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Maybe Knoxville is not on everybody’s top list of places to visit, but I wanted to share our visit to Knoxville with our toddler. We had a pleasant stay and it is definitely a city to stop in if you are close by.

My daughter was about 13 months old when we wanted to travel to Knoxville, TN to visit a friend of mine. This was the first vacation that we would be taking with our daughter.

Before she was born, we enjoyed staying in Bed & Breakfasts rather than hotels. We had considered taking a trip to one of our favorite spots until we realized that none of the B&Bs in the entire city would allow children under 12. But in Knoxville we found what we were looking for and we also had a few fun days out together with my friend!

Where to Stay in Knoxville With Toddlers

We found a B&B in Knoxville that did not discriminate (yes, that is what I consider it) against children. The owner was so wonderful. He told us he would much rather have a fussy baby heard through the halls than a couple of teenagers being rowdy all night. He was happy to keep milk in the fridge for us and be sure there was nothing special she needed for breakfast.

Luckily his breakfast was a huge variety anyway and there were many things that she could have. He sat with us and another couple while we had breakfast both mornings and even played with my daughter at the table while we ate and talked with the other couple.

We had plenty of room for her travel crib in our room. We were able to put her in the crib and close our door and go across the hall to the sitting room to talk. We used our cell phones as make-shift baby monitors.

This is never something we would even consider doing at even the smallest of hotels. We would basically have to lay down and be quiet after she went to bed. Never would we leave her in our hotel room and go all the way to the lobby.

It was just a great experience. If you are ever in Tennessee, you should check out Sonny at the Maplehurst Inn B&B in Knoxville!

For anyone considering a stay at Maplehurst Inn, you’ll find their website here. (Opens in new window.)

Thing to do in Knoxville with Toddlers

Many people probably visit Knoxville on their way to the Smoky Mountains. But you can also stop in Knoxville because there are some fun things to do with toddlers and kids in general.

So for anyone wondering why on earth to visit Knoxville, Tennessee, here are a few reasons:

Knoxville Zoo is not a huge zoo, but a friendly one and not too expensive. They have some 900 animals, including tigers, lions, elephants, monkeys, many birds, and reptiles to mention some. Children under 2 years are free and it is possible to buy tickets online. Visit the Knoxville Zoo website here.

World’s Fair Park is a beautiful, relatively new (1982) park, with fountains to get wet in, waterfalls and a big playground. Great for a warm summer day! Read about World’s Fair Park here. The top picture of this post is from the park.

The Ijams Nature Center is a beautiful area for hiking. There’s a nice playground too and a nice place to relax when visiting Knoxville with toddlers!

Dollywood is Dolly Parton’s park. It is a theme park with attractions for most ages. They have baby care centers and children under 4 years go in for free. The park is about a 40 minutes drive from Knoxville. Here is Dollywood’s homepage.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel (Tennesse)


If you know more kid-friendly activities for visiting Knoxville with toddlers, please share them here!

Youl’ll find more vacation spots and baby travel tips here.

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