Knoxville, Tennessee is the nearest large city to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is one of the world’s most visited scenic areas.
Although a limited number of bus transfers are available from Knoxville, for example to the resorts of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains, the best way to get around this region is almost certainly going to be in a rental car.
The city of Knoxville itself also has very limited public transportation, so there’s very little reason to suggest not getting a hire car in Knoxville unless you really are happy to do without one and rely on slow local bus connections, or you just want a transfer to a resort and no more.
Should you rent a car in Knoxville? Yes, absolutely!