Our historic and revitalized downtown is always abuzz with shows and celebrations that bring thousands of visitors for events like an annual Italian opera celebration, free outdoor concerts, and the month-long Christmas in the City and Dogwood Arts festivals. The region’s rich and progressive music scene features everything from local hip-hop concerts at shoebox-sized clubs to large acts like Loretta Lynn and Alison Krauss at a 1,000-seat 1920s art deco theatre. Eclectic shopping, an outdoor farmers’ market, two historic theatres, art and history galleries, and museums are a few short blocks from campus.
The country is never far away from the town. Lakes and rivers scatter the landscape and sixty-five miles of greenway trails wind through the city, making Knoxville an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Here, it is easy to plan a day hike or just an afternoon of biking, kayaking, or boating. Less than an hour away is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with over 800 miles of maintained trails. The Knoxville area offers more than eighty parks including Ijams Nature Center, a 275-acre wildlife sanctuary just ten minutes from the university.
Volunteer pride runs deep through East Tennessee and beyond, and devoted Vols fans can be found in every pocket of the state. Saturday home football games draw fans from all over the nation to campus to cheer on the Vols. With twenty men’s and women’s competitive team sports to offer, there is always a meet, match, or game to catch on campus. Take advantage of Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball and Ice Bears professional hockey games in venues just minutes from campus.
As Tennessee’s third largest city, Knoxville’s mid-South and central location is good for business. It’s home to corporate leaders like A.C. Entertainment, Scripps Networks (DIY, HGTV), Regal Entertainment, Pet Safe, Pilot Flying J, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex.
The community’s storied past has been captured in the works of nationally renowned poets, writers, and artists who have called Knoxville home, including James Agee, Cormac McCarthy, and Nikki Giovanni.
Knoxville was established in 1792 and named after Henry Knox, President Washington's war secretary.
According to 2010 Census data, the city of Knoxville’s population is approximately 180,000 while the surrounding Knox County has over 430,000 residents.
The city of Knoxville comprises 101 square miles of the 526-square-mile total for Knox County.
Knoxville is situated at the crossroads of three major interstates, I-75, I-40, and I-81.
Seven lakes surround Knoxville: Cherokee, Douglas, Ft. Loudon, Melton Hill, Norris, Watts Bar, and Tellico.
Knoxville is home to the Tennessee Valley Authority, which was created in 1933 to provide hydroelectric power cheaply and abundantly to the region.
Knoxville was home to the 1982 World's Fair which recorded over eleven million visitors.
The iconic Sunsphere, built for the 1982 World’s Fair, is 266 feet tall and was featured in an episode of “The Simpsons.”
(Courtesy of the City of Knoxville)