Come for a weekend, stay forever.

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It's time for a road trip, and the destination should be Knoxville. This Tennessee city is sometimes overshadowed by its louder neighbors, but those who know it absolutely love it. With outdoor attractions aplenty, Knoxville is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway all year round: It's also an easy drive from Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Plus, it's just a stone's throw from the Blue Ridge Mountains and several National forests—so shouldn't you plan a trip to Knoxville today? Let us jump start your travel dreaming with a few of our favorite fun things to do in Knoxville on a trip with friends and family. From shops and parks to theaters and museums, there's no shortage of enjoyable ways to spend a day in this Tennessee city. Set your sights on Knoxville, and see for yourself.

1. Historic Market Square

The city's Market Square is a hub for shopping, dining, festivals, music, and all manner of entertainment. It's also the go-to spot for buying fresh produce, so bring your reusable tote and stock up on seasonal goodies. knoxvillemarketsquare.com

2. Ijams Nature Center

This protected wildlife habitat and nature center comprises 315 acres along the Tennessee River. It's a popular outdoor destination for hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, and picnicking. ijams.org

3. Knoxville Children's Theater

This non-profit theater company produces shows "for children by children." Seeing a show during the season is always a highlight for visiting families. knoxvillechildrenstheater.com

4. Knoxville Museum of Art

The city's must-visit Museum of Art has permanent and changing exhibitions with a special focus on the artists of East Tennessee as well as modern and contemporary art. Admission to the museum is free. knoxart.org

5. Knoxville Riverfront

The city of Knoxville is situated on the Tennessee River, and there are many ways to enjoy a day on the river. Stroll down the pedestrian-favorite Neyland Greenway and Volunteer Landing for river views, greenspaces, biking and walking trails, water features, and photo ops. knoxvilletennessee.com/riverfront

6. McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

Located on the campus of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, this museum has a wide array of exciting exhibits on topics as wide-ranging as archaeology, anthropology, and decorative arts. mcclungmuseum.utk.edu

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7. Tennessee Theatre

This historic theater got its start as a "movie palace" in 1928, and it now hosts visiting performing artists from all over the world. Bands, comedians, ballets, and musicals are on the events calendar, as are movie screenings with titles the whole family will enjoy. tennesseetheatre.com

8. The Sunsphere

Knoxville's World's Fair Park is home to The Sunsphere, a structure that looks not unlike a golden disco ball. Take the elevators to the 4th floor to access the observation deck, which offers a 360-degree view of Knoxville—downtown, the Tennessee River, The University of Tennessee, and World's Fair Park. In the distance, you can see the Smoky Mountains. Admission is free. worldsfairpark.org/sunsphere

9. World's Fair Park

World's Fair Park was home to the 1982 World's Fair and is now a greenspace and performance venue. In it, you'll find the Tennessee Amphitheater, Volunteer Landing, Sunsphere, and Performance Lawn, as well as walking trails and water features. worldsfairpark.org

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10. Zoo Knoxville

If your family loves to visit the zoo, don't miss Zoo Knoxville, where you'll find fun exhibitions, events, and education among the habitats. zooknoxville.org

Where are you headed this season? Are you planning any Tennessee road trips? If Knoxville is one of your favorite destinations, let us know what you love to do there.

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