South Knoxville is something of an enigma. The area doesn’t feel quite like the rest of Knoxville. It’s a subtle feeling sometimes, and it’s difficult to put your finger on exactly what it is that makes the area so different. But different it is.
Perhaps something happens when you cross to the southern side of the Tennessee River. Perhaps it’s the lack of Interstate or it’s the looming presence of the mountains in the distance. Perhaps it’s the quiet or that it genuinely feels (and is) less crowded than the northern side of the river. Perhaps it’s the last vestiges of ’50s Americana on Chapman Highway or maybe life feels just a little more simple over here. For whatever reason, though, South Knoxville ain’t quite right. And that’s exactly what makes it just right.
South Knoxville is generally considered to be the area south of the Tennessee River. That’s a lot of territory, of course. It’s Alcoa Highway on down to the Blount County Line. It’s Chapman Highway, which eventually snakes its way to the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s also John Sevier Highway, which streaks from west to east through them both and then curves back up north.