It was a pleasant Fall night when my husband and I made our way across Interstate-40 towards Knoxville. This trip from Middle Tennessee to East Tennessee is such a beautiful one that if all you do is the drive, you’ve met your time’s worth. Mr.Sweet and I love everything about traveling. We love the hustle and bustle of the airports and the big city lights to greet us here and there, but there’s something about the three hour trip to Knoxville from Nashville that soothes our souls. This time of year, it’s like the drive introduces you to this Hallmark Movie city full of unknown adventures and memories of a lifetime. So let’s get to it, movie style. Cue the music as we set the scene.
We rolled into downtown Knoxville and were greeted by holiday cheers as we passed Market Square and other landmarks. Market Square is full of the cutest shops and where Mr.Sweet and I usually spend the best quality time chatting and walking and people watching just like in the movies. It’s like a small outdoor mall with local artisans, shops, and restaurants. I like to deem it the point of falling in love with this town. Just a block over is Historic Gay Street. It’s lined with wonderful shops, patio seating, and rooftop bars. Let’s face it, this is a plus in our current times. When I step foot on this street, my cinema imagination runs wild as I get lost in the setting of Downtown Knoxville – especially this time of year. I imagine dancers coming from the infamous Tennessee Theatre and swaying through the streets. Each Christmas decorated light pole used as a prop for swinging and energy. Without a doubt, your mood is at ease and very lateral of what you feel when getting cozy to a Christmas movie! Now that you’ve gotten the pictorial idea, let’s get into each scene of our trip.
It was the perfect Friday morning when we woke up and got dressed. Mr. Sweet and I work full-time so we packed our laptops up and headed to Market Square. Believe it or not, it’s the quaintest location to sit and work and enjoy what’s left of the warmer days. Then, we had lunch at Stock & Barrel. This staple restaurant is also in Nashville, but there’s something about eating Chicken and Waffles outside on the patio in Market Square. We talked through our workdays and enjoyed the delights.
Just a stroll to a street over, I went on a tour to the Tennessee Theatre. It was graduation weekend, so there were quite a few activities going on, but if you’re a history or a museum lover like me, then, you’ll enjoy this tour. As I walked in, I was in awe of the establishment. Its grand stature has been there for almost a century. The designs and the architecture will get you at first sight. In current times, it seems like such a tragedy that we can’t fill the many lush red seats with people, but there’s been so many historical moments and top-notch shows in this space, that you can literally feel the spirit of entertainment here. They are doing virtual shows here.
As Mr.Sweet and I wrapped day 1 in Knoxville, we settled on dinner at Knox Mason. This upscale space has gourmet delights fitting for a long week’s celebration. We clinked glasses and enjoyed dinner here. It is the sister restaurant to another restaurant in town that we love called Emelia’s. They too have patio seating.
After dinner, we were ready to get back out on the scene. We were walking down Gay street admiring the many shops when we found Kilwins Knoxville. This place is sweet tooth heaven. From chocolate pretzels to candy apples to ice cream, they have just what you need to share something sweet. We bought a few turtle clusters for the road.
Saturday Morning, we woke up and grabbed Kbrew coffee. It’s a staple coffee shop when I’m in town. I love their signature drinks for the season. My favorite is the Cinnamon Vanilla Latte. They also have Cookie Butter and Peppermint Mocha Lattes for your venture back out into the glory of Knoxville.
We were all set for the zoo after that. Zoo Knoxville is home to over 800 animals. We explored acre after acre of the beautiful property. Just like in the movies, I became friends with a camel. He was sweet and allowed me to pet him and have a chat.
It’s not a Hallmark movie if it doesn’t include some family activities! We started at Maple Hall with bowling. This is our second time visiting this incredible place. It’s much like a VIP bowling Hall these days with every other lane closed to meet social distancing protocols. The balls are cleaned and sparkling like large Christmas ornaments. It’s not your typical bowling alley. Each lane comes with the perfect lounge feel. Not to mention, the food at Maple Hall is a staple. We love the Nachos.
If you’ve not imagined zip lining at night, you should definitely think about it! I knew when I booked my Trip to Knoxville that I’d love this adventure. I loved every second of this excursion in the woods of East Tennessee at night. Navitat at Night is such an incredible experience. Mr.Sweet and I workout together just about everyday, but doing a ropes challenge at night is a whole different level of trust and push. There’s so many sentamentally symbolic things that happen when you’re stories in the sky at night amidst the stars and Christmas lights! I remember getting set up for the first station and I said, “I wish the tech people would come with us up here.” Mr.Sweet said, “why.” I said, “I just don’t want to be up here by myself.” He looked at me and said, “I’m here with you the whole way.” It was the sweetest moment of the trip. I’m reminded that he’s always here. What’s a Hallmark movie without a scene like this?!
Let’s have a toast to a good dinner for a good trip of activities. This trip taught me a lot that I poured out over this dinner with Mr.Sweet. I came across an obstacle while traveling that this dinner helped to appease. Life is good because, at the end of the day, the sun sets, dinner is served and you can have conversations of admiration for the day. Emilia’s is an intimate setting to share the best of life. The food is great! I vow to go here every time I visit Knoxville because it’s where I lay it all out on the table with my husband. It’s our time. If you don’t have this kind of tradition on a vacation, I strongly suggest it. We all need to share our pits and peaks of life!