Navigating Downtown Knoxville- You Have Options!

Navigating Downtown Knoxville- You have options!

In today’s logistically blessed world, depending on your goals for getting to and from, you have options. Lots of options.   Downtown Knoxville boasts multiple tools for helping you get around our “Scruffy “ little city.

Five tips for navigating downtown Knoxville

1. Walking– Downtown Knoxville is pedestrian friendly. Going on foot in the city allows you to see things you wouldn’t normally see in a car (ex: Graffiti Alley.) If you find yourself with extra leisure time, exploring downtown Knoxville on foot will provide you with fresh air and exercise, with a side of unexpected entertainment via street musicians and local art.  You go at your own pace…pop in at one of the many local watering holes for lunch or dinner. If you are new to the area, please don’t hesitate to ask a nearby person for directions. Southern hospitality is abundant and provided free of charge. Check out this site for information on self-guided walking tours.

2. Biking– Prefer a faster pace than walking? Try Bicycle ride sharing.  PACE has over 200 bikes available for use in the Downtown/UT Campus area. It is easy to locate, rent, and return a bike with their smart phone APP. I would recommend this to people who are somewhat familiar with the area as there are multiple one-way streets and traffic can get heavy during peak times of the day. Plus…who travels with their own bike helmet? Pace does not provide bike helmets, however they do encourage riders to use bike helmets. There are some minor fees associated with renting the bikes.  For more information visit Ride Pace.

3. Free Trolleys– If you are in town visiting for a few days, I’d suggest you hop on one of Knoxville’s Free Trolleys. Ride around and scope out places to put on your “must do” list. They are climate controlled and arrive at trolley stops every 7 to 15 minutes (depending on which line you are riding.) There are three trolley routes to choose from and they run everyday except for Sunday, a few holidays, and UT football game days. It’s a fantastic way to see the city and tour part of the University of Tennessee campus. For more info on schedules and trolley stops, please visit KatBus.

4. Ride Share– We all know these as Uber and Lyft.  Knoxville has an abundance of drivers. Catching a ride is generally quick and easy. During high volume periods and special events that draw large crowds to downtown, the ride share operators have surcharges and can get delayed due to traffic. Ride sharing is particularly interesting if you are new to town and want to experience some “local flavor” in regards to personality.

5. Micro-transportation– WHAT?!?! It’s a 6 passenger golf-cart driven by Ambassadors who are part tour guide and part comedian. The golf-carts are street legal and travel from the Old City to the far end of UT Campus, but only travel at 35 miles per hour or less. This is by far the most unique and fun way to see the sites around Downtown Knoxville.  Fees for point-to-point transportation range from $3-$5 per person. One and a half hour tours of Downtown/Campus are $30 per person.  Even if you don’t need a ride, the Joyride Ambassadors are like mobile information booths, so don’t be afraid to flag one of them down. They welcome the opportunity to help you explore the area. For more information please visit their site.


Transportation choices are available for any size wallet and physical capacity. When planning your visit to Downtown Knoxville or the University of Tennessee Campus, always factor in weather conditions. Maybe on the soupy days, you take the Trolley or a ride-share. On the fair weather days try foot, bike, or golf cart.   Whatever mode of transportation you choose…enjoy exploring our “scruffy” little city.


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Gina Kelly

Living the dream. Expert Level southern hospitality provider. Laughter is my currency.

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Gina Kelly

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