We write itineraries all the time to show people parts of Knoxville that are not on the beaten path. Have you see our Instagram video of the sunflowers? Shameless plug click here. You might not have, but as the sunflowers bloom so do the posts from locals who are headed out to the TWRA property and dragging their friends, babies and puppies there for a photoshoot. Hey, that's how I found out about it last year. This year I saw the first field in bloom and I know I'll be back!
That's what I was thinking of when I saw this article from Yahoo Travel "Ditch the Itinerary: How Spontaneous Travel Will Change Your Life." I make itineraries all the time for folks trying to get them to see every nook and cranny of our destination. The difference is what I call "operation squirrel." **shiny** I give the journalists their itineraries and drive or walk them around town and say “if there is something you want to see we can stop, nothing is written in stone.” This my friends is how even I get to see some of the coolest things Knoxville has to offer. Who knew that there were a gazillion sunflowers over near Ijams nature Center? I've been there a MILLION times! There are just so many things for all of us to see and treasure when we travel. So yes I'll keep making itineraries, but I will also keep telling people who visit that we will be spontaneous. Just because I live here and tell people DAILY about this city doesn't mean I don't need to look around and leave the itinerary behind too. That's one to grow on.
In case you need to see the sunflowers for yourself here are directions for your non-itinerary:
Directions: From I-40, take James White Pkwy exit (388A) and stay to the left to continue on James White Parkway. Cross over the TN River and take the Sevier Ave./Hillwood Dr. Exit. Turn Left onto Sevier Ave. (turns into Hillwood Dr.). Turn right onto Island Home Ave. (at bottom of hill). Take the first left onto McClure Ln. just passed Ijams Nature Center. Follow signs to the WMA. A TWRA gravel parking lot is to the right at the end of McClure Lane.
The Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area is owned by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and is located within City of Knoxville limits. A portion of the City of Knoxville's 3.5-mile Will Skelton Greenway runs through the Forks of the River Wildlife Managment Area.