Backyard & Beyond

Exploring Known And Not So Known Adventures In East Tennessee


Welcome to Knoxville Backyard & Beyond

We write about things to do and places to see in our hometown and East Tennessee.

We highlight the best of Knoxville, from familiar attractions to unique local experiences, perfect for both first-time visitors and locals seeking new adventures These are the places that we consistently return to over the years with our own families. 

And because Knoxville is within a day’s drive of half of the continental United States, we’ve shared a variety of weekend getaway destinations that we have always enjoyed and recommend to others.

All of those little details that can make or break a trip?

We’ve got them covered.

View of the Sunsphere from the Knoxville Museum of Art with part of the Cycle of Life exhibit in the foreground

Who We Are

Hi! We are Amy and Amanda, two good friends who were born and raised in Knoxville.

Our families love to hike, camp, bike, and paddle our way around all the beautiful places in East Tennessee while also finding good food, good craft beer, and perhaps a museum or two along the way!

We started this blog to share our favorite places and make it easier for families to plan their own adventures. We have taken our own families to these museums, on these hikes, and eaten at these restaurants. 

We have done the planning part for you, leaving you free to have the fun!

Explore Knoxville’s


Find out about our favorite hotels, restaurants, and things to do in downtown Knoxville.

Plus, everything you wanted to know about a football Gameday from a local – free parking spots, where to stay, and pre-game festivities! Go Vols!

Looking down Gay Street in downtown Knoxville, TN
EXPLORE Knoxville’s


Explore the Urban Wilderness, greenways in Maryville, museums in Oak Ridge, Norris Dam State Park, East Knoxville gems, and so much more right in Knoxville’s backyard!

3 kids into jumping into Meads Quarry in Knoxville's Urban wilderness
View from overlook over Norris Dam
EXPLORE Knoxville’s


Discover adventures in the East Tennessee area. Find can’t miss spots in the Smokies, Big South Fork, and nearby state parks as well as how to kayak the gorgeous Hiwassee River and more!

Kayaking on the Hiwassee River in East Tennessee
Beautiful Appalachian Trail near Carver's Gap with mountain views in distance
Need Ideas? Too Busy To Research A Trip?

Weekend Getaway Guides

We love to explore awesome destinations within a few hours by car from Knoxville. These are our tried and true trips taken with our own families, we don’t write about places we haven’t been. Where to stay, where to eat, and where to play – it’s all here!


You’ll find lots of fresh air options in our blogs and guides. Our favorite hikes, bike rides, playgrounds, historic sites, float trips, and more — all kid-tested and approved as well as fun for adults too


We are always in search of good local food. This could mean a food truck, a pizza place, or a nice sit-down restaurant, but always delicious. Likewise, if there are any local brews, wines, or coffee houses around, we’ll mention those too.

Girl flying kite on Huckleberry Knob on the Cherohala Skyway
Flying a kite on Huckleberry Knob on the Cherohala Skyway
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