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  • Writer's pictureB. Cooper

Tourist In My New Hometown: December Edition

I moved to Knoxville in 2021, but haven't explored too much of what is my new hometown. This is a series I'll be making in order to inspire me to explore. Come along while I play tourist in my New Hometown! This month, December was full of holiday cheer and sunshine.


Christmas in Knoxville, and in Tennessee in general, rivals a hallmark movie. When I lived in Oregon there were lots of lights but most of the time we were rained out and miserable. Living near the Gorge meant lots of wind too.


Here while there was a bit of rain, for the most part it was bright blue skies and warmer too. Wreaths hang in almost every window, all the hospitals, hotels, and banks put light up trees on their roofs, and downtown is a dream.


You can bounce around! Click any of the links below to jump to a section. I try not to overlap too much.






Places I Visited


December is the end of my work season before I take some much needed rest time. This month I had three events that brought me to cool locations!

Ijams Holiday Market: This is held at the visitor center in Ijams Nature Park, a wonderful preserve in South Knoxville with a rocky quarry, walking trails, and more. Walking trails will also hook up to South Knox's waterfront where there's several breweries and restaurants.

Wartburg Christmas Parade: This town is so small and so sweet! I checked out their Mt. Laurel festival in May, so coming back and seeing it for Christmas was fun. They did a parade that went through the middle of their downtown, with a little Christmas market by the courthouse too. It was super chilly, but very fun and amazing people as well.

Clinton's Cookie Crawl: Clinton is a great antiquing town just thirty minutes north of Knoxville. I have never had a bad day here honestly, every time I visit it's such a cool experience. They have a cute coffee shop with a great atmosphere called E Claire's Coffee House.



Coffee & Food Around Town


In an attempt to get to know Knoxville better now that my whole family has moved here, my mom and I started going on walks. Generally this was to fix my sleep schedule and coffee intake. Since I work from home I tend to work until really late and then my sleep schedule took a turn for the worse because of it. And my coffee addiction... I'd drink 4-6 cups a day probably. So in an effort to fix that we started going on morning walks where I'd have to walk to a coffee shop to get my first cup of the day. Some would laugh at that motivator, but it worked shockingly well for me.


Now we walk three times a week, and some days we'll check out different breakfast spots or holiday happenings. With Christmas and New Years happening, downtown was decorated like we had walked right into a Hallmark movie! Here's a list of some places we tried out:

  • Capybara's Coffee

  • Remedy Coffee

  • Treetop Coffee

  • Seed Coffee

  • Frothy Monkey Breakfast & Coffee

  • World's Fair Park

  • The Maker's Exchange at The Tennessean

  • Tupelo Honey Breakfast

  • Aretha Frankenstein's Breakfast

  • Cherokee Farms (Great walking!)


For all the coffee spots I tried you can check out my Chai Review page to see reviews. All the breakfast spots I highly recommend. Aretha's in South Knox has great breakfast diner food with amazing pancakes. Frothy Monkey is right on Gay Street downtown with a nice range of breakfast and lunch options. Tupelo Honey is the same, situated right inside Market Square this would make a great spot on farmer's market days.


If anyone is interested in walking, my mom and I have found that Knoxville is pretty safe. Sometimes my brother and dad will join us and explore the city too. Cherokee Farms has great paths and is beautiful in the summer with fireflies. It's a bird conservation area so there's lots of nature and no-mow areas for bird habitats. World's Fair Park is also a nice walking area in the middle of downtown. They host big festivals there throughout the year so you may run into some fun happenings anytime you go.


I'm looking forward to walking in the spring and summer during farmer's markets and festivals (ones I'm not already working at anyway). For the most part though this is all I discovered and enjoyed during December! I'm looking forward to seeing what I discover in January. Until next time!


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