Extra Credit: Interiors are kitschy, but King Tut Grill (865/573-6021), decked out with Mardi Gras beads, has a cult following for its feta-filled Greek salads and theme nights.
Sure Beats the Dorm: The Oliver Hotel is quirky, with retro-chic accents in otherwise minimalist bedrooms. Downstairs, take a seat on a leather banquette, with an old-fashioned cocktail in the Peter Kern Lounge.
If You Do Go for a Game: Hundreds of boats raft the Tennessee River together on game days. If you can't score an on-board invitation, watch the VOL Navy tailgate party dockside from the over-the-water Calhoun's on the River (pictured), with a Smoky Mountain Brewery ale in hand.
Coach's Report: "My family and I love Knoxville. It has a great combination of big city culture with the community feel of a small town."–Coach Derek Dooley