Knoxville Attractions: The 10 Best Tourist Attractions In Knoxville

Knoxville, nestled in the heart of Tennessee, is a vibrant city that often flies under the radar when it comes to tourist destinations. Yet, those who’ve had the pleasure of visiting will tell you it’s a hidden gem brimming with Southern charm and an array of attractions that cater to all ages and interests. From the iconic Sunsphere to the tranquil beauty of the Knoxville Botanical Garden, there’s no shortage of sights to explore. Let’s dive into the top 10 attractions that make Knoxville a must-visit spot on your travel itinerary.

1. Sunsphere: Knoxville’s Shining Beacon

The Sunsphere, a towering symbol from the 1982 World’s Fair, offers a panoramic view of the city. Its golden globe glimmers in the sunlight, beckoning visitors to take a closer look. Once you’re up there, the observation deck provides a 360-degree view that’s simply breathtaking. It’s not just a feast for the eyes; it’s a piece of history that stands tall, reminding locals and tourists alike of Knoxville’s place on the world stage.

2. World’s Fair Park: A Legacy of Fun

Right at the foot of the Sunsphere lies the World’s Fair Park, a sprawling green space that’s perfect for a family day out. The park is dotted with fountains, which in the summer months become a playground for kids to splash around. It’s also home to festivals and concerts throughout the year, making it a hub of activity and a testament to the city’s love for community gatherings.

3. Knoxville Zoo: A Wild Encounter

Animal lovers, rejoice! The Knoxville Zoo, or Zoo Knoxville as it’s now known, is a sanctuary for wildlife and a center for conservation efforts. With a wide variety of species, from the majestic African elephants to the playful red pandas, the zoo offers an up-close look at the animal kingdom. It’s an educational adventure where you can learn about the importance of protecting these creatures and their habitats.

4. Market Square: The Heart of Knoxville

Market Square is the city’s social center, where locals and tourists mingle among artisan shops and eateries. The square hosts a farmer’s market that’s a feast for the senses, with fresh produce and homemade goods. It’s a place where you can grab a bite, shop for unique gifts, and soak in the local culture, all in one charming location.

5. Tennessee Theatre: A Cultural Jewel

Step into the Tennessee Theatre and you’ll be transported to a bygone era. This historic venue is a masterpiece of decor, with its opulent interior and grand stage. It’s not just about the aesthetics, though. The theatre is a cultural hub, showcasing everything from Broadway shows to live music performances. It’s a place where the arts come alive, enchanting audiences night after night.

6. Ijams Nature Center: A Natural Oasis

Just a stone’s throw from downtown, Ijams Nature Center is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With miles of trails, rock formations, and serene waterways, it’s a place where nature’s beauty is on full display. Whether you’re hiking, bird-watching, or simply enjoying a picnic, Ijams offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

7. Knoxville Museum of Art: A Visual Feast

Art aficionados will find their bliss at the Knoxville Museum of Art. The museum showcases a stunning collection of works, with a special focus on artists from the Southern Appalachian region. It’s a Celebration of creativity that spans various mediums, ensuring there’s something to captivate every visitor’s imagination.

8. East Tennessee History Center: A Trip Back in Time

History buffs will be in their element at the East Tennessee History Center. The center offers a deep dive into the region’s past, with exhibits that tell the stories of its people and events that shaped the area. It’s an enlightening journey through time that helps you connect with Knoxville’s roots and understand the forces that have shaped it.

9. Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum: A Horticultural Haven

The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is a lush paradise that spans over 47 acres. With beautifully landscaped gardens and walking trails, it’s a place where you can appreciate the artistry of gardening and the diversity of plant life. It’s a tranquil spot for a leisurely stroll or a moment of reflection amidst the beauty of nature.

10. Navitat Canopy Adventures: An Adrenaline Rush

For those seeking a thrill, Navitat Canopy Adventures offers an exhilarating treetop experience. Zip lines and rope bridges provide a unique way to explore the area’s natural beauty from above. It’s an adventure that combines fun with a dose of adrenaline, all while being surrounded by the great outdoors.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Knoxville?

    Spring and fall offer mild weather and beautiful foliage, making them ideal times to visit Knoxville’s outdoor attractions.

  • Are there any free attractions in Knoxville?

    Absolutely! Many of Knoxville’s attractions, like the Sunsphere and World’s Fair Park, are free to the public.

  • Is Knoxville family-friendly?

    Knoxville is very family-friendly, with attractions like the zoo, nature centers, and parks that cater to all ages.


Knoxville is a city that may not always make the headlines, but it’s one that certainly knows how to leave an impression. With its blend of historical landmarks, natural beauty, and cultural richness, it offers a diverse range of attractions that are sure to delight any traveler. Whether you’re soaking in the views from the Sunsphere, enjoying a play at the Tennessee Theatre, or exploring the great outdoors at Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville has a way of capturing hearts. It’s a city where every visit is unique, and each attraction tells a different story. So, pack your bags and set your sights on Knoxville – a city that’s waiting to be explored.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.