For my first travel post, I thought it would be fitting to talk about the biggest trip I have ever taken… my move to Tennessee. Today marks 1 year, 2 months, and 8 days of living in Knoxville, Tennessee. As many of you know, I moved here from Seattle, where I was born and raised. From the moment I stepped foot off the plane I felt as if I had entered into an entirely different world. The architecture was different, the people dressed different, and everyone had that southern draw.
This was so exciting for me because I have never lived outside of Washington State before. I was starting a new adventure in a beautiful city full of culture and history, that I have loved getting to explore. This past year I have discovered some amazing restaurants, fun entertainment destinations, and beautiful places to experience the outdoors. I thought I would share my Top 5 Favorites Spots to all of you! If you are ever in the area and not sure what to do, trust me you have to check out these places!
This is my favorite place to hangout on a weekend. On Saturdays there is always a farmers market going on with fresh flowers and cute homemade items everywhere! When I am not scouring the farmers market, I am usually at my favorite restaurant, Babalu’s, loading up on table-side guac! Market Square is full of fun restaurants and bars, cute boutiques, and live music that always guarantees a great time.
2. Douglas Lake
If you are looking for a place to cool down on a hot day with beautiful scenery, this is the place to be! Living in Seattle, I was surrounded by lakes… yet houses bordered every one of them, with everyone fighting for an open lot. Not on Douglas though! There are hardly any houses, leaving the lake outlined with giant trees and in practically pristine condition. The water is always the perfect temperature and there are endless beautiful coves to anchor down in and get your swim on.
3. Old City
Being the age I am, I love a good nightlife scene. The Old City is such a unique and rustic part of Knoxville that offers everything from adorable coffee shops to shopping to an exciting nightlife. If you ever find yourself in this part of Knoxville, you have to swing by Hanna’s. Being a lover of 80’s music, Hanna’s is a place where I can belt out the lyrics to a Def Leopard song followed by me singing my heart out to “Don’t Stop Believing”.
I just recently went to Maple Hall for a birthday party and let me tell you, this was the coolest, trendiest bowling alley I have ever seen. It is located underneath Gay St. near Market Square. All the walls are old brick with really cute couches and décor. There also is a bar in the middle for people to grab drinks while bowling. At 9pm the place turns to 21 years and older so if you wanna take your kiddos or are underage, just make sure to get there before 9!
Pigeon Forge is this goofy town that many refer to as a “Southern Las Vegas”. It is about 45 minutes away from Knoxville but is definitely worth the drive! There is an overload of go-kart tracks and putt put course everywhere you look. The Island is an outdoor entertainment and shopping center with major attractions such as a 200ft Ferris Wheel and a fountain show designed by the same person that designed the Bellagio Fountain! It is a great place to take your family, with endless shops and attractions to entertain the whole group!
While these 5 places have become my favorite spots in the Knoxville area so far, I have only been here a little over a year so I am sure there are plenty of awesome places I have yet to discover! I will make sure to update this list if anything else makes an impression on me. (:
I’m curious, what is your favorite spot in your hometown?? Let me know and if I’m ever out that way I would love to check it out!
xo, Heather Marie