Blog for Zipline Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.


Set Your Sights On Knoxville As A Smoky Mountain Daytrip

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on May 19, 2015

Last week, we suggested that if you're planning to spend a week or more in the Great Smoky Mountains, you might want to consider a one-day side trip to Knoxville, if for no other reason than to break up the pace of your week and enjoy a slightly different East Tennessee experience.

So while we certainly hope that your next trip to this area includes spending half a day on our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains, we also think you'll be well served to give Knoxville a try. It only takes a half-hour to an hour to get there, depending on your starting point in the Smokies, and the city is generally easy to get around. Much of what you might want to see is in the general downtown vicinity, and when it comes to restaurants and shops, you'll probably find prices are generally lower than what you'll encounter in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville.

In our previous post, we introduced you to some of the more high-profile places to visit when you're in Knoxville, and this week, we'll wrap up our overview of the city with a few other suggestions, several of which tie into the area's rich history.

One such destination is the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture, which is located on the campus of the University of Tennessee. Its mission is to advance the understanding of natural history and culture through its collections, exhibitions and outreach programs.

Many of the exhibits are focused on the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology and natural history. They showcase the geological, historical and artistic past of our state as well as cultures from around the globe. For example, permanent exhibitions include Archaeology & The Native Peoples Of Tennessee, Geology & Fossil History Of Tennessee, and Edmontosaurus Annectens, a duck-billed dinosaur, which has a permanent residence in the front of the museum.

Meanwhile, the Ramsey House, located off Governor John Sevier Hwy. in East Knox County, is a historic structure built in 1797 by Knoxville's first builder. Located on a 100-acre site, the house, museum and surrounding grounds offer a rare glimpse into 18th-century life in Tennessee for the prominent Ramsey family, one of the first families to settle in the Knoxville area.

The restored marble and limestone structure contains authentic period furnishings and décor, and the surrounding gardens and acreage often serve as a venue for meetings and events. The site is pet-friendly, and you can even pack a lunch and enjoy your meal outdoors in their picnic area.

If you're looking for a historical site closer to downtown Knoxville, consider checking out Blount Mansion, which was built in 1792. It served as the home of William Blount, a career statesman who was one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution and eventually served as an early governor of Tennessee.

We'll shift away from historical Knoxville for a moment and direct you toward some more socially oriented points of interest. Market Square, located downtown, is a one-block-long pedestrian plaza flanked by several unique restaurants, shops and nightspots. In summer, there are fountains for the kids to play in, and there's also an outdoor stage that hosts events like music concerts and live Shakespeare productions.

Just a one-block walk from Market Square is Gay Street, which is essentially Knoxville's Main Street. It is a revitalized downtown area, thriving with eateries, shops, clubs and two outstanding live theater venues – the Tennessee Theatre and the Bijou Theater – both of which host a wide variety of local, regional and nationally known musical acts and stage shows.

Downtown's social scene also includes the Old City, where you'll find even more distinctive restaurants, shops and coffee houses.


This content posted by Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Visit our home page, for more information on zipline adventures in the Smoky Mountains.

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