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Explore Knoxville Neighborhoods & Eclectic Hotspots

Posted by: Crowne Plaza Knoxville Downtown University
02 Sep
Explore Knoxville Neighborhoods & Eclectic Hotspots

Explore Knoxville Neighborhoods: Eclectic Hotspots & Electric Adventures

Be surprised and delighted by Knoxville's one-of-a-kind hotspots - and discover why Lonely Planet recently named the city as the #3 destination to visit in America. Incredible history, stunning vintage architecture, and a dynamic downtown area are just the beginning. Discover elevated Southern cuisine, epic nights on the town, and amazing outdoor markets. From microbrews to major festivals, immerse yourself in the city's brilliant spirit when you explore our favorite Knoxville neighborhoods.

Gay Street: Vintage Theaters, Dazzling Shows & Historic Architecture

Find the epicenter of Knoxville's theater scene on Gay Street. Knoxville's first paved road is now one of its most historic neighborhoods. Stroll down Gay Street and encounter an inspiring collection of architectural styles: Victorian, Art Deco, Colonial-Revival, Romanesque Revival, Classical Revival, and Beaux-Arts - to name a few. There are a huge number of restaurants, plus art galleries, museums, parks, and shops - including Mast General Store, a retailer that's been open since 1883. Gay Street has always been a hive of entertainment, from vaudeville in the late 1800s to movie theaters in the 1920s. Some of these extravagant vintage venues still survive, and seeing a show in one is the ideal way to truly connect with Knoxville's history and culture.
  • Tennessee Theatre - Opened in 1928, this lavish Spanish/Moorish style movie palace was meticulously restored in the early 2000s. It hosts a variety of classic films, art events, and live performances. Arrive early to take in the gilded beauty of the ornate venue itself.
  • Bijou Theatre - A hotbed of vaudeville when it opened in 1909, the vintage venue has also presented symphonies, movies, plays, and during its darkest days, even adult films. Lovingly restored and now established on the National Registrar of Historic Places, it's a popular nightlife destination for concerts, comedy shows, films, and theater.

Market Square: Outdoor Festivals & Year-Round Events

Mingle with locals at Market Square, an epicenter of the Knoxville community since the mid-1800s. This downtown pedestrian mall has long been a gathering place for all types of people, from street performers and artists to farmers, shoppers, and political activists. It's surrounded by trendy restaurants, nightlife, and shops - but the square itself is the main attraction. Go ice skating in the winter at the pop-up rink. In the warmer months, you can browse aisles of farm-fresh produce at the Market Square Farmers' Market - and kids love the two play fountains. Outdoor festivals and concerts are regular happenings here; enjoy year-round fun and world-class performers. Some of our favorite festivals and special events at Market Square include:
  • Mardi Growl Dog Parade (February or March)
  • Concerts on the Square (May through August & October)
  • Knoxville Farmers Market (May through November)
  • Jazz on the Square (May through August)
  • Shakespeare on the Square (July & August)
  • Asian Festival (August)
  • East Tennessee History Fair (August)
  • Hola Latin Festival (September)
  • Movies on the Square (September & October)
  • Knoxville Holidays on Ice (opens in November)
  • Market Square Holiday Market (December)

Historic Old City: Coffee Shops, Nightlife & Creativity on Display

Free-thinkers and indie artists flock to Knoxville's Old City for its rebellious vibe, quirky attractions, and edgy vibe. Centered around Jackson and Knoxville Avenues, this casual-cool neighborhood is dotted with funky coffee shops and art galleries in former warehouses. You'll find some of the city's most forward-thinking restaurants here, along with blazing nightlife - from dance clubs to live shows. But don't let Old City's contemporary swagger fool you; it's also incredibly rich in historic architecture and some of Knoxville's oldest Irish pubs. Embark on an alternative adventure to these hotspots:
  • Emporium Center - Browse original creations by local and regional artists at this renovated factory that was built in 1898. You can often see them at work in their studios.
  • Curious Dogs - Feast on incredibly creative hot dogs and sandwiches in an artsy setting with video game and bikes. The menu is huge!
  • Old City Market - Shop a curated collection of handmade crafts and artwork at this open-air market, which takes place on second Saturdays from April through December.
  • Balter Beerworks - Enjoy a cold microbrew in the beer garden at this fan favorite, which is situated in an old service station.
  • Coffee Shops - Sip some of Tennessee's finest coffee in Old City at Awaken Coffee, Old City Java, and Vienna Coffee - three raved-about coffee shops.

Experience the Vibrant Knoxville Spirit in One-of-a-Kind Neighborhoods

Get to know Knoxville's fascinating history, dynamic culture, and kinetic energy - and make the city yours. From craft beers to gastronomic delights, Knoxville neighborhoods offer myriad opportunities to connect with the local culture on an authentic level. Stay in the pulsing heart of the city at Crowne Plaza Knoxville, a chic downtown oasis in a perfect location. We're situated right at Gay Street and Old City, just two blocks away from Market Square. Walk to the Bijou Theatre in nine minutes and to Emporium Center in three minutes. Choose your own Knoxville adventure - and then return to our ultra-comfortable hotel. Relax in the indoor pool and sleep like a dream in our sumptuous rooms and suites. Savor local flavors at Mahogany's, our upscale American Grill with prime rib and a seafood buffet. Don't just visit Knoxville; become part of the city when you stay in the middle of it all.
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