12 Hours in Knoxville


We stopped in Knoxville on our way to Asheville and boy let me tell you was I surprised. It is truly a hidden gem nestled at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, with a ton of charm and Southern hospitality. I'm already wanting to go back. 


We rolled into town about 7 p.m. and made a beeline for Market Square, host to an eclectic mix of restaurants, shopping, and live music with a small-town flare. Established in 1854 as a market place for regional farmers, the pedestrian mall holds true to its roots with a weekly seasonal farmer's market (and food trucks!).

We had a hard time squeezing in all we wanted to see and do in the short time we were there but some of our favorites included:

  • Stock & Barrel – Burgers and bourbon and s'mores shakes to die for.
  • Preservation Pub - Great roof top and live music! (although be prepared to leave smelling like an ashtray).
  • Scruffy City Hall - Owned by the same folks that run Preservation Pub, $5 cover gets you into both.
  • Tupelo Honey - Southern soul cooking that comes highly recommended. They also have locations in Asheville and Arlington, VA.

And we didn't have a chance to try The Tomato Head and The Crown & Goose but they both looked fun and came highly recommended.


On our way out of town we stopped at The French Market Creperie. The French Market offers both sweet and savory French crepes and the best fresh squeezed orange juice I've had in awhile. We did a bit more walking around before hitting the road to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC (more on that coming soon).


Next Time

Hotel St. Oliver is definitely on my list of places to stay for my next trip to Knoxville. Just steps from Market Square, the 1876 building was renovated and re-envisioned into an adorable boutique hotel. We stayed at the Knoxville Downtown Hilton, which was lovely, pet friendly and just a few blocks from Market Square.

We also heard great things about Sequoyah Hills and would have loved to explore the 87-acre park along the Tennessee River if we had another day there. Next time!