Without a doubt, visiting some towns or locations can be costly. Visitors visiting Knoxville are fortunate in that there are numerous options to fill your day, weekend, or an entire week with free or low-cost activities, museums, and places for your next vacation. Here are suggestions for enjoying your visit and staying within your budget:
Get out and do something active
Knoxville’s greenways, blueways, and Urban Wilderness provide roughly 50 miles of paved and dirt paths, as well as kayaking and paddleboarding alternatives for those who prefer an active vacation. In other words, there’s more to see and do than can be done in a single trip. These activities are free if you bring your bikes or boats, but many local stores offer reasonably priced rentals. You can even borrow bicycles from Knoxville’s Bike Share Program to explore the city’s neighborhoods just beyond the trails. Hikers may, of course, access practically all routes to take in the river and animals.
When it comes to wildlife, you might start or conclude your urban wilderness experiences at the Ijams Nature Center, where kids can explore free wildlife exhibits or participate in one of the Center’s nature programs during the spring, summer, and fall.
Anyone who likes the outdoors should visit the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. The nursery is only a 10-minute drive from downtown, transports you to another universe with a tranquil 1-mile walk to explore. Admission is free, and the garden hosts workshops and local craft beer pairings regularly.
Take a look at Knoxville’s Art and Music Scene
If you enjoy live music, downtown Knoxville has various options, ranging from small clubs with emerging bands to the family-friendly Blue Plate Special. Local Folk and Americana radio station WXVX records a live Blue Plate Special show every weekday at noon to highlight new bands. The events are live-streamed to faithful fans who have seen performers like The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Chris Stapelton at the start of their careers. The show is also free and recorded at the Knoxville Visitor Center in the heart of downtown.
Muse Knoxville is also a great place for kids to have a good time. This museum and play area has been created with young, inquisitive minds in mind. It’s a beautiful way to spend the day, with everything from healthy food exhibits to a planetarium and everything science-related in between
Your family can also visit the Knoxville Museum of Art, which regularly hosts new modern and classic art exhibits by local artists. The World’s Fair Park, where the 1982 event took place, is just a short walk from the museum. This is where you can see Knoxville’s distinctive skyline feature, the iconic Sunsphere, against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains.