See the Knoxville Visitor's Guide for additional information on these locations, events. places to eat and much more.
World’s Fair Park
Towering 266 feet above the city’s skyline, the Sunsphere and the Tennessee Amphitheather are the only structures remaining from Knoxville's hosting of the 1982 World's Fair. The Sunsphere's observation deck provides a 360-degree view of the city and beyond. The World's Fair Park is divided into three sections — a festival lawn, a performance lawn and a lake area. Lush green turf carpets the Park, creating a wonderful landscape for recreation, festivals, and performances. The Court of Flags Fountain's interactive water play area operates seasonally from March until the end of October, creating a beautiful backdrop for photographers. The fountains are favorites for summer-time play and the playground area is open year-round. There are paved walking trails throughout the Park that connect to the Second Creek Greenway, which carves a route down to the riverfront, passing along the edges of the UT campus before connecting with the Neyland Greenway over to Volunteer Landing Park. Visit http://www.worldsfairpark.org/
Knoxville Museum of Art - Site of the NASBR Welcome Reception
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, educates and serves a diverse community, enhances Knoxville’s quality of life and economic development, and operates ethically, responsibly, and transparently as a public trust. In the decades since the museum opened, its collection and programming have evolved to become increasingly focused on the rich culture, old and new, of the Southern Appalachians, to “celebrate the art and artists of East Tennessee.” Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in East Tennessee, a permanent exhibition of works from the mid-nineteenth to the late-twentieth century, spotlights the compelling and heretofore largely unknown visual arts legacy of Knoxville and the region. To this has recently been added a permanent exhibition of modern and contemporary art. Currents: Recent Art from East Tennessee and Beyond supports the museum’s parallel aim to “introduce new art and new ideas.” In spring 2014 the museum unveiled a permanent, monumental glass installation by acclaimed Knoxville artist Richard Jolley, a powerful affirmation of the KMA’s commitment to the art and artists of our region. Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity, the generous gift of Ann and Steve Bailey, is the largest figural glass installation in the world. Visit: www.knoxart.org
The Knoxville Zoo
The Knoxville Zoo is one of the premiere zoological experiences in the southeast. Zoo Knoxville works with other zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) on a collective Species Survival Plan for all animals that live in AZA-accredited zoos in North America. Working together, we can maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population in zoos to ensure we don’t lose animals to extinction when wild populations are in peril. It is also involved with conservation work in the field, with award-winning recognition for our efforts to save East Tennessee’s endangered bog turtle and ongoing research with native hellbender and mudpuppy salamanders. Staff members travel to far-flung places like the Komodo Islands, Madagascar and Indonesia to study animals in their native habitats. See the brand new 1.6 acre Tiger Forest featuring Arya, a Malayan tiger. There are fewer than 400 Malayan tigers left worldwide. They are being hunted to meet the demand for tiger body parts in Asia and the forests where they live are being destroyed by unsustainable farming. This amazing species’ best chance of survival is conservation programs like the one at Zoo Knoxville. Arya will be joining our two Malayan tiger brothers, Bashir and Tanvir, on the recommendation of the Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan, which is a collaborative effort of all zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to save them from extinction. Visit: www.zooknoxville.org
Ijams Nature Center
Ijams is a wild place filled with rocks, rivers, trees, trails, owls and salamanders. Visitors of all ages and abilities can hike, bike, paddle, stroll, learn or simply enjoy the day. Ijams is a sanctuary for all visitors to learn and connect with the natural world and be made better by that connection–a place where living with the earth and caring for the earth become one and the same. Ranked as one of Knoxville's top three attractions and one of the best travel destinations in the US. Visit: www.ijams.org
The UT Gardens
The UT Gardens, with locations in Knoxville, Crossville and Jackson, Tennessee, function as an outdoor laboratory to evaluate the performance and landscape use of every type of plant, from trees and shrubs to annuals and perennials to ornamental grasses and aquatic plants. The gardens are planted to demonstrate each plants' ideal use in the landscape. In this manner, visitors are not only able to see what plants thrive and flourish in the Tennessee climate but get ideas on garden design and how to use plants in their own landscapes and gardens as well.
Established in 1983 by the Department of Plant Sciences, the UT Gardens are recognized as one out of thirty-four official All American Selections (AAS) test sites in the United States. The UT Garden Director conducts evaluations assessing heat and cold tolerance, flower production, plant uniformity, flower and plant size, pest resistance, and landscape appeal. Such information is important to commercial plant and seed companies, and essential to the success of commercial growers, landscapers, and gardeners allowing the Tennessee green industry to economically grow and for gardening to remain the number one hobby in America. Visit: utgardens.tennessee.edu
The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture was built with money bequeathed to the University of Tennessee by Judge John and Ellen McClung Green of Knoxville as a memorial to Mrs. Green’s father, Frank H. McClung—a Knoxville merchant and descendant of James White, founder of Knoxville.
Since its opening, the museum has hosted hundreds of temporary and small exhibitions in addition to its permanent galleries. More than 1.4 million visitors have enjoyed programs and exhibits, and thousands of UT undergraduates have attended classes there. Its nationally significant archaeological, paleoethnobotanical, and malacological collections have been the sources of myriad theses, dissertations, journal articles, and monographs. Visit: http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/