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“Knoxville's renowned piece of living history”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sunsphere Tower

Sunsphere Tower
Ranked #10 of 191 things to do in Knoxville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 300 foot tower built for the 1982 World's Fair.
white pine
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Knoxville's renowned piece of living history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2009

Sunsphere Tower was most certainly a beautiful, versatile, and enjoyable attraction to experience. From a distance, the " Golden Globe" is certainly the first thing to draw your attention.

A beautiful tribute to the world fair. It has many functions from free public observation deck which gives an excellent view downtown, the University of Tennessee, and the mountains in the distance. The elavator is accessble on ground level along with a shop that gives you a step back in time to 1982 when the tower was created in honor of the world fair. The globe is also used for restaurant and public events such as proms, marital events, etc..

The event that i attended was well catered and truley a memorable experience with the help of friendly and courteous staff. If you happen to be planning an event in knoxville or just want to see a piece of living history, then i suggest giving this landmark your undivided attention!

3 Thank traveler11188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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413 reviews from our community

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English first
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
159 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2008

The Sunsphere as one of Knoxville's best attractions? Well, considering that there isn't much to do in Knoxville, I guess that makes sense. Being from Knoxville, I'm ashamed that the Sunsphere is a symbol of Knoxville.

The Sunsphere was built for the 1982 World's Fair, which was held in Knoxville, TN. Because the World's Fair was held here, you might think that Knoxville is a big city, but it's not. Based on population, Knoxville is not even one of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. (it's around the 123rd largest city based on population).

The Sunsphere might look really tall and pretty in pictures, but it's approx. 266 feet tall. The observation deck is open at various times, depending on the season. My point about Knoxville being so small is because, even if the Sunsphere provides a good view of Knoxville, there isn't much to see. Downtown Knoxville is small and lacks the beautiful skyscrapers that many other cities have.

The park near the Sunsphere is fairly nice, but quite small. Homeless people frequent this area because homeless shelters are very close to downtown Knoxville. Low-income housing developments are also very close to downtown Knoxville. The park is fairly safe, though, because the city has a police presence in the World's Fair Park.

But, the Sunsphere itself is an ugly, old building. After visiting the Sunsphere, you'll be left thinking, "that's it?".

If you're here with children and you're already downtown, then I guess you might enjoy the Sunsphere. Otherwise, don't waste your time or money (in gas or parking): avoid the Sunsphere.

14 Thank Blake R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Awesome FREE Attraction”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2008

If you are looking for FREE entertainment and something unique, this is a great place to start! I'm a little afraid of heights and I still managed to enjoy the experience!

You ride an elevator up to the bottom of the sphere to view 360 degrees of Knoxville, TN. There are tidbits of information located in the observatory deck to educate yourself about the area and The Worlds Fair 1982 (which is why the Sunsphere was built). For the fair, you could eat in a restaurant located in upper levels on the Sunsphere... now those levels house buisnesses! Can you imagine going to work in a Sunsphere every week? Crazy!

The park this is located in is very nice as well. Spend some time relaxing here!

My only complaint: It took forever to find parking!!! We finally found one VERY small lot past the park.

4 Thank ash4usc09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A great view from the Sunsphere, and it's free!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2008

The Sunsphere opened in 1982 for The World's Fair. It was closed for several years until recent renovations were completed. Visitors can take an elevator up to the observation deck and walk around for a 360 view of the area. You get a good view of part of The University of TN, Downtown Knoxville, The Fort Sanders nieghborhood, and our lovely interstate system. There are various little historical pictures and storys to read, and there was also a tv with some video of the 1982 World's Fair.
It is a neat view, but it does tend to get boring quick. Whenever we bring my 4 year old son, he's ready to leave after 5 minutes. That's ok, because the Fort Kid playground is a quick block away.

2 Thank Ratchet_of_Knoxville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
187 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2008

I was glad that they reopened this attraction. It offers a good view of the region, and it connects you with the World's fair. Free entry

Thank SaminDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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