Museum of East Tennessee History

#12 in Best Things To Do in Knoxville
Courtesy Visit Knoxville

Key Info

601 South Gay Street


Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This downtown museum boasts more than 13,000 artifacts in its permanent collection. Items range from decorative arts to textiles (especially quilts) to Civil War relics from the Union and Confederate armies. One of the museum's main exhibits, "Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee," features interactive displays and first-person accounts from locals. There are also a variety of temporary exhibits.

Recent visitors called the museum a great place to learn about the region thanks to a range of informative exhibits.

The museum is located downtown across the street from the Tennessee Theatre. Admission costs $5 for adults and is free for children 16 and younger. On Sundays, admission is free for everyone. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Visit the museum's website for more information.

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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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