James White's Fort

#6 in Best Things To Do in Knoxville
James White's Fort picture
Courtesy Visit Knoxville

Key Info

205 East Hill Avenue


Historic Homes/Mansions Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This museum is named after James White, the American pioneer and soldier who founded Knoxville. In 1783, he led an expedition into the upper Tennessee Valley and established what would become the future site of Knoxville. In 1790, the fort was chosen as the capital of the Southwest Territory. The very next year, White sold the land and donated lots to establish a permanent city.

Today, visitors can see the original 1786 home of White. In the main house, highlights include White's desk as well as a map of the original layout of Knoxville. Other spaces to see include the kitchen, the outhouse, the blacksmith shop and the weaving house. The fort is one of the most visited historical sites in Knoxville and recent visitors said it offers a fascinating and authentic glimpse into the past.

The fort, which is located downtown, is open April through November, Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rest of the year it is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last entry is always one hour before closing. Admission for adults costs $10 and $5 for children. Free parking is available. For more information, visit the fort's official website.

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More Best Things To Do in Knoxville

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Time to Spend
#1 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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