Knoxville 101: There are big-city amenities and a handful of skyscrapers, but Knoxville feels like a low-key small town, where life revolves around the Tennessee River, a historic market square, and all things Big Orange.
Why It Made Our List: It's a serious football town with a laid-back mountain vibe thanks to its proximity to the Smokies. Mark your calendar for two top festivals: the BaconFest and the annual Knoxville Brewers' Jam.
Don't Miss: More of the Volunteer State's natural bounty, such as heirloom tomatoes and local honey, at the Market Square Farmers' Market. Across the square, sit under tin ceilings at The Tomato Head, serving hand-tossed pizzas topped with primarily organic ingredients.