Valentine's Day by being COVID-19 safe. Downtown Knoxville businesses are doing their part to follow safety precautions and guidelines, so that you can continue to experience these unique spots we locals know and love. We appreciate now – more than ever – what you are doing to help keep these businesses open. Please continue to: Practice Physical Distancing, Wear Cloth Masks, Wash Your Hands, Clean and Sanitize Surfaces, and Stay Home if You're Sick.

We love our downtown businesses, restaurants, and retailers, so we thank you for doing your part to help keep them open.

Share Your Photos

We want to see those memories you're making during Valentine's Weekend in Downtown Knoxville! Show us your photos in front of murals, heart art, the Grove and throughout Downtown, plus your at-home takeout meals over candlelight, and the flowers, chocolates, and gifts you've given and received.

Use the hashtag #LoveDowntownKnox. You can also upload photos here.

Photo Credit: @claire.martin515