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Courtesy Visit Knoxville

Key Info

2915 Island Home Ave.

Price & Hours



Free, Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Spanning more than 300 acres in Tennessee's Knox County, this nature center offers plenty of rock climbing opportunities and more than 10 miles of trails to walk or hike. What's more, visitors can paddle on Mead's Quarry Lake via canoe, kayak and paddleboard. Start at the visitor center, where you can pick up a trail map, grab a snack and use the restroom. In addition, the exhibit hall at the center is home to a number of non-releasable animals, including a variety of owls and snakes. You can learn more about some of the animals who live in the ecosystems in the area and learn how to spot them throughout the nature center.

Recent visitors said the nature center is a great place to bring kids, but all ages will enjoy the beauty of the region. Patrons particularly enjoyed the River Boardwalk, which overlooks the Tennessee River.

Ijams, which is located about 12 miles from downtown, is accessible daily from 8 a.m. to dusk. The visitor center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center is free to visit. For more information, visit the center's website.

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#1 Knoxville's Market Square

Since the 1860s, Market Square has been a community center of Knoxville, with shops, restaurants, cafes and bars drawing a large number of locals and visitors. Recent travelers said it's a lively and fun place to walk around, with plenty of places to eat or just hang out. From outdoor concerts and movies to Shakespeare on the Square and other live entertainment, the area is usually bustling. There are also two water play fountains, a magnet for kids in warm weather.

From May through November on Wednesday and Saturday, the open-air Market Square Farmers Market offers products grown or made by vendors in the East Tennessee region. Products, which vary by the seasons, include eggs, honey, herbs, pasture-raised meat, baked goods, coffee, crafts and much more.

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Courtesy Visit Knoxville
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