Say Hello To Erin Donovan, The Voice Behind @Visit_Knoxville

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Every Thursday, Say Hello To America will be Erin Donovan showcasing the voices behind official Twitter accounts of destinations all across the United States and the city they represent. This week, say hello to Erin Donovan from @Visit_Knoxville. Knoxville has been Erin’s home for almost nine years after leaving New England for another job in Television news. She’s getting the sweet tea and y’all part down pretty well. It seemed like a natural move this past summer to the CVB to keep telling the stories of the city and the community where Erin lives.

1. What time of the year is best to travel to Knoxville?

Anytime! Knoxville is blessed with 4 distinct seasons (sometimes in one day). If you are a football fan, you’ll love fall – when the trees and the streets are bright orange.

2. How would you describe the people of Knoxville?

Friendly and Helpful

3. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about Knoxville?

Favorite? There’s so much art, culture and history here.

Least favorite? That people don’t know all the great things our city has RIGHT here! I guess it’s my job to try and tell them.

Knoxville Panorama

4. What is Knoxville’s most famous landmark or attraction?

The Sunsphere from the 1982 World’s Fair … even the Simpsons have talked about it!

5. Name one “secret” location that a traveler must visit.

I can’t tell you that! But if you take one of our many walking tours, you’ll find several.

6. What is the best/easiest mode of transportation to get around the city?

Your feet if you’re downtown. We also have a free trolley service and a good bus service with a really cool transit center.

Knoxville Fireworks7. Is there any festival or event in Knoxville that a traveler should specifically plan a trip around?

Hmm, we are a flurry of festivals! Big Ears Music Festival, Dogwood Arts, Rhythm N Blooms, International Biscuit Festival, Knoxville Film Festival, The Rossini Festival is a feast of food, dance, music and opera from the region’s best talent. And I thought we had a bacon festival, but I might have been dreaming. Plus BOOMSDAY! It’s the largest fireworks show during the Labor Day weekend in the Nation.

8. What are the best family-friendly attractions that Knoxville has to offer?

Our Urban Wilderness has something for every outdoor enthusiast big or small. The Knoxville Zoo is amazing, The Discovery Center has a great planetarium, Ijams Nature Center offers special opportunities for kids and the Walking Tours of the City are filled with rich history.

9. What is Knoxville’s signature food that every visitor has to try?

I’m not sure we have a signature food, but folks around here love barbecue and we have lots of it. The Petro (chili, cheese and chips) is also a local novelty – it was actually developed for the World’s Fair!

UT Gameday

10. If I only had one day to explore Knoxville, what MUST I see or do?

Lace up your shoes and let’s go! We’ll grab a biscuit at Just Ripe then walk over to the Historic Tennessee Theatre to hear a little Wurlitzer Magic, then we can head over to the Sunsphere where on a clear day you can see forever, if there is a UT game no matter the sport we can sit for a spell then when you need to get your music fill we can head over to one of the local spots where Americana spills out onto the sidewalks (and do some shopping, of course). We’ll finish off with a boat ride down the Tennessee and dinner to satisfy any appetite – we have all KINDS of options here!

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