June 4, 2021 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Plan your visit to Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains when you attend the 2021 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 14-18

great smoky mountains national park

While in Knoxville, you will want to get out and about. Psssst! The Smoky Mountains is just a short drive from Knoxville.

Below, to route you on the road to Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains, we’ve included highlights of both.

Be sure to discover even more local gems to explore on our Knoxville Pinterest Board, and look for regional highlights on our East Tennessee Pinterest Board. Don’t forget the Smoky Mountains is a short drive from Knoxville, with incredible, breathtaking scenery.

Experience Knoxville

Ah, Knoxville. So much for you to see and savor, including nature’s paintbox of brilliant colors. Knoxville is a friendly city—its hospitality inviting you to open up to sporting events and nightlife. Take advantage of our region’s breathtaking scenic drives and take a hike to immerse yourself in spectacular natural beauty.

Experience an embarrassment of foodie havens, some mighty fine shopping, and the warmest Southern hospitality around. Sample our downtown winery and distilleries or take advantage of local craft brew.

Here’s a smattering of suggestions for exploring, having good times, and making memories in the Marble City.

downtown Knoxville, TN

Downtown Knoxville

1. Knoxville Visitors Center, 301 S. Gay St., Knoxville, TN 37902: This building dates to 1925 and besides information about our fair city, you’ll find award-winning WDVX and its famous Blue Plate Special.

2. Market Square
3. Krutch Park (adjacent to Market Square)
4. East Tennessee Historical Society
5. Old City
6. Blue Slip Winery
7. Knox Whiskey Works

 postmodern spirits knoxville

8. Postmodern Distilling
9. Boyd’s Jig & Reel
10. Knoxville Museum of Art
11. World’s Fair Park
12. Volunteer Landing Park

The University of Tennessee

13. The University of Tennessee, 2704 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919,
and Neyland Stadium
14. McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture

Other fun attractions in Knoxville

15. Zoo Knoxville
16. Knoxville Botanical Gardens
17. Maple Hall Bowling
18. World’s Fair Park Sunsphere
19. Ijams Nature Center

20. Navitat Canopy Experience
21. The Muse (Knoxville Museum of Art)

22. Cruze Farm Ice Cream
23. Pete’s Coffee Shop
24. Mast General Store

navitat canopy ziplining

Cruze Farm ice cream

Here’s where to park in Knoxville, sorted by location.

25. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
26. Cades Cove

Experience the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This is a beautiful time of year to visit the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Even if you don’t like to hike, you’ll enjoy an auto tour, fishing, or picnicking. The mountains are filled with elk, white-tailed deer, and black bears. There are also plenty of indoor attractions as well.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding area


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a magnificent location for hiking, photography, exploring Appalachian culture, or simply enjoying the outdoors. There are hiking trails for any activity level, and it is a pleasant place to experience nature. With many hiking trails, from short, paved walkways to long, steep hikes, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of the Smokies.

For those who wish to experience the beauty of the mountains but don’t enjoy hiking, there are also roads that make enjoyable auto tours.

Ober Gatlinburg


Ober Gatlinburg is a ski resort and amusement park located near Gatlinburg. Visitors can get to Ober Gatlinburg via the Aerial Tramway, which allows riders to view some of the scenery while enjoying a unique experience. There is also a scenic chairlift and Alpine slide, and many other activities for visitors to enjoy.

Dollywood


Unique as its namesake, Dolly Parton, Dollywood theme park is a one-of-a-kind Smoky Mountains family adventure. Spanning 125 acres and nestled in the lush foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, near Gatlinburg, Dollywood is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the states.

Enjoy thrilling to spectacular Dollywood amusement park rides including award-winning roller coasters. The family vacation fun at Dollywood features kiddie rides and new family attractions. Dollywood’s live entertainment showcases the best in country, bluegrass, mountain, and gospel music, with more than a dozen stage shows. Master craftsmen demonstrate centuries-old crafts including blacksmithing, glass blowing, and woodcarving.

Shopping


If you enjoy finding a good bargain, Pigeon Forge is a great place for you to visit. Located just a few minutes from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge has multiple factory outlets where shoppers are sure to find great deals. With the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, the Tanger Outlet Center, and the Belz Factory Outlet World, stores to entice every shopper and bargain-hunter.

Register today for a fantastic experience: The 2021 Global TapRooT® Summit, Knoxville, and the Great Smoky Mountains

Register now to join the TapRooT® Summit in beautiful Knoxville, Tennessee, near the incredibly picturesque Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 2021 Global TapRooT® Summit is June 14-18, with Pre-Summit courses happening June 14-15. We invite you to join us, reap the benefits of tremendous takeaways, and experience the beauty of East Tennessee.

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