Knoxville Delights for New Year’s Eve

We recently took a walk through Knoxville, Tennessee. My husband surprised me with a trip to Knoxville 40 years after we met at the World’s Fair in that city. Technically, we met on the way to the World’s Fair – he was invited by a friend to go with the youth group on the trip and I was invited by another friend to go as well. 

We ended up in the same vehicle for the ride up and the ride back, and the rest you can say is history.

The trip also served as a way to celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary. Normally, I”m all about spending time with friends and family but someone recently encouraged us to make time for each other – outside of our business endeavors (thanks Nancy).

Although I knew where we were going, my husband had already looked around for different places we could enjoy while we were visiting Knoxville. We started in Old Town and I knew immediately that we were going to need more time if we were going to truly enjoy all that the city had to offer.

A Stroll Through Old Town

Maple Hall might not seem like the perfect place for an anniversary lunch, but it was perfect for us. We spent the first several years of marriage bowling together with his dad, so a bowling alley that was developed in the former basement of the JC Penny building had a lot of meaning to both of us. We didn’t bowl, but we did enjoy a great lunch – and the price was more than right as well.

Old Town Knoxville - Maple Hall

The turkey club had just the perfect amount of seasoning and the West Stack had a dash of heat that didn’t even slow Keith down once he started digging in.

We took a stroll down Old Town to check out the many shops and theaters. There were no shows happening, but that just offers even more incentive to come back for another visit. We stopped in at The Spice and Tea Exchange where they offered a “taste” of an amazing holiday blend. One taste was all I needed. I came home with a large bag of their Roasted Mint Green Tea and have been enjoying a large cup after dinner. If you aren’t a hot tea fan, blends like this can be a great way to do things a little different for your hot drink needs.

Going Back In Time

Our next stop was a walk around World’s Fair Park. Neither of us could remember much about our trip. I remembered the Ferris Wheel – which was touted as the largest one in the world at the time. He says he remembers the food. Other than that, even a stroll around didn’t spark any memories. 

Back at the hotel, we took time to research the park, the World’s Fair, and the determination of Knoxville to bring the event to life. 40 years later, the green space is still offering great family fun and entertainment.

40 year anniversary of the Knoxville World's Fair

The Sunsphere observation deck was closed until after the New Year, but we didn’t let it dampen the rest of our trip to the City of Knoxville. During our walk around the park, we had the honor of watching a couple and their attendants taking wedding pictures. We wished them the best and pointed out that New Year’s Eve was obviously a lucky day to get married.

29 years together – it still seems like yesterday.

Knoxville Anniversary Trip

Amazing Accommodations in Knoxville

Our stay at the Cumberland House was perfect for the evening festivities. My husband chose a great room on the end facing the Sun Sphere so were we able to watch the fireworks from the balcony and even enjoy the music. The room was amazing and even made me think twice about only staying one night.

Knoxville Cumberland House

A Brunch to Remember

We ended our Knoxville visit at The Ruby Sunrise – which turned out to be not only the perfect way to end our trip but an amazing way to start the new year. I wanted to try everything on the menu, but settled on an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. 


Knoxville Brunch Time at the Ruby Sunrise

Our waitress, Marisa, told us that the food was good but she didn’t prepare me to be so overwhelmed by the delight of those tomatoes. My husband is normally a sweet eater in the mornings, but even he ate all of his first tomato and eagerly dug into the remaining tomato (after groaning because I ordered them in the first place).

He went for a taste of the menu with the Trio for his main course. I chose the Banana’s Foster French Toast – a nod to our breakfast at Brennan’s when we were on our honeymoon in New Orleans. Again, the food did not disappoint in any way. 

Don’t tell Brennan’s, but I think the french toast from the Ruby Sunrise was the best I’ve ever tasted.

Marisa was attentive and a delight. I would definitely go back for another brunch experience!

All and all, New Year’s Even in Knoxville offered a fun experience that would be perfect for a couple’s getaway or a family outing. I’m already looking forward to more trips to the area to take in the Zoo, the theater district, and so much more!

The Mom

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