Dining outside on Market Square in downtown Knoxville, TN
Photo Credit: @greeneyesnwine_

Do A Weekend Trip to Knoxville

Enjoy the outdoors yet stay close to all the city's museums, award-winning restaurants and more.

The nature-loving-adventure-seeking-artsy-kinda-town that is Knoxville has nature adventures that are close enough to art, downtown award-winning restaurants and entertainment. Below is just a sample of where you can stay, eat and play in this welcoming city.

Pet-Friendly City

Knoxville is a great place for dogs, known for its hospitality to humans as well as four-legged friends. Fresh bowls of water outside of shops, dog-friendly hotels, events, parks, trails and pet-friendly patios at local craft breweries and restaurants. Take a look at Knoxville's full pet itinerary here and check out some of the stops indicated below to keep in mind for a great pet-friendly stay in Knoxville.

For even more pet-friendly places in Tennessee, check out the inspiration below:

Ultimate Guide to Tennessee's Pet-friendly Destinations | Pet-Friendly Places to Explore in TN | Dog-Friendly Trails in Tennessee

Where to Stay in Knoxville

Hyatt Knoxville Downtown

Conveniently located on South Gay Street,  the pet-friendly Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown is close to the city's amazing restaurants and lively scene. Enjoy free breakfast and an on-site Starbucks as well as a fitness center and The Rooftop, where you can have a drink and soak in Knoxville's gorgeous cityscape. Relax in a king suite or two queen bed suite with views of the Smoky Mountains or of downtown, a spacious bathroom with a standing shower and KenetMD skin and haircare bath amenities, a workspace and more.

Oliver Hotel

If you’re looking for more of an historic stay, the Oliver Hotel provides a wonderful experience. The hotel is mere steps from Market Square and offers large rooms with queen and king beds. Book the Market Suite for a view of Market Square with a separate living room, mid-century furniture, Royal Luxury bath amenities, deluxe snacks and drinks and more. Stop in Knoxville’s only speakeasy, Peter Kern Library for cocktails named after literary characters and a warm atmosphere featuring a fireplace, shelves of books and more.

What to Do in Knoxville

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness gives you easy access to hiking and biking trails, kayaking, bouldering, mountain biking adventure and more than 85 miles of Greenway. It's a short jaunt from Knoxville's downtown area to the great outdoors (bring your pet, too!). Take in history while on the trail at Fort Dickerson Park. See beautiful city views at River Bluff Wildlife Area. Catch some air at Baker Creek Preserve, which has five multi-use trails and three downhill mountain bike trails. The Devil’s Racetrack is the only double-black diamond downhill trail in the region. However you want to spend your time outdoors, Knoxville's Urban Wilderness delivers.

Mural Tour

Knoxville is an artsy kind of town, so what better way to take in some art than strolling downtown on a mural tour? Find them in alleyways, stairwells and on the sides of buildings. Local artists are showcased and all of them make great photo-ops. 

Knoxville Museum of Art 

Another way to take in art is to go to the Knoxville Museum of Art. Take some time in the sunlight space viewing artistic works by Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin, modern and contemporary glass works and current art from East Tennessee and the surrounding region. The art installation by Richard Jolley “Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity” will make you gaze in wonder at the engineering marvel. Consult the museum’s calendar for temporary exhibitions containing works from national, regional and local artists.


Want to do some shopping in Knoxville? Go to Glitterville, the boutique that screams fun with its bright colors and fantastical decorations. Lauded by Oprah Winfrey as one of her favorite things, Stephen Brown’s Glitterville Studio brings whimsy and fun to everyone through brightly-colored kitchen and dining pieces, ornaments, candles, party supplies and even tiaras. You’ll quickly want everything you see as soon as you step inside.

Zoo Knoxville

Animal encounters abound at Zoo Knoxville, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and instrumental in preserving the populations of endangered animals. Stroll the grounds to see African elephants, African lions, Hamadryas baboons, giraffes, Malayan tigers and many more. Take advantage of the daily Animal Encounters programs where guests can see these wild creatures up close and learn all about their status in the wild, their habitat and diet. 

Places to Eat in Knoxville

Southside Garage

The new Southside Garage is a bar and food truck park located in the South Landing Area of South Knoxville. Enjoy a large selection of local craft beers and food trucks along with large patios perfect for Fido and patio games.

K Brew 

You’ll find handmade bagels, coffee and espresso drinks made with local, organic dairy, organic syrups and organic chocolate at K Brew’s pet-friendly locations on North Broadway, Kingston Pike, and Gay Street. Locals love this coffee shop for the laid back vibe, accented by the hammocks available. Order a blueberry, jalapeno cheddar, Asiago or cinnamon rain bagel and a honey lavender latte, berries n’ cream cold blue, cinnamon vanilla latte or blackberry sage tea, African rose tea and hot chocolate.

Schulz Brau Brewing 

Enjoy a refreshing brew in an authentic German brewery at Schulz Brau Brewing. Step inside the large entrance tower to either sit in the great hall or pull up a seat in the pet-friendly Biergarten equipped with a misting system in the summertime and fire pits in the winter. Sip on Hefeweizen, Radler, lagers, IPAs, ciders and more while digging in to German cuisine from schnitzel to sausages, sauerkraut and potato salad. 

Downtown Dining

More than 90 restaurants are all in walking distance of one square mile. So, if you don’t know what you want to have for a meal just yet, walk around, enjoy a patio or two and experience a couple of the many restaurants in downtown Knoxville. On Market Square (pet-friendly, too), you'll find a variety of restaurants from fast casual Soccer Taco to fine dining like The Oliver Royale. Additional outdoor seating is now provided in the middle of the Square. You’ll find restaurants of award-winning chefs and some made famous from “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” There’s Anaba Japanese Cuisine with delicious sushi, ramen and hibachi. Go to Emilia Italian for upscale cuisine. Kefi serves up delicious cocktails and small plates of memorable Mediterranean cuisine. For something sweet, head to Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain for a giant banana split or shake and Knoxville Chocolate Company for chocolate galore. 

After experiencing just a taste of this life-loving community, you’ll want to come back for more. Plan your memorable vacation in Knoxville

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