Get our Insider's Guide to Downtown Knoxville delivered straight to your inbox. We promise to send you only the good stuff.

Things To Do in Downtown Knoxville | Spring 2023

Knoxville's downtown district blooms with festivals, outdoor dining, and markets to make the most of longer days and sunny weather. Here are 10 must-do things this spring in Downtown Knoxville!


1. Festivals, Festivals, Festivals.


It's kinda our thing! Visit Downtown Knoxville for music festivals, art festivals, street fairs, brewfests, free music on Market Square, and even Rhinestone Fest to celebrate all things Dolly Parton! Yep, it's a real thing (we dress up like Dolly, enjoy coffees inspired by her songs, and celebrate the Queen of East Tennessee). Visit our Spring Events Guide for a full lineup of festivals and events.




2. Outdoor Patios


In our (not-so-humble) opinion, Downtown Knoxville has the best patio scene in the south with 60+ patios and rooftops. Around every corner, you'll find Parisian-style patios, cozy coffee spots, large lawns for fun and games – every type of patio for any time of day. Many are pet-friendly, so your four-legged companion can enjoy the nice weather and people-watching too. Explore!




3. Explore the 5 Districts of Downtown Knoxville


Downtown Knoxville is made up of 5 distinct areas all in less than one square mile for easy navigation by foot, bike, scooter or trolley. Slow down and witness historic architecture in the Old City. Walk down art-filled alleys and through parks with new spring blooms around Market Square. Picnic in green spaces at World's Fair Park. Bike ride down Volunteer Landing and snap a picture at the Bicycle Arch (Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center). And of course, there's the always buzzing Gay Street filled with shops and restuarants. Get out and explore...and don’t forget your camera!




4. Celebrate 20 Years of the Market Square Farmers' Market


The vibrant Market Square Farmers' Market is turning 20 in 2023. We'll be celebrating these two delicious decades beginning in May with some market-inspired fun, a scavenger hunt, and so much more. The iconic open-air market brings fresh produce, plants, and artisan crafts to Market Square every Wednesday and Saturday from May 3 – November 18, 2023.




5. Hello, Old City Night Markets!


The Old City Market is going to have more markets and vendors than ever before! Jackson Ave turns into a curated street market where creative makers sell handmade seasonal décor, spring-inspired jewelry, and gourmet foods. Day markets will be every 2nd Sunday and night markets will be every 4th Thursday.




6. Spring-y Teas, Lattes & Lemonades


Pop in one of Downtown Knoxville's local coffee shops for a perfect springtime drink, like Awaken's rose latte, Old City Java's iced mint matcha, Hello Tea House's cheese foam fruit tea slush, or the French Market's sparkling blackberry lemonade. Every coffee shop and café has something deliciously refreshing for the season.




7. Conquer These Best Brunch Spots


There's no lack of delicious brunch options in Downtown Knoxville! We've rounded up a list of restaurants that have brunch-specific menus for when you're craving chicken & waffles, huevos rancheros, egg benedicts, mimosas, and more. 




8. Springtime Cocktails


Downtown Knoxville is mixing up delicious libations for spring. They run the gamut, from fun + flirty to crisp + refreshing. Expect floral gin & tonics, frozen tropical drinks, peach-flavored beverages, and more! Enjoy a new drink in an underground bar, speakeasy, rooftop, patio, or one of downtown's many cocktail-forward restaurants!




9. New Wardrobe For A New Season


It's beautiful weather to walk the streets of Downtown Knoxville and stop in dozens of retailers for clothes, shoes, accessories, home decor and souvenirs. You'll find locally-owned boutiques with the latest trends, artist-owned jewelry stores, custom menswear stores, and many more unique businesses. Put on your walking shoes and pop in a new store this year!




10. Raise a Glass on a Rooftop


Take advantage of spring forward's long days with a trip to the top of Downtown Knoxville. Sunsets + views from Bernadette's, Five Thirty Lounge, and Radius Rooftop Lounge are breathtaking. Plus, their craft cocktails aren't too bad either. 😍