Knoxville, Tennessee: The Sunsphere

Opened on 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.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About The Sunsphere

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

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]
The Sunsphere

My daughter held her wedding reception in the now closed Sunsphere. It held a restaurant open to the public until June, 2010. The restaurant is now closed and so far no plans have been made to do anything else with it. It made a unique place for a wedding reception. I am sure the city will come up with something, but with the economy being the way it is, it may take a while.

[Pat Kerschieter, 07/10/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

World's Largest Rubik's CubeWorld's Largest Rubik's Cube, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
Doomed Rachmaninoff - Last ConcertDoomed Rachmaninoff - Last Concert, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
Rowing Man Sculpture - OarsmanRowing Man Sculpture - Oarsman, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Forbidden Caverns, Sevierville, TN - 33 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

October 22, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Tennessee Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Teapot Dome Gas Station, Zillah, Washington (Oct 16-22, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Knoxville, Tennessee

Nightly rates found:

Find Hotels Near:

Book Online Now