5 Knoxville Attractions to Check Out
I’ve lived in the Knoxville area since 1981. I have traveled the world, seen other continents and watched most of North America go by from a tour van, but my zipcode has always started with 379. I find it exciting when Knoxville attractions get regional and national attention, and that attention has been growing.
My concern is that every time I see an article about the Knoxville area in a travel blog or magazine it basically reads like this:
The Knoxville Area is……
- Close to Mountains
- Lots of Restaurants
- REALLY “nice” people
and in closing; Jane Doe journalist wraps up the article by being “pleasantly surprised” that Knoxville was such a “nice” pit stop.
They say “All press is good press”- and maybe it is. But the Knoxville I live in on a day to day basis is MORE than the Knoxville described above. I live in a Knoxville full of incredibly intelligent, tech savvy, and ambitious creators that are working to make this community as strong, vibrant, and innovative as it can be; Economically, Socially, and Culturally- not just a nice place to visit.
So, I am spilling the beans. At least the first few anyway. The next time you hear about Knoxville, or tell someone about it, here are a few reasons to brag:
- Big Ears. This is one is becoming less of a secret thanks to Bonnaroo creator Ashley Capps. If you didn’t know- Big Ears is the premier avant-garde music festival in the country. It annually brings music afficinados from art-meccas like San Francisco, New York, and even Bejing to Knoxville, TN for a weekend of mind-blowing, experimental music. Over the years Rolling Stone Magazine has said Big Ears is “arguably the classiest, most diverse festival in the country” and
- World’s First 3D Printed Car. In early 2014, Local Motors moved to the Knoxville Area, and not just to set up a retail space in Market Square, but rather to take advantage of Oak Ridge’s World Class 3d manufacturing capabilities, in order to create the world’s first 3D printed car. A few weeks later the company did it at a conference in Chicago, and it was covered by national tech blog, The Verge. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, thought i was pretty cool too.
- Top 5 Television Production Market. This one is usually surprising to outsiders, but thanks to a Scripps Networks Interactive (HGTV, Travel, GAC), and a host of high quality Production Companies- Knoxville is one of the largest producers of television content in the country. Scripps alone gets hundreds of millions of views in 67 countries worldwide, in addition, companies such as North/South Productions (Say yes to the dress), Lusid Media (Murder Comes to Town, Unwrapped), RivR Media (NFL Road Tested), and Jupiter Entertainment. We make tons of TV shows in the area, and that’s not even counting all the games produced by UT-Knoxville for the SEC Network.
- Music (Tech) Town. 8 new music technology companies launched in Knoxville in 2014. From House Concerts Tickets to Posters, the new age of the music industry will have to listen to Knoxville. But its not just about the new: Incumbent companies like EventBooking.com and Bandmix.com have a global footprint providing online services for the music business worldwide. Don’t believe me? Even Nashville is talking about it! Oh yeah, Bonnaroo works out of here too.
- Baracks Dubs. Who knew that a UT student could take presidential speeches off of whitehouse.gov, and edit them into the President of the United States singing the biggest pop hits of day? Its true and Fadi Saleh has reaped the benefits of over 150M YouTube views for Baracks Dubs and is also now apart of the largest YouTube Content Network, Makers Studios (owned by Disney).
I have more secrets…..but I’m not going to give them all away yet. There are many Knoxville attractions afoot here. Hire a knoxville limo service and have them drive you to Local Motors to see the first 3D printed car. Lets quit being so shy about them. Have a Knoxville Secret? Someone doing BIG THINGS in East Tennessee? Hit me up at JS@Knoxec.net or @JsextonTN on Twitter
Photo by Will Fisher