Leisure Travel

Getting to Know Knoxville, Tennessee: 10 Fascinating Facts

knoxville trivia knoxville skyline

Every city has a personality, and truth be told, some are simply more vibrant, quirky, and alive than most. Knoxville is one such gem, and if you ever have the chance we highly recommend visiting Knoxville – it’s truly a treat.

Many of us are acquainted with some of the more well-known facts and trivia about iconic cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or New Orleans. We suppose that most people’s Knoxville trivia knowledge is slim to none. 

For your reading pleasure, and so you can impress the locals when you do choose to visit our fine city, here are some favorite odd bits of Knoxville trivia.

Knoxville Trivia Everyone Should Know

knoxville trivia streetcar
Image credit: Wayne Hsieh, Flickr

It’s Good to Be First

On May 1, 1890, one of the first ever electric streetcars ran in Knoxville. It went from Gay Street to Lake Ottossee, which is now Chilhowee Park.

The Original Sleeping Beauty

Mary Costa, the voice of Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty, is from Knoxville, which almost prevented her from getting the role. Costa’s Southern accent was thought to be an issue initially, but since other accented actresses had performed successfully before, Costa was allowed the opportunity.  

Home of The Original Jackass

Philip John “P.J.” Clapp, more commonly known as Johnny Knoxville, was born in Knoxville in 1971. He is best known for his role as the star of the show Jackass.

Having a Body Farm is Normal, Right?

Knoxville is home to a Forensic Anthropology Center, which contains a “body farm.” For scientific purposes only, the body farm features natural settings where fresh human remains are placed for forensic scientists to study their decomposition. There is a rumor that it’s located under Neyland Stadium…

Plan Your Next Visit to Knoxville

We’re Quite Comfortable With The Human Form

Knoxville has been referred to as “The Streaking Capital of the World” and “The Underwear Capital of the World.” In the 1970s a mass streaking incident occurred, and in days past the undergarment textiles industry was quite large in Knoxville.

knoxville trivia worlds fair
Source: Wikimedia

Big Things Happen in Small{er} Cities

Ever heard of the World’s Fair? Knoxville sure has! In 1982 Knoxville held the World’s Fair, and was the smallest city ever to do so! To this day World’s Fair Park is still a favorite Knoxville attraction, with the Sunsphere remaining as its most iconic feature. Oh, and guess which commonly used technology development was first introduced at the 1982 World’s Fair? The concept of a touchscreen! Thank you, Knoxville.

Some Creatures Just Shouldn’t be Lassoed

Don’t get caught lassoing a fish in Knoxville. It is against the law.

You may also enjoy: Finally! A Destination so Pet-Friendly, You’ll Be Inspired to Take a Trip With Your (Real) Best Friend

Inaccurately Nicknamed the “Marble City”

One of Knoxville’s nicknames is the Marble City due to the various quarries around the city. However, those quarries were being mined for limestone, not marble! Oops.

knoxville trivia dolly parton
Source: Pinterest

The Birthplace of Country Music and Dolly Parton

Truly unbeknownst to most, Knoxville is the true “cradle of country music,” the place where country music had its beginnings. Dolly Parton, the iconic singer, songwriter, actress, author, instrumentalist, and more got her start in Knoxville. Want to quickly bond with Knoxville locals? Talk about your love and fandom of Dolly.

Technically Knox is an International Port

Looking to travel to the Gulf? Just hop on a boat, sail down the Tennessee River… and someday you might make it to the Gulf of Mexico. In all seriousness, technically one could travel up towards the Great Lakes or down to the Gulf of Mexico from Knoxville. Knoxville is officially an inland, landlocked, international port.  

It’s a safe assumption that Knoxville is about as unique and dichotomous as any small metropolitan city. These 10 bits of Knoxville trivia are just the tip of the iceberg. To learn and experience more, a visit is in order.

Fascinating trivia isn’t all Knoxville has to offer. Knoxville has grown into a major foodie destination. Our city has an immense amount of restaurants per capita. Outdoor adventure and culture abound, and it’s worth mentioning that Knoxville is a decidedly pet-friendly city. With the growth of the downtown community in recent years, Knoxville has become a hot spot of blossoming culture, creativity and building excitement, it is our recommendation for your new headquarters. The TENNESSEAN Hotel is downtown Knoxville’s latest luxury accommodation, and it’s now accepting reservations.




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