I just love when an impromptu trip becomes a best trip ever situation. So a few weeks ago, I was in Cleveland with my daughter and mother on another road trip. By the time we got home we were plotting a trip for the next weekend. This trip was longer in distance, Tennessee. We wanted to go the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg so we would need a place to stay. I tried Airbnb first since we had an amazing experience a month ago. Unfortunately, we wasn’t able to find anything amazing. We checked hotels in the area everything was either booked or high. Then I thought maybe we could stay a few hours outside South Pittsburg. A city I’ve never spent any time in and make this a solid trip. Knoxville seemed to be the right decision. And it was! We found a hotel and there was quite a few things for us. to do in the city of Knoxville. Let’s gooooo!!
We arrived in Knoxville around 1:00pm and proceeded to our hotel. Even though check-in wasn’t until 3:00pm, we decided to go ahead and see if we could check in early. We were staying at newly renovated Holiday Inn and it was beautiful. I loved the lobby area. At the counter, the nice attendant was able to check us in early with no hassle. We were given our keys and we settled in our room.
The room was very nice and had great amenities. The king size bed was very comfortable. The room also had a pull out couch that was also very comfortable according to my daughter. I love how family-friendly Holiday Inn is. Kids under 18 stay and kids 11 and under eat free any time of the day at the onsite restaurant.
We decided to head out and explore Knoxville. We went down to Market Square and stumble upon a festival. The Dogwood Arts Festivals was in full swing. On a regular day, Market Square is where you will find many dining and shopping options.
You probably need about 2 days to dine through Market Square. We walked around and enjoyed the festival and step into a few interesting shops.
We noticed people going down an alley way and was curious as to what they were looking at. A few feet down the alley we noticed that there was art all over the buildings. It was like the unofficial art gallery of Market Square. There were some very cool pieces.
It’s coffee time! I remembered seeing a cute coffee shop in Market Square during my instagram research of Knoxville. It was called Pearl on Union. After ordering, we sat and sipped on our coffee while enjoying their sidewalk patio. The weather was oh so beautiful to do so.
I’ve decided that any city we’re in we must visit the museum there. So we headed to the Knoxville Museum of Art. Admission to this beautiful museum was absolutely free!
While in the museum store, I started a conversation with the clerk. She was very nice and suggested several not-to-miss places to see in Knoxville. You could tell she was very proud of her city.
One of the places she suggested we should go check out was the Knoxville Sunsphere. We could actually see the Sunsphere from the museum, but she let us know that we could actually go up into the gold ball. How cool! So up into the Sunsphere we went! From inside, we could see all of the downtown Knoxville area. Inside, information was provided as to what we were actually looking at. One sign said something about the World’s Largest Rubix Cube being nearby. Let’s gooooo!
Across the street from the Knoxville Sunsphere, in the Holiday Inn lobby, sat the World’s Largest Rubix Cube. It was huge! Don’t miss this photo opportunity!
After a full afternoon of adventuring, we decided it was time to eat. Again using my trusty Yelp App, I found Love Shack. Located in the courtyard of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Old City, this outside restaurant is serving up some major deliciousness. The Love Shack is from Chef Love. Yes, that’s his name, Chef Tim Love.
I order the Love Bird. One of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve had in a long time! My mom ordered their delicious Nachos. Wow! Now those were some delicious nachos! I also got the chance to try a local beer from Mill Creek Brewing Co. It was the perfect addition to my delicious chicken sandwich.
Before heading back to the hotel, we went to snap some photos in front of the Greeting from Knoxville mural. I think every city should have one! It’s pretty genius if you ask me.
We get back to the Holiday Inn and decided that we were going to take advantage of the hotel restaurant ,Bespoke Bar & Grill, and order up a nightcap. I ordered a Mai Tai, Mom went with a glass of Merlot. Perfect ending to a very adventurous day.
We got an early start on our day and headed to the National Cornbread Festival. Read about our time there HERE.
After the 2 hour car ride from the festival, we decided to check out another coffee shop called Status Dough. This place definitely knows how to make a donut! When you walk in, you get hit with the delicious aroma of freshly made donuts. Best. Smell. Ever.
We were greeted by a very friendly barista who definitely seemed to love his job. He gave us the rundown on all the different donuts they offered. They all sounds like I need to just buy all of them. I finally decided on the Buttermilk Donut to go along with my Honey Latte. This donut was truly amazing. It had a nice outside crunch, but was soft and tender inside. So tasty. My latte was pretty great too! I will definitely be visiting Status Dough again!
Now it was time to find food! We decided a place not too far from our hotel called Full Service BBQ. Full Service BBQ is located in an old abandoned gas station, which give it a unique look and the inspiration for its name.
They offer an array of amazing BBQ and side items on their menu. All prepared onsite. When you pull up and get out of the your car, you’re immediately hit with that delicious BBQ aroma. Mmmmm. I ordered the BBQ Nachos with Chicken. It was so tasty!! Mom got the ribs. She said they were delicious. The naked bones proved it. While you hang out in their cool patio area, you can even play a round of checkers while you’re there.
On our last day in Knoxville we decided to start with breakfast at the hotel. We were given tickets for complimentary breakfast with our stay at Holiday Inn, so we wanted to take advantage of that. We were given a choice of the breakfast buffet or a made-to-order item off the menu. The buffet was full of bacon, potatoes, eggs, French toast, and lots of fresh fruit. Everything looked so good, so we all chose the buffet.
After checking out, I wanted to check out one more coffee shop before heading back home. I saw a cute coffee shop on Instagram that I really wanted visit called Remedy Coffee. This modern coffee shop, located in the heart of the Downtown North neighborhood of Knoxville, is serving up quality cups of coffee and amazing vibes.
They warmly invite you to sit for conversation & coffee. Seriously. It’s on the wall! I love their wall! I got my usual, a Honey Latte, and it was perfectly made. This place is was a definite win.
This impromptu road trip to Knoxville was a success! We had so much fun! I can’t wait to return! #KnoxRocks