Known famously as the “Sprint Car Capital of the World,” the city of Knoxville, Iowa offers much more than its sprint car racing at the premier Knoxville Raceway. The city is also located quite close to many opportunities for exploring the “Great Outdoors,” including Elk Rock State Park and Lake Red Rock. Knoxville even has its own winery, the Nearwood Winery and Vineyards, and a craft brewery in the Peace Tree Brewing Company. There are many things to do for people with a wide variety of interests. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
The Knoxville Raceway in the city of Knoxville, Iowa is a leader, legacy, and tradition in open wheel and dirt track racing. Known as the "Sprint Car Capital of the World," the raceway hosts sprint car racing from the month of April through the month of September every Saturday night, as well as occasional special events. This half-mile dirt racetrack hosts over 23,000 fans during the Knoxville Nationals, one of the most prestigious events in sprint car racing, in August as well. Regular events at the Knoxville Raceway include the 410 cubic inch and 360 cubic inch sprint car races.
1000 N Lincoln St, Knoxville, IA 50138, Phone: 641-842-5431
2.Lake Red Rock, Knoxville, Iowa
The largest lake in the state of Iowa, Lake Red Rock is located only around fifteen minutes outside of Knoxville, providing a great escape from the city and a chance to enjoy the “Great Outdoors.” The lake and the surrounding area provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including a thirteen-mile paved trail for biking and hiking, a variety of interpretive programs, shoreline fishing, hunting, kayaking, swimming, boating, and camping. During the springs and fall seasons, white pelicans can be spotted migrating through the Lake Red Rock area, as well as a large number of bald eagles during the winter.
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3.National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum
© National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, Iowa is the only museum in the world dedicated to the preservation of sprint car racing and “big car” racing history. The unique Hall of Fame was established to honor the outstanding achievers of the sport, while the museum displays many open-wheel race cars and more than thirty sprint cars. The movie theater at the National Sprint Car Museum features films about sprint car racing from all over the country. There is also a sprint car simulator with state-of-the-art controls and a museum store with the largest sprint car merchandise selection.
1 Sprint Capital Place, Knoxville, IA 50138, Phone: 641-842-6176
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4.Things to Do in Knoxville, Iowa: Elk Rock State Park
Elk Rock State Park lies along both upstream banks of Iowa’s Red Rock Reservoir, just a short distance from the cities of Knoxville and Pella. The state park is divided into two areas: the smaller Mile Long Bridge area with picnic areas and the large main area with trails, the park office, two boat ramps, and numerous campsites. Visitors can spot a variety of wildlife and find good fishing opportunities at the Red Rock Reservoir, along with swimming and boating activities. An equestrian campground can also be found at Elk Rock State Park, featuring several facilities and an arena.
811 146th Ave, Knoxville, IA 50138, Phone: 641-842-6008
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5.Nearwood Winery & Vineyards, Knoxville, Iowa
© Nearwood Winery & Vineyards
The Nearwood Winery and Vineyards is not only the first, but also the only vineyard and winery in the area of Knoxville, Iowa. The boutique, handcrafted wines made at this small winery are made using grapes sourced from the state of Iowa, with grapes carefully selected for the best variety, quality, and process. The Nearwood Winery and Vineyards offers both white and red wines, ranging from dry to sweet and providing something for nearly any taste. Bottled water, soda, and beer are also available at the tasting room, which is open Wednesday to Sunday from noon until 5:30pm.
1699 Hwy 14, Knoxville, IA 50138, Phone: 641-891-2469
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6.Grand Theater, Knoxville, Iowa
The Grand Theater is considered by many in the Knoxville area to be a true gem of the local community. The residents of the city came together to restore and reopen the historic Grand Theater, bringing it to its current state as a destination in town for live performances, community events, and first-run films. The Grand Theater is a popular spot to see a movie due to its very affordable admission fee for all of its seats and movie showings. The theater also now features digital technology and contemporary amenities after a major renovation done to the building in 2015.
212 E Robinson St, Knoxville, IA 50138, Phone: 641-842-5415
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7.Things to Do in Knoxville, Iowa: Peace Tree Brewing Company
© Peace Tree Brewing Company
The Peace Tree Brewing Company has multiple locations at which beer lovers can sample their craft brews, including the Knoxville Branch Taproom and Brewery. Located in downtown Knoxville, Iowa along Main Street, the original location of Peace Tree can be found just west of the main town square. Visitors can try both experimental beers and handcrafted ales in the Taproom, in the Root Cellar, or on the patio. Guests can also schedule a tour of the Peace Tree Brewery. Peace Tree is open Wednesday to Friday from 4:00pm until 10:00pm and from 11:00am until 10:00pm on Saturdays.
107 W Main St, Knoxville, IA 50138, Phone: 641-842-2739
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7 Best Things to Do in Knoxville, Iowa
- Knoxville Raceway, Photo: toa555/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Red Rock, Knoxville, Iowa, Photo: Michael/stock.adobe.com
- National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, Photo: National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum
- Things to Do in Knoxville, Iowa: Elk Rock State Park, Photo: Artinun/stock.adobe.com
- Nearwood Winery & Vineyards, Knoxville, Iowa, Photo: Nearwood Winery & Vineyards
- Grand Theater, Knoxville, Iowa, Photo: aerogondo/stock.adobe.com
- Things to Do in Knoxville, Iowa: Peace Tree Brewing Company, Photo: Peace Tree Brewing Company
- Cover Photo: City of Knoxville, IA Government
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