Alex Haley Statue/Haley Heritage Square
Alex Haley Statue/Haley Heritage SquareDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 15.2mi
800-727-8045 Morningside Park, 1600 Dandridge Ave., just east of downtown. Magnificent statue honoring Alex Haley, author of numerous novels, including “Roots,” who made Knoxville his home. Designed for interaction, the statue is a unique setting for photo-graphy, and is located next to a children’s playground. Surrounded by a scenic city park for walking and outdoor activities. No charge.
Gateway Regional Visitor CenterDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 13.9mi
I-40, Exit 388A, 900 Volunteer Landing Lane. 800-727-8045. Knoxville’s Official Visitor Information Center includes an overview of nature in the Southern Highlands Natural Atrium. Visit the Tennessee Valley Overlook Theater for a multimedia presentation that illustrates the diversity of the region. Or stroll through the Technology Gardens and learn about the region’s scientific and technological breakthroughs that have changed the world.
Ijams Nature CenterDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 18.7mi
2915 Island Home Ave., approx. 2 miles southeast of downtown. 865-577-4717. Eighty-acre public park and environmental education center with 3.5 miles of trails, meadows, gardens, wildflowers and bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River. Offering free and low-cost programs and workshops to people of all ages. The park is open free of charge, 9 a.m. until dusk, seven days a week. Visitors center and museum are open Mon.-Fri. 9a.m.-4p.m.; Sat. noon-4p.m.
Knoxville Zoological GardensDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 18.9mi
Discover a world of wonder at the Knoxville Zoo. The zoo is home to more
than 800 animals including some of the top black bear and chimp exhibits in the nation. Many of the animals are in naturalistic habitats. The Knoxville Zoo is known internationally for being the most successful in the world at the breeding and survival of red pandas. The Zoo is also the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to breed African elephants. Visit the new Black Bear Falls exhibit that recreates an actual setting in the Smoky Mountains – complete with four cascading waterfalls. Hours: 10a.m. – 4:30 p.m., vary depending on season. Exit 392 off I-40. Admission charge. Call 865-637-5331 for more information.
Old City Historic DistricDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 14.7mi
800-727-8045. Surrounding the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Central Street at the north end of the downtown district. Shops and boutiques offer unique gifts, crafts, antiques, art, and clothing. Also, home to popular restaurants and night spots.
Star of Knoxville Riverboat
Star of Knoxville RiverboatDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 13.7mi
The Star of Knoxville Riverboat is an authentic 325-passenger sternwheel riverboat offering sightseeing, lunch, dinner, entertainment and moonlight cruises along the Tennessee River. 865-525-7827, 300 Neyland Drive, at Volunteer Landing.
Three Rivers RamblerDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 13.6mi
Historic train ride that shows you the head of the Tennessee River, Marbledale, and 18th century farmland. Our vintage train will teach you history, show you beauty and give you memories. Mar. 31-Nov. 18, Fri. 6 p.m., Sat., Sun., and holidays, 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., except football game days.
Women’s Basketball Hall of FameDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 14.1mi
700 Hall of Fame Drive. 865-633-9000 True to its mission to honor the past, celebrate the present, promote the future, and serve as an extraordinary place of achievement and inspiration for people of all ages. From the 10-ton, 30-foot-high basketball that sits on top of the building to the life-like animatronic figure of Senda Berenson, “the mother of women’s basketball,” this will not be your typical hall of fame visit.
World’s Fair ParkDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 13.8mi
525 Henley St., Downtown. 800-727-8045. The site of the 1982 World’s Fair is now the home of some of Knoxville’s most popular attractions, including:
The Candy Factory and surrounding Victorian Houses, home to the South’s Finest Chocolate Factory and a variety of unusual shops, arts and crafts.
Fort Kid, Located at World’s Fair Park. This playground was built by volunteer labor as a community project. Open daylight hours.
The Knoxville Museum of Art, a world-class facility featuring an eclectic permanent collection and dynamic traveling exhibitions.
The Sunsphere, the towering centerpiece of the 1982 World’s Fair and one of the city’s most recognizable icons.
Tennessee Amphitheatre, a venue for outdoor shows and special events.
Volunteer LandingDistance from McGhee Tyson Airport: 13.6mi
500 Neyland Drive, on the downtown waterfront. 800-727-8045. One-mile paved riverwalk which includes: fishing piers, Volunteer Landing Marina, picnic facilities, attractions, restaurants, roofed towers with observation decks, interpretive historical markers and restrooms. Also includes Statue of the Treaty of the Holson River.