Top Attractions for First-Timers

Downtown Knoxville

Knoxville’s revitalized downtown has something for everyone. History buffs will enjoy Market Square and its iconic Krutch Park clock tower. For art lovers, the Emporium Center showcases work by local artists and hosts cultural events. Sporting events, concerts and festivals fill up much of downtown, with venues like Thompson-Boling Arena and the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. Market Square serves as downtown’s central hub. Surrounded by restaurants and shops, it often hosts concerts, markets and other happenings. Don’t miss the famous “Bird Cage” elevator inside the Holston building. Built in 1898, it’s one of few remaining operational birdcage elevators in the country.

The University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee’s flagship campus provides plenty to see. UT’s Torchbearer statue, Ayres Hall and Circle Park are iconic spots for photos. Visit the historic James Agee home on campus, tour the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture or catch a volleyball game at Thompson-Boling Arena. For family fun, join public swim times at the Student Aquatic Center. Hang out with exotic animals at the Cherokee Farm Zoo. Shop for UT memorabilia at one of several campus stores. With so much orange pride, you’re bound to have a great time on Rocky Top.

Ijams Nature Center

Escape the city and enjoy Knoxville’s natural side at Ijams Nature Center. Spanning 315 acres along the Tennessee River, it features hiking and biking trails, a rock quarry for climbing, meadows and forests to explore. Inside the LEED-certified visitor center, interactive exhibits highlight East Tennessee’s ecology. Attend a bird walk, wildflower hike or stargazing program led by knowledgeable naturalists. Kayak rentals let you paddle the river or tranquil quarry lake. With so much natural beauty, Ijams Nature Center is an ideal outdoor getaway.

Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Calling all basketball fans – the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame is a must-visit. Located downtown, this two-story museum chronicles the history of women’s hoops from its humble origins to the popular sport it is today. Interactive exhibits, films and memorabilia cover the ABL, WNBA, college basketball and more. Famous inductees like Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes and Pat Summitt are profiled in detail. Make a day of it, catch a Hoophall game outdoors and shoot some hoops yourself at the hall’s indoor court.

Knoxville Museum of Art

For art connoisseurs, the Knoxville Museum of Art is a downtown gem. Its permanent collection holds everything from antique furniture to contemporary paintings and photographs. Special exhibitions rotate in traveling shows and pop culture icons – past themes include superheroes and sneaker culture. Don’t miss the KMA’s “Color Field” installation, a captivating LED light display on the museum’s exterior at night. Docent-led tours are available to enhance your experience.

Knoxville Zoo

Kids and adults alike will enjoy a day at the Knoxville Zoo. Named one of America’s best small zoos, it’s home to over 500 animals. Say hello to playful primates in the chimpanzee habitat. Check out the new tiger overlook for an up-close view of magnificent big cats. Interactive exhibits like the reptile house and touch tank provide hands-on learning. Ride the train or carousel, grab a bite at the cafe and make memories to last a lifetime.

Knoxville Chocolate Company

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Knoxville Chocolate Company, a must-visit for chocolate lovers. This locally-owned shop creates artisan chocolates, confections and pastries using high-quality ingredients. Watch skilled chocolatiers handcrafting treats behind a glass wall. Sample unique flavors like habanero caramel or chocolate lavender. Build your own box of chocolates from their selection of delectable fillings. Knoxville Chocolate Company also serves coffee drinks, milkshakes and ice cream for the ultimate indulgence. Don’t miss their chocolate-making classes if you want an inside look at production. This beloved local business makes a delicious stop to savor Knoxville’s sweeter side. Your taste buds will thank you.

How to Get Around Knoxville

Getting around Knoxville is easy thanks to various transportation options. Consider buses, taxis, rideshares or charter buses based on your group size and convenience preferences.

Public Transportation

Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) operates an affordable citywide bus system. Buses generally run from 5am to midnight daily, with reduced hours on weekends. Some routes only operate on weekdays. The main transfer station is located downtown at the Knoxville Station transit center. While the bus provides an economical way to get around, trips can take time due to frequent stops. Visitors may prefer more direct transportation like taxis or TNCs. Check routes carefully to ensure service is available when and where you need it.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis are readily available at hotels, the airport and other tourist hubs. With rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, you simply request a pickup through the mobile app. Fares vary but are generally more expensive than public bus service. The convenience of door-to-door trips makes cabs and rideshares a popular choice, especially for airport transfers or nights out.

Charter Buses

For group travel, charter buses are the way to go. Charter services provide a private coach bus and experienced team for your customized trip. Coaches carry 20-60 passengers with amenities like A/C, WiFi, power outlets and restrooms on board. No need to stress about directions or parking – our team handles everything! Charter buses work great for events, airport transfers, college visits and group tours. You control the schedule with direct pickup and drop-off at your locations. Charter trips are priced per bus, so the more people in your group, the more affordable. Call Knoxville Party Bus Company at (423) 509-0066 to check group coach bus rates and availability.

Ready to Get Started?

From thrills at Dollywood to tranquility in the Smokies, Knoxville delivers an amazing East Tennessee getaway. Getting around is simple with KAT buses, taxis or your own private charter bus. To plan your perfect Knoxville itinerary, call Knoxville Party Bus Company. Our experts make trip planning effortless. Let us handle your group transportation so you can focus on experiencing the sights!