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Among the beautiful Appalachian Mountains sits a jewel, a city that attracts tourists from all over the world each year. That place is called Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville is an inviting city, not only for its scenery, but also for its historical sites, museums, restaurants, nightlife, family attractions, business significance, and more.
Located in a wide valley between the Great Smokey Mountains and the Cumberland Mountains, Knoxville is the largest city in East Tennessee. Residents enjoy a moderate-to-cool climate year round with the average temperature being 58 degrees F. Knoxville is located in Knox County and had an estimated population of 173,661 as of 2002. Nearby cities include Seymour, Rockford, and Powell.
Looking Back at Knoxville’s History
Knoxville was once a valley used for hunting by the Cherokee Indians. James White founded Knoxville in 1786 when he established his home, a fort and several cabins in the area. The area was named Knoxville in 1791. By 1794, Knoxville had become the home of Blount College, which is now the University of Tennessee.
During the 1800s, the city became a leading distribution center for the south, using its railroad station, river access, and central location as an advantage. This made Knoxville a “most-wanted” prize during the Civil War. After the war, the area’s economy was rebuilt through industry, commerce and natural resources such as coal, lumber and marble.
During the early 1900s, Knoxville was called the “New Deal” city and became a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And today, Knoxville is home to many great businesses, tourist attractions and venues, and historic communities.
Before touring Knoxville, visitors should stop by the Knoxville Visitor’s Center (http://www.knoxville.org/visitors/visitor_center.html) to get a brochure, a cup of coffee, some baked goods, and look around at the unique souvenir gift items. The Visitor’s Center alone illustrates the hospitality of local residents!
For those who like history and the arts, Knoxville offers several museums and historical sites such as the Museum of Appalachia, the Joseph B. Wolffe Collection, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the East Tennessee Discovery Center, and the Knoxville Museum of Art. Those interested in war history will enjoy the Volunteer State Veterans Hall of Honor, where more than 2,000 relics and exhibits are contained, representing the Civil War through the Persian Gulf War.
For golfers, there are several beautiful courses offering breathtaking scenery such as the Whittle Springs Golf Club, Willow Creek Golf Club, and the Three Ridges Golf Course.
Family Fun in Knoxville
The entire family will enjoy visiting the parks of Knoxville. Concord Park offers picnic areas, swimming, junior golf, nature trails, fishing, a yacht club, a marina, softball and baseball fields, and volleyball fields. At World’s Fair Park (http://www.worldsfairpark.com/), there are 52 acres of shops, attractions, galleries, restaurants, and more for the entire family. The Knoxville Convention Center is located here as well.
For a great view of the mountains and valley, House Mountain is the place to go. A scenic view of the Smokey Mountains is offered from the peak. Hikers will love the three miles of hiking trails!
Another Knoxville attraction the entire family will enjoy is the Knoxville Zoological Gardens (http://www.knoxville-zoo.org). Here, folks of all ages can discover more than 800 domestic and exotic animals such as black bear, chimpanzees, penguins, snakes, lizards, cheetahs, giraffes, gorillas, tigers, zebras, lions, and more!
Other great attractions in Knoxville include the Ramsey House Plantation, the Candy Factory and Victorian Houses, Alex Haley Statue, Old Gray Cemetery, Three Rivers Rambler, James White’s Fort, and the University of Tennessee Gardens.
Those wanting to plan a visit to Knoxville, Tennessee USA can learn more at the city’s official website. (http://www.ci.knoxville.tn.us/)