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Knoxvillegateway to the smokies

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Knoxville Basics


Knoxville may be less well known than its Tennessee neighbors Nashville and Memphis, but it’s got a southern charm all its own. Tucked into a verdant valley between the Great Smoky Mountains to the east and the Cumberland Mountains to the west at the headwaters of the Tennessee River, Knoxville is at the center of its own little Eastern Tennessee ecosystem. While historic Knoxville was both a rugged frontier outpost and industrial capital, today the city is a small, scenic metropolis that offers easy access to the many parks and lakes that surround it. Once known as the “Marble City” for the characteristic pink marble that was carved out of the surrounding hills, Knoxville then became a textile capital from the 1930s through the 1960s with numerous mills and factories earning it the nickname “the underwear capital of the world.”

The resort towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are less than two hours away, and there are seven lakes within half an hour of the city center. Famous for its glorious dogwood-scented springs and crisp autumns ripe with fall color, Knoxville is a favorite destination for country drives and getaways.

Surrounded by Civil War battlefields and other historic sites, Knoxville also lures history buffs and those fascinated by the War Between the States. The University of Tennessee is a centerpiece of culture in Knoxville, and Volunteers sports are also an enormous enthusiasm of local residents, especially the football team. Thanks to the presence of the University, Knoxville has top quality museums, theaters and an outstanding orchestra.

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