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Whether it's a trip to the city or into the wilderness you don't have to travel far from Knoxville to find it! Come explore the region (and more) with me, because no matter what day it is, it's always "trip time."

Light up the holidays in Maryville

Light up the holidays in Maryville

Christmas is coming soon and if you're tired of the rush to the malls and shopping centers, why not take a break and head downtown?

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In Maryville (a town thousands of people pass through on the way to the Great Smoky Mountains), the lights shine bright along Broadway this time of year. Across the street from the Palace Theater and Sullivan’s Downtown restaurant, it’s hard to miss the brightly lit tree towering above the street.  Thousands of bright white lights fill the tree, which is topped with a burst of twinkling lights shining nearly as bright as the stars adoring the adjacent mural telling the story of music legends of East Tennessee.  The lamp posts along the main thoroughfare are adorned with green garland and wreaths and bright red bows.  

In the distance, the top of the historic Blount County Courthouse comes into view, a spot where you'll find a uniquely Blount County holiday display. For more than 25-years now the county has invited businesses, organizations, churches, schools and individuals to put up a decorated tree on the Courthouse lawn.  While you can see them during the day, the walk among them at night is almost magical.  You’ll find a tree decorated with white ornaments and snowflakes, one all decked out in red, white and blue and one filled with superheroes.  This year, the Grinch also makes an appearance as he manages to make his way through the tree for a peak at what’s happening around him.( And while it has nothing to do with Christmas, you might want to check out the superhero mural on the wall below the comic book store across the street.)  The Festival of Trees runs through the end of December.  

Between the Courthouse and Broadway, along Church Street, the headquarters building for Altar’d States clothing stores has what is perhaps the most magnificent light display Downtown. The building is neatly outlined in bright white lights while the trees along the front are totally wrapped in them.  You’ll even find swirling larger than life snowflakes along the small plaza at the entrance.

While strolling through Downtown Maryville, be sure and check out either Barley's or Sullivan's for a great meal or stop in to the Capitol Theater's Ice Cream and Coffee Shop.  The heart of the Maryville Greenbelt is also close by if you want to stroll even further. 

Check out the @knoxdaytripper Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds for more pictures from Downtown Maryville and other places all decked out for the holidays. 

The lights of Christmas past - Downtown Clinton

The lights of Christmas past - Downtown Clinton

An historic detour in West Knox County

An historic detour in West Knox County