Things to See and Do
Knoxville is the largest city of eastern Tennessee and the third largest in the state with a population exceeding 173,000. Knoxville has a unique location within 500 miles of several major metropolitan areas and a crossroad for Interstates 40 and 75 traffic. Knoxville is the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains and the home to bluegrass music.
Within walking distance from all marathon activities are the Knoxville Museum of Art, Market Square District, One Vision Plaza (Knoxville’s new downtown visitor center), East Tennessee History Center, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, World’s Fair Site, Volunteer Landing, and the Old City. The City of Knoxville has re-energized its downtown with renovations to Market Square including restaurants, shops, and nightspots. This area is within walking distance of the Convention Center as well as the Old City, with its uniquely charming antique and novelty shops, restaurants, and more.
The town’s past is on display in a number of historic sites and buildings. James White’s Fort commemorates the town’s earliest dates as an Anglo settlement. The building dates to 1786, when White first arrived in the area. Blount Mansion, Knoxville’s only National Historic Landmark, was built on the banks of the Tennessee River by William Blount, Tennessee’s first governor and a signer of the constitution. The Mabry-Hazen House is a Civil War-era residence. Other historic buildings include the Confederate Memorial Hall (a mid-1800s home used as a battle headquarters during the Civil War) and the Armstrong-Lockett House (build in the 1830s, it includes the lovely W.P. Toms Memorial Gardens).
Knoxville is the home to the University of Tennessee, which will be the feature finish line for the event.
There are many other attractions to see while in Knoxville such as the Frank H. McClung Museum on the UT campus, Zoo Knoxville, and the Knoxville Museum of Arts. You can also enjoy various musical entertainment such as the Knoxville Symphony and various plays.
Within an easy drive is Oak Ridge. This is the mystery city built as part of the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb. Take time to visit the American Museum of Science and Energy which showcases the history of Oak Ridge.
Of course, please enjoy our mountains with trips to various locations in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the most visited of any national park.