Best Places To Picnic In Knoxville

Whether you’re packing sandwiches or putting some ‘dogs on the grill, there are dozens of places in Knoxville that are great for an afternoon meal. Here’s a Labor Day gift from us to you: a list of the best places in town to picnic.

Concord Park

Want that California beach vibe without the pricey plane ticket? Concord Park is the place for you. Bring your flip-flops and swim suit, and soak up the sun at the best “beach” in the Scruffy City. The park is right on Fort Loudoun Lake, which makes it a solid destination if you want to fish, swim, or rent a kayak. If water sports aren’t your thing, there are plenty of trails for hiking and biking, tennis courts, and a skate park too. Lay out a towel or two, and enjoy your picnic on this sandy shore!

Photo courtesy Outdoor Knoxville

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Sequoyah Park

Here’s another place on the water, and it comes with some impressive views. This West Knoxville park is right on the water. It’s all about staying active at Sequoyah – they have an exercise area, and trails for running and biking. There is plenty of field around here, so bring a ball or two when you come here.

Photo courtesy Outdoor Knoxville

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Bearden Beer Market

The Beer Market isn’t what most people think of when they think “picnic,” but it’s a great place for a group – especially if your group likes to drink beer. Bearden lets you bring your own food, so the only cash you’ll have to spend is on your drinks. Bring your tribe out and enjoy a potluck dinner at one of the tables outdoors. It’s right across the street from Earth Fare and Fresh Market, so you can always grab sandwiches from the grocery and walk over to the Beer Market. It’s a pet-friendly place, and there’s always a good crowd here.

Photo courtesy Bearden Beer Market

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Norris Dam State Park

This place is huge…and they have it all. There are “basic” activities, like hiking and paddling, as well as things you can’t find at any other park on this list. If you can afford to splurge, dock your boat on the lake or rent a cabin for a weekend-getaway. Lots of people come to this park, but since there is so much space that’s never a problem. Norris has a lot of open grassy areas, so don’t forget your Frisbee or football when you come out here.

Photo courtesy Tennessee State Parks

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Anchor Park

This one’s similar to Concord, but smaller and less crowded – making it a local favorite.  There is a walking trail a little less than a mile long, and since the park is on the water there are several good fishing spots. There are a few grills in the picnic pavilions, so bring some hamburger patties if you head over!

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Victor Ashe Park

If you’re with a real competitive crowd, take your picnic out to Victor Ashe. You’ll find sand volleyball, sports fields, and the most impressive disc golf course Knox County has to offer. Set up a picnic spot at one of their tables, and grab some fuel at the concession stand if you’re still hungry after a game.

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Carl Cowen / Admiral Farragut Park

If your kiddos want to cool off, but their swimming skills aren’t up to par, Carl Cowen’s splash pad is the answer. You’ll also find sports courts and a playground here, along with a picnic area that has covered and uncovered spots. Just a half-mile away is Admiral Farragut Park. Walk along the dirt trail to this other park, which has a 9-hole disc golf course and some riverside views. There are some benches you can sit on here but, admittedly, it’s not the best for picnicking. If you bring lunch, make sure you take advantage of some of the spaces at Carl Cowan before venturing out this way!

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World's Fair Park

In the heart of downtown, World’s Fair Park is a good option if you want to shop or find some live music after you eat. There aren’t a ton of amenities here, but with Market Square and Gay St. just minutes away, you don’t need them.  If you finish up around sunset, head to the top of the Sunsphere to catch some jaw-dropping views.

Photo courtesy Outdoor Knoxville

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Ijams Nature Center

If you’re a local, you already know about Ijams…but we would be crazy not to include it on this list. Ijams has hiking and biking trails, as well as SUP and canoe rentals. If you’re a nature lover, the visitors center has plenty of information about the area. Ijams caters to kids too – if you have little ones, be sure to check out Jo’s Grove: a play area for youngsters nestled in the wilderness. There are picnic tables scattered all throughout Ijams, so finding a spot to eat here is never a problem.

Photo courtesy Outdoor Knoxville

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Grab your crew, football, and best wicker basket – we’re going on a picnic!