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Where to Stay in Knoxville

Knoxville is a fairly sprawling city, and while there are sights worth seeing in even its most remote corners, Downtown Knoxville is definitely the center of activity. The University of Tennessee campus, the Knoxville Museum of Art and the World’s Fair Park are all located in this neighborhood, as well as the areas of Market Square, Volunteer Landing and Gay Street, which offer a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. The hotel selection is limited, but many of Knoxville’s best rooms can be found downtown.

If you’re looking for cheap hotel deals in Knoxville and don’t mind forgoing the convenience of staying downtown, you’ll discover more competitive rates and more diverse choices a few miles down the highway in any direction. The greatest concentration of hotels is located along I-40 a few miles west of downtown, but you’ll find a few others a roughly equal distance along the interstate to the east. The hotels to the north are a bit closer to the city, clustered around the I-75 exits. To the south, most hotels are arranged around McGhee Tyson Airport.

Knoxville Hotel Tips

Knoxville is short on B&Bs and small boutique inns that provide intimate environments and exceptionally attentive service, but otherwise great hotels are in good supply. In Downtown Knoxville, you can find a few independently owned hotels with an abundance of character and history.

Most of the city’s remaining hotel options are offered by well-known hoteliers, ranging from upscale names like Crowne Plaza and Hilton to budget brands like Super 8 and Red Roof Inn. To find the perfect room in one of the more luxurious hotels, it’s best to look downtown or just west of the city. If price is an object, you may want to restrict your search to the suburban hotels, where it’s easier to find a great bargain on a comfortable but low-frills room.

For less urban accommodations, look for lodges and campgrounds near the state parks beyond the city limits.

Knoxville Hotel Recommendations

A great hotel choice in Downtown Knoxville is the Crowne Plaza Knoxville, which is popular among both business travelers and vacationers. European design and decor is featured throughout its extensive array of amenities, which includes a heated indoor swimming pool, a modern fitness center and a restaurant serving classic American cuisine. The hotel bar, The Library, is a comfortable and atmospheric place to unwind after a full day of sightseeing.

Not far away, the Knoxville Marriott boasts more contemporary styling, a heated outdoor pool and two casual dining establishments. Consider booking a room on the hotel’s concierge level, which grants you access to the Marriott’s swanky concierge lounge and its range of refreshments.
If you prefer a hotel with unique character that sets it apart from its neighbors, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find in the Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House Hotel. Though it now carries the Sheraton name, it began as the independent Cumberland House Hotel in 2005, and the property has retained much of its original charm. Numerous guest satisfaction awards secure this hotel’s position as one of Sheraton’s best in the nation. Another independent hotel, the Hotel St. Oliver, underwent extensive renovations in early 2011 and is also worth a close look.

Knoxville Transportation

Unless you’re just in town for a short trip to see the downtown sights, you’ll want to pick up a rental car after your flight to Knoxville. Driving and parking is cheap and easy in most parts of the metro area, and trying to explore any of Knoxville’s peripheral neighborhoods will be a hassle without your own wheels.

Should you need a taxi, multiple private cab companies serve the city into the late night. These cabs usually only patrol for fares in the nightlife districts near the university campus, however. If you need a ride from somewhere else, plan on calling for a cab.

Downtown Knoxville and parts of the University of Tennessee campus are connected by an efficient trolley system that operates for free during the day. If you’re out in this area during the wee hours, you can take the Late Line Trolley, which runs every 15 minutes past Knoxville’s nighttime hotspots.

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