Home Is Where The Heart Is: 20 Things I Love about Knoxville


20 Things I Love About KnoxvilleKnoxville has been my home since before I was born. It’s been my mom and dad’s home, my grandparents’ home, my aunts, uncles, and a few cousins’ home as well. It’s my husband’s home, my in-law’s home, my brother and sister-in-law’s home.

Knoxville is just…home.

Recently, we moved to Asheville, North Carolina for my husband’s job on a temporary basis. We’ll be there for about 16 months or so, and even in the past few months of being away from home, I’ve come to truly appreciate how amazing Knoxville is and just how much my heart longs for East Tennessee.

There’s so much rich history in Knoxville, so much beauty and so much pride. Lee Greenwood wouldn’t have sung about the hills of Tennessee if they weren’t beautiful! It’s so amazing here, you guys. From the sea of orange on those crisp fall game days, to the smells of freshly cut grass in spring (or pollen). The hustle and bustle of Gay Street to the calm, quiet fields and farms of rural Knoxville. There’s no place that feels more like the place I should be in than Knoxville, Tennessee.

Did you know that I’ve never been anywhere where the people are friendlier than in Knoxville? Taylor Swift said it herself when she came to the Civic Auditorium in 2010, “people in Knoxville are just nice.” Travel and Leisure readers voted Knoxville in the top 10 of “America’s Friendliest Cities” and “America’s Favorite Places.” We’re just nice, y’all.

The people I meet that don’t feel like I’ve known them my whole life are few and far between in this great town, and that’s one of our best qualities. Did you know that the voice of Sleeping Beauty is straight out of Knoxville? How cool is that?! Also from Knoxville are Cormac McCarthy (he wrote No Country For Old Men, duh), Ava Barber (Lawrence Welk, anyone?), Trevor Bayne (NASCAR), Cal Johnson (19th century slave turned millionaire), and William Bass (Body Farm) among so many others.

There are several beautiful historic neighborhoods here in Knoxville, from Sequoyah Hills to Fairmont, 4th and Gill to Fountain City, Island Home to Fort Sanders, Westwood, Holston Hills, etc. I could go on and on. I’ll just say that on any given day you can find me cruising around any one of these historic neighborhoods getting landscaping ideas for my own home…

What are some other things I love about Knoxville? Well, allow me to share…

It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Smoky Mountains amaze me every time we pass by on our way to North Carolina. Being so close to them is awesome because you can head up to Sevierville or Gatlinburg for a day trip or a weekend getaway and only be less than an hour from home.
Two words: Neyland Stadium. The Vols have some pretty loyal and die-hard fans, and the volume in Neyland on a Saturday is like nothing I’ve witnessed before. Makes me proud to be an alumna of UT!


The pride and love we share for our city is tangible, from the way we treat each other to the way we keep Knoxville beautiful.

Knoxville Moms Blog, of course!

Downtown Knoxville on a summer night.

Cruze Farm ice cream and coffee milk (you can only get it around here y’all!!!!)


Market Square Farmers’ Market

Dollywood is about 30 minutes away. That cinnamon bread, y’all.

We have Russell Biven, and he’s probably the funniest news reporter I’ve ever seen.

Some of the greatest greenways, hiking trails, city and county parks and playgrounds in the South.

Uh, we have the Original Calhoun’s. Thanks.

The beautiful, historic Tennessee Theater. Still in operation since the 1920s.

Festivals! Dogwoods Arts Festival, Rhythm & Blooms, International Biscuit Festival, and many more!

Movies on Market Square

WIVK Christmas Parade

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon (I did the ½ marathon in 2011 and it’s an awesome, but challenging course!)


Our weather (some people will strongly disagree with me on this one, haha!)

We have amazing food at places you will only find here in K-Town! To name a few of my favorites…Apple Cake Tearoom, Litton’s, Ye Olde Steakhouse, The Stock & Barrel, Louis’ Drive-In and Makers Donuts (can you tell I like food?).

The fall leaves. We have the most beautiful fall season here in East Tennessee, and what better way to enjoy then a drive through Cades Cove.ashley-k-knoxville1

Last, but most certainly not least, my family is here. Family is everything and I love them so much. I come from a great family and I married into a great family. I’ve been blessed in countless ways with family. I was raised in Knoxville, I’ll raise my kids in Knoxville (Lord-willing), and hopefully my grandkids will one day grow up in Knoxville. I hope that generations after me will know and love the city that is Knoxville, Tennessee. I hope to pass on a great legacy of love, love for others, love for sweet iced tea, love for Tennessee Orange and the Power T. Love for adventure and the Great Smoky Mountains. But most of all, love for Jesus and love for family. Because where your family is on earth, that’s your true home.

I just got really lucky that my true home is Knoxville, Tennessee. Can I get an amen?

What are your favorite things about Knoxville?


  1. Aw give Asheville a chance, I just moved here from Asheville and I miss it terribly some days. But Asheville is much much different from Knoxville! You’ll find some amazing locally owned restaurants there as well as some neat historical attractions as well. ❤️

  2. Oh, I never said I didn’t like Asheville. I like it a lot actually! There’s lots to do and it is a really cool city. It’s just not home! Rocky Top will always be home sweet home to me!

  3. AMEN and Praise Jesus! I just came across your article and it’s so refreshing. I’m a semi retired business owner and Christian minister. I’m seeking a place to relocate from a huge city, Dallas Tx. I’ve been looking awhile and so far I’m thinking Knoxville is very appealing. I really appreciate all you’ve shared here. I’ve never been to Knoxville but want to visit. I know God will let ne know where I need to be, to love the world around me and be a good citizen where I’m planted. I do have one question if you have the time and return here. I wonder if there is a flooding problem there. I did see some flooding pics from 2011. Is that just an issue for certain areas? That’s a big consideration wherever I move. Thanks so much and God’s continued blessings to you and your family. Happy New Year, 2018 to you. Helene/DallasTx

  4. Hello! I came across your blog searching for why people love Knoxville. We are from CA and are considering a move soon. My husband and I are both teachers. Knoxville looks amazing! We will come this summer to visit and want to feel the humidity. How bad is the humidity? Also I’ve heard bugs (particularly mosquitos and cicadas) are bad. Can you tell me more please?


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