Day 1 You'll See:
- Ijams Nature Center
- WDVX Blue Plate Lunch
- Knoxville Museum of Art and Chocolate Factory
- The Sunsphere
- Dinner + Shopping at Market Square
Ijams Nature Center - Welcome to the highly beloved Ijams Nature Center, the urban nature park located off of Island Home Avenue in Knoxville. Originally a simple yet stunning homestead owned by the local Ijams family, this nature preserve has turned into a large area in which to go and admire, love and care for the earth. This park is so popular, as a matter of fact, that it has been ranked one of the top three Knoxville attractions by TripAdvisor! While here your group can choose between such activities as hiking, biking, paddling, learning, strolling, or simply relaxing. Explore the rocks, rivers, trees and trails, you may even see some owls or salamanders along the way. Hit the Visitor Center for more formal and in-depth information, rent a canoe at Mead’s Quarry, visit Jo’s Grove, see the famous Keyhole at Ross Marble, visit the 20-acre Ijams homestead, or catch a gorgeous glimpse of the Tennessee River, and maybe some Great Blue Herons, from the River Boardwalk!
WDVX Blue Plate Lunch - While in Knoxville your group will have the unique opportunity to eat lunch at the WDVX Radio station, deep within the fun and informational Knoxville Visitor Center. With the WDVX Blue Plate special your group has the chance to relive an old local noonday classic, a live performance radio show! Economy booster, attraction of the year, and truly entertaining lunch option, the WDVX Blue Plate Lunch is an absolutely amazing dining option. This establishment is a BYOL joint, or bring your own lunch, a sort of picnic in style event. If your group didn’t plan on bringing your own lunches you can head over to the Visitor Center cafe and pick up some yummy treats. Listen to various themed broadcasts and live performances by local up and comers or visiting international artists. You can hear everything from blues to bluegrass, country to Celtic, folk to funk, or rockabilly to hillbilly. East Tennessee's only listener supported radio station even plays the occasional jazz, classical, and Tuvan throat singing!
Knoxville Museum of Art - The Knoxville Museum of Art is the rich visual legacy of Eastern Tennessee located within the gorgeous campus of the city's World’s Fair Park. World’s Fair Park is a lively and highly popular local social gathering place well-known for hosting annual festivals, live performances, meetings and conferences, and all the great spots within for reflection and learning. One quick look around will show you acres of well-manicured lawn, cascading falls, placid streams, and several various gifts of natural beauty. The Museum of Art within presents the influential visual legacy of eastern Tennessee alongside new art from the region and beyond. There are several exhibits of regional art within, as well as travelling shows, daily classes, and occasional live concerts. This modern four-story facility educates and serves a diverse community and strives to "enhance the quality of life and economic development" of the city. The structure of the museum itself plays hosts to several amazing features of architecture, a more modernly designed multi-level 53,000 square foot facility.
Chocolate Factory - Welcome to the Knoxville Chocolate Factory, located right next to the Museum of Art in the sprawling and stunning World’s Fair Park. Under the name of Bradley's Chocolate, this small production chocolate facility sells wholesale delicious confections and local handicraft gifts and decor, all within an absolutely great location to continue shopping, eating, and sightseeing. This is truly a chocolate lovers must-stop, the entire establishment selling highly popular Tennessee chocolates, Tennessee Walking Sticks, assortments of chocolate confections, chocolate corn pops, and even wedding event goodies! There is no way you can walk away from this stop without first trying a Tennessee Walking Stick, a deliciously over-loaded pretzel stick covered in chocolates, pecans, and even caramel! During a visit to the factory you and your group can take a tour of the facility and production room and see how the company uses 6,000 pounds of sugar annually and in turn produces 32,000 pounds of delicious chocolate goodies!
The Sunsphere - Your next stop is the last one within World’s Fair Park, the grandiosely stunning Sunsphere! The Sunsphere is a 81 meter high, or 266 foot, hexagonal steel truss structure that stands today as a glimmering culture icon and symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair. This amazing structure is topped with a 23 m. gold-colored glass sphere as well as 360 panes of exterior glass windows caked in 24 karat gold dust. That’s right, this building is gold! Head up to the observation deck on the fourth level to see a spectacular 360 degree view of the city, the original fair site, downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee River, and the Smoky Mountains strewn across Tennessee. Next head up to the Icon Ultra Lounge on the fifth floor and indulge in sultry southern inspired culinary creations matched well with eclectic metro decor and some of the most breathtaking city views. The Sunsphere is the absolute perfect place to take in Knoxville culture, Knoxville views, and unbeatable Knoxville seasonal cuisine and cocktails!
Dinner + Shopping at Market Square - Welcome to Market Square, a historic pedestrian mall that has developed over several decades, growing from a 1854 original regional market for farmers to a multi purpose meeting, commerce, and social space.This overall highly unique and highly enjoyable gathering place allows you and your group to do everything from playing to shopping, eating to enjoying an entertaining date night on the town. Take advantage of all the local live theater, music, performances, niche shops, gallery walks, and daily events here. During the Civil War Market House served as a barracks community and in 1984 this entire area earned the seal of the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy the classical, revival, Italianate, and commercial architecture of "the most democratic place on earth," a place in which the rich and the poor can gather with perfect equality. Keep in mind that during the winter the area boasts a fun ice skating rink, in the summer a lively farmers market.