Starting Monday, November 4, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) returns to Knoxville, Tenn. for its annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE). Knoxville, often described as a “hidden gem”, offers a wonderful mix of nature and culture, promising unique experiences.
In this unique location, where mountains meet music; art meets adventure; culture meets cuisine; and no one meets a stranger—Knoxville serves up genuine hospitality. Check out seven of our favorite activities OHCE attendees can enjoy during the conference week.
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Recreational activities abound in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—with more than 800 miles of trails, 700 miles of mountain streams, almost 80 historic structures and countless waterfalls and scenic overlooks. With OHCE taking place during fall's kaleidoscope of intense colors, it’s the perfect time to head up to the park and its surrounding towns to see the sights. Participants on the OHCE Takeaway Tours, an Add-On Experience, will get the chance to visit three ARVC-member campgrounds in Townsend, Tenn., located near the entrance to the park.
Just 35 miles southeast of Knoxville, near the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, sits Dollywood. Owned by country music legend Dolly Parton, Dollywood boasts two award-winning theme parks and so much more, promising fun and memorable attractions for all ages. OHCE attendees can get more than 40% off on daily tickets to Dollywood on Nov. 1-2 or Nov. 9-10. To receive the discount link via email click here: OHCE DOLLYWOOD TICKETS.
3. Maple Hall
Maple Hall features an 11-lane spirited bowling experience, with leather couches, a full bar, HD TVs from every angle and relaxing lounge areas, plus an upstairs cocktail lounge featuring life-sized board games as well as game night classics. Enjoy made-from-scratch menu items that you can enjoy at the lanes, bars, tables or cozy lounge areas on both levels. Maple Hall will host the ARVC Young Professionals Networking Event on Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 8-11 p.m. OHCE attendees interested in bowling receive free shoe rentals at Maple Hall from Nov. 3-9 if they mention “ARVC.”
4. Great Food and Drinks
With a heavy focus on locally-sourced foods, Knoxville’s unique culinary scene is on the rise thanks to a group of talented chefs. The city’s diverse culinary climate gives its Tennessee neighbors and fellow foodie cities a run for their money. No matter what you’re craving – or hoping to try – Knoxville is serving it up at a number of great restaurants within walking distance of the Knoxville Convention Center and surrounding hotels. Visit www.visitknoxville.com/restaurants/ for a complete list!
5. The Sunsphere and World’s Fair Park
Built for the 1982 World’s Fair, this iconic feature of the Knoxville skyline is the only structure of its kind. One of only two remaining structures from the historic 1982 World's Fair, the Sunsphere’s 26th Floor Observation Deck offers a breathtaking 360-degree view from 266 feet above Knoxville and is open free to the public daily. Located adjacent to the Knoxville Convention Center, World’s Fair Park is divided into three sections — a festival lawn, a performance lawn and a lake area. Lush green turf carpets the Park, creating a wonderful landscape for recreation, festivals and performances. There are paved walking trails throughout the Park connect to greenways that access the rest of the city and the University of Tennessee campus—a great place to get your steps in for the ARVC Foundation Walk.
6. Explore Market Square and Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness
Another place to add to your ARVC Foundation Walk step count is by visiting Market Square and Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, so grab your walking shoes and get steppin’! Since the 1860s, Market Square has been one of Knoxville’s most popular places to shop, work, play, eat, drink and live. The Square is located just minutes from the University of Tennessee Campus and Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a 1,000-acre stretch of land that features more than 50 miles of hiking and biking trails and connects parks, trails, civil war sites and recreational amenities.
7. Theatre District
Knoxville's rich theater history dates back to 1872, and elements of that history live on today at the Tennessee Theatre and Bijou Theatre, two of the region’s finest venues. Continuing the legacy, Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment Group opened Regal Riviera Stadium 8 in 2007 on the site of the city’s long lost, jazz-era Riviera Theatre. Whether you’re searching for concerts, Broadway shows or the latest blockbuster movie, Knoxville's Theatre District has everything a theater fan could want.
Content provided by www.VisitKnoxville.com. Check out their website for more information on these and other great things to do while visiting.
OHCE is a four-day event from Nov. 4-7 in Knoxville, Tenn. including more than 40 educational seminars, a trade show with more than 120 vendors, Takeaway Tours of local campgrounds, ARVC’s Awards of Excellence dinner and ARVC Foundation auction.
For more information about OHCE or to register, visit arvc.org/OHCE.