Like a Local
Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
Window’s on the Park
This hidden gem tucked inside the Holiday Inn World’s Fair (next door to The Tennessean) is home to one of the best views in the city. In fact, the first thing you see upon entering the stylish downtown lounge are the huge floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the World’s Fair Park, Sunsphere and all – and there’s not a seat in the house that misses it. After drinking it all in, belly up to the large concrete bar for a Tennessean Burger or the Smoky Mountain bacon and onion ravioli and extensive offering of local beer, wines, and spirits.
Maple Hall Bowling Alley
This boutique 11-lane bowling alley nestled in the basement level of downtown’s historic JCPenney building is nothing like your cheesy neon-lit neighborhood alley. Brick walls, blond wood floors, a concrete bar, and brown leather couches give it an urban feel. An added bonus: The drink menu serves Big Lebowski–themed cocktails.
East Tennessee History Museum
Where else can you expect to find Davy Crockett’s rifle, a real log cabin, a stocked corner drugstore, and Dolly Parton’s red dress all under one roof? Only at this museum in the heart of downtown Knoxville that documents 300 years of life in the region of East Tennessee.
Long’s Drug Store
This old-fashioned family-run drugstore and soda fountain has been the place where Knoxville residents have been coming since 1956 to throw back a malt or a cheeseburger, catch up with neighbors, and fill prescriptions. Locals rave about their giant two-dollar milkshakes that features unique flavors, like chocolate-cherry-banana and “Big Orange.”