Thanks to a unique mix of natural beauty, outdoor adventure and cultural attractions, Knoxville truly lives up to its reputation as a nature-loving-adventure-seeking-artsy-kinda-town – for leisure travelers, planners and attendees.
Whether you’re downtown for a meeting or event at the Knoxville Convention Center at World’s Fair Park or at other venues throughout the county, you’re minutes away from parks, trails and greenways; museums, galleries, shops and theaters; distilleries, breweries and rooftop bars; and local culinary offerings from around the world. The city’s ever expanding, vibrant downtown, including Market Square, the Old City and historic Gay Street, are all within walking distance of the Knoxville Convention Center. The cornerstone of Knoxville’s meeting facilities, this beautiful, 500,000-square-foot space is also located adjacent to the University of Tennessee and within blocks of some of Knoxville’s finest hotels. Knoxville offers nearly 9,600 guest rooms countywide, including over 1,800 rooms downtown within one square mile of the Knoxville Convention Center.
Additional venues for meetings and sporting events include the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, World’s Fair Exhibition Hall, Thompson-Boling Arena, and Allan Jones Aquatic Center. For a scenic ride from these venues to downtown, free trolley service is provided.
For added adventure (and sporting competition), head to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. This spectacular 1,000-acre outdoor adventure area is a place to hike, bike, climb, paddle, or just wander in the woods – less than three miles from downtown. Over 50 miles of trails and greenways connect Ijams Nature Center, lakes and quarries, historic sites, parks and a 500-acre wildlife area. Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is also home to Baker Creek Preserve which offers multi-use trails for mountain bikers of various skill abilities, including the Devil’s Racetrack, the region’s only double-black diamond downhill trail.
Knoxville’s convenient location (at the intersection of I-75 and I-40) is ideal to build in outings to the Great Smoky Mountains and attractions throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Dollywood, and all the excitement that surrounds it, is just 35 miles from downtown Knoxville, and the Smokies are an hour away.
For those looking to fly in, McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS), located just 20 minutes from downtown, offers non-stop flights from 26 cities (30 total airports), and Knoxville one stop from destinations around the globe. International service from Nashville International Airport (BNA) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) are each roughly three hours driving distance.
With a setting like this, it’s no wonder that Knoxville continues to host events including Bassmaster Classic, USA Cycling National Championships, the Medal of Honor Celebration, the International Elastomer Conference – Rubber Division, the American Chemical Society, and the 2024 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials – just to name a few. The city has more than earned its reputation as a premier destination for hosting a variety of meetings, conventions and sporting events.