This weekend trip to Knoxville, TN was a no brainer. From the moment we found out our favorite musician was playing there, we knew we would be taking a fun family road trip.
After making sure our friends could stay with our dogs, we booked our hotel and snagged up our concert tickets. Here is a quick review of our one-night getaway in Knoxville, Tennessee.
A road trip from the mountains in Brevard, North Carolina to Knoxville, TN took only 2 hours and 40 minutes. The curvy highways were well worth the beautiful views of the Smoky Mountain hills. While stuck in traffic, we enjoyed interaction with the truckers, and hidden waterfalls in the rock walls. Interaction with truckers, you ask. Yes, Skyler had her first experience getting a truck driver to honk his horn. And, another, took the time to ask about the color of our car. Those were moments we never would have captured if we weren’t going 5mph. It’s the small things in life; right?
This was our first time going to Knoxville, so we didn’t know what to expect. As we pulled off the exit, we had the feeling that most big cities bring. There were strips of restaurants, shops, hotels, small parks, and event centers. Sadly, the homeless was also predominant from the moment we exited the highway.
We checked into the Hilton Knoxville that is located in the center of town. After finding a spot in the parking deck, we unloaded our overnight bags, and went to check out the room. The room was clean, and the lobby was nice. Sure, the smell of weed was overwhelming when exiting the elevators. But, we get it…no harm was being done. So, no complaining on our end. After all, if Skyler wasn’t with us, we would’ve contributed to the fun. On another note, we were excited there was a Starbucks located inside the lobby.
After checking in, we left our bags in the room, then headed out for a Flocker Meet Up at a local bar/restaurant. The food and drinks (Moscow mules for me) at the Downtown Grill and Brewery were delicious. We highly recommend the bean and queso dip. A special thanks to Carla from the Cardinal Beard Company, for greeting us with this flocker meetup sign.
After getting a bite to eat, we went back to the hotel for a quick change. We put our matching Hippies and Cowboys hoodies on, took a selfie, then headed out for the show.
This is it; the reason we had a family getaway in Knoxville. The best part about our trip. The one and only Cody Jinks! Oh my goodness, if you don’t know about him yet, let me help you out.
Cody Jinks is an outlaw country singer, musician, and songwriter from Fort Worth, TX. Don’t get him confused with the pop country artists that somehow hit the charts. He and his band rock out like no other. And for a bonus.. Cody Jinks was the 2021 Independent Artist of the Year!
Chances are, you may know that Travis and I LOVE Dave Matthews Band. We love them so much, we got married at a DMB concert in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Some ask how we love Cody Jinks if we are “Dave Matthews type of people” Although I’m not sure what “those people” are, the answer to the question is easy. We love talented bands who can go off the beaten track and jam out. Both Dave Matthews and Cody Jinks do just that.
March 4, 2022 Cody Jinks Knoxville, TN
We arrived at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, and stood in line with other flockers, anxiously waiting for the doors to open. We like to get to concerts early to hit up the merch booths.
Because this was our nine-year-old daughter’s first Cody Jinks concert, her and I got matching Jinks t-shirts, along with stickers for the three of us. For two t-shirts and three stickers, the total came to $75. That didn’t break the bank! Of course, Skyler and I ran to the bathroom to change into our new shirts, and get a concert bathroom selfie. 🙂
As we were escorted to our seats, every row that we passed brought forth more and more excitement. We were much closer than we thought.
At that point, we had almost 2 hours until Jinks took the stage. Thankfully we got to hear opening bands show off their talent. Jordan Foster and Brent Cobb were awesome!!
When Cody Jinks came out, Skyler was beside herself. Actually, the entire auditorium filled with noise of excitement. He kicked off the show with “Mama’s Song”, and ended the show with “Loud and Heavy”.
We, including Skyler, sang every word to every song, and had a blast. Thank you to the entire band for pouring all of your energy into putting on an amazing show.
I could go on for days about how fun the concert was, and how much we love Cody Jinks, but this post is about our getaway. Time to wrap up our short stay in Knoxville, and share what we did on the way home.
If you’re into music, arts, food, and fun, downtown Knoxville can be the perfect day trip. As I mentioned above, there’s everything to do from dog parades, breweries, theaters, restaurants, shopping, bike riding, and much more.
Since we had our nine-year-old with us, we didn’t go out after the concert. I’m sure the night life was hopping, though. Instead, we went back to the hotel, and got some much-needed sleep. The rest was just what we needed for the nest day.
Saturday morning, we ventured out to find a good breakfast spot.
Back story. When Travis and I were in Lake Tahoe, we found two restaurants that we LOVED. One was mexican, and the other was a creperie.
While looking on our phone for places around us, we saw there was a creperie in downtown Knoxville. Yay!
We packed up our bags, checked out of the hotel, and walked to the craperie to see if it was as good as the one in Lake Tahoe. The French Market Creperie did not disappoint.
Our crepes were delicious. Skyler got the smore’s crepe. I got the Blueberry Lemon Curd crepe, and Travis got a veggie omelet.
Although they were delicious, Creative Crepes in Tahoe still cannot be beat! Oh, how I would love it if they started a creperie in Brevard.
After breakfast, we drove around and checked out a little more of Knoxville. Thankfully, one of my Little Learning Corner email crew members told us to check out the SunSphere while visiting Knoxville.
Just a block from our hotel, we found the historical Sunsphere. The Sunsphere was built for the 1982 World’s Fair. The Sunsphere and the Tennessee Amphitheater are the only structures that remain from the 1982 World’s Fair. It was recently renovated and re-opened to the public.
As we were walking through the streets of downtown Knoxville, Travis and I both couldn’t help but capture a photo of the Tennessee sign.
Little did we know, that is the iconic sign for the Tennessee Theatre. The Tennessee Theatre opened on October 1, 1928, and was hailed as “the South’s most beautiful theatre.” People flocked there to see movies on the big screen. They paid a whopping 40 cents for matinee’s and 60 cents for evening shows.
In 2003, a major renovation restoration began. This historical theater was reopened in 2005 as a world-class performing arts center.
Next time we go to Knoxville, we will definitely go inside and check out this beautiful building. Perhaps we will be lucky enough to catch a good show.
Our friends who watched the dogs had to work the following day. With that in mind, we chose to leave Knoxville early in the morning, and make another stop on the way back to Brevard.
Originally, we were going to do a short hike somewhere in the Smoky Mountain National Park. However, those plans changed.
Even though Skyler loves hiking and being in the woods, I think she had a different idea of “fun”. She suggested we go to The Island in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Time for another short road trip from Knoxville to Pigeon Forge. During our hour long car ride, we recapped our favorite moments from the concert, and admired the mountain views.
World’s Largest Knife Store
First up, before we reached The Island, we stopped at Smoky Mountain Knife Works. SMKW is the world’s largest knife store.
Travis loves knives, so this was a must-stop visit. There was everything from survival knives to pizza knives (which I may or may not have gotten).
After browsing for an hour, we continued our trek to The Island.
The Island in Pigeon Forge
Tucked away in the Smoky Mountains is a touristy, playful, destination called The Island. The Island in Pigeon Forge is a perfect place for kids and adults to have a little fun.
There is shopping, casual restaurants, fine dining, moonshine sampling, water fountain shows, amusement rides, arcade, and a hotel.
It was March 5th, sunny, and 80 degrees. What a beautiful day to have a little fun.
We enjoyed a water show, lunch at Mellow Mushroom, shopping at Ole Smoky Moonshine, some rides, and a stop at Build a Bear.
Although I really wanted to do the Ole Smoky moonshine sampling, I wasn’t feeling like being drunk on an 80 degree day with a walk back to the car, a long car ride ahead, and a nine year old to witness it all go down. Travis and I said we need to plan an overnight stay with friends so we can fully experience everything there is to offer.
Whether you have kids or not, we highly suggest visiting The Island while staying in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Back to Brevard
We had a wonderful overnight stay in Knoxville, loved every minute of the Cody Jinks show, and enjoyed The Island.
With all that being said, there’s no place like home. We made it back to Brevard around 6pm, ate dinner, and relaxed at home with our dogs. The next day, we did a 5.2 mile hike in Dupont State Forest. We’ll share our favorite hikes in another blog post…coming soon!
If there’s somewhere you know of that is family friendly, and you’d like us to check it out, tell us in the comments below.
Before you go, here’s a few post you’ll enjoy: