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7 Ways to Find Community in Knoxville

7 Ways to Find Community in Knoxville

WRITTEN BY: Bailey Powell & Emilie Stooksbury

Let’s not beat around the bush – building community as a young adult is hard. Gone are the magical days of living down the hall from college friends. In its place are coworkers you may or may not vibe with – or even physically be with in these #workfromhome days. Maybe you got a plant to befriend. Your pal the sun certainly left you high and dry recently. While prospects may seem dismal, we have hope for you: You can totally make friends as an adult! We’re here to share how to make friends as a young adult in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1.) Bolting Besties

Okay, it may be more of a jog than a bolt, but either way we suggest trying out a local fun run! The concept is simple: Bars and breweries all over town (if you wanted, you could find one literally every day) host them. All you have to do is show up at the allotted time and run/walk about the length of a 5K. Best part? The community is truly awesome. We know because we (the original founders of New2Knox) actually met at a fun run at the Bearden Beer Market! 😍 You can find a bit of the story here. Second best part? Most runs involve a free or discounted beer at the end of your journey – the perfect opportunity to catch your breath, jump in on a conversation, and make a friend. Follow 865 Running to keep up with runs and other activities!

2.) Bike Besties

If you’re more into bolting via biking, we gotchu! The guys behind Two Bikes host rides pretty frequently, usually ending with tacos or coffee or equally enjoyable things. For ladies specifically, Saturdays and Thursdays mean bike rides with SpokesWomen Biking Club!

3.) Bar & Brewery Besties

If running isn’t up your alley, we suggest trying your hand at trivia. Knox Trivia Guys give you the inside scoop on where to find Trivia/Singo almost every day of the week (giving you ample opportunity to make a new bestie!). Access your inner extrovert, show up to a location and see if you can jump in on a team. And while we did name this section “Bars Besties” because we’re obsessed with alliteration, they actually hang out at plenty of restaurants as well.

You know what else breweries are offering lately? Not just lagers, people. Now they’re offering LEAGUES. Here are a couple we think look fun:
⭐️ Pickleball & Corn Hole Leagues at Orange Hat Brewing
💞 Bocce Leagues at Southside Garage
⭐️ Bocce League at Hi-Wire Brewing

Pro-Tip: Knox Brew Hub has some type of activity pretty much every day of the week. Whether it’s chess club, Music Bingo, book clubs, or UT watch parties, these people will welcome you in with open arms and give you something to do with your hands.

4.) Ballin’ Besties

This may seem obvious, but sports are a tried and true way to make friends in adulthood! Here are a few fun options:

  • The ultimate frisbee scene in Knoxville is welcoming and awesome.
  • If you want a whole slew of options, Knox Sports & Social allows you to sign up as a single-player or with a group of friends for everything from kickball to bowling to volleyball.
  • If you want to stay toasty warm, reach out to Craft Axe Throwing about joining one of their leagues.
  • Or scroll your eyes back up to some of those brewery leagues 👀

Best part? All of the above encourage ending your evening with drinks and hangs!

5.) Business Besties

Okay, okay, I know we’ve thrown a lot of activities at you, but you can in fact make friends without being Sporty Spice. Young Professionals of Knoxville is a great way to make both business and bestie connections post-college. Professional development is great and monthly Happy Hours are even greater 😉

6.) Bible Belt Bestie

You don’t have to live here long to notice that Knoxville, Tennessee isn’t just the Bible Belt – it’s the gosh darn buckle. There is a church on every corner and usually one in between. If you’re not religious, this can be… a lot 😬 But if you’re down, take advantage of small groups! A few churches with a good chunk of young adults are The Point, City Church, All Souls, Heart & Soul, and Fellowship.

7.) New2Knox Hops

The goal behind every single New2Knox Hop is the same: Make friends while exploring our city. We started New2Knox because making friends as an adult is hard. (I had to start running to make friends when I first moved here, y’all. Running! Did it work? Yes. Did I ever enjoy running? Nope.) Whether you’re brand new to Knoxville or just find yourself in a season where you need more community, we so hope we can provide a space where you can get to know your city and get to know a new friend.


6 Ways to Spend Rainy Days in Knoxville

6 Ways to Spend Rainy Days in Knoxville

Knoxville, Tennessee is an outdoor-lovers playground. There are endless options. We’re talking mountain biking and paddle boarding and quarry swimming and patio eating. BUT Knoxville also has a tendency to, well, rain… a lot. (In my defense, I moved here after about 5 years of living in a Texan draught so my opinion of “lots of rain” may be skewed but STILL 😂) When the rain comes down, do not fear. You can still have a super fun-filled (not sun-filled) day exploring your new city. Here are 6 ways to spend rainy days in Knoxville!

1.) Ask Me About Axes 🪓

Have you ever been axe throwing? It’s less terrifying than it sounds (trust us), while still allowing you to feel like a complete boss. You can take your shot at hitting the bullseye or mix it up with a handful of other games. Either way, it’s a unique way to get out of the house, stay out of the rain, and intimidate your enemies, hone your survival skills in the case of zombie apocalypses. Check out Craft Axe Throwing for themed days, leagues, and specials!

Knoxville Art Museum

The Knoxville Art Museum is a great way to spend a rainy day!

2.) Museum Maven

Impress all future visitors with your extensive Knoxville knowledge by spending rainy days at museums! As super fancy folks (clearly), our favorite kind of museum is the freeeee kind which means The Knoxville Art Museum and Beck Cultural Exchange Center easily top the list! We also love catching different displays at the East Tennessee History Museum right in the heart of downtown Knoxville.

3.) Reach for the Skies Ceiling

If you ask us, rain is just an opportunity to bring the outdoors into the air conditioning 😜 Head over to the Climbing Center inside RiverSports in the eclectic Marble City neighborhood to climb in a dry, cool environment all day long. After your rock climbing adventure, pop over to their neighbors Albright Grove Brewing Co. to rehydrate with a beer or The Boocherie for a slew of non-alcoholic cocktails!

4.) Bangin’ Basement Bowling

Why simply get out of the rain when you can forget the outdoors entirely by hanging out in Knoxville’s favorite basement? Maple Hall is a trendy basement bowling alley tucked right underneath the heart of Gay St. Enjoy aesthetic lounging areas, delicious drinks & food (the fried pickles and pretzel bites are our faves 😋), and a day full of bowling with your buddies. (PS. Downtown Knoxville has a few other basement bars for you to check out too.)

5.) Brews & Boards

Let’s not overlook the classic (and ohhh-so-cozy) combo of board games and brews! Plenty of local bars and breweries have a stockpile of board games to help you fully take advantage of stormy evenings. We’re talkin’ full on hygge, y’all. Some of our favorites are Schulz Brau Brewing Co (we usually obsess over their biergarten, but the inside castle + fireplace situation is a dreeeam on rainy nights), Pour Taproom (the bevvy options are limitless – or as Cady Heron would say, “the limit does not exist”), and Crafty Bastard Brewery (we’ve spent many a rainy afternoon playing Sorry with a Hop Candy in hand #memories 🥲).

If you want to advance to the next level, you can hit up the Maple Room (located right above Maple Hall) for larger-than-life board games on the walls. OR go old school and hit up Harrogate’s Lounge connected to Suttree’s Tavern for arcade games (oh HELLOoo Dolly themed pinball!). OOOoor get active at Hi-Wire Brewing Co with games like ping pong, foosball, or soccer pool (yeah, soccer pool is a thing 😂).

Image from Renegade Yoga in West Knoxville

6.) Lights, Cobra, Action

Speaking of action, rainy days don’t necessarily have to mean full hygge. While we wouldn’t choose to go on a rainy hike for instance – we do love a relaxing yoga sesh. At Renegade Yoga Center, you can enjoy a zen yoga class while the rain pounds on the roof and outside the big garage door. At Blue Ridge Yoga, you can end your yoga class with snuggles from Theo the insanely adorable French Bulldog. (I mean, C’MON 😍) And at Glowing Body Yoga Studio, savasana can include staring up at the skylight while the rain comes down.

Okay, friend, there’s more where that came from, but it’s high time you get off your device to go splash in some puddles and sing in the rain. TOODELOO 👋

PS. If you’re an Enneagram 9 and the idea of spending a rainy day rock climbing is just incomprehensible, don’t you worry. We’ve got a list of the Coziest Coffee Shop Corners where you can curl up with a book and pray the rain never goes away 😉 Happy Hygge-ing!

Cinco de Mayoooo in the Scruffy City!

Cinco de Mayoooo in the Scruffy City!

Fear not: We will quickly get to all the best deals and parties happening on Cinco de Mayo in Knoxville, Tennessee. But first: If you hang out with New2Knox on any type of regular basis, you probably already know we appreciate a good pun. And a bad pun. Honestly, we love puns of all kinds. With that in mind, it is important to me that you know my maiden name was Finke. Emilie Finke. So while the rest of the world may recognize the holiday called Cinco de Mayo, in my mind it is and always has been lovingly referred to as Finko de Mayo.

See, aren’t you glad we made you read through all that before getting to the main event? 😉

Nooow we are here to share some of the best deals & festivities happening around Knoxville for Cinco de Mayo!🎉 As we learn more, we will share more. (Yes, when it comes to queso, guac, and marg specials, we are suddenly hard-hitting investigative journalists.) Buckle up, babes, it’s bound to be a wild ride!

image from @babaluknox


⭐️ Remember that time the West Town Mall got a restaurant with a rooftop bar? We honestly thought that was a WILD decision 😂 but the tables have turned and we are officially [que]sooo here for it 🙌 Loco Burro is pulling out all the stops for Cinco de Mayo including a DJ, taco-eating contents, donkey riding contests, and mooore!

⭐️ Out in Karns, Creekside Food Truck Park is hosting a Cinco de Drinko Fiesta! Expect pinatas, prizes, giveaways, and moooore.


⭐️ If it’s nice outside, it will be hard to beat the energy of the SoKno Taco patio! They’ve got thematic drinks specials & live music on the docket all weekend!

⭐️ Over on Sevier Ave, SouthSide Garage is servin’ up Cinco specials like $6 margs & $3 Pacifico & Modelo Tallboys (paired with Dia de Food truck?? MMMM perfection).


⭐️ Monterrey Mexican Restaurant does not mess around, people! They know what we’re lookin’ for 😂 Here are the specials they’ll be slingin’ all day on May 5th: 32oz draft beers for $7 | 32oz House Margaritas for $11 | 32oz Texas Margaritas for $13 (consider us former Texans intriiiigued 👀.).

⭐️ Yee-Haw Brewing is throwin’ a “Cerveza Fest” of their own! They’ve got specialty beer releases, drink specials (including $2 off margs 👀), and live music on the docket in their beautiful beer garden all weekend long.


⭐️ First things first, let’s shout out the classics. Soccer Taco, Chivo, Babalu, and the ✨neeewly open✨ Chismoso will all be slingin’ delish margs & tacos to the masses!

⭐️ The Old City bars have gotten together to host a Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl on Saturday, May 4th! Your $10 wristband will get you into all the spots on the crawl and access to a Silent Disco, let’s gooooo 🤩

⭐️ Down in the boujeest basement in Knoxville, The Vault is hosting a “Spirits of Mexico” tasting.

⭐️ And the party doesn’t even have to end on Sunday… on Monday, May 6th, Five Thirty Lounge is hosting a Tequila Tasting on their rooftop!

Like we said, we will update this with more deals & parties & goodies as Sunday gets closer. Let us know if you hear of any not listed here as well! Hope you all enjoy a weekend of good friends, good guac, and good times at good restaurants 💛 Cheers, friends!

Want to make some new friends to enjoy guac & margs with next year?? DISCOVER HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS THROUGH NEW2KNOX HOPS HERE.