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KNOXVILLE Camping Events Good Food History Museums Shopping Sites Close By Sports/Golf Tips for Travelers For More Info Return to State Index Recommend this site to your RVing friends SIGHT SEEING
You'll want one of your first stops in Knoxville to be the Gateway Regional Visitors Center, Knoxville's Official Visitor Information Center, 865-971-4440. Located at 900 Volunteer Landing, a visit to the Center will give you a chance to pick up brochures and information and also enjoy exhibits on the diverse characteristics of the region.
While at Volunteer's Landing, you'll also want to spend some time at both the Southern Highlands Natural Atrium, located at the Visitors Center, and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, holds the current honor of being the only Hall of Fame in the world dedicated to a women's sport. A tour of this interactive hall will brins the 100+ year history of women's basketball to life.
For outdoor fun head to the Knoxville Zoological Park, and the Ijams Nature Center. A trip to the Knoxville Zoo, Rutledge Park, 3500 Knoxville Zoo Dr, 865-637-5331, will give you a chance to see more than 1,000 animals lounging in their native habitats. This zoo has bragging rights to having the first African elephant born in captivity in the Western Hemisphere. It also has a great group of large cats and a reptile complex. A stop at the Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave, 865-577-4717, will give you a chance to enjoy over 20 acres of trails, meadows, bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River, and a nature museum.
If you like to do your sight seeing from a boat, you'll enjoy a trip on the Star of Knoxville, an authentic paddlewheel boat. The Star of Knoxville, 300 Neyland Dr., 865-525- 7827, is a lovely river boat that offers a variety of cruises on the Tennessee River.
A visit to the Lost Sea, 140 Lost Sea Rd, Sweetwater, TN, I-75 & exit 60, 423-337-6616, will also give you a chance to cruise on water. But this time it will be underground! This National Landmark consist of a four and 1/2 acre underground lake on which you can cruise in a glass bottom boat. If you want to turn this into a fun day trip, they also have a picnic area, restaurant, and outdoor areas to explore.
If you love touring historical homes, you'll find lots to smile about in Knoxville. A visit to the Armstrong-Lockett House, 2728 Kingston Pike, 865-673-3163, will give you a chance to tour a home built in 1834 complete with the Tom's Collection of 18th Century American-English furniture, decorative art, and an outstanding collection of English silver. On the grounds you will find extensive Italian style gardens with terraces of fountains.
The Blount Mansion, 200 W Hill Ave, 865-525-2375, was built between 1792 and 1830. William Blount, governor of the Southwest Territory, lived in the oldest section of this house. This mansion also was used as the territorial capitol and is considered the birthplace of Tennessee statehood.
To see an antebellum home, visit the Mabry-Hazen House (1858), 1711 Dandridge Ave, 865-522-8661. Built in 1795, the Ramsey House (Swan Pond), 2614 Thorngrove Pk, 865-546-0745, was designed by famous architect Thomas Hope for Col Francis Alexander Ramsey. It holds the honor of being the first stone house in the territory.
At the Bleak House, also known as Confederate Memorial Hall, 3148 Kingston Pike, 865-522-2371, you'll find artifacts, documents, and furniture from the 1860 to the 1865. General Longstreet used this 15-room mansion as his headquarters during the siege of Knoxville in 1863.
Now if you want to combine juicy history and a fun meal, head to the Baker-Peters House, 9000 Kingston Pike, 865-690-8110. This home was built in 1840 by Dr. Harvey Baker, who was an ardent Confederate sympathizer. When Union soldiers started attacking his home and family in June 1863, Dr. Baker took up arms and was killed by a shot that came zinging through one of his doors. But this wasn't the end of his family's heartache.
Unable to forgive, Abner, Dr. Barker's son, waited until after the war and tracked down and shot his father's murderer. For acting on his eye-for-an-eye philosophy, Abner lost his life swinging from the end of a rope. Turning to happier days, part of this home has been transformed into Baker-Peters Jazz Club, where you can enjoy a fun meal, a little history, and great music.
To see where Knoxville got its start, visit the James White Fort, 205 E Hill Ave, 865-525-6514. This is where Mr. White built his home and stockade in 1786. You'll also find other historic buildings on the grounds along with authentic artifacts.
About 6 miles south of Knoxville, you'll find the John Sevier Historic Site (Marble Springs), 1220 W Governor John Sevier Hwy., 865-573-5508. Here you can tour the summer home and farm of Tennessee's first governor. If you enjoy collecting old headstone rubbings, then you'll want to drop by the Old Gray Cemetery, 543 N Broadway, 865-522-1424. In this Victorian cemetery you'll find grave sites as old as 1850.
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