What makes any city truly great? Beautiful buildings? A diverse and delicious dining scene? Scads of lively events? All of the above! But what other single factor can put a city on the map for seasoned urban enthusiasts?
Urban nature. Venture outside of most city limits and you can find limited outdoor activities, but few cities boast more than a standard park or two. Knoxville, Tennessee, on the other hand, is virtually exploding with unique, entertaining and scenic natural adventures in the heart of the city, not to mention the abundance of trails, hikes, mountains and national parks just outside the city.
What To Do In Knoxville – Get Outside!
Stumbling unexpectedly upon the humble city of Knoxville feels like winning the lottery. It’s a hidden gem in all the best ways. In our previous blog we detailed the unique assortment of dining offerings, and now we will detail its next greatest accolade – the urban wilderness. We have assembled several ways you can enjoy the stunning outdoor culture of East Tennessee:
Gettin’ Around on The Greenway
Not just one bike path or a few jogging trails, oh no, Knoxville boasts 86 miles of paved and natural pathways. Known collectively as The Greenway, the paths winds through the city, the suburbs and the wooded foothills, offering striking views and dazzling glimpses of various landscapes along the way. Go for a run along the Tennessee River waterfront or meander through the World’s Fair Park. With 86 miles at your disposal, you will never be short a new route to explore!
Run Wild in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness
Venture a mere three miles from downtown and you’ll discover the delights of the Urban Wilderness: 1,000 forested acres, 50 miles of multi-use trails, ljams Nature Center, Mead’s Quarry and Navitat – the tree-based zipline adventure park. The Urban Wilderness is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with an urban twist. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, canoe, or bike at Ijam’s Nature Center, or explore the trails on foot at your own pace.
Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center
Knoxville has its own adventure center, and it does not disappoint. Situated in the heart of downtown along the Tennessee River, the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center is a hub for all things outdoor recreation. From information and classes to rentals and maps, there is something for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. In true Knoxville fashion, the Adventure Center partners with other local businesses to host events for students, pet-owners, beer-lovers and more.
Traverse Through the Treetops at Navitat
Briefly mentioned above, Navitat is Knoxville’s premier tree top adventure and zip lining experience. Featuring more than 60 adventure elements, participants can zip line, cross a suspension bridge, swing through the trees, climb across vast nets, crawl through elevated tunnels, and more. Navitat is an ideal location for family bonding, an adventurous date, team building or a blast with friends. Bring your energy, courage, and fears, and you’ll leave feeling inspired and proud!
Although the Greenway, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, and Navitat are a few of our beloved urban outdoor pastimes, the list doesn’t stop there. The iconic Smoky Mountains are less than an hour and a half away and offer beautiful, dynamic scenery with each passing season. If you are in search of an excellent day hike, House Mountain is the highest peak in Knox County at 2,064 feet and only eight miles from downtown Knoxville.
Nature abounds in both the urban center and the surrounding hillside of Knoxville. You will never run out of scenic views, new activities, and fond memories. Knoxville’s outdoor culture and natural beauty is an integral part of what makes our city so special. When you start planning your visit to experience our wild side, consider setting up your camp at THE TENNESSEAN Hotel. The new personal luxury hotel opens April 2017 and is now accepting reservations. THE TENNESSEAN Hotel’s front door is only steps from downtown’s center. Follow THE TENNESSEAN Hotel on Instagram and Facebook, or sign up for email newsletters to stay up to date on their specials and other trending Knoxville information.
We can’t wait for you to discover Knoxville! You can’t help but fall in love.