Knoxville, Tennessee: The Sunsphere

Opened May 1, 1982, as part of the Knoxville World's Fair. Abandoned in 1999, restored and reopened in 2007. Its tower was originally painted blue so that the gold ball on top would appear more sunlike.

The Sunsphere

810 Clinch Ave., Knoxville, TN
Downtown. I-40 exit 388. Take Henley St. south, and either follow signs or your eyes. Less than a mile. Double elevators face the lake. Observation deck is on the 4th floor.
Daily 9 AM - 10 PM Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About The Sunsphere

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The Sunsphere

Free parking, unless you steal it from the hotel across the road, is a thing of the past. But the Locust Street Garage, kitty-corner from the end of the two-block-long pedestrian bridge that leads you right to the tower, is extremely reasonable ($1 an hour) and is also close to the beautiful and enjoyable Market Square and several other interesting sights.

[passepartout22, 11/12/2017]

The Sunsphere.

The Sunsphere

Can be found in World's Fair Park downtown, adjacent to the Knoxville Convention Center and across from the Holiday Inn and The Tennessean hotels. There is also an open air amphitheater next to it. You can go up to the observation deck daily (free of charge) to see a panoramic view of Knoxville.

[Laurie Tuten, 01/17/2017]



We love towers. Towers of all shapes and sizes. However, there are very few free rides to visit the observation decks of most towers. Remarkably, the ride up to the observation deck of the Sunsphere is free. Just don't forget to bring the binoculars and the camera!

The exterior of the tower, with its glass windows layered in 24-karat gold dust, is uniquely beautiful. For those with kids, there are interactive fountains and a really great playground within the park complex. To top it all off, free parking is available.

[Gary Epperson, 09/05/2011]



Visited in the morning 11/19/2010, but could not find any information about being able to go up to the top.... Was still a fun stop and great view!

[Kim V, 11/29/2010]
The Sunsphere

I rode to Knoxville on an IronButt motorcycle ride (1000+ miles in < 24 hours) but I had to make time for the Sunsphere! Free parking is close by, and the observation deck is open and free all day long! There's lots of info about the Fair on colorful displays, also historical info on the city and Tennessee in general. Extra special for me since my last visit was 1982!

[Skyler1967, 08/31/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

World's Largest Rubik's CubeWorld's Largest Rubik's Cube, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
Doomed Rachmaninoff's Final ConcertDoomed Rachmaninoff's Final Concert, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
Hypnotic StairsHypnotic Stairs, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Tail of the Dragon, Deals Gap, NC - 34 mi.

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