48 Hours in Knoxville, TN

A skyline view of Knoxville Tennessee featuring the French Broad River.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY @ONIZGAEX.

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville is the ultimate gateway to the nation’s most popular national park. And while many intrepid travelers choose Knoxville as their launching point for outdoorsy adventures, Knoxville offers visitors many reasons to linger before hitting the trails.  

From the rich maker culture (they don’t call Knoxville “Maker City” for nothing) to an inspired culinary scene, the University of Tennessee campus to a vibrant brewery scene, Knoxville delights. Here, we highlight 48 hours of activities and local recommendations, including where to stay, shop, and sip. 


The walk up to RT Lodge, a hotel located nestled on a the woodsy campus n Maryville, TN.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ABIGAIL MALONE PHOTOGRAPHY.

STAY 

The Tennessean Hotel (531 Henley Street) is a top choice for Editor Frances King for their room service and location. Connected to Maker Exchange, The Tennessean offers easy access to local culture, including artists and makers. Refuel from a day of exploring at the Drawing Room, a great spot for drinks and snacks.  

RT Lodge (1406 Wilkinson Pike, Maryville) is a quiet retreat 20 minutes from downtown Knoxville. Expect quiet, still mornings, thoughtful hospitality, and fabulous, farm-to-table fare from The Restaurant at RT Lodge and Morningside Room. 

Peruse the Knoxville Lodging Guide to discover additional stays. 


An interior photo of the historic Tennessee Theatre.
THE TENNESSEE THEATRE AS FEATURED IN THE SCOUT GUIDE VOLUME 7.

DO

Fuel up locally. Grab coffee and croissant at Old City Java (109 S Central St), then walk to Market Square and Strong Alley to explore shops, galleries, and public art. Alternatively, grab a bagel from local favorite Paysan Bread & Bagels (804 Tyson St), coffee from Remedy Coffee (800 Tyson St), then stroll Old Gray Cemetery

Explore World’s Fair Park (525 Henley St), heading towards the Knoxville Museum of Art (1050 World’s Fair Park Dr), which offers free entry. There, you’ll find regional culture and world renowned art. 

Drink like a local. Whether you’re in search of a Munich-style Dunkel or an India Pale Ale, Knoxville’s got it on tap. Explore our local brewery scene

Catch a show at the iconic Tennessee Theatre (Scouted | 604 S Gay St). Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and honored as the Official State Theatre of Tennessee, today’s Tennessee Theatre has something for everyone: classical music, vintage films, dance, Broadway, and stellar performances by today’s hottest musicians and yesterday’s favorites. 


Pizzas by A Dopo in Knoxville, Tennessee
ADOPO AS FEATURED IN THE SCOUT GUIDE KNOXVILLE, VOLUME 7

EAT 

A Dopo (Scouted | 516 Williams St) is a can’t miss Neapolitan-style pizzeria pizza connoisseurs rave about. It’s a local favorite, so we recommend making reservations a few days in advance. 

The Appalachian (Scouted | 133 Bruce St, Sevierville) from Chef David Rule serves up contemporary Southern Appalachian dining that honors our region’s past, present, and future. Expect farm-to-table fare like beer battered okra, rainbow trout, and dry-age steaks. 

The Restaurant at RT Lodge (Scouted | ) is a delightful, in-house restaurant open to the public. The Renowned Chef Trevor Stockton and his talented team source locally and hand-craft nearly everything in-house – from bread to mayonnaise – to offer delicious seasonally inspired menus. Arrive early to enjoy a cocktail from The Morningside Room

Peruse the Knoxville Dining Guide to discover more local restaurants. In search of bars and breweries? Read the Knoxville Sips Guide


A woman browsing a rack of brightly colored clothing at Est8te.
EST8TE AS FEATURED IN THE SCOUT GUIDE VOLUME 7.

SHOP

Est8te (Scouted | 5609 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) is a womenswear favorite. Shop contemporary women’s fashion and accessories from stellar brands with the help of their sweet, stylish staff. 

Little Happy (Scouted | 9700 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) has curated a darling collection of clothing, toys, books, and gear for your littles. 

Monkee’s of Knoxville (Scouted | 5442 Homberg Dr) delivers the latest in women’s fashion for on-trend finds in a girly environment. 

M.S. McCellan & Co. (Scouted | 5614 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) has been a mens + womenswear go-to for over 55 years. Shop elevated classics and wardrobe staples for every season. 

The Beauty Mrkt (Scouted | 4483 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) delivers the best in clean, non-toxic beauty and skincare. It’s a must-visit for beauty aficionados. 

The Happy Envelope (Scouted | 5605 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) is a must-shop for those with a penchant for paper goods. Pro Tip: It’s the perfect place to pick up a gift for your hostess. 

The Village Exchange (Scouted | 6513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) offers beautifully curated selections for littles, gifts, apparel, accessories, and home from fan-favorite brands and local makers.

Peruse the Knoxville Shopping Guide to discover more local boutiques.



For more local recommendations, follow along on Instagram or peruse Knoxville’s Insider Guides. And when you visit these local favorites, don’t forget to tell them Scout sent you!