Need some ideas for thing to do in Knoxville this fall? Look no further than this new blog post from GCA alumnus, Natalie Whitaker, Class of 2015.
Natalie joins us as a guest contributor to the GCA Blog to write about some of her favorite activities in her favorite city during her favorite season! Read on and be inspired.
It’s Fall Y’all...FINALLY: A Native’s guide to Fall in Knoxville
Zip up the jackets and bring out the scarves; fall has decided it’s time to show her face and kiss our cheeks with chilly wind that is only followed by laughs and perhaps the most exciting thing about fall...the activities that come with it.
Maybe you’re new to the area or have been here for years. As a Knoxville native, I am the first one to warrant Knoxville as my favorite place during my favorite season. As I said, I’ve grown up here, and I am also an alumnus of Grace, so I attended many of these activities with the friends I made while at the school. I have walked the downtown streets many times and dined at what I would argue is some of the best cuisine in the South, but I have also participated in many, many fall “activities” (refer back to the whole “it’s my favorite season” thing). It is my hope that you all find a tradition for your friends and family. Lucky for you, I have chosen 4 of my “must-dos” to help a little.
Let’s start in North Knoxville in a lovely little town called Corryton. When I think of Fall, I think of this town and the family-friendly farm that sits within it. As soon as you step out of your car you immediately enter an “all things Fall” environment. This farm has everything... start out with a hayride to a pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect one for carving or decorating. Perhapsyou are looking for more of a challenge: Oakes Farm is famous for their corn maze. I have tried and succeeded (failed) many times to get through this maze that changes every year. Not looking for a challenge?? Oakes offers loads of attractions for you and your little ones (big ones too!); everything from Pedal Karts to The Mine Shaft Giant Slide is waiting for you! I have countless memories from this farm and I can’t wait to make more - I might even challenge you to a race through the maze. So load up the car and head to Corryton, I promise you will find something to satisfy those fall itchings. Visit www.oakesfarm.com for more information.
Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Get in, we’re going on a road trip! Let’s head Northeast to an East Tennessee staple, Dollywood! Yes, I know it’s not actually Knoxville, but I would guarantee most Knoxvillians claim it as their own. We’re just in time for Dollywood’s Harvest Festival and this year they’re putting on their Great Pumpkin LumiNights event when the sun goes down. There is something for everyone! In addition to their ever- so- fun roller coasters, the Harvest Festival brings with it the Southern Gospel Jubilee, World-Class Artesians, and like mentioned before those Great Pumpkins. This event runs from now until November 3.
The downtown area, which many consider the heart of Knoxville, is possibly my favorite place for date night, grabbing food with friends, and family outings. Downtown Knoxville never disappoints. Free parking (gasp! I said it!) on the weekends and weeknights after 6 makes going downtown can be as economically friendly as you want to make it (I am in college, people). Take a stroll through Market Square and down Gay Street, sit on the patio at Café 4, enjoy the crisp fall breeze, and linger as long as you like. Is it Fine Arts that attract you? (Shout-out to my drama teacher at GCA, Mrs. Wilson, that lit a fire for the Arts I didn’t know I had!) I recommend catching a show at The Tennessee Theatre or The Bijou. Whether it’s a stroll through the streets, brunch at Tupelo Honey, an ice cream fix at (my FAVORITE spot) Cruze Farm, or pleasing your senses with a show at one of the theatres, downtown Knoxville has something for everyone. Let’s be honest: taking it all in is good for the soul.
Gameday in Neyland
Good Ole’ Rocky top! No, I didn’t forget, I had to save the best for last. Football and fall just go together; I will not be swayed on this. Friday night football is solely to cheer on the Rams. As an alumni of Grace, I lived in the student section and took many trips to away games. So please, enjoy the fall weather, but do so in the stands to cheer on the Rams! Plug over. However, Saturday’s are made for one thing only, Volunteer Football. If you’re new around here, welcome and hold on tight; if you’re not, you already know but stick with me. I am currently a senior at UT and despite the heartaches I am always in Neyland, and I recommend that you be a part of the deafening 102,455, too. If Neyland isn’t for you, sometimes all you need is a back porch, a group of friends, and pizza (I am not a chicken wing girl; I said it and I meant it) to get the full fall football experience. Whatever entices you, one thing is for certain, it isn’t a fall Saturday in the South if you aren’t wearing Orange and White.
This list could go on... Knoxville and the surrounding area is full of endless opportunities for all things fall. I plan to visit some of these recommendations and I hope you do as well. I may be biased when I say fall in Knoxville is unmatched, but I really love this city. I can promise there is something for everyone.
If you’re new to Knoxville, what is some fall fun you enjoyed in your old town? I am always ready for a road trip. If you are from Knoxville, I would love to hear your suggestions. Until next time, Rams! I have a pumpkin to carve.