A weekend on the town does not have to come with a high price tag. Armed with a little knowledge about the options available in Knoxville, you can play a full weekend away with a low budget and an extra high level of fun.
After the work week is over, you’re ready to take on the weekend with revived energy Saturday morning. The city awaits! Wake up, grab your favorite shades and head downtown. There are hundreds of free parking spots which gets your thrifty weekend off on the right foot. Now go where the weekend takes you.
Market Square Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday from May 2 to November 17, 9am-2pm, this open-air farmers’ market fills Market Square with local vendors selling produce, honey, herbs, baked goods, artisan crafts, plants and so much more. Start your weekend with friendly faces and the treat of your choice, whether it’s a hot cup of coffee or homemade ice cream. Price tag – up to you.
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve come to the right city. In the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame you can test your skills on the court. Race through a timed dribbling exercise and, of course, learn about the greats of women’s basketball. No penalty shot to the purse here, admission for adults is only $7.95.
World’s Fair Park
Knoxville hosted the World’s Fair in 1982. Fun fact, the expo theme was “Energy Turns the World”. To commemorate the occasion, the city built the Sunsphere, a staple in the Knoxville skyline. Visit the park to run through the fountains and lie on the grass. Ride the elevator to the observation deck of the Sunsphere, and take in a 360 degree view of the city. See The East Tennessee Veterans Memorial, and walk to Volunteer Landing for a stroll along the waterfront. A full afternoon of exploration, zero money spent.
Ijams Nature Center
Ijams is a 300-acre greenspace with over 12 miles of natural surface trails. Pick up a trail map at the visitor center – only $1 – and experience everything Ijams has to offer. Ijams’ “Must See and Do” suggestions include: rent a canoe or paddleboard at Mead’s Quarry, hike to the Keyhole at Historic Ross Marble, and visit the River Boardwalk. They host a range of special events throughout the summer. Enjoy Movies Under the Stars or Nature at Night sunset strolls. If you love beautiful landscape and exploration, you’ll be right at home at Ijams.
Summer Movie Magic at the Tennessee Theater
Jazz up your summer movie experience with the 20th Annual Summer Movie Magic lineup. See the glow of the marquee lights, hear the Mighty Wurlitzer organ fill the theater, and enjoy a timeless film in classic style. Tickets are $9 for adults – a steal for film and atmosphere.
Knoxville Art Museum
Enjoy a celebration of art and artists of East Tennessee with the beautifully curated collection in the Knoxville Art Museum. With free parking and free general admission to the museum, you can soak in a cultural experience without spending. Now add music! For just $10, you can enjoy a concert in the museum during their summer series of Alive After Five. Shows are from 6:00-8:30pm and food vendors attend so you can enjoy dinner and a show.
Whether you pick specific destinations or see where the day leads you, the best way to have fun is to explore. Choose to walk or rent one of the many public bicycles available downtown and make your own city tour.
Start in Market Square. Pick a brunch spot then explore local boutiques. Nothing Too Fancy has the novelty Knoxville item you’re looking for. Turn the corner and travel down Gay Street. Play an arcade game at Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern, and enjoy an old-fashion sundae at The Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain.
Head to Central Street. Window watch the team at Pretentious Glass Company blow colorful glass art. Keep your energy up with a delicious cup of coffee from Old City Java, and turn onto Jackson Avenue. You’ll be met with great places to eat, drink or shop at every corner. Knoxville showcases beautiful scenery, rich historic architecture, delicious local vendors and sidewalks ready to lead you there. Taking a home a souvenir from Knoxville isn’t about spending money – although you’ll love the local shopping – it’s about making great memories.
End it right. When you circle back to Market Square, relax on the rooftop of Preservation Pub or Scruffy City Hall and look out over the square. Enjoy!