#7 Knoxville, Tennessee
Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, Knoxville is the ideal warm-weather town. The pedestrian-only Market Square is expansive yet inviting and features installation art fountains that are made for splashing around in. There’s tons of interesting restaurants and bakeries in the square, where you can sit at wrought-iron tables out in the open, or under the shade of the trees found at its far end. Summer means the square boasts a great farmer’s market, loads of festivals and events as well as Shakespeare on the Square.
Other attractions include walking through the Knoxville Museum of Art’s outdoor sculpture gallery, or Old City, where much of the city’s gritty southern character is on fine display. Live music, from bluegrass to contemporary rock, is around just about every corner and definitely worth enjoying.
The Tennessee river is not to be missed. When you’re done in the city lounge on the deck of a cruise boat with a drink or paddle around in a kayak. If you visit as late as Labor Day, you’ll get to see Boomsday, the “largest Labor Day fireworks display in the nation.”