In a state where the largest cities are known for country music and the blues, Knoxville, the third largest city in Tennessee, will show you how its making a name for itself. From craft beer to endless outdoor activities and music festivals celebrating the legends and tomorrow's artists. Follow the heartbeat of Knoxville to these places.
Get a good workout in at Navitat Zipline Canopy Adventure. Once you're equipped, spend an afternoon climbing, swinging and having a grand time through the 10 to 12 challenge elements per adventure trail. Once you complete a trail you can return to the main Treehouse and choose a different trail or conquer the same trail again. For a truly magical experience, maneuver Navitat at night under twinkling lights and the night sky.
SoKno Taco Cantina
In the South Knoxville area, you'll find SoKno Taco Cantina, a restaurant that offers beers on tap, margaritas by the pitcher and delicious tacos, tamales, burritos, quesadillas and nachos. Choose the taco platter that comes with your choice of two tacos (try the Thai portobello, Carne Asada or chicken that's topped with guacamole sauce) Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.
Pretentious Beer Glass Company
The creative spirit in Knoxville is alive and well. One of those art forms is glass blowing and beer from Pretentious Beer Glass Company. Hang out for a while and have some sips of their handcrafted beer from glasses handmade in their studio. You can watch the whole process from glass to pour.
Knox Brew Tours
Continue your tour of Knoxville's craft brew community with the help of Knox Brew Tours. Hop on the bus and be carted to four breweries within a three-hour period that will take you behind the scenes for the brewers to share their process, how they got started and, of course, samples of beer they produce. Snacks and water are provided on the bus. Walking tours are also available.
Knox Whiskey Works
Head over to Knox Whiskey Works for a $10 tour and tasting as you learn about their hyper-local process. Bourbon, gin, coffee liqueur, whiskey, vodka and rum are all created here. Tours are available 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays. The tours are 45-60 minutes and are led by either the head distiller or an experienced manager. Tours are limited to 10 persons per tour so plan ahead and book yours online.
Big Ears Festival
Films, underground bands, dance, interactive workshops, installations and more are performed and presented during Big Ears Festival each March. Culture and creativity are celebrated in churches, museums, outdoor spaces, music venues and more throughout Knoxville's downtown. It's been hailed by The New Yorker as "the most open-minded music gathering in the country."
Suttree's High Gravity Tavern
For a nightcap, make your way to Suttree's High Gravity Tavern featuring 32 taps that are constantly rotated and more than 60 bottles and cans of crafted, national and imported beers. It's a place you can get rare, high gravity, small batch and good beer. Spend some time with friends tasting a few while eating ramen.
Knoxville has some amazing coffee shops around town. One such cozy shop is Awaken Coffee in the Old City Historic District. You'll find handcrafted coffee, pastries, biscuits and teas available for ordering; and grab n' go items for lunch. Ease into the morning at one of the tables with an espresso or latte in hand. Soak in the local life buzzing in and out of the coffee shop. An added bonus: Awaken Coffee is also a live music venue.
How to spend a weekend full of adventure and bluegrass in McMinnville, Tennessee