Historic Old City Knoxville
A walk through East Tennessee's history.
For one of the best overviews of Knoxville history as well as Knoxville modern culture head to Historic Old City, the community downtown that tells the story of Old Town and the story of modern day living at the same time. The area considered to be within Old City sits at the intersection of Central and Jackson Avenues, taking up a few linear blocks near the old railroad station.
While the name may lead you to believe you will be walking down old cobblestone streets and viewing historic landmarks, Old City actually boasts one of the most creative and independent modern cultures in the area. Your group will have a 'vibrant and alternative downtown experience' here, with such things as the 'Creative Corridor', art galleries, underground music venues, and fantastic cuisine. Many locals come here for great food during the day, and great music during the night.
There are 28 local businesses in the neighborhood, a few examples being Awaken Coffee, The Pilot Light (underground concert venue), and the Melting Pot, a place to learn about local culture and enjoy some fondue. There are several authentic Irish and Scottish pubs, some of the best Chicago dogs this side of the Windy City, and Brooklyn worthy pizza.
While what we've mentioned is very contemporary and current, there is, of course, the historic side of the area to explore and learn about. Linked to trade, railroad industry, and dangerous times during the saloon era, there is PLENTY of interesting history to get filled in on. Stories you will hear will involve deadly shootouts, red light district tales, horror stories from the meatpacking district, and cultural development from immigrants, causing the area to once be called Irish Town.