Lunch: Fuji Japanese Grill
This family-owned Japanese restaurant sits right off Kingston Pike in Farragut. Though it is often overlooked for more mainstream options like Wasabi and Hibachi Factory, Fuji brings family recipe-oriented delicious Asian food and great service in an easily accessible location. Plus, you'll get to see a side of Knoxville that most downtown dwellers never make it out to.
Afternoon: The Cove
While in Farragut, take S. Northshore Drive to The Cove/Concord Park area, a waterfront park with secluded scenery and a family atmosphere. Bring your bike or dog to take advantage of the space the park offers. Then, enjoy the trip back to UT by avoiding the Pike and opting for Farragut's numerous backroads. Northshore will take you through Knoxville's gorgeous spring trees and old houses. Roll your windows down and enjoy the beautiful weather as you meander through Westland and Sequoyah Hills.
Dinner: Stock & Barrel
A fairly recent addition to Market Square, Stock & Barrel has hands down Knoxville's best hamburger. Reminiscent of Nashville burger joints like Burger Up and The Pharmacy, Stock & Barrel offers an amazing variety of burger options. My personal favorite is the Ring of Fire with habanero, jalapeño and pepperjack cheese. Cool off with their S'Mores milkshake made with milk from Cruze's Dairy Farm.
Evening: Graffiti Alley and S. Gay Street Art Scene
Walk off the burger with an artistic journey down the graffiti'd alley between Gay Street and Market Square. With intense paintings sure to inspire and sometimes confuse, the walk will be a great conversation-starter if you have an awkward date. After the alley, migrate down to South Gay to check out the Emporium, which always has exhibits, and a variety of other small art exhibitors.
Late Night: Peter Kern's Library
Named after famous Knoxvillian Peter Kern who brought one of the first ice cream parlors to Market Square in the 1800s, this speakeasy is Knoxville's best-kept secret and is located in the Oliver Hotel. Kern's is well-known for its literature-themed drinks, including the Molly Bloom and the Holden Caulfield, so you can feel like you're pursuing intellectual prowess while imbibing like you're on spring break.