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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.


5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game

5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game

If you’re new to Knoxville and find yourself downtown on a lovely fall Saturday, you will notice two things: the Market Square Farmers Market and an overwhelming sea of “gaudy orange” (Sandra Bullock’s words, not ours 😉). This Scruffy City loves her college football. And while Knoxville is way more than a college town, we’ve found it’s fun to jump in and embrace the Volunteer spirit anyway. (Though we are not buyin’ checkerboard overalls… that’s where we draw the line 😂) Wherever your budget or love of (or lack of love of) sports lands you, you can still have enjoy game day in Knoxville. Here’s everything a newbie needs to know before attending your first UT football game!



There are so many ways to enjoy game day (without even purchasing a ticket!) but not without showing up a few hours early. If you’re anything like us, you are always running late but game day is not the time, fellow time optimists! You’ll probably have to park a good hike away (scooters aren’t activated on game day, but the free trolley makes its rounds) so keep that in mind when planning your adventure. And as people who could take or leave football itself, you do not want to miss all the parties, music, and good times happening before kick-off. With that in mind…

Truly Tailgate


If you’re brand new to Knoxville, you still may not have a tried and true group of friends to tailgate with (yet! You know we’re always here to help ya make friends 😉). But that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the tailgating experience. The Truly Tailgate (located between Gates 10 &11) opens up three hours before kick-off and the first hour is freeeee! Enjoy cornhole and other yard games, televisions streaming games around the country, food trucks, and drinks (specifically Truly’s, obviously 😂). After the first hour, the tailgate is only open to ticket holders – so here’s a Pro-Tip: If you’ve been bullied into attending this football game, you can go straight from the stadium into this lil tailgate and just play yard games to your heart’s content while the game goes on inside.

Kids at the Vol Village Pep Rally


The hours before the game are all about getting puuuumped. Specifically, two hours and fifteen minutes before kick-off, make your way in front of Neyland Stadium to watch the “Vol Walk.” The team, players, coaches, Smokey, Davy Crocket, etc. will all parade into the stadium while the rest of us do the very important job of making sure they know we love them. You can fulfill this task in a myriad of ways including shaking pompons, giving high-fives as they pass, and occasionally “whooping & hollering” as they say in the south.

Next, head up the hill to Vol Village for a pep rally! If you don’t want to pay for a ticket to a major game, but still want to enjoy all the energy and fun of a football game, this is the place you want to be. This pep rally is totally free for everyone, with or without a ticket to the game. There are cheerleaders, live music, food trucks, Smokey (Smokey gets his steps in on game day, that’s for sure) and more. Our favorite part was when the regular cheerleaders invited lil baby cheerleaders to join them in a routine and we nearly cried from cuteness.

Finally, make sure to head back towards the stadium to catch the band makin’ music while they march inside. (Fun Fact: They’re also called the “Pride of the Southland.”) You will hear them play “Rocky Top” QUITE A FEW TIMES on this particular adventure, so we highly recommend learning when to sing the “woo!”

Social Deck View at Neyland Stadium


Once the band goes inside, follow that music-makin’ mass! (We love their flair and don’t want you to miss a single second of any potential performances.) The crowd at this point will be massive. Just hold your clear bag close and dive in, pal. OR get a season ticket to the brand new Social Deck. We got to check it out on the first game of the season and we felt very fancy. There were also plenty of perks – not least of which was entering around the back of the stadium where the line was significantly shorter 😂


Quick pause for a recap of the Social Deck. The view from this deck is INSANE, Y’ALL. You look directly over the field for an Instagram dream. You also get private concessions and bars so again, the lines stay pretty manageable. We did stand the whole time, but that just kept on our (literal) toes during the football portions. (Honestly, we’re here for the snacks and the marching band so we didn’t mind extra motivation to stay alert during the game itself 😂) Our very favorite part was watching the band form a Power T on the field. The cheerleaders, Smokey (again, that pup has endless energy), and the entire football team break through the T to enter the field and it. is. rad. Finally, right above the Social Deck is a brand new jumbotron to join the first.


Again, we’re here for the ✨drama✨ If you are too, here are a few things you’ll love about being inside Neyland Stadium for a UT football game.

First, the Pride of the Southland truly does not hold back. They are marchin’ all over that field in the coolest formations; they are playin’ Rocky Top like their lives depend on it; they are somehow not passing out from the heat because they are magic people. Second, helloooo fireworks! Fireworks shoot off after every touchdown and we squeal with delight every time. Third, FLYOVERS?! With the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base just a few miles south of University of Tennessee, sometimes you’ll get a fancy flyover at the start of the game. Fourth, the fans. Y’all, Vol fans bring the drama. There may be woos and there may be boos – but there is definitely no question about how the crowd is feeling at any given moment. If you’re here for the drama, Tennessee fans deliver 😉


Finally here is some lingo/cheers we had to work to decipher 😂

GBO = Go Big Orange
VFL = Vol for Life
“Rocky Top, you’ll always be home sweet home to me. Good ole Rocky Top (WOO!) Rocky Top, Tennessee”
Rocky Top = Generally UT at large
Power T: The big orange T logo you see all over town!

We hope this can help you make the absolute most out of your first game day at the University of Tennessee! If you can’t make it to campus at all, check out some of our favorite spots to watch UT games around Knoxville!

3 Must-Try Food Truck Parks

3 Must-Try Food Truck Parks

I assume we can can all agree that food trucks rule – so it’s been a hair of a bummer to see some of our faves not reopen in Knoxville this summer. But are we half-glass-empty people?? No, Knoxville, we are not! (And since you’re here reading this, we’re just going to go ahead and assume you’re a pretty fun half-glass-full positive person too. We’re also going to assume you’re adorable and kinda funny. Did we nail it? I think we nailed it 😉) So without further ado, here are some food truck parks in Knoxville we looove who are still kickin’ and livin’ large!

SouthSide Garage

Neighborhood: South Knoxville

SouthSide Garage was a perfect addition to the laidback, outdoorsy vibes of Old Sevier. Everything about them screams SoKno – from their big garage doors to a backyard that makes you feel like you’re hanging at your neighbor’s house to a fully dog-friendly atmosphere.

While SouthSide usually doesn’t sport quite as many food trucks as the first spot on this list, you can always count on their resident food truck (right now it’s Dia De Foods *drool*) and a full bar complete with wine, craft cocktails, and local beer. Come hang for a Trivia Tuesday or a bocce league or one of their legendary “MASHUP” events where food trucks collab on menu items and we all get to benefit from it 🤩


Neighborhood: Karns

This food truck park was originally described to us “a corner of the Food City parking lot.” And that, friends, is an egregious mishandling of the information 😂 They’ve transformed this corner of the shopping center into a full Tennessee patio oasis with a line of food trucks, a big ole bar, large TVs, and plenty of seating for eating & lounging all brought together by the magic ingredient: string lights, baby! Creekside is LOVELY. Mosey on over to Karns this summer and enjoooooy.

Hey Bear Cafe

Neighborhood: Cedar Bluff

You may think of Hey Bear Cafe in West Knoxville as a boba tea spot… and you’d be right. But she’s also FULL OF SURPRISES because Hey Bear Cafe is also definitely a food truck park, babyyy. They host at least one, usually two, and sometimes even more food trucks every single day of the week – not to mention additional pop-ups most days as well. Their big, beautiful backyard is the perfect place to eat some local grub and sip on boba, no matter your age. Pro-Tip: They’re really good about posting their food trucks, events, and live music schedule over on the ‘gram so make sure to give them a follow!


These are decidedly not food truck parks, but here are a few spots to find a food truck anyway!

⭐️ Xul Beer Co. in Downtown North Knoxville hosts Abridged’s Burger Truck most Fridays and Saturdays. Those smash burgers are soooo good, y’all. If they’re not on-site, you can count on Pizza Time (Xul’s resident pizza truck) to be open on the other side!
⭐️  Around the corner, Crafty Bastard has become home to Frussie’s Deli food truck. If Frussie’s isn’t servin’ up sandwiches, you can usually count on Kandilge Spicy Food to be slingin’ deliiiicious Ghanaian cuisine. We’re talkin’ full plates overflowing with food, people. It’s so good.
⭐️  Merchants of Beer in the Old City is another spot with a resident food truck. Their Pop Up Truck has a rotating menu but she’s currently home to some of the best barbecue in Knoxville: Oakwood BBQ (*drooooool*)

Cheers to glasses half-full (or, you know, fully full) of good brews as we share big plates of fresh food around long picnic tables under the glow of string-lights & head-lights from food trucks in Knoxville 💛

7 Dog-Friendly Businesses

7 Dog-Friendly Businesses

It’s fun to grab a drink after work with your pals. It’s more fun to grab a drink after work with your pals and your pups! Not only are dogs the best, but they also act as incredible buffers if you’re in a new place. Want to meet some strangers? Life hack: Get a dog. Thankfully, Knoxville is a super dog-friendly town and most bars and restaurants are more than happy to host your pupper on their patio. The problem arises when it’s rainy or, you know, frigid. We’re here to help! Next time you want to bring your pup with you on a fun night out, check out some of these indoor dog-friendly businesses!

Geezers Brewery

The first dog-friendly business on our list is Geezers Brewery. Geezers taproom may be new, but these guys have been around Knoxville long enough to know  we take our furry friends’ comfort very seriously. That’s why they threw open their new taproom’s doors to both you and your pup!

Dog orders a beer from the bar at Southside Garage in South Knoxville

Southside Garage [Image by: @southsidegarageknox]

Southside Garage

This food truck park in South Knoxville has a big beautiful backyard we adore – but the reason they’re able to be open year round is their convenient indoor bar. The good news for you? Your dog is welcome in both spaces!

Italian mastiff puppy at Alliance Brewing Co. in South Knoxville

Alliance Brewing Co.

Alliance Brewing Co.

When you’re done hanging out at Ijams or Suttrees Landing in South Knoxville, head over to Alliance. They’re all about that active beer culture, and active beer culture is all about that dog-lovin’ life. Whether you’re hanging out on Alliance’s patio or cozying up inside, feel free to bring your four-legged friend!

Mast General Store

If you’re strolling downtown, a great place to pop in with your pup is Mast General Store! Not only are they pet friendly, but they also sell a whole bunch of toys, treats, and goodies for your dog. Treat yoself and then treat yo pup by heading over to the downtown dog park located down a couple blocks and around the corner.