Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Alcoa, TN

  • Published 2022/07/24

Alcoa is a small but thriving city in Tennessee’s Blount County, best known for its historical markers, sites, and establishments.

This city is also home to several state parks for those who love the outdoors.

You can go on a food tour in this historic city and dine at the numerous family-owned restaurants that have been a part of the community for decades.

This city isn’t one to shy away from vibrant nightlife as you can also dance the night away at their bars, drink with friends, and have fun.

Whether you’re here to reminisce its colorful history or wish to unwind on a relaxing vacation, this city has all you need.

Here are the best things to do in Alcoa, Tennessee:

Take a Trip to Springbrook Park

Springbrook Park is one of Alcoa’s most popular public parks, home to spacious land and many outdoor recreational activities.

As you’ll be surrounded by vibrant, lush trees and accompanied by a cool outdoor breeze, you’re sure to have a fun-filled day at this park.

You can opt to have a nice, lovely picnic on one of their picnic tables or lay a blanket under the trees.

They also have a playground and sports equipment, perfect for the kids to run around and exert some energy.

Their featured paved trails are ideal for those who love to hike or wish to go on a stroll.

At the end of the day, Springbrook Park offers picturesque, breathtaking views of the sunset.

Your trip to Alcoa won’t be complete without a trip to Springbrook Park.

See the Animals That Live at the Alcoa Duck Pond

The Alcoa Duck Pond is located near Springbrook Park, making it easy to access.

True to its name, the park is home to several ducks and other waterfowl and animals, and you have the option to feed them some bread.

This 7.7-acre park attracts a variety of species of animals, from ducks to fowls and more.

You can watch these lovely creatures in their habitat or take a short walk towards the outskirts of the park, where you’ll find the Duck Pond and Lily Pond Historical Marker.

Fishing is also permitted in this pond, where you can catch a variety of fish, including catfish and bass.

The park also hosts fishing tournaments for kids where they get the chance to win various prizes.

Take the time to relax at the Alcoa Duck Pond.

Admire the Beauty of Millennium Manor Castle

Millennium Manor Castle is a must-see tourist destination in Alcoa, being the only all-rock castle standing in this city.

Also nicknamed “Darby’s Castle,” this historic structure has a lot of rich and interesting information.

The origin of this castle begins with William Andrew Nicholson’s religious belief that he would witness the events that the Bible predicted in his lifetime, known as Armaggedon (in the Book of Revelations).

This man then decided he needed to build a castle or a fortress that could survive the events that he deemed to be the end of the world.

Taking nearly 10 years to complete by hand from 1937 to 1946, this structure has served its purpose and withstood several natural disasters, including typhoons.

Now with its new owners, Millennium Manor Castle is open to the public for viewing and touring, where you get to see its beautifully crafted rock exterior and some unique artifacts inside.

Don’t miss the chance to see Millennium Manor Castle while visiting Alcoa.

Relax at Rock Garden Park

Rock Garden Park is a simple park situated on Harrison Street.

If you’re looking for something relaxing to do, head to this park for some passive recreational activities.

Its main attraction includes a variety of sculptures and models made primarily out of rocks and other items scattered around the park.

You can bring the kids where they can maximize the use of their playground and sports equipment.

You can also challenge a loved one to a friendly game of basketball on their basketball court.

This four-acre park also provides a trail for those who wish to go on a run, jog, or leisurely walk.

Spend some quality time with your family and relax at Rock Garden Park.

Drop by Alcoa’s First Bar at Bullpen Sports Bar & Grill

Often called Bullpen for short, Bullpen Sports Bar & Grill is the first and oldest bar in the entire city.

Since opening in 1994, this bar has become a community favorite and a staple in Alcoa.

They’re best known for having one of the best nightlife in the entire city, with their loud music, drinks, and the fun they provide.

They also host events on certain nights, including Trivia Night and DJ and Dance Parties.

You can grab a quick meal, have some bar food, or play classic games such as pool and darts.

Dance the night away at Bullpen Sports Bar & Grill!

Try Out Ax Throwing at ​​Smoky Mountain Axe House

Ax throwing may seem like an intimidating sport, but once you get the hang of it, you’re sure to enjoy it.

Smoky Mountain Axe House is owned and operated by veterans and became a part of Alcoa’s community in 2019.

Despite being relatively new to the city, this entertainment center has attracted locals and tourists with its ax throwing sport.

Whether you need to relieve some stress or want to try the sport out, Smoky Mountain Axe House has you covered.

They ensure safety despite the sharp weapon, and they’ll teach you how to aim and throw your ax correctly.

You can take your place in any of the five lanes they offer, and if you’re feeling a little unsure of what to do, feel free to ask for help from their coaches.

Have some fun at Smoky Mountain Axe House!

Satisfy Your Craving for Mexican Food at El Sazon Mexicano Restaurant

Get your favorite Mexican dishes at El Sazon Mexicano Restaurant, located along Alcoa Highway.

Only six minutes from the city center, this restaurant serves all your classic and favorite Mexican meals, including fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, and more.

This restaurant has been serving the community of Alcoa for over 20 years.

They’re best known for their spacious patio dining that allows you to enjoy your meal outdoors.

All their furniture is imported from Mexico to give you a feel of an authentic Mexican dining experience.

Ensuring delicious food, a lovely atmosphere, and authentic Mexican food, El Sazon Mexicano Restaurant is sure to make you and your stomach happy!

Dine at Hot Rods 50’s Diner

This ’50s-inspired diner at the heart of Alcoa can take you back in time.

Hot Rods 50’s Diner is a retro-style diner that offers only great food, good times, and fun.

Family-owned and operated, this eatery ensures high-quality meals while offering vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options for those with food preferences or on a special diet.

Their menu includes classic American eats, from appetizers to desserts.

One of their bestsellers is their steak burger, made only with 100% Angus beef, cooked fresh and to perfection.

Bring the whole family and enjoy a delicious meal together at Hot Rods 50’s Diner.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Unwind at World’s Fair Park

Daytime view of World's Fair Park

Sean Pavone /

Nestled within the heart of Knoxville, World’s Fair Park is a popular state park that is often the venue for various events that take place year-round.

You can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding cities and natural sites from their Observation Deck on the fourth floor, including sights of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River.

You may also visit the Volunteer Landing and enjoy water activities, including fishing and boating, or simply indulge in its waterfront location.

Aerial view of World's Fair Park grounds

Dee Browning /

When the sun is out and you wish to cool off, you can visit their splash pads, which are often open during the summer seasons.

Don’t forget to check out the Performance Lawn, where festivals and other events are hosted regularly.

World’s Fair Park is the center of activity and enjoyment, so add this place to your itinerary.

The waters of World's Fair Park

Dee Browning /

Check Out the Artworks at the Knoxville Museum of Art

Facade of Knoxville Museum of Art

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In the neighboring city of Knoxville, just north of Alcoa, you can find a rather popular tourist attraction known as the Knoxville Museum of Art.

This museum is home to a wide range of art pieces that detail the culture of East Tennessee.

You can also find various exhibits and displays on modern and contemporary topics.

Entrance doors of Knoxville Museum of Art

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The Knoxville Museum of Art first opened its doors in 1990 and has continued to expand its collection to celebrate the city’s unique and diverse culture.

Their collections have grown to house over 1,500 art pieces, which have been curated and crafted by skilled and talented artists.

The exhibits at Knoxville Museum of Art rotate and constantly change, so try and drop by.

Be One with Nature at Ijams Nature Center

The waters of Ijams Nature Center

Ilia Krivoruk /

Located in Knoxville, Ijams Nature Center is a hotspot for outdoor lovers and enthusiasts.

Its most sought-after activities are found in the River Boardwalk, which boasts many trails that you can hike and explore.

Ijams Nature Center also offers stunning venues that portray the nature surrounding it.

Inside this nature center, you can find Navitat’s Treetop Zipline Adventure Park, which has fun activities in store for everyone.

Bird on a tree in Ijams Nature Center

Matthew L Niemiller /

You may also head to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, which allows you to hike and explore trails that stretch up to 50 miles.

This trail also leads to other sights you wouldn’t want to miss, including pristine lakes, a nature center, various parks, and even a playground for the kids.

At their wildlife reserve, which spans over 500 acres, you can gander at the beautiful creatures and various species that call this nature center their home.

Enjoy the nature and beauty of Tennessee at Ijams Nature Center.

Pretty flowers in Ijams Nature Center

Matthew L Niemiller /

Visit the Historic Marble Springs

Log cabins in Marble Springs

Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marble Springs is the former home of John Sevier, a notable commander during the Revolutionary War and the first governor of Tennessee.

This attraction in Knoxville is the destination for picturesque sceneries.

Just as its name suggests, this historic site is home to various springs, along with quarried Tennessee “pink marble” scattered throughout the area.

Learn about the frontier events of Tennessee in this former home that has since become a tourist attraction.

Due to its historical and cultural significance, Marble Springs is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Its rural forests, meadows, and streams are a sight to behold in the wonderfully preserved Marble Springs.

Tour the entirety of this historic site and admire all of nature and its beauty.

Explore Tuckaleechee Caverns

Beautiful underground waterfall in Tuckaleechee Caverns

G Allen Penton /

Tuckaleechee Caverns is a popular tourist attraction in Townsend, found southeast of Alcoa, and has been dubbed the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies.”

It has also received recognition as the highest-rated cave or cavern in the Eastern United States.

There are several old mountain chains in these caverns which you can explore, some of which are estimated to be between 20 to 30 million years old.

Their “Big Room” is at the end of the tour and is almost as large as an entire football stadium.

The tallest subterranean waterfall can also be found inside the Tuckaleechee Caverns, known as the “Silver Falls.”

The Cave Onyx inside these caverns is another sight to behold, made from the formation of various minerals and chemicals.

Don’t miss the opportunity to tour this breathtaking cave in Townsend and drop by Tuckaleechee Caverns.

Go Roller Skating at Roll Arena Party Zone

If you’re a fan of roller skating, you may want to check out Roll Arena Party Zone.

Located just two miles from Alcoa, this rollerskating rink is a hotspot for skaters looking for a day of fun.

Family-owned and operated for over four generations, this entertainment center is a perfect place to practice your rollerskating skills.

This facility ensures a safe place for all, whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned skater.

They also rent skates in case you don’t have your own pair.

Try out roller skating at Roll Arena Party Zone.

Spend Time with Your Dogs at PetSafe Dog Park at Pistol Creek

Dogs need vacation time just like humans do!

If you’re traveling with your furry friend, bring them to PetSafe Dog Park at Pistol Creek in Marville.

Whether you have a small dog or a big dog, the park has a designated area depending on their size to ensure safety.

You and your dogs are sure to make new friends at this park.

Be reminded that this park has some strict rules that prohibit aggressive dogs and females in heat, so abide by them accordingly.

You can play fetch, go on a walk, explore, and more at PetSafe Dog Park at Pistol Creek.

Final Thoughts

Home to various historic sites and establishments, Alcoa has all the things you’re looking for in a great vacation destination.

From its historical markers to local restaurants and entertainment centers, you won’t run out of fun things to do and explore in this city.

Its location also makes it easy to travel to nearby cities where you can indulge in other activities.

Make this city your next destination, and enjoy this list of things to do in Alcoa, Tennessee!

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