27 Things People From Knoxville LoveSailgating, making fun of Lane Kiffin and lots of biscuits.
1. Knowing That Sailgating Is Far Superior To Tailgating
Source: Volunteer Landing Marina via FacebookUT fans have the most unique college football tailgating experience of all on the Tennessee River. Neyland Stadium sits right next to the river; on game days the "Vol Navy" pulls up in their boats to sailgate.
2. Bleeding Orange
Source: Flickr user Joelk75It's all about the Vols in Knoxville, aka the Big Orange. Knoxville is home to the University of Tennessee (UT) Volunteers, better known as the Vols. Get ready to be inundated by the color orange.
3. Hearing "Rocky Top" Over And Over And Over
Source: Flickr user Joelk75If you move to Knoxville, it'll won't be before the song "Rocky Top" becomes embedded in your brain. It's not the official fight song for UT, but it might as well be.
4. Never Getting Tired Of Mocking Lane Kiffin
Source: Flickr user Joelk75Making fun of Lane Kiffin never gets old here. If you don't know who Lane Kiffin is, ask a Knoxvillian for some true perspective about an overpaid, egomaniac college football coach who does nothing but cause trouble wherever he goes.
5. Having A Real Speakeasy Inside The Oliver Hotel
Source: Facebook user Peter KernLocals don't stay at the Oliver, but they go there to open an unmarked door in the lobby and enter the Peter Kern Library, one of the hippest bars in town where cocktails are an art form.
6. Bar Hopping In The Old City
Source: Barley’s Knoxville via FacebookAn older neighborhood tucked away in a corner of downtown, the Old City has a different look and feel than the rest of downtown, and it's a hotspot for nightlife with its many bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
7. Brunches At The Bistro At The Bijou
Source: The Bistro at the Bijou Facebook pageHoused in the same historic building as the Bijou Theatre downtown, the Bistro is open throughout the week serving lunch and dinner. But it’s most famous as a gathering place during its weekend brunches. And you can take your time getting there on Sunday because they serve brunch until 9 at night.
8. Eating Biscuits For Every Meal
Source: Flickr user mueritzKnoxvillians know that biscuits aren't just for breakfast and brunch. That steamy, soft, golden flaky goodness should be enjoyed for lunch and dinner as well. And they know that goodness should be celebrated, too. Every May Knoxville proves it's the biscuit capital of the world by hosting the International Biscuit Festival. This highly-anticipated event brings celebrity chefs to town and has folks lining up at multiple tents to sample all manner of the biscuitry arts.
9. Being The Cradle Of Country Music
Source: Wikimedia user GDuwenWhen hillbilly music came out of the nearby hills to become country music, Knoxville played a big role. The city is known as The Cradle of Country Music. There's a walking tour downtown showcasing the important sites and figures who helped make this happen. Country icon Hank Williams spent the last night of his life at the Andrew Johnson Hotel, now an office building downtown.
10. Having The Best Blue Plate Special In All The Land
Source: WDVX Blue Plate Special via FacebookKnoxville's country roots are kept alive everyday at noon when Knoxvillians (and tourists) pile into the the live studios of WDVX at the Knoxville Welcome Center for the Blue Plate Special. You can bring your own brown bag lunch or purchase one from the on-site restaurant and take in a live performance from top local, regional and national Americana touring acts.
11. And Listening To WDVX All The Time
Source: WDVX via FacebookOxford American once called WDVX one of the best radio stations in the nation, but Knoxvillians could've told you that years ago when it was still broadcasting from a trailer by the side of the highway.
12. Creeping Out Visitors By Telling Them About The Body Farm
Source: UT Knoxville WebsiteYou won't see or smell the body farm while in Knoxville, but you'll hear about it. Officially known as the Forensic Anthropology Center, the body farm is where forensic scientists, students and future writers for "CSI" study human remains left out to decompose in a wooded area near town.
13. Defending The Blinding Awesomeness Of The Sunsphere
Source: Flickr user bobistravelingThe Sunsphere was the centerpiece of the 1982 World's Fair. It's not as high as newbies might think, and it's often been the target of derision. It was even mocked on an episode of "The Simpsons." But this giant golden disco ball in the sky is a symbol of Knoxville, like it or not.
14. That They Got Away With Changing The Name Of Labor Day And Your City Didn’t
Source: Flickr user cryogenic666Labor Day is called Boomsday in Knoxville. And once you see the fireworks display the city puts on over the Tennessee River, you'll know why. They can even make fireworks look like a waterfall. It beats your city's fireworks display by a country mile.
15. Having Blueways As Well As Greenways
Source: Outdoor Knoxville via Facebook
Source: Flickr user bobistravelingAlong with its phenomenal greenway system of trails for biking, walking and jogging, Knoxville also has a blueway system of water trails for paddlers.
16. Paddle Boarding On The Lake Of An Abandoned Quarry
Source: Ijams Nature Center via FacebookMead's Quarry is now part of the Ijams Nature Center. Its lake is one of the more scenic spots in the Knoxville area, which is odd considering it once served as an illegal dumping site after the quarry was abandoned. And the best way to explore it is on a stand up paddle board.
17. Having Their Own Wilderness Within City Limits
Source: Flickr user Joelk75A major ongoing project of the Legacy Parks Foundation is creating the Knoxville Urban Wilderness, a recreational trail that will connect the city's major green spaces. Much of it is already connected. And some of it is wild.
18. Spending The Day At Ijams
Source: Ijams Nature Center via FacebookYou can bike, hike or drive three miles from downtown to spend a day exploring and learning about nature at this phenomenal 275-acre center along the Tennessee River. If you grew up in Knoxville, you probably visited this place at least once on a field trip.
19. Having The Best Public Square In The South
Source: Historic Market Square, Knoxville via FacebookAs far as public squares go, it doesn't get much better than Market Square. It's the beating heart and front porch of downtown Knoxville. And the best people-watching spot in town.
20. And Knowing They Can Always Hear Sweet Tunes There
Source: Flickr user Joelk75And while you're doing your people-watching, you can take in a free concert. Market Square has a built in stage where it seems there's always music happening, as well as impromptu performances by street musicians.
21. When The Farmers Come To Town
Source: Market Square Farmers’ Market via FacebookAnd then there's the open-air Market Square Farmers' Market that sets up every Wednesday and Saturday between May and November. Oh, yes, a Wednesday farmers market in the heart of the city.
22. Catching A Band And A Hoisting Pint At The Preservation Pub
Source: Bill Foster via Preservation Pub’s Facebook PageLocated on Market Square, the three-story Preservation Pub is a something-for-everyone kind of bar and restaurant featuring live music, a wide selection of craft beers and a rooftop garden.
23. Noshing On Some Seriously Good Eats At The Tomato Head
Source: The Tomato Head via FacebookThe Tomato Head is a longstanding downtown restaurant known for serving homemade pizza pies, but they also offer many hearty and healthy options. There are lots of options for vegans and vegetarians--in fact, the whole menu is so diverse, you might have trouble picking what you want.
24. Keeping It Local By Eating And Shopping At Places Like Just Ripe
Source: Just Ripe via FacebookThis market and deli downtown is happy to let you know how far whatever foodstuff you're purchasing traveled to wind up in their shop. It's usually not that far.
25. Pointing And Laughing At Other Cities That Have To Pay To Ride
Source: Flickr user Joelk75The trolley system makes getting around downtown and to UT super easy. Best of all, it's free.
26. Stuffing Their Faces With Cakes From Magpies
Source: Magpies Bakery Facebook pageAt Magpies it's "all butter, all the time." This is THE cake shop for Knoxville, from cupcakes to tiered wedding cakes and any other kind of cake you can think of.
27. The Iconic Tennessee Theatre
Source: Flickr user davidwilson1949The grandest show palace for plays and concerts in all of Knoxville is the Tennessee Theatre on Gay Street. The vintage giant illuminated marquee sign out front is an icon of downtown itself.
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