Knoxville is an incredibly diverse place to visit, offering many opportunities for a wide variety of people. Without making this an incredibly long and boring list of places, this will be a list of highlights and events that are recommended for those in the East Tennessee area. Since East Tennessee is a relatively large place, these are just four of the top places in the region.

Having been beautified for the 1982 World’s Fair, there is the incredibly diverse city of Knoxville. Knoxville has a wide variety of attractions from art, to history, local cuisine, activities and hiking, to attractions for all seasons (Fantasy of Trees, Fair, football season). Knoxville, home of the University of Tennessee, is one of the main places that the students will be exploring. The links provided include just a glimpse of what the life downtown is like.

Attractions in Knoxville:

-        McClung Museum

-        Market Square

-        Neyland Stadium – in football season

-        Tennessee Riverboat Cruises

-        Ijams Nature Center

-        Fort Dickerson Quarry

-        House Mountain

-        Sharpe’s Ridge

-        Calhoun’s on the River

-        Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain

-        Downtown Grill and Brewery

-        Fantasy of Trees – late November

Venturing away from the University and closer to the heart of the mountains, there is Gatlinburg. This city is right on the cusp of the Smokey Mountain National Park, and houses attractions of all shapes and sizes. Having a wide variety of attractions, including local restaurants, Ripley’s Aquarium, a Sky Lift, a Space Needle, fall festivals, skiing in the winter, and other events year-round, this is a definite attraction in East Tennessee.

Attractions include:

-        Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

-        Gatlinburg Space Needle

-        Ober Gatlinburg

-        Ripley’s Believe it or Not

-        Hollywood Star Cars Museum

-        Pancake Pantry

-        The Northface Store

A mix between the city of Knoxville and the closeness of the mountains is Pidgeon Forge. This area is a giant tourist attraction with stores and restaurants of many kinds. This is an established area for tourism with many hotels, having the largest event center in Tennessee. This is also the home of the infamous Dollywood, which is Dolly Parton’s theme park, as well as a place known as The Island, another theme park like place with hotels and stores inside.

Attractions in Pidgeon Forge:

-        Dollywood

-        The Island

-        Titanic Museum Attraction

-        Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show

-        WonderWorks

-        Tanger Outlets Mall

-        Hollywood Wax Museum


The Smoky Mountains is one of the most unique national parks in the US. With tourists travelling from all over the world to see the endless amounts of waterfalls, views, caves, fields, hikes, streams, and lakes, this incredible wilderness is right in out back yard.

Popular Hikes in the Smokies:

-        Mount Le Conte

-        Chimney Tops

-        Baskins Creek Falls

-        Grotto Falls

-        Charlies Bunion

-        Andrews Bald

-        Newfound Gap

-        Clingmans Dome

-        Three Waterfalls Loop

-        Cumberland Gap

-        Sugarland Mountain Trail

-        Ramsey Cascades

-        Hemphill Bald

-        Abrams Falls

-        Mount Cammerer Lookout Tower

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