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Free Things to See & Do in Knoxville

Boasting Southern hospitality, tradition, and charm, Knoxville, Tennessee is a fabulous city with plenty to see and do. From culture, to history, to outdoor experiences and plenty of attractions, there are many reasons to visit.

Luckily, keeping yourself entertained in Knoxville doesn’t have to be expensive. Below we’ve compiled a few budget-friendly options for exploring the great things to see and do in Knoxville so you’re not breaking the bank!

Visit the East Tennessee History Center.

Dive into the region’s history at the East Tennessee History Center. Here you’ll find the McClung Historical Collection, a premier genealogical research library, the Museum of East Tennessee History, and so much more. The museum offers free admission on Sundays, so be sure to take advantage!

Peruse the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Offering up exhibits from around the world, as well as a permanent collection of contemporary art, the Knoxville Museum of Art includes four galleries, gardens, and a beautiful museum shop. The Museum celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, serving up new, thought-provoking art and ideas. Admission is always free.

Check out the Ijams Nature Center.

A beautiful, 150 acre nature sanctuary located on the banks of the Tennessee River, the Ijams Nature Center offers plenty of mulched and paved trails, a waterfront boardwalk, and ample look-offs to view wildlife. During the spring and summer months, there are often concerts, canoe trips, plant sales, and other activities to enjoy.

Explore the Sunsphere.

An unforgettable landmark in Knoxville, the Sunsphere was built for the 1982 World’s Fair. It offers an observation deck boasting stunning 360-degree views of downtown, and beyond.

Stroll through the Historic Market Square.

Take an afternoon to wander through the historic Market Square – a multipurpose pedestrian mall that offers events, shops, artists displays, street musicians, and so much more.

Discover the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.

A general interest museum offering exhibits on archeology, Ancient Egypt, decorative arts, fossils, geology, the Civil War, as well as local and natural history, the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture is the perfect place for passing time. Admission is free.

Take a walk through the Old City.

Stroll through the Old City to discover history and Knoxville’s independent alternative, located at the intersection of Central and Jackson Avenues. Home to some of East Tennessee’s most famous nightlife and hotspots, as well as plenty of authentic restaurants, coffee houses and art galleries, Knoxville’s Old City offers a unique experience for all visitors.

After you’ve explored the city and the many exciting (and, free!) things to see and do, you’ll soon be able to enjoy a budget-friendly stay in our newly renovated extended stay property in Knoxville.

The renovations will include many upgrades to guest rooms, common areas and the exterior. This is the start of a refresh of the entire Intown brand. Check back often for updates on our progress!