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Old 10-04-2008, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Dixie's Sunny Shore
1,366 posts, read 3,178,031 times
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My family and I are still planning on visiting Knoxville to make sure we like the area before I attempt to go through with my job transfer opportunity and our relocation. I can (and have) spend hours and hours combing the Internet about everything Knox has to offer, but you guys are the real experts.

On our visit, next spring, we would like to experience the best of Knoxville. My job transfer would put us in West Knox, so we'll spend most of our time in that area, though we want to explore the entire region including visiting Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg.

-Who has the best pizza? I've read Harby's is high on a lot of your lists.
-We love lakes, especially where you can swim. Which area lake should we visit?
-Baptist church. We'd like a church where the singing is upbeat, the pastor has a sense of humor yet can deliver a practical message that keeps your interest. We'd prefer a congregation that has a variety of age groups from toddlers to seniors. We are in our late 30's and have kids age 7-13. A friendly congregation is a must!
-The best fun, family-style restaurant. Good prices, great food and one the kids will talk about as we make our drive back to MI.

We'll likely also check out West Town Mall, Dollywood, Clingman's Dome and the Riverwalk (I love riverwalks). Anything else ya'll can think of that could be considered as a "best of Knoxville"?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:33 PM
 
16,081 posts, read 30,655,065 times
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Church: First Baptist Concord First Baptist Concord. Connecting...Growing...Serving...in Farragut and Knoxville (http://www.fbconcord.org/templates/System/default.asp?id=28863 - broken link)

Pizza: Big Ed's in Oak Ridge or my new favorite: Dolce Carini very near the airport

Not necessarily a total family restaurant but for one that your kids should enjoy: Wasabi. There are a couple of locations that you can choose; one near Turkey Creek and the other near West Town Mall. It keeps everyone visually stimulated. Of course, we have Chuck E Cheese.

Lakes - Loudon, Douglas, Cherokee, take your pick. We're flush with lakes.

Have fun!
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:04 PM
 
2,197 posts, read 7,128,994 times
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If you're looking for the best of Knoxville, you'll probably want to avoid attending a TN football game, at least this year.

For dinner-- or lunch-- I think you'd like Lakeside Tavern. The food is good, prices are reasonable, it's kid-friendly and it's right on the lake. After your meal, you can walk down to Concord Marina and look at the boats.

I like Stefano's Pizza, with the whole wheat crust. Big Ed's and Harby's are good, too.

Personally, I would go to Turkey Creek, instead of West Town Mall. The stores are better, and it's more fun. JMO.

Have fun!
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:26 AM
 
13,082 posts, read 37,292,148 times
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I concur with everything SMG and GBH said, although I have to admit I don't know much about Baptist churches. I was in Karns this morning (NW Knox County on the way to Oak Ridge) and saw Grace Baptist which is a humongous church, I believe it has a school attached. So I guess it's a popular one.

Harby's pizza is hard to beat, but I like Stefano's, too, particularly their whole wheat crust. And as SMG said, if you're in Oak Ridge then you really should try Big Ed's. It's an institution.

You might be disappointed in Knoxville's river walk. To be honest, I don't even know where it is. I mean I know it's on the river, somewhere, but I've never seen any signs for it nor have I ever heard anyone talk about it. Be sure to take some pics for us so we can see!

Knoxville has historically kind of ignored our river except for commerce. Chattanooga has done wonders to its riverfront, but Knoxville still seems rather ho-hum about ours. BTW, if/when you do move here, Chattanooga is a great place to go spend a weekend.

I personally don't care for malls, so I'm afraid I probably wouldn't get very excited over visiting either of our malls although West Town is the nicer one. But as GBH said, Turkey Creek is the new place, and even though it's an outdoor shopping center it's becoming much more popular than the enclosed malls. They've also got Five Guys burgers and fries at Turkey Creek...

For swimming at lakes, you're in luck! Knoxville is surrounded by some beautiful lakes: Douglas, Norris, Loudon, Tellico, Watts Bar. I think Norris is the oldest. Or maybe it's Douglas? At any rate, Loudon has a lot more development around it. I believe Lakeside Tavern which GBH mentioned is on Loudon (and it really is in a beautiful setting). When I hear my students talk about water skiing, I think most of them go to Norris because it's bigger and less crowded.

Litton's in Fountain City is a local institution famous for its burgers. You don't go there for a bargain, but it's very family friendly and is just as famous for its homemade desserts, especially red velvet cake, as it is for its burgers. ESPN showcased Litton's a couple of years ago when they were in town for a football game and the prices mysteriously went up overnight.

If you're planning on going to Clingman's Dome, you might as well head over to Gatlinburg for breakfast at the Pancake Pantry. You might have to wait in line for a table, but there's a reason people are willing to stand in line at a pancake place. It's GOOD. Dozens of varieties of pancakes. When I was a little kid I used to love the chocolate chip pancakes or the "silver dollar" pancakes (miniature buttermilk pancakes) but now I go there for their apple cinnamon pancakes or their strawberry crepes. My brother, who used to live in Sweden, loves their lingonberry pancakes. Warning: Pancake Pantry doesn't take credit cards but they do have an ATM machine in the lobby.

Following breakfast at the Pancake Pantry you might enjoy strolling the main drag there in Gatlinburg. Other than Dollywood, however, I see absolutely no reason to get out of the car in Pigeon Forge unless all that traffic makes you want to take a potty break. Take the ugliest, most traffic-clogged urban shopping corridor from any American city, stick it in the mountains and you've got Pigeon Forge.

To get from Knoxville to Gatlinburg you might want to take 441 which goes from downtown Knoxville through Seymour to Sevierville. It's a much nicer drive than taking I-40, trust me.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
213 posts, read 519,728 times
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The river walk is called Volunteer Landing. It runs from the boathouse which used to be The Tennessee Grill, east and passes by Calhoun’s, Ruth Chris steakhouse, and ends at Ned McWherter Park. You’re right JMT, it’s not Chattanooga, but it is pretty much land locked between the river and the rail road.

A think that if and when the south river front development becomes reality, people from Chattanooga will be coming here for a visit.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
1,155 posts, read 3,218,078 times
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Hey tnky, we are blessed with some of the best lakes, in fact, Norris, Melton Hill, Loudon, Tellico and Douglas. The cleanest is by far Norris, and all are great for water sports, and fishing. Grace Baptist in Karns, is led by Ron Stewart, and he has been there for some probably 15 years plus, and has about any type of service and opportuniity you would like. Concord First Baptist, has Doug Sager , and a great Church, with 2 services each Sunday to choose from, and Doug Sager, is as good as it gets. Turkey Creek is great, and the Mall is also good, with lots of updates, and new stores. You will be around an hour or so to Pigeon Forge, and will need to know when you want to visit there, to avoid the different hot rod events, as you can not move or travel thru, when there in town. You can also avoid that, by going thru Maryville, and Townsend, and take in Cades Cove, and then Gatlinburg.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:29 PM
 
13,082 posts, read 37,292,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tntim View Post
The river walk is called Volunteer Landing. It runs from the boathouse which used to be The Tennessee Grill, east and passes by Calhoun’s, Ruth Chris steakhouse, and ends at Ned McWherter Park. You’re right JMT, it’s not Chattanooga, but it is pretty much land locked between the river and the rail road.

A think that if and when the south river front development becomes reality, people from Chattanooga will be coming here for a visit.
Oh ok, now I know what our riverwalk is. I guess I never saw it because of the railroad tracks along there. But I agree with you, when the south river front is developed it should contribute a lot to our fair city. I wish we had something as cool as Chattanooga's Coolidge Park.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:09 AM
 
6,119 posts, read 10,523,193 times
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If you like gardens I highly recommend the UT trial gardens off Neyland drive at the Ag campus. If you rent a bike beside Calhouns it is an easy bike ride on the bike trail - follow the river going west. Or just drive. It is wonderful and getting better all the time.
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