The following is one in a series of blogs prepared by the Convention & Visitors Bureaus of the 14 cities that are home to the universities of the Southeastern Conference. These blogs are presented to enhance fans' enjoyment of the rich history and culture of SEC cities across the 11-state footprint of the Conference.
First things first - get downtown... early! Swing through Strong Alley for a photo with Dolly Parton (ok, yes, it's a mural - one of many in downtown), pregame at one of the rooftop bars (or coffee shops) and check out the coolest game day wear at Nothing Too Fancy. Then chow down. There's no shortage of good food and brews in K-Town. With more than 90 restaurants within one square mile of downtown, we've quite literally got whatever you're craving. And Knoxville's Ale Trail features more than 20 local breweries, including one very cool German castle and one glass blowing studio. Seriously.
From Market Square, make your way to campus. It's an easy walk from downtown through World's Fair Park or alongside the Tennessee River. (Psst. Plan ahead for a moonlight paddle with Knox Adventure Collective.) Tennessee is revered as one of the most tradition-based game day experiences in the South. It would be a travesty to miss out on any of it, so plan accordingly.
The crown jewel of Tennessee Game Day is the Vol Navy. Very few universities have a stadium located along the river, much less a party on boats (also called "sailgating"). You'll find the pinnancle of Tennessee tailgating at the intersection of Peyton Manning Pass and Volunteer Boulevard at UT's Circle Park. A quiet escape on campus during the week, this park transforms into a scene of tents decked out with TVs, live music and a whole lot of orange and white. Take your kiddos to nearby Vol Village for family-friendly activities or see how many Smokey statues they can find!
If it's your first visit to Neyland Stadium, be prepared. It lives up to the hype - with the Pride of the Southland Band and a never-ending serenade of Rocky Top. BTW, this year Neyland Stadium is celebrating its 100th Anniversary.
To fully enjoy your day, you have to plan to wrap up your night in Knoxville's Old City. For over a hundred years, folks have enjoyed its vibrant nightlife. Whether you're looking for a Scottish pub, dance club, live music or late-night food and drinks, the Old City has it.
OVERTIME! All kinds of music festivals, concerts and events are being added to our calendar! Extend your stay in Knoxville and enjoy all this nature-loving-artsy-kinda-town has to offer! Make your gameplan at goodolrockytop.com!
For more information about Knoxville, visit visitknoxville.com.