Knoxville Visit Suggestions
April 5, 2006 7:46 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I will be in Knoxville TN for a weekend and have about 4-5 available hours on Saturday May 6th. Any suggestions of what to do?

- We have a rental car
- I'm 25 hes 32...just kind of average folks
- We've never been to Knoxville
- We're not terribly interested in historical stuff, but if that's all there is it'll do!
posted by AmericnJewl to Travel & Transportation around Knoxville, TN (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Go to Gay Street and peek in at the amazing Yee Haw. Nationally known, award winning makers of some of the finest letterpress goods you can see or buy. If you're lucky, somebody will be there working and will let you in. It's an amazing place. Just up the street is Nama, an excellent sushi restaurant. In the other direction is the ornate art deco Tennessee Theatre, built in 1927, and featuring Ron White (?) on May the 6th. Plenty of places to get a beer and hear live music within walking distance - market square is towards the Sunsphere, the Old City is a block or two away from Gay St.

Now that I've written, I guess I should ask what time of day you'll be there?
posted by dmo at 8:14 PM on April 5, 2006

I've never been to Knoxville, but I would totally checkout the Sunsphere.
posted by pieoverdone at 8:25 PM on April 5, 2006

i used to live there through college.

definitely visit yeehaw; it's my friends kevin and julie. we graduated together from UTK and they studied at hatch show print in nashville after undergrad.

go to the old city just off gay street; tons of small restaurants and shops. also check market square on the other side of gay street. the fourth and gill neighborhood has some beautiful vintage houses.

hit the strip just off UT campus. typical campus strip but worth seeing. walk around in fort sanders. student slums, but that's where most of knoxville's art happens.

world's fair grounds is where the sunsphere is, v. near campus. doubt it's open; the grounds seem to be commercially cursed. while there check out the candy factory galleries and shops if open, the knoxville museum of art, and the gaggle of shops that's more'n'likely sprung up.

on campus, if it's open, hit the art and architecture building. studios are all open space, so you can just sorta ramble around and see work in progress during the day. offices are on the second floor so you can get a visitors' pass.

if you need to get your hair did while in town, go to salon visage and get your head done by my ex-boyfriend brent borreson. he's amazing. he did bjork's hair-mask for her medulla album cover. see link for more of his portfolio.

if in need of shows and whatnot while there, ignore the knoxville news-sentinel entirely and pick up a metropulse.

also. all of this encompasses a very small area of the city. i didn't get to the west side of the city much while i lived there, so i literally have no idea what's there. as far as i knew, it was just a bunch of trixies from the burbs who existed solely to annoy those of us who lived in the old city. obviously, a biased opinion.
posted by patricking at 12:38 AM on April 6, 2006

Second the Metropulses, which can be found at most supermarkets (at the entrance in those wire bins where they have real estate brochures, etc.) or almost anywhere downtown off Gay street at shops along the Market Square Mall area. If there, a good place to eat is the Tomatohead. If steaks are your thing, try Ye Olde Steak House just south of town. If you don't mind short drives, there' a fun winery 20 miles outside of town on I-75, great antiques shops in Sweetwater and Clinton, both within an hour, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and nearby Gatlinburg, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the American Museum of Science and Energy in nearby Oak Ridge, the Knoxville Museum of Art, the University of Tennessee McClung Museum, and other stuff. Welcome!
posted by Pressed Rat at 9:28 AM on April 6, 2006

second for tomatohead. i used to squat in the basement of a neighboring restaurant, and the tomatohead owner used to always "forget" to bill those of us she knew were homeless artists. (there were a lot of us). her food is hella wholesome, too. arguably the best pizza in knoxville.
posted by patricking at 12:53 PM on April 6, 2006

I suggest a marathon love-making session.
posted by JamesMessick at 9:33 PM on April 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Lunch at Tomatohead or have dinner at Ye Olde Steak House, like others have said, but drink and/or play pool or darts at Barley's, which is in the Old City and near some antique shops (and very close to where Patrick used to live. (Hey, Patrick! Remember that crappy summer job of painting dorm rooms?))

If you're really into ribs, you might want to check out Calhoun's on the river and the Knoxville riverfront. You might be able to fit in a trip on the 3 Rivers Rambler while you're there.

If you want a relatively short drive into the mountains, map out a trek to the Foothills Parkway, and if you want a fairly short hike to an observation tower, go to Look Rock. Bring binoculars and maybe wear a windbreaker. I never cease to be amazed at how many native Knoxvillians have never gotten around to seeing either.

Want to anticipate the weather? That's easier said than done; in early May, we typically have lows in the high 50s and highs in the high 70s, although things could always notably spike a few degrees in either direction. In the mountains, it's usually 5-10 degrees cooler.

Oh, if used books are your thing, check out McKay's; they're not the greatest used bookstore in the world, but they aren't nearly as lame as their web site might suggest.

More local attractions.

posted by kimota at 4:24 PM on April 7, 2006

Hey, Patrick! Remember that crappy summer job of painting dorm rooms?

omg. it's the ghost of christmas past. i have no idea who you are. email me. send a picture. preferably from 1991.
posted by patricking at 8:51 PM on April 11, 2006

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