Fall For Downtown Knoxville | 2022
Thinking about spending some time in Downtown Knoxville? Fall is the perfect season! College football Saturdays, pumpkin everything, crisp and cozy weather, and that "something special" Downtown vibe. Get lost in the falling orange leaves in Krutch Park and Volunteer Landing, or make your way to Market Square, the Old City, and Gay Street. All buzzing with excitement during this favorite season.
We're loving these things in Autumn 2022!
Best Places To Shop
The Downtown Knoxville retail and maker scene has exploded! With over 60 shops, there's bound to be many you haven't been to yet. In the Old City, check out Caroline Farris' endless chain, Pretentious Glass Co's handblown masterpieces, and the brand-new Bethie Lou's. On Gay Street, Paris Woodhull Illustrations just opened, as well as Addison's, a neat place to find old and rare books. And of course, throughout downtown you'll find staple retailers we've loved for years. Put on your walking shoes and have some fun!
Game Day in Downtown Knoxville
The heart of Downtown Knoxville is only about a mile from Neyland Stadium, so you can spend the day shopping for gameday gear, meeting visitors traveling through Market Square, or grabbing a bite to eat on Gay Street before or after the game. Knoxville was ranked as one of “College Football's Greatest College Towns” by Sports Illustrated, so you know this time of year is electric!
Speaking of gameday, what would a trip to Knoxville be without enjoying BBQ and tailgate food alongside a panoramic view of the river? All eyes are on TVs and UT football at Calhoun's on the River, whose ribs were once named “Best Ribs in America” during the National Rib Cook-Off in Cleveland, Ohio. Order plates of the Rocky Top Potato Skins, Pulled Pork Nachos, and Bacon Wrapped Beef Brisket Burnt Ends. Looking for more tailgate favorites? Try: Sweet P's BBQ, Pop Up Truck, and Tommy Trent's.
Concerts on the Square
Fall nights on Market Square are magical. Twinkling lights overhead, cool weather, and Jazz on the Square every Tuesday in September! Grab dinner on one of the patios and listen to brilliant musicians fill the Square. Lawn chairs and blankets are also encouraged to enjoy these free outdoor, family-friendly evenings. In addition to September Tuesdays, mark your calendars for variety concerts on September 15 and October 20!
Alice in Appalachia
Step into a fairytale when you visit Alice in Appalachia! The soon-to-open business on Market Square is divided into three unique experiences. “Down the Rabbit Hole” features a coffee, tea, and cocktail bar with cupcakes and finger sandwiches (think adult tea party). “The Mad Hatter Tea Room” provides a private event space for all your over-the-top celebrations. And “Through the Looking Glass” is a funky shopping experience with tea pots, mirrors, Mardi Gras masks, hats, jewelry, pottery, and so much more!
Everywhere you look — curiouser and curiouser.
Wicked Cool Halloween
Mark your calendars to experience the spooky season during the whole month of October in Downtown Knox! You'll feel a chill in the air—is that just the weather or is it the ghosts around every corner? We'll have some good old-fashioned wicked fun, including a costume photo contest, a calendar full of weird and wonderful events, spooky cocktails and frightful foods, and more wicked cool surprises in store. It’s gonna be a great Halloween — we can feel it in our bones! Mua-ha-ha!
Downtown Knoxville is host to many weekly and seasonal markets you don't want to miss! The Market Square Farmers' Market continues throughout the fall every Wednesday (10am-1pm) and Saturday (9am-1pm). It's always a fan-favorite. And mark your calendars for the Old City Market's first-ever Happy Hour Night Market on September 22 from 5-8pm, as well as their regular day markets the second Sunday of every month (11am-4pm). You can also shop the Sunday Social market every second Sunday with even more local artists and makers at Kaizen's beautiful patio on Jackson.
Celebrate the kick-off of PrideFest weekend with a 🌟 Nighttime Parade 🌟 on Gay Street on September 30 at 7pm! First time for PrideFest in the fall, first time for Pride Parade at night, and first time back since 2019 — this year promises to be the biggest and best yet. Continue celebrations throughout the weekend at World's Fair Park with music performances, food vendors, and more!
Seasonal Craft Beers
Put these fall flavors on your list: Wicked Harvest (seasonal) from Blackhorse Pub & Brewery with fall squash, brown sugar, and grandma’s pumpkin pie spice; State Street Stout from Downtown Grill & Brewery, a creamy brew bursting with the flavor of dark roasted grains; and the seasonal brew from Balter Beerworks that always proves to be extra delicious when enjoyed by the toasty firepit. Explore more below!
Sipping on warm spices from one of more than a dozen places to grab coffee and tea sounds like a great way to kick off the cooler weather. Cozy up with Awaken's Downtown Spice Latte, a vanilla and pumpkin coffee topped with toasted marshmallows that give it a subtle smokiness. And, try K Brew's fan-favorite Pumpkin Pie Latte, which is oh-so decadent! For a more traditional fall drink, taste Mahalo's rich and creamy pumpkin spice latte.
Pumpkins for Everyone
'Tis the season for pumpkin everything—and we can't wait for all of these! Whether or not you're a fan of the squash, you'll find many of these treats interesting: pumpkin and brown butter swirl ice cream from Cruze Farm, pumpkin spice popcorn from Proper Popcorn, pumpkin walnut fudge from Kilwins, and pumpkin pie lattes from K Brew. Plus, glass art from Pretentious Glass and pumpkin spice sugar scrub from Knoxville Soap Candle & Gifts. We might make you a believer yet.
The cooler weather is a match made in heaven with outdoor dining, and we have over 50 Downtown Knoxville patios for you to explore! Whether you're unwinding after work during happy hour, grabbing dinner with friends, or sharing a romantic night out with your partner, there's nothing like enjoying a meal in the fall air. Pictured here is Babalu, perfect for lunch, dinner, brunch, or cocktails to celebrate the season!
Discover Downtown's Speakeasy
If you're walking through Downtown Knoxville at night, you may notice a single red light down the alley beside The Oliver Hotel. That's the city's original speakeasy — Peter Kern Library. Once a well-kept secret, the bar is now a beloved institution with a warm ambiance of dark wood, a cozy fireplace, rows of books, and cocktails named after literary characters. Try one of their cozy cocktails, the Lamont Cranston with aged rum, milk, simple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Sunset From a Rooftop
The Great Smoky Mountains are just gorgeous from rooftop bars, and times that by ten when the leaves turn golden yellow, bright orange, and fiery red. Each of Downtown's rooftops offer unique atmospheres for different tastes. Radius Rooftop Lounge boasts a pool and lounge area perfect for a sunset cocktail, and after dark, the music turns up a notch. Five Thirty Lounge is a swanky indoor/outdoor bar with delightful cocktails and tasty small bites. And the rooftops of Market Square — Pres Pub and Bernadette's — are eclectic, colorful, and full of personality.