One Day In Knoxville

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I popped down to Knoxville for a quick weekend to visit my best friend from college. The point was just to hang out, but since she’d recently moved there and I’d never been it seemed like a good excuse to take in some sights.

As luck would have it, Dollywood was still closed (I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact it’s not open year round), but that was all for the best as I think I actually got to do more than I would otherwise.

I was staying at the Four Points Cumberland House which is close to downtown, so we kicked our day off together by heading to the historic district to grab breakfast. We arrived at 8:40, and the restaurant of my choice didn’t open til 9, so we decided to talk around the downtown area. We did a circuit of the main street and the pedestrian mall nearby.

Knoxville Downtown

Bijou Knoxville

Even though we sauntered, we’d only killed 10 minutes so we walked in the opposite direction, ending up at the old Courthouse which had random, giant cannons in front.

Old Knoxville Courthouse

Knoxville Courthouse Cannons

We’d timed it just right, arriving at The Frenchmarket right at 9. I’d heard great things about their crepes so was excited to try!

Frenchmarket chalkboards

I got the Monte Carlo with ham, swiss, and strawberry jelly.
Frenchmarket Monte Carlo

It was good, but my friend’s bacon and egg croissant stole the show. It was buttery, flaky, and there was fresh pepper in the egg.
Frenchmarket Croissant
I liked the decor too, particularly the glass wall which looked into the neighboring space. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the only decaf coffee was Americano and thus cost a dollar more with no free refills.
frenchmarket interior

Frenchmarket glass wall

Thoroughly stuffed we then drove out to Strawberry Plains to the Circle G Ranch Drive-Thru Safari. The Safari was awesome and negated the need to go to the Zoo on this trip, although I’d heard good things. We ran some errands, dined at Mimi’s a chain I was unfamiliar with that has pretty awesome muffins. We spent the afternoon catching up and then ended the day at Dead End BBQ for some amazing brisket.

Dead End BBQ sign

The brisket was divine, beautifully cooked and needing no sauce, although there were some tempting options.

Dead End BBQ Beef Brisket Plate


BBQ Sauce Options Dead End BBQ

The green beans were flavorful, not too salty or fatty. The pimento mac n’ cheese was much better than I thought it would be.

Dead End BBQ Pimento Mac N Cheese

The only disappointment was the jalapeno cornbread which was dry and lacked flavor.

After BBQ, we headed back to the hotel where I learned an interesting fact about Tennessee. Beer and wine cannot be sold in the same store. Stores can sell liquor and beer or liquor and wine, but not wine and beer. As a result, it was not as easy to find a bottle of wine to take back to the room as I thought.

But we eventually found Ashe’s Wine & Spirits only a few miles from the hotel. As was to be expected, the prices were a little higher than I was used to but I really liked their selection. They had a lot of great value Spanish and South American wines. I snagged some bottles and we went back to the room to crash.

Unless you’re a huge history buff, I think one full day in Knoxville is plenty to see all the major sites, and then maybe another day if you want to see Dollywood or do Lost Sea Adventures 🙂


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  1. Pingback: Review of Four Points Cumberland House Knoxville

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