The Ultimate Weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee: How to Make the Most of 48 Hours

Picture this: you’ve got a weekend to spare and a hankering for some Southern charm, a dash of Appalachian beauty, and a sprinkle of urban excitement. Well, let me tell you, Knoxville, Tennessee, is your answer. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Tennessee Valley, with the Smoky Mountains as a backdrop, Knoxville is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. And guess what? I’ve got the inside scoop on how to make the most of those precious 48 hours.

Day 1: Dive into Downtown

Start your weekend in Knoxville with a hearty breakfast at the iconic Market Square. It’s the heart of the city, and there’s no better place to fuel up for the day. Try OliBea for a southern twist on morning classics. Their biscuits? To die for! 🤤

After breakfast, take a stroll around the square. On Saturdays, you might catch the Farmers’ Market, brimming with local produce and artisanal goodies. Then, pop into the East Tennessee History Center. It’s a treasure trove of the region’s past and the perfect primer for your Knoxville adventure.

Next up, art lovers will swoon over the Knoxville Museum of Art. It’s free, folks! And it showcases stunning works, especially the impressive Thorne Rooms. If you’re more into the performing arts, check out the Tennessee Theatre’s schedule. A matinee show in this restored 1920s palace is a real treat.

Day 1 Afternoon: Urban Wilderness and Culinary Delights

Feeling adventurous? Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a stone’s throw from downtown, offers trails for hiking and biking. The view from the top of the Sunsphere at World’s Fair Park is a must-see, too. It’s like you’re on top of the world, looking out over the city and beyond!

Worked up an appetite? Good, because it’s time to experience Knoxville’s culinary scene. For lunch, hit up Sweet P’s Barbeque and Soul House. Their smoked wings? Finger-lickin’ good. Then, take a leisurely walk along the Tennessee River at Volunteer Landing to help that BBQ settle.

As evening approaches, the Old City calls. This vibrant neighborhood is perfect for dinner and drinks. Savor Italian cuisine at Emilia or indulge in a craft cocktail at the speakeasy-style Peter Kern Library. The night is young, and in Knoxville, it’s always buzzing with energy.

Day 2: Nature and History

Day two, and it’s time to embrace the great outdoors. Ijams Nature Center is where it’s at. With over 300 acres to explore, you can hike, paddle, or simply enjoy the serenity. Don’t miss the Mead’s Quarry Lake; it’s a picture-perfect spot for a mid-morning break.

For lunch, head back to the city and grab a bite at Tomato Head. Their pizza? A slice of heaven. Then, it’s time to steep yourself in history at the Blount Mansion or James White’s Fort, where you’ll get a glimpse into Knoxville’s frontier days.

Wrap up your weekend with a visit to the Mabry-Hazen House. It’s not just a historic home; it’s a time capsule of Knoxville’s past. And if you’re lucky, you might catch one of their special events or reenactments.

Day 2 Evening: A Taste of Tennessee

As the sun sets on your Knoxville weekend, treat yourself to a southern-style dinner at The Plaid Apron. Their farm-to-table approach is the cherry on top of your culinary journey. And for dessert? Cruze Farm Ice Cream offers flavors that’ll make your taste buds dance.

Before you call it a night, take a leisurely cruise on the Star of Knoxville Riverboat. The Tennessee River at twilight is something magical, and it’s the perfect end to your ultimate weekend in Knoxville.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the best way to get around Knoxville?

    While downtown is walkable, you’ll want a car to explore further afield, like the Urban Wilderness. Rideshares and trolleys are also available.

  • Are there any good day trips from Knoxville?

    Absolutely! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a short drive away. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are also nearby and offer a plethora of attractions.

  • What should I pack for a weekend in Knoxville?

    Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Also, pack layers – the weather can be fickle. And don’t forget your camera; you’ll want to capture all the memories!


There you have it, a weekend in Knoxville packed with culture, history, outdoor fun, and culinary delights. From the vibrant energy of Market Square to the tranquil beauty of Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville is a city that truly has it all. Whether you’re a history buff, an art aficionado, or an outdoor enthusiast, this city will surprise and enchant you. And the food? Let’s just say your taste buds will be planning the next trip back before you even leave.

So, if you’re looking for a weekend getaway that combines the best of urban excitement and natural beauty, look no further than Knoxville, Tennessee. Trust me, it’s a place where every minute counts, and the memories last a lifetime. Now, go make the most of your 48 hours!

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.