If you live in Tennessee, you might think of Nashville and Memphis as top spots for bachelor and bachelorette parties. But have you ever thought about Knoxville? If you're looking for a more laid-back experience, Knoxville might be the right fit for you! Read below on what guys and girls can do in Knoxville.
The Oliver Hotel: Located next to Market Square (and an Urban Outfitters), this hotel oozes charm and sophistication. The decor is warm and rustic with wood end tables, plush pillows with animals on them and cream headboards and comforters.
Phoenix Pharmacy: The Phoenix Pharmacy is a full functioning pharmacy and fountain shop. If you have a sweet tooth, you have to stop here! The Classic Brownie Sundae and Banana Split will send you to Cloud Nine.
The French Market Creperie: For a memorable breakfast, dine at the French Market Crêperie. Get a croissant, Nutella crêpe, or omelet to start the day. They have outdoor bistro seating so you can enjoy the morning on this quaint street with your coffee, breakfast and best girl or guy friends.
Bistro at the Bijou: This place has a good brunch and is also open for lunch and dinner. Make a reservation for dinner which includes live jazz music.
Tupelo Honey: Tupelo Honey is home to some of the best food and is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner. Try the biscuit and buttermilk fried chicken.
Emilia: Great Italian cuisine can be found at Emilia's. In Market Square, enjoy a glass of wine and their house-made pasta.
SoKno Taco Cantina: Get your taco fix in SoKno in South Knoxville (hence the name). This is a great spot to sit outside and enjoy all the tacos you can eat!
South Coast Pizza: You'll find some of the best pizza in Knoxville at South Coast. This place has the coolest, most laid-back vibe and the pizza and wings are amazing. It's close to the Tennessee River and Suttree Landing Park so stop by and refuel after hiking or kayaking.
Lonesome Dove: For a nice dinner, head to Old City to Lonesome Dove. LD has urban western cuisine with meats like duck, rabbit, and rattlesnake. Plus the decor is cool.
Pete's Coffee Shop: Time for breakfast? Walk to Pete's! Whether you're nursing a hangover after a day on the Knoxville Ale Trail or just need fuel for a day outdoors, Pete's has you covered.
Downtown Grill & Brewery: Located on Gay Street, the Downtown Grill and Brewery has a beautiful copper bar with several good craft beers. It has a relaxed vibe and comfort foods.
Elkmont Exchange: The first thing you notice about Elkmont Exchange is their amazing exterior. Every inch of this place is beautiful and a true work of art. The food and drinks are great, too! Try the Cuban Panini and a cider. Perfect for lunch!
Make your way to the lobby and enter through a sliding door (the hotel staff can direct you) to get to the Peter Kern Library. This speakeasy is accessible through the hotel as well as through the alley next to the hotel for a true off-the-grid bar experience. The Peter Kern Library will take you back to 1920's prohibition, so pull out your flapper outfits and try the Holly Golightly cocktail.
Old City Wine Bar: A cool area of Knoxville is Old City. There are a lot of great places to eat and drink. Old City Wine Bar is one of them! Stop in for a glass of their sangria, more than 48 glasses of wine and 150 bottles on their extensive menu.
Oliver Royale: Located in Market Square, Oliver Royale has breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner but the most buzz is around their drinks. They have contemporary classics, wine, and cocktails with a cool atmosphere to enjoy. If you can, try to sit on their outdoor patio.
Sapphire: Another great place to enjoy a cocktail is Sapphire. The decor and vibe are so moody and glamorous, it’ll remind you of something out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald book. If you're feeling extra glitzy, they have a $350 Martini!
Pretentious Beer: One of the coolest places in Old City is Pretentious Beer. Everything there from the glasses to the barstools is handcrafted. The company started out as a glassmaking shop, where they make different glasses for different beers. You can check out their demonstrations where they’ll make glasses in front of you. They started brewing beer and took over the space next door with their varieties of craft brews. But, after a batch of beer is gone, they make something completely new. The names are unique, just like their beer and the glasses they’re served in. Try the "Chris Hemsworth Has Dreamy Eyes" beer for a laugh and tasty choice. Hang out and play ping pong with the guys in the back of the tasting room.
Suttree's High Gravity Tavern: Another stop on Gay Street is Suttree's. You can grab a beer and head to the game room where you'll find pinball, Foosball, and Mr. Pac Man. You’ll feel like a kid and be able to drink at the same time.
Boyd's Jig & Reel: Another Old City find, Jig & Reel has more than 800 whiskeys available! The owners have been buying all the malts available to them and have pretty much any scotch, bourbon or Irish liquor you can imagine.
What To Do
If you and your party are more laid back and want to have a lovely experience and enjoy each other's company, below are some fun ideas Knoxville offers:
Volunteer Princess: The Volunteer Princess is a yacht that has public cruises and private events on their beautiful space. Grab your best gals (the guys can come, too) and enjoy a sunset cruise with food and drinks. Below is some more information about the Sunset Dinner Cruise:
Most Popular Cruise: Sunset Dinner Cruise
Always 6:30-8:30 p.m. with boarding beginning at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $45.95 per person plus tax and gratuity (roughly $57 per person).
Includes a two-hour cruise and a three-course plated meal in which guests preselect their main entrées.
Add-ons such as the Celebration Package (bottle of champagne, guaranteed window table, and a souvenir photo with frame - $30 plus tax) are available.
Private tables are provided for everyone! If guests make reservations separately but would like to be seated together, they need only indicate that online or over the phone upon booking.
Semi-Private Sunset Dinner
Groups of 20 or more can reserve the upper or lower deck of the yacht for a $250 or $400 respectively fee in addition to the cost of tickets.
Groups of 20 or more are eligible for discounted group rates ($40.95 per person).
It’s a cost-effective way to have a private atmosphere.
Spa Visage: What bachelorette party doesn't want a spa day?! Salon Visage is in downtown Knoxville and has the most beautiful facilities. The spa has services like massages, facials, nail care and more. If you call and mention you're having a bachelorette party, they can try to accommodate you.
Frank's Barbershop: Guys like to be pampered sometimes, too, and Frank's Barbershop gets that. Get a root beer in an ice cold mug and enjoy a facial, hand detail, haircut or shave. The other guys in your party can wait their turn while playing pool in the lobby or watching the game on one of the many TV's. It's a great spot to relax and hang out!
Tennessee Theatre: While you're in town, check to see if there are any shows at the Tennessee Theatre. They have bands, Broadway shows and movie nights. It's also cool to take a tour and hear the history behind this historic building. Fun fact: One of the chandeliers in the lobby is named Greta!
Shopping in Market Square: Market Square and Gay Street are the most popular spots in Knoxville. A lot of the good food and shopping is here and it's all walkable. I wrote a lot about all the great Market Square shopping here.
Ride the Trolley: What is more fun than riding a trolley? The Knoxville Trolley is free and you can ride it around different parts of the city you want to see. Check out the routes here.
Navitat: Knoxville is known for their amazing parks and outdoor spaces; Navitat doesn't disappoint. Spend some time in the trees with zip lines, tunnels, bridges and much more. There are different levels to choose from and the view is remarkable.
Ijams Nature Center: If you're at Navitat, add some time to experience everything Ijams has to offer like hiking, biking and paddling. You can rent any gear you need from paddle boards to climbing equipment so you can explore Ijams’ more than 300 acres with ease.
Maple Hall: The trendy spot on Gay Street is the perfect spot for the competitive group as you pick up a game of bowling. There are 11 lanes and they have food, drinks, and music. They also have a private area with two lanes for bachelor/ette parties.
Bike Around Knoxville: Knoxville is such a walkable city and you can also take the trolley or Uber/Lyft. But a new option is to bike! Download the app Pace and find a designated bike on a rack near you. It's $1.50 for 30 minutes and you can keep the bike for up to 24 hours. It's a great way to see the city!
These are just some of the activities and dining options Knoxville offers its visitors and locals. Of course, all of the options aren't specifically for guys and girls. Feel free to mix and match the activities to make everyone in your wedding party have a great time.
There’s lots to see and do in this entertainment-filled county. Discover what to eat, drink, and explore!