We got there later in the day, so, didn’t get to much. After we got settled, we took a nightly stroll around the park. Afterward, we headed up the Sunsphere which is conveniently located across from the hotel. The observation deck is open until 10 and I thought going up at night would be a gorgeous sight to see! Heads up! If you go at night you won’t be seeing much. All we could see was a glare and a slight view of the city through it. So, word to the wise, going to the observation deck during the day may be your best bet!
My friend TJ and I can have fun no matter where we are. Even in sporadic rain showers on a Saturday in Knoxville! After eating our breakfast we headed to Market Square, which is packed with booths for locals selling various things from soaps to veggies! Market Square was just a few minutes walking distance from our hotel, and is where we stayed the bulk of our time!
We rummaged through the different stores that call downtown Knoxville home and found some great finds!
My favorite store was Reruns, a clothing thrift store that is unfortunately closing soon (enter sad face). It had amazing pieces that can accommodate any pocket and pieces from well-known designers too. We also got a Digital Scavenger Hunt from Groupon that I wish I would have started the day before (since didn’t start it until later afternoon) . It is supposed to last about two hours but is not timed at all. You can leisurely make your way through the city finding all your answers. We had already made our way through downtown about a millions times. But before we started the hunt, we tried to beat the rain and went canoeing at Ijams Nature Center. To rent the canoe was super affordable at just $11/hour, life jackets included! They also rent out Kayaks and Paddle Boards. We were totally clueless about anything canoeing, and not to mention my friend is scared of deep water and I’m afraid of snakes… not a good combo.
The view though, was absolutely beautiful! The water was a dark aqua in color and the surroundings we equally as gorgeous. After learning some quick tips we headed into the water. There should have been cameras, we looked about as lost as Dumb and Dumber! After we went in circles for about 15 minutes it started to downpour, like cats and dogs downpour! Luckily the attendant directed us back to land, in which was the point we finally figured out how to stay straight. Even though we got rained out, we left with a funny memory and laughed at each other later about it. If the weather was on our side, we could have stayed there all day long, I can’t get over how breathtaking it was. It’s a must for when I go back! Ijam’s was conveniently located about 10 minutes driving from downtown and was actually the only time we left the downtown area.
By the time we got back the rain decided to give up and let a little sun shine through. We headed to a late lunch at this point at Soccer Taco before we started our scavenger hunt. You can read all about the food we ate while we were there HERE. As far as our hunt goes, we had to solve 8 out of 12 questions to finish.
We had fun with the first few but didn’t finish it.
Like I said, we had already explored downtown, and walking from here to there again was not going to happen at this point, besides it was getting close to dinner!
We headed back to our rooms to freshen up for dinner at Tueplo Honey’s. Again, this is where having the two rooms was great! You get ready, I get ready and let’s be done at the same time! After our awesome dinner we took a stroll through downtown again. We were beat at this point after exploring all day, so we headed back to the hotel to get our rest in as we were leaving the next morning. I regret that we didn’t get there early in the morning that Friday instead of late afternoon, we could have spent that whole morning at Ijam’s and left the rest of our time doing some of the things we didn’t have time for, like visiting the art museum (which happens to be free) and getting some chocolate covered chips from Knoxville Chocolate (Robin was kind enough to grab a Walking Stick from them for TJ and myself). I died it was so good, we even looked it up online to order and they were sold out. That’s what we get for not putting chocolate at the top of the priority list. We were there for about 36 hours and had good laughs and a great time despite the rain. I would definitely want to spend some extra time the next time I visit, but was happy that we actually did a bulk of what we wanted to in the time that we had. I loved Knoxville, and was would definitely go again. I had my reservations since some people told me that Knoxville didn’t have much to do. But I figure, just because someone else didn’t enjoy themselves, doesn’t mean that you won’t. So, get out and explore and find out for yourself!