The good life stems from the abundant recreational and leisure opportunities afforded by the geographic setting. We are in the midst of one of the most scenic areas of the Eastern United States. With the seven TVA lakes plus the Great Smoky Mountains surrounding Knoxville and nearby communities, one can easily spend a day on the lake, or in the mountains, and be home relaxing in the evening. The University of Tennessee main campus and Medical Center are benefits to all families in the area.
East Tennessee enjoys four distinct seasons – bright colorful spring with the bird chirping, bright relaxing summer of outdoor adventures, the colors of fall in the mountains, and the mainly mild winter season closing out the year. Always change in the air for the family and friends. We hope you will visit then undoubtedly will want to stay.
SPRING TIME … There is not a season in East Tennessee that does not simply take your breath away but, spring has the special effect of an explosion of color and sweet fragrant flowers. The feeling of waking up from the cold of winter makes your senses sing. Daffodils, hyacinth, crocus, tulips, redbud, dogwood, magnolia, apple and cherry blossom, azalea and wisteria are just a few of the flowers that are on display on the Dogwood Trails around Knoxville. Spectacular personal gardens are open to the public every spring and the Knoxville Botanical Garden and University of Tennessee Gardens are open to the public year round. Farmers Markets start popping up around town like mushrooms in April. There is nothing like the flavor of those locally grown strawberries and tomatoes. These markets have a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as incredible baked goods and unique locally made craftsman and artist’s merchandise.
SOUNDS OF SPRING … The tradition of music in East Tennessee tells all the stories of our deep and varied cultural influences. The Rhythm N’ Blooms and Big Ears Festivals are two of the largest gatherings of extraordinary musicians of any city in the United States. Rhythm N’ Blooms gathers so many popular national and local talents that it takes three days to showcase the numerous acts that converge on Knoxville in April. Big Ears is a phenomenal collection of International talent. It takes four days of continuous music to fit all the acts into this festival. Knoxville will sometimes have more Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winners over those four days than any place in the nation. East Tennessee has traditionally been a cradle of country music by producing great singers and musicians that have developed out of these hills but, it has now become a gathering place of international music masters in rock, jazz, classical, folk, electronica, americana and ameripolitan music.
SUMMER COMES TO THE VALLEY … Bring the boat, chill out and cool down on the seven TVA lakes that spill out of our mountains. And, if that is not enough for your summer waterbug then we can talk real adventure on the numerous rivers that offer every opportunity to fish, paddle and swim. The heat of the Tennessee summer air brings everyone to water for simple cooling relief. Whether you prefer a calm ride on the lake or a more exciting float down a whitewater river, water is never far from the minds of most of us in East Tennessee. Fishermen will be seen everywhere on both the lakes and rivers. These anglers love to get a tug on the line from trout, bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie.
AND THE MOUNTAINS ... The refreshing abundant oxygen of the Great Smoky Mountains draws 10 million visitors a year from across the nation. Everyone loves an opportunity to breathe in a little nature with a pleasant stroll or an intense hike on the many trails that wind through these ancient mountains. Massive amounts of vegetation provide the humid climate and make the Smoky Mountains a national treasure. Over 1,600 species of flowering plants cover the landscape and several of these species are unique to only these green hills. Wildflowers are in abundance in every season but spring and summer exceed all expectations. Acres will be covered by blankets of white fringed phacelia.
SUMMERTIME EVENTS ... brings the abundance of locally grown fresh produce into the city. Farmers markets are overflowing with sweet corn and tomatoes into Dixie Lee, Ebenezer Road, Historic Southern Railway, Lakeshore Park, Marble Springs, New Harvest Park, University of Tennessee Gardens and Market Square. Music and theatre really come to life on Market Square in the balmy evenings of summer. Live jazz brings a relaxing chill on Tuesday nights and various music styles fill the air on Thursday evenings. Tennessee Stage Company enlightens the Market Square visitors with performances of two magnificent plays of William Shakespeare. Whether you are in the mood for a comedy or a tragedy, Shakespeare on the Square will entertain the youngest to the oldest theatre lover.
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