Guys' Weekend in Downtown Knoxville
Hanging with the boys in Downtown Knoxville might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but hang on a minute – we just might convince you to ditch Las Vegas for your next guys' weekend. We have sports bars, cool arcades, southern BBQ, and whiskey tours that will make your trip one to remember... or not remember.
Start the day outdoors with a run through Downtown Knoxville’s streets and bridges. The historic architecture and genuine charm of every turn and alley will energize you as much as the endorphins from running. During the warmer months, you can end your run at Volunteer Landing to paddle-board out in the open water of the Tennessee River.
If you worked up a sweat, good... because it’s time to cool off with a cold one. When you visit Downtown Knoxville, you can’t miss Downtown Grill & Brewery, locally known as “DGB.” Their brewmaster brews their beer in the basement of the restaurant, but you’ll see the gleaming 15-barrel Bohemian brewhouse in their dining room. They serve their excellent beers with open-flame mesquite grilled steak, seafood, and chicken. Order the “White Mule Ale,” and ask about it’s history; it comes with a story of the rare animal that died onsite and cursed the building. That’s all we’ll say for now.
Downtown is full of local breweries and distilleries, in case you want to make an afternoon out of it. Two great beer stops are Balter Beerworks with it's outdoor campfire seating area, and Pretentious Beer with its beer served in hand-blown glasses designed to enhance each style of beer. Want to hit up all of them? Go on your very own adventure with Knox Brew Hub to explore all of Knoxville’s craft beer scene.
After lunch, explore arcades and gaming experiences on Gay Street. Start with friendly competition at TOPGOLF Swing Suite, where massive screens display virtual sports games and the best golf simulator tech in the world. Loser pays! Next up, play life-sized vintage board games in a cool atmosphere at Maple Room. If that’s not your thing, go downstairs to Maple Hall to bowl a few rounds in your own private room. Then it's off to Harrogate’s Lounge – and bring the quarters. Your hand will hurt by the time you beat the high score on the Pacman and Galaga machines. There are also darts, pool, foosball, and oh yeah, more craft beer.
Later in the afternoon, get lost in our city’s first (legal) distillery, Knox Whiskey Works. With their farmer and miller less than 30 minutes away, everything is East Tennessee through-and-through. For just $10, you can go behind-the-scenes to tour The Laboratory, where the magic happens. This also includes tastings of their whiskeys and gins as you learn about each flavor profile. Just don’t forget to take home a souvenir bottle of award-winning Old City Heirloom Corn Whiskey. With a much different vibe, head down the street to PostModern Spirits, a distillery designing liquors for the cocktail culture. Truly unique cocktails in their tasting room!
You won’t have to travel far for dinner with Sweet P’s BBQ Downtown Dive just a few hundred steps from both Knox Whiskey Works and PostModern. Their slow-smoked, chopped pork, smoke n’ soul chicken, and banana puddin’ had street cred long before it was featured by the Food Network, Condé Nast Traveler, and CNN. We recommend the BBQ Burrito, a smaller version of the famous El Gigante Burrito as seen on “Man v. Food.” Not feeling BBQ? Try Lonesome Dove, where they serve up wild game, Rabbit-Rattlesnake Sausage, and Elk-Foie Gras Sliders.
Again, you don’t have to go far for your last stop of the evening, just about a .1 mile walk to Pour Taproom, a self-serve taproom with 68 rotating taps. You can sample any beverage by the ounce, and you only pay by the ounce. Take your beer to their outdoor patio to drink below the Tennessee night sky or stay inside surrounded by an atmosphere that buzzes with friends, live music, and games. You literally could spend hours here trying all they have to offer. Too good to be true? We know, right.
After the weekend's gone,
Downtown Knoxville’s charm will leave you wanting more. So bring your guys for an epic weekend – and make memories that you'll laugh about for years to come.