loader image
0
7 Date Night Ideas in Knoxville

7 Date Night Ideas in Knoxville

Whether you’re looking for a special evening with your significant other, a treat yoself adventure with numero uno, or it’s just high time for a girls night out: here are a few omg-it’s-been-a-year-since-I’ve-gone-out-and-my-social-anxiety-is-kicking -in-so-I-can’t-decide-what-to-do date night ideas to enjoy in good ole Knoxville, TN.

1.) SCOOTER TO SOKNO

Have you seen the Link scooters downtown? (If you’re worried about scooties – “scooter cooties” – so were we. Thankfully, Link was one step ahead! Hop on any scooter sporting a green light on the handlebars. Once you’ve ended your ride, the light will turn red and won’t become green again until it’s been sanitized by a Link staff member.)

Pick up your green-lit scooter, travel over the Gay St. bridge (stop for a photo opp, obviously), and head into SoKno.

Order a pie at South Coast Pizza and enjoy that sucker at Suttrees Landing Park. Feel free to impress your date by scootering while balancing an entire pizza… however, the park is also close enough to walk 😉

2.) TAKE TO THE SEAS

We were absolutely floored to find out you can book lunch or dinner on the Star of Knoxville riverboat any ole time. Book the whole shebang to experience a meal and entertainment – or simply sip your own two buck chuck while enjoying the Tennessee River views from the deck! Either way, the entire experience lasts about two hours, avoiding any need for “three hour tour” fears 😂

RT Lodge is a great date night idea right outside Knoxville TN

Photo From: RT Lodge

3.) (KINDA SORTA) GETAWAY

A trip to Europe this year may still be a bit of a stretch, but East Tennessee ain’t half bad! Have you explored our sweet neighbor to the south? Enjoy mountain views (anything to avoid looking longingly at the airport…) as you drive towards Maryville. Take a stroll through their historic downtown. Grab a drink from Diamondjack Wine Bar before enjoying dinner on the gorgeous patio of RT Lodge, tucked in a forest in the back of Maryville College’s campus. Voila! Date night.

(Already checked out Maryville? Explore Sevierville or Townsend instead!)

4.) OPT OUTSIDE

Sorry but there was no way we could pick just one outdoor activity. This is East Tennessee, after all. Pick any of the following:

A.) Spend the day hiking through Ijams and reward yourself by jumping in Meads Quarry! B.) Pack a picnic and hike up House Mountain to experience the tallest peak in Knox County. C.) Check out Sharp’s Ridge followed by some Señor Taco takeout. D.) Throw a couple rounds of disc golf or get in a game of sand volleyball at Victor Ashe Park!

(Maybe we should have named this “10 Date Night Ideas in Knoxville? Next time😂)

This Sunsphere at Sunset view is the perfect cap to a date night in Knoxville

5.) ROOFTOP HOP

Mix date night up and go out on a weeknight to experience the gorgeous views and delish drinks at Downtown Knoxville’s rooftop bars – but with a fraction of the wait time. Rank them on views, vibes, and quality of drinks – then let us know who wins!

6.) WE VOLUNTEER [LANDING] AS TRIBUTE

If downtown is a little crowded for your taste, pivot your date over to Volunteer Landing! Start off strong by renting a paddle board from Knoxville Adventure Collective. Afterward, stroll along the river, turn left onto the greenway, and soon you’ll find yourself near World’s Fair Park. At this point, we suggest photo opps on the colorful steps (near Cumberland Ave and 11th Ave) and in front of our beloved Sunsphere. Follow those photos with frisbee and cartwheels on the lawn!

Poppin Picnic Co. can host dreamy dates around Knoxville!

Photo From: @poppin.picnicco

7.) CAN WE GO BACK TO QUARANTINE?

Not over cozy date nights in? We get it! We also have Knoxville date night ideas for those I’m-done-with-people days 😉 Mix up movie marathon night by giving it a Knoxville theme. Grab some popcorn from Proper Popcorn and some crowlers of your fave local beer and then get cozy! You’re embarking on no small adventure. See how many you can watch in one sitting:

1.) MOVIE WITH DOLLY PARTON: (We choose Steel Magnolias every time.) 2.) MOVIE BY QUENTIN TARANTINO: (Maybe Pulp Fiction? Live your dreams.) 3.) MOVIE WITH AN ACTOR FROM KNOXVILLE: (Hands down, The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Thanks for being born in Knoxville, Jake Thomas.) 4.) MOVIE FILMED IN KNOXVILLE: (The Last Movie Star has a scene in the “Knoxville Grand Hotel” which we very much wish existed.)

Too nice outside for movies? Call up the Poppin’ Picnic Company and they’ll put together the luxury backyard picnic of your actual dreams.

There are plenty more ideas where these came from, so keep an eye out for future lists of date night adventures. In the meantime, however you date night, we hope you have bunches of fun exploring your city and living local this weekend! Want to have a musical date night instead? Discover 7 Days of Live Music in Knoxville!

KNOXVILLE FESTIVALS: WayneStock Music Festival

KNOXVILLE FESTIVALS: WayneStock Music Festival

Knoxville may be known to some as a hidden gem of the south but it is quickly becoming a mecca for live music enthusiasts in the southeast. It’s one of the only places I know where you can catch live *and completely FREE* music acts pretty much every day thanks to the WDVX Blue Plate Special. On top of this, our festival scene continues to not just grow but thrive with annual events like the internationally known Big Ears Festival, Second Bell Music Fest, and the more recent addition of Southern Skies Music Festival. With all this and so much more, our scruffy little city isn’t messing around when it comes to live music.

It doesn’t stop there though. Once you start to dive a little deeper into the local music scene, you’ll quickly discover Knoxville’s music community isn’t just a few bands consisting of friends who all knew each other in high school. It’s made up of an amalgamation of musicians, producers, journalists, radio and podcast hosts, promoters, venue owners, general enthusiasts (aka the friends of the bands who end up going to countless shows to show support), and many other unsung heroes working tirelessly behind the scenes all for the love of music and each other. Enter WayneStock: For the Love of Drew. 

WAYNESTOCK: 

WayneStock is an annual local music festival that is honestly less of a music fest and more of a love fest of local Knoxville musicians. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Who, pray tell, is Wayne and why does he have a whole festival named after him?” Honestly, valid question. The first time I heard about it, I had flashbacks to old SNL skits (Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth). However, the festival’s namesake comes from Wayne Bledsoe, a revered figure in Knoxville’s music community who has played a pivotal role in shaping the city’s musical landscape. With a career spanning decades as a music journalist, radio host, and fervent supporter of local artists, Bledsoe has become somewhat of a local living legend. His deep passion for music and tireless efforts to champion the local scene make him a pillar among Knoxville’s musical community.

While all of this alone might be enough for Knoxvillians to name a local music fest after him, the inaugural event was, sadly, conceived by Bledsoe’s friends as a way to honor his son, Andrew, after he suddenly passed away in 2010. The first festival came together within weeks in 2011 and the money raised went to Wayne’s family to help with costs associated with his son’s service. He had been so supportive of the music community for so long and this was the chance for the community to show their support back to Wayne. Every year since then, that same spirit lives on with proceeds from each annual event benefiting different individuals or organizations in need.

photo of the venue from happyhollerevents.com

Why Is It a Fave Fest??

WayneStock is an annual testament to community, collaboration, and the unyielding spirit of Knoxville’s music scene. With a lineup that mirrors the eclectic influences of the city, WayneStock encapsulates the essence of Knoxville’s diverse and thriving musical community. Not only does the festival bring together musicians from various genres, it also offers a platform for both emerging talents and seasoned artists to share their craft with a passionate audience. Local musician Sarrenna, who will take the stage on night one of the fest, says, “Waynestock is the best weekend of the year for the local music scene. All my favorite people come together to create 3 special nights of fun while simultaneously raising money for some of our own. You will see the best of who’s playing in Knoxville right now, a reunion show of Dishwater Blonde (🙀) and a best of the best finale tribute set that’s never to be missed!” One of Wayne Bledsoe’s unstated missions is to, “Give Knoxville music the attention it deserves” and WayneStock definitely aids in this pursuit. 

In addition to Sarrenna, acts in this year’s lineup include Maggie & Owen (they get a shout out because I sang Live Band Karaoke with them one time 😂), Econopop, Gamenight, Cruz Contreras and more. 

Tips from your Festie Bestie:

👉 DO bring cash. It is CASH ONLY at the door and only $10 buckaroos each night (this is honestly a great deal). Cards are accepted at the bar but cash still reigns as king in these here parts.
👉
DON’T go to ONLY one night! I know, I know. If you’re like me, going out TWO… let alone THREE nights…IN A ROW is a very tall order but to get the full experience (and see all the great acts) you’re gonna have to plan on going the whole weekend. I’m sorry. I don’t make the rules.
👉 DON’T show up by yourself. I am a pretty big fan of flying solo to any and all events but if you’ve never been, this will most likely feel like you’re crashing a family reunion as it will seem like everyone knows everyone because well, they do. Bring a group of friends to hang out and enjoy the music.
👉 DO check out the other establishments in Happy Holler while you’re there! Grab dinner at Central Flats and Taps or a drink at The Oak Room beforehand.
👉 And finally, DON’T let the support for local music stop here. Find your new favorite singer-songwriters and bands and go to their shows (and buy their merch if they have it!).

So if you’re new to Knoxville or maybe just new to the local music scene, Waynestock is definitely a festival you’re gonna wanna check out. It’s one of those events that makes me fall in love with Knoxville all over again and hopefully will do the same for you. See you there! 


Cheers,
Nena

What to Do for Valentines Day in Knoxville, TN

What to Do for Valentines Day in Knoxville, TN

WHEN THE SCRUFFY CITY IS YOUR VALENTINE…

The Scruffy City is our Valentine 😍 And we mean that, but we also doooo still have a soft spot for our, you know, human Valentines as well 😂 So if you feel similarly, we’re here to help you celebrate both your human AND city loves! Without further ado, here are a bunch of fun ways to celebrate Valentines Day in the Scruffy City:

EAT STUFF ON VALENTINES DAY IN KNOXVILLE:

Sure, sure, we’ll give you plenty more ideas of things to do on Valentines Day but we all know the main event: DINNER. However you feel about Valentines Day, we will never be mad about an excuse to have a bougie meal out on the town 😂 Here are some spots pulling out all the stops for V-Day!

SOUTH KNOXVILLE: Simpl on Sevier is holding down the fort on the south side with a 5-course dinner. Come for the food but stay for the freaking festive pink walls. Instagram-boyfriends, prepare yourselves. Snag your tickets here!

DOWNTOWN KNOXVILLE: Feeling Mediterranean? Head to Kopita for 6-courses for $50. Want to avoid the crowds? Check out the 5-course “Caymus Wine Dinner” at The Press Room on February 15th. Want to check out a newer spot downtown? Frothy Monkey is offering a 3 course “Frothy Love Valentines Dinner” for two for $65/couple on the 13th & 14th!

OLD CITY: Osteria Stella is offering a 6-course tasting menu on Valentines Day. You can tack on a wine pairing as well but weeee suggest saving some room for dessert – ie. an espresso martini next door at Brother Wolf. CHEF’S KISS, baby, CHEF’S KISS.

MARYVILLE:
Get out of the city completely and take a lil jaunt to Maryville to experience Valentines Day in Diamondjack Wine Bar’s new space! They’ve got a 5-course dinner on the menu just for you.

WEST KNOXVILLE: The Plaid Apron has a dreeeamy 3-course farm-to-table menu for you tucked inside Sequoyah Hills.

Rom Com Trivia is happening at Xul Beer Co

LEARN STUFF ON VALENTINES DAY IN KNOXVILLE:

NORTH KNOXVILLE: Xul Beer Co is here for all Rom-Com fans! They’re hosting rom-com trivia on Valentine’s Day and anyone and everyone is invited to impress the masses with their rom-com knowledge. Not to brag but we’ve been preparing our whole lives for this…

THROW STUFF ON VALENTINES DAY IN KNOXVILLE:

NORTH KNOXVILLE: First up, throw some axes! Craft Axe Throwing has a cute lil date night planned for you and “the one” (or, you know, snag a pal and take the opportunity to let off some steam if “the one” turned out to be “the worst”). For $35, you get an hour of axe throwing for two, two beers, a gift, aaand a chance to win a giveaway if you book before 4PM on the 14th!

DOWNTOWN: Or throw some bowling balls in what is definitely Knoxville’s coolest bowling alley! Maple Hall is renting lanes for $45/hour, including shoe rentals and a sweet Valentines treat! (Or make it a double date and split that coooost, baby!)

DRINK STUFF ON VALENTINES DAY IN KNOXVILLE:

SOUTH KNOXVILLE: Alliance Brewing is back with a tradition we can get behind: Valentines Day Chocolate & Beer Pairing! Two of our favorite things in our favorite city 🥲 Each pairing includes four tastings of Alliance beers paired with four different chocolates from Lirio Chocolate. They’ll start at 3pm on Valentines Day and go until their sold out! Down the street and a few days before, Printshop Beer is hosting their own pairing with chocolate, beer, and cheese. It’s going down on Sunday, February 11th and you can get your tickets in advance right here.

MAKE STUFF ON VALENTINES DAY IN KNOXVILLE:

OLD CITY: What says love like making something super fragile and breakable? 😉😂 Pretentious Craft Co. is offering a Valentines Day special for ya! You’ll get 2 drink tickets, 2 workshops (total of 40 minutes), aaaand (of course) you get to take home whatever you choose to make – all for $225. You ALSO get a glass rose which is truly the perfect blend of Cinderella and Belle. We’re here for it. Email info@pretentiousglassco.com for details or to go ahead and book your spot!

BUY STUFF ON VALENTINES DAY IN KNOXVILLE:

Okay, okay these aren’t necessarily ON Valentines Day, but they are Valentines Day THEMED and thus… they’re makin’ the list.

WEST KNOXVILLE: On Sunday, February 11th, head to Hey Bear Cafe for their Valentines Market! As much as we love shopping, you definitely need to try some boba tea off their Valentines Day menu.

That’s all for now, ya lovebirds! What are YOU doing for Valentines Day in the Scruffy City? (PSSSST we’ve got even more date ideas right here.) And should we do a wrap up of Galentines Day tooooo? You know what, yes. We definitely should. K then, see you soon 😘😘

7 Days of Live Music in Knoxville

7 Days of Live Music in Knoxville

Whether you’ve got a taste for bluegrass (welcome to Tennessee!), jazz (oh you fancy), or you prefer some acoustic strumming to accompany your beer sipping, here’s where to find FREE live music in Knoxville, Tennessee  seven days a week. While our neighbor to the west may be more well known for her music scene (have you heard of a little place called Nashville?), our favorite lil scruffy city (Knoxville, duh) certainly holds her own when it comes to live music opportunities. After all, Dolly herself would make the trek over from Sevierville to Knoxville to perform at just ten years old.

MONDAYS:

TUESDAYS:

  • Tuesdays are more known for trivia here in Knoxville (seriously, there are endless options for Trivia Tuesday), but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch some live music! Head to Jig & Reel on Tuesdays to catch the Old Time Jam With Sarah Pirkle. Feel free to just listen and enjoy over some scotch – or take an instrument off the wall and join the party!
  • Depending on the season, you can usually catch free jazz on Tuesdays as well! In the colder months, catch it inside The Emporium on Gay St. In warmer months, various jazz bands & trios take the Market Square outdoor stage and the vibe is IMMACULATE.
  • The WDVX Blue Plate Special happens almost every single day. It’s is a live performance radio show held at noon inside Visit Knoxville in Downtown Knoxville & hosts a wide array of musicians from around the region!

WEDNESDAYS:

THURSDAYS:

  • Backdoor Tavern is a Knoxville classic nestled in Bearden. They have live music periodically through the week, but Thursdays specifically are Open Mic Jam Nights on their outdoor stage!
  • In the summer, head back to Market Square every third Thursday of the month for variety concerts! Grab a pal & a lawn chair & make a day of it in Downtown Knoxville.
  • Earlier in the day – you guessed it – The WDVX Blue Plate Special is live inside Visit Knoxville at noon!

FRIDAYS:

  • Fridays are STUFFED FULL of live music! You can usually find it at places like Albright Grove Brewing Co. (their patio is divine), Scruffy City Hall & Preservation Pub, Pour Taproom, Backdoor Tavern, Barley’s Taproom & Pizzaria, Barrelhouse by Gypsy Circus, and honestly like a zillion other places 😂🙌 Take a stroll through town & find your favorite!
  • Remember that The WDVX Blue Plate Special? It still happens at noon, but on Fridays they take a field trip over to Barley’s Taproom so you can enjoy lunch as you listen!