Knoxville Visitors Center: A spot for locals?

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — When you go on a trip do you stop at the visitors center? If you’re a local you’ve probably never considered going to the one in your own town. If you ask Kim Bumpas, with Visit Knoxville, she’ll tell you even locals may want to head to the Knoxville Visitors Center.

You’ve probably driven right past it. It’s downtown next to the shops, bars, and restaurants that line Gay Street. The address is 301 S. Gay Street.

“Well, people are missing out for sure,” Bumpas said.

It’s her job to get excited about all things Knoxville.

“You want to go to the visitors center because not only do you find some really cool little trinket things to buy to kind of celebrate your experience, but we are the brochure hub,” she explained.

Hers isn’t usually the face you’ll see when you come in to the center.

“Working in the visitors center was probably one of the funnest things that I’ve done,” she said.

During the pandemic she did spend time right behind the register.

“A couple from Texas like literally just kind of drew a circle on the map and it brought them to Knoxville,” she recalled.

Her favorite part was meeting the people who stopped in and learning about why they picked this city.

“I met another family who had a son named Knox and it definitely showed us that we need to get our #KnoxRocks shirts in child sizes because he fell in love with that shirt and wanted one,” Bumpas explained.

The shirts are mixed in with other items from local artists.

“Being something more of a gift shop that celebrates our local maker community,” Bumpas described the shop.

Soon the music coming from the speakers will turn back into live performances at lunch time.

“It’s not going to be much longer before we’re all hanging out together again,” Bumpas hoped.

She also hopes your hang out brings you there.

“Our visitors center is definitely a stop that people want to make,” she said.

The visitors center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Stop by Sunday between noon and 4:00 p.m. You can also find them online.

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