When Knoxville was originally settled in 1786, it was the capital city of Tennessee. Though no longer the capital, it is still the Volunteer State's third largest city. Situated along the shores of the Tennessee River, Knoxville is nicknamed the Marble City and offers much in the way of culture and fun.
When it comes to hotels in Knoxville, the Crowne Plaza offers one of the best locations. From here, visitors have easy access to Market Square’s dining and shopping districts. Located at Four Market Square, Cafe 4 is an inviting spot for adventurers to get fueled up on fried egg, gruyere, spinach and tomato breakfast sandwiches before heading off to explore the city.
After breakfast, browse Market Square shops like the legendary Mast General Store. Built in 1898, the rustic store has men’s and women’s apparel, as well as outdoor adventure gear, children’s toys, kitchenware and an old-fashioned candy section.
Within walking distance of the Crowne Plaza, the Old City is a historic district in the city’s northeast corner riddled with interesting shops, bars and restaurants. For nightlife, check out Old City’s Blue Cats Live, a mecca of live entertainment, or Barley’s Tap Room & Pizzeria, with local musicians performing most nights throughout the week.
For large groups or visitors looking for hotels in Knoxville that offer something a little different, the Cook Loft has lots of space and ambience to match. Exposed brick walls, large windows and a full kitchen make a great setting for engagement and wedding parties, corporate conferences and upscale getaways.
From Cook Loft, visitors can access some of the top attractions in Knoxville, including World’s Fair Park on Clinch Ave. The fair’s Sunsphere is still standing and provides grand views of the surrounding area from its observation deck. The park’s grounds are full of family fun – kids can splash in the fountain, play at the Fort Kid playground or sprawl on the lawn during a summer concert.
Further west along Kingston Pike rests the beautiful Armstrong-Lockett House, also known as Crescent Bend. Dating from 1834 and restored to its full glory in 1977, the mansion is a wonderland for history buffs and landscape architects alike with its vintage fountains, bloom-filled terraces and formal Italian gardens.
The eastern side of the city is home to many of the top attractions in Knoxville. The 1797 Ramsey House Plantation was built for Colonel Francis Alexander Ramsey and was the first stone home in the area, and the 1782 home of Knoxville founder James White still stands just a few blocks east of Cook Loft on East Hill Avenue.
For dinner, wander down to the riverfront and hop aboard the Star of Knoxville. This authentic paddle-wheeler riverboat cruises the Tennessee River, offering picturesque views of the city and themed dinner menus based on the night’s entertainment. On Tuesday nights, the boat gets swinging with country music and a Southern-style buffet highlighted by pulled pork and Cajun chicken, while Wednesdays feature murder mysteries accompanied by blackened chicken.