Knoxville Essentials

Looking for the quintessential Knoxville, the one locals know and love? Here's a quick road map to some of the city's best-kept secrets.

Knoxville's lively Market Square is a great place to people watch. Julian Wood, Tennessee Journalist

Entertainment Essentials: Best Places to...


Fountain City Duck Pond and Park
117 Hotel Rd.
Cap off your day with freshly made ice cream from the Fountain City Creamery, adjacent to the park.

Fort Kid/World’s Fair Park
1060 Worlds Fair Park Dr.
Interactive water fountains for kids to splash in are open from mid-March to late October.


Market Square
Downtown Knoxville
Many restaurants and nightspots around this central square have patio seating so you can see and be seen. Establishments include Tomato Head, La Costa, Preservation Pub, Oodles/Uncorked and World Grotto.


The Valarium
1213 Western Ave.
This venue, located in an old warehouse near downtown, features a big variety of bands and plenty of parking. But mind your manners, because the security staff has a reputation for roughness. Also, get your driving directions from the website -- GPS locators and MapQuest can’t follow Western Avenue’s bi-level setup.


Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Calendar and performance venues at

Knoxville Choral Society
Calendar and performance venues at
To get the most bang for your buck, see these two premier arts programs perform together at the popular Clayton Holiday Concerts in December.


First Friday Art Walk
Free "crawl" of art galleries and shops through downtown Knoxville, Market Square District, Gay Street and the Old City on the first Friday of each month.

University of Tennessee Trial Gardens and Arboretum
Trial Gardens: Chapman Dr. off Joe Johnson Dr. University of Tennessee Agricultural Campus
Arboretum/Oak Ridge Forest: 901 S. Illinois Ave., Oak Ridge
Self-guided tours and walking trails; free gardening seminars and guided tours are also available at the trial gardens.

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