I have lived or spent a significant amount of time is just about every area of Knoxville. When a student at UT, I started Knoxville life on campus – if it wasn’t within walking distance or an occasional trip out west to see a “dollar movie” or eat at IHOP, it didn’t exist for me.
In the 21 years I’ve spent living North, South, East and West – I’ve come to love different aspects of each part of town. I spent the better part of 10 years living in South Knoxville and came to love that area for hundreds of different reasons. Here are a few of my favorite places and things to love about spending time in South Knoxville.
1) Colonial Village – Living in Colonial Village, to me, is like spending your life in a Norman Rockwell painting. So many of the homes have the character and feel of a past era, a time and place where whimsical things happen and every day life is genuinely fun. Lots of trees, tons of cozy 1950s era homes with all the character features and the people to match.
Rob’s connection: I lived in, renovated and rented out a home on Lakeview.
2) Lindbergh Forest – Right off Woodlawn Pike the eclectic, magical Lindbergh Forest neighborhood is a wonderful place to stroll around and take in the sights of a beautiful mix of 1920s vintage brick and stucco homes in every shape and size. This was one of the Places to Live when Knoxville was growing up. Today it is peopled with UT professors, artists, downtown denizens and a fantastic group of friendly neighbors.
Rob’s Connection: Friends and clients have opened their homes to me and I have spent many nights on a front porch talking about nothing and everything.
3) Island Home – Passing through the Marble Columns of Island Home, is like stepping back in the late 1800s. Old growth Oaks and Maples line the Boulevard, people play with their children in the park next to the Mighty Tennessee River and fly their small prop planes out of Island Home Airport. This is also the home of the Tennessee School For The Deaf – home of the Mighty Vikings.
Rob’s Connection: I have frequented the park, walking trails and toured many homes and gardens on the Dogwood Trail.
4) Ijams Nature Center – Not a neighborhood, but 80 acres of walking trails including a variety of different ecosystems. The perfect place to take a camera for a photowalk. Deep in the woods, at different times of year you may see some of the owls, cranes, a field of blazing sunflowers or other diverse standouts of nature. Be sure to check out the River Trail!
Rob’s Connection: Aside from tons of photo journeys, I have listened to fun presentations on the different animals and plants presented by volunteers in the Nature Center.
5) Disc Exchange – One of the fixtures of South Knoxville, the Disc Exchange is a place for the music lover. Drop in and listen to a live afternoon show, browse the records or discover a new favorite local band. Not just a music store, the Disc Exchange offers kitschy collections of music and pop culture related swag!
Rob’s Connection: Whenever I’m in South Knoxville, you’re likely to find me trolling the local music selections, attached to one of the listening bars, or picking up a piece of vinyl for my record collection.
6) Vestival – The South Knoxville community has hosted Vestival since its inception in 2001. At Vestival, the community turns out to celebrate the heritage of Vestal and South Knoxville, it has since become one of the wider-Knoxville community’s finest yearly events. The festival spawned the birth of the Candoro Arts and Heritage Center. The festival takes place on the historic grounds of the old Candoro Marble Company on the corner of Maryville Pike and Candoro Ave. The beautiful old building still stands on the site and has recently been renovated by the Candoro Arts and Heritage Center. The building often houses an art exhibit during Vestival. The main activities take place outside of the building with over 40 craft and food vendors and a number of bluegrass, rock and Americana bands on two stages.
Rob’s Connection: You can find me grooving to Quartjar, Greg Horne, Todd Steed or any number of other bands, stopping for a Petro while racing between stages. I’m also sometimes get a massage or be mesmerized by the Gypsy Hands belly-dancing troupe between shows.
7) South Doyle – This sleepy bedroom community comes alive in each season with the sounds of baseball pats crashing, shoulder pads crunching and band concerts – surrounding South Doyle high school. The area feels like small-town America, just minutes from Downtown Knoxville!
Rob’s Connection: During college I always knew when baseball season was about to start when I received calls from players looking for venerable coach Robby Howard.