Over our last few blog entries, we’ve established most of the neighborhoods in and around Knox County and the City of Knoxville. From suburban areas to downtown, burgeoning walkable districts to historic neighborhoods, Knoxville has a ton to offer. But as we move beyond Knoxville, there are some really great areas just outside the city with their own personalities and experiences to offer. Take a look at some of our favorites.
Lenoir City is a suburb located southwest of Knoxville, situated along the Tennessee River. It is a city rooted in history from the Cherokee, who called it Wa’ginsi (home of an evil serpent), to the American Revolution (much of the area was granted to General William Lenoir from North Carolina as payment for services during the revolution), to the Civil War (which saw the Union burning the sawmill and flour mill). During the Great Depression, a series of government projects boosted the economy and provided much-needed infrastructure, particularly in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s construction of Fort Loudoun Dam and Reservoir. Visit Sweetwater Valley Farm to taste some delicious local cheese or take part in any of the outdoor activities in what is called the “Lake Capital of the South.”
Located in north-central Blount County, just south of Knoxville, Maryville lies in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. An important thing to note – to locals, it is not pronounced Mary-ville. It’s pronounced Mur-vul, which is a crucial distinction for locals. Things to see: the Capitol Theatre, the Sam Houston Historic Schoolhouse, Maryville College, Bicentennial Greenbelt Park, and the Parkway Drive-In. Home to a ton of great restaurants and antique shops, Maryville provides a wonderful small-town feel with close proximity to the airport, downtown Knoxville, and the Smokies.
Called the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, Townsend is a beautiful mountain community just past Maryville. Townsend is the gateway to Cades Cove, one of the most popular spots in the Smoky Mountains. Townsend offers outdoor activities like tubing and rafting, hiking trails, and fun festivals.
Oak Ridge is probably most famous for the national laboratory (ORNL) which was the production site of the Manhattan Project, the operation which developed the atomic bombs during WWII. Also known as the “Atomic City” or “Secret City,” Oak Ridge remains a hub for science and technology throughout the southeast. The Oak Ridge Children’s Museum is a local favorite with a ton of hands-on exhibits that please kids and adults alike. Featuring loads of parks and other museums, Oak Ridge is a town with a ton of character.
If you love antiques and a walkable area, Clinton might be the right place for you. Considered one of the top ten antiquing districts in the US, Clinton features tons of one-of-a-kind treasures and shops with a small-town, southern feel.
So what do you think? Do any of these areas sound just right for you? Let us know if one of these spots sounds like your new home – or if you want to learn more about the Knoxville area and all the richness and culture that surrounds it.