Gateway to the Smokies
Knoxville is one of the largest cities in the Smokies. Home to more than 175,000 people, this city offers activities to fit almost every taste. From culture to museums, outdoor adventure to sports, Knoxville is a tourist destination unto itself. If you are staying in the mountains and you are looking for a night out or just something a little bit different, Knoxville welcomes you to come experience the Gateway to the Smokies.
In 1786, James White built a fort above what was to become downtown Knoxville. From that point until the Civil War, Knoxville became a traveling point for people heading west. The town grew as more people decided they liked the area and it became a transportation mecca as the railroad began to take over the south. During the Civil War, Knoxville became a highly contested prize and was the site of several major battles.
As the industrial age grew, the railroad system in Knoxville made it the home of a thriving textile industry. Though a lot of the manufacturing companies have moved on since then, Knoxville has reinvented itself into a town that welcomes all types of commercial opportunities and is even reinventing its downtown area into a tourism draw full of boutiques, galleries and eclectic food choices. Knoxville is an every changing example of the character of the people of the southern Appalachians.
- 178,874 population
- 886’ (average altitude)
- 36°1′43″N 83°25′26″W
- Knox County, TN
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