With Taylor Swift’s “august” on repeat, the countdown to the end of our Scruffy City summer has begun! BUT SHE AIN’T OVER YET. While there’s plenty to be excited for in the coming months (cooler temps and pumpkin spice, to name just a couple 😉), we can’t forget to cross some last East Tennessee activities off that summer bucket list. We’re here to help you take advantage of five things that are just plain better in the summer. Without further ado, here are five things to enjoy in Knoxville before summer ends!
1.) Get On the Water!
It isn’t summertime in East Tennessee if you’re not on the water! Meads Quarry is the perfect outlet if you’re looking for a change of scenery from the downtown area (and without having to travel very far.) At the quarry, you can rent paddle boards and kayaks or just jump in and swim for free. If that’s not your thing, bring a chair to soak up the sun, your favorite book, and even your pup. The water is sparkling blue and the tall rock cliffs make for an Insta-worthy story.
2.) Outdoor Eatin’
Warm weather means outdoor dining – that, my friends, is just a fact. Thankfully, Knoxville has plenty of restaurants with pretty memorable outdoor spaces. Babalu has a sidewalk dining area, perfect for observing the hustle and bustle of Gay St. Around the corner in the heart of Market Square, Oliver Royale has a stylish patio with French bistro chairs and twinkling string lights. Jacks is a fan-favorite coffee shop with two locations and two great patios. Take a seat outside while enjoying avocado toast and your favorite seasonal latte. (Or just pop over here to read about five more of the best patios in Knox!) No matter the occasion, Knoxville has the perfect outdoor setting to match your vibe this summer 🤩
3.) This Lil Piggy Went to Market
While there are technically indoor winter markets, nothing compares to a farmers’ market in the summer. In mid-August, you can find the most delicious tomatoes and other peak summer veggies. Knoxville’s most popular farmers’ market is the Market Square Farmers Market which runs every Wednesday and Saturday until 1 PM. Besides the freshest produce, you can find pastries, kombucha, art, plants, and much more. It’s honestly the best way to see what Knoxville offers – all while supporting your local makers and enjoying the summer air!
4.) Ice Cream From the Top of My Lungs
Listen, ice cream can be enjoyed any day of the year and that’s not up for debate. (We’ll scream it from the tops of our lungs 😉) However, there’s something extra nostalgic (and extra necessary 😂) about cold ice cream on a hot summer day. Knoxville has plenty of delicious ice cream spots such as Cruze Farm, Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain, and the Sugar Queen Creamery (new to Knoxville as of this summer!) to help you cool down in the Tennessee heat. Treat yourself and check out those seasonal summer flavors before they are gone! I know I can’t get enough of anything peach flavored. (*pauses to wipe drool*)
5.) Park It at a Park
Whether you like to hike, power walk with the gals, or enjoy a stroll with your dog, Knoxville has a park for you. Lakeshore Park is great because of the paved walkway, water views, and greenery. If you’re looking for something a little more woodsy, Ijams Nature Center has multiple hiking trails (some paved and some not) based on difficulty. Ijams is great in general if you’re looking to spend a good amount of your day outside. (Just be sure to check their website for trail closures/updates.) No matter which park you stumble across, stay hydrated and safe this summer!
Summer may be on her last leg, but we’re here to enjoy every last drop. And speaking of last drops, here are 10 Summer Cocktails you need to check off your list as well! 😉