BUCKET LIST ADVENTURES IN SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE
Don’t just dream it: Do it! You can cross two dozen dream experiences off your bucket list in one trip to Sevierville, Tennessee. From epic hikes to aerial dives, meeting national celebrities to visiting national landmarks, racing at top speeds to lingering in front of breathtaking vistas, come accomplish your life goals here in the Smoky Mountains.
Hike the Appalachian Trail
A total of 70 miles of the famed trail passes through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so if you dream of setting foot on it or hiking a stretch it’s easy to achieve that goal from Sevierville. Drive up to the Newfound Gap parking lot and a two-mile stretch of the AT sits a few steps beyond the parking lot.
Meet a famous celebrity
The bald eagle Challenger has performed more than 350 free flights at major events including presidential inaugurations, NFL pro-bowls, MLB World Series games, NCAA final four tournaments, and the Daytona 500. The superstar rescued bird has been featured on specialty Tennessee license plates and coins issued by the U.S. Mint. You can visit Challenger at the American Eagle Foundation headquarters near Dollywood.
Ride the rapids
Ride the rapids on the Upper Section of the Pigeon River with Big Creek Expeditions. The six-mile, heart-pumping challenge steers between rocks and down inclines of rushing water through ten Class III rapids and three Class IV rapids.
Drive a race car
Get behind the wheel at NASCAR SpeedPark Smoky Mountains. The 25-acre park boasts 22 race-themed attractions including eight different go-kart tracks. There’s something for everyone, from the 200-foot Baby Bristol starter track to the quarter-mile Smoky Mountain Speedway—a D-oval-shaped course on which you drive a 3/8-scale version of an actual Sprint Cup car for an exhilarating racing experience similar to what the NASCAR pros face.
Swoosh down a record-holding water slide
Swoosh down a record-holding water slide at Wilderness at the Smokies, home to the state’s largest indoor waterpark plus two outdoor waterparks. Among the resort’s eye-popping assortment of slides is The Timber Rattler, the state’s largest waterslide that twists and turns down a 207-foot-long tube of rushing water. Another notable is Wild Vortex, where you’ll free fall down a 39-foot tower at up to 40 miles per hour in the only near-vertical translucent looping body waterslide in the Southeast.
Snap an iconic selfie with an American legend
Stop at the courthouse lawn and strike a pose near the bronze statue of Dolly Parton, the most honored female country performer of all time! A tribute to the superstar by her hometown community, the six-and-a-half-foot tall sculpture was crafted by nationally-known local artist Jim Gray and shows Dolly holding her guitar. Since it was unveiled more than 30 years ago, the statue has attracted millions of visitors from all over the world.
Taste the world’s hottest pepper
Taste the world’s hottest pepper at Pepper Palace, “The Planet’s Number One Hot Shop.” More than 1,000 award-winning products are hand-crafted in small batches on-site using all-natural ingredients across the Scoville scale at the headquarters in Sevierville.
Defy gravity at Sevier Air Trampoline & Ninja Warrior Park. Jump, flip and bounce on more than 60 trampolines. There’s also an obstacle course inspired by the popular “Ninja Warrior” TV show, a three-story net system specifically designed for youngsters, two competition dodgeball courts, a two-sided rock wall, three basketball goals, two tumble tracks, a rope swing, and jousting area above a foam pit.
Climb Clingmans Dome
Climb Clingmans Dome, which at 6,643 feet ranks as the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the tallest point in Tennessee, the highest point along the Appalachian Trail, and the third-highest mountain east of the Mississippi River! The observation tower on the summit offers spectacular 360-degree views of the Smokies and on clear days you can see up to 100 miles in any direction.
Go sky diving
Skydive East Tennessee is the state’s No. 1 skydiving center. Whether you want to jump tandem or learn to skydive, their licensed professionals are ready to go.
See a rare monkey
See a rare monkey at Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo. Among the more than 600 creatures living at this zoo are golden headed lion tamarins, some of the smallest and rarest monkeys on earth! Also among the more than 130 species that range from cute to creepy is a northern blue-tongued skink and African crested porcupine.
Drive through Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Drive through Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the 31-mile Newfound Gap Road (US 441). The scenic drive travels between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and Cherokee, N.C. You’ll reach an elevation of 5,046 feet, traveling through pine-oak, evergreen spruce-fir and cove hardwood forests. Along the route are many spectacular lookout points (all clearly designated) where you can stop, gaze, and snap photos.
Fly in a biplane
Soar in an open-air cockpit over The Smokies with Sky High Air Tours in an authentic piece of American history: A 1927 Waco Model 10 Straightwing biplane. Just 36 such vintage biplanes are registered in the U.S. and only a dozen still fly.
Sip moonshine at an authentic distillery
Sevier Distilling Company’s Master Distiller Chris Yett just so happens to be a descendant of Sevierville’s namesake John Sevier, Tennessee’s first hero! He produces moonshine as well as vodka, rum, whiskey, and a one-of-a-kind pure honey spirit.
Ride in a helicopter
Ride in a helicopter and get an eagle’s-eye look at Sevierville with Scenic Helicopter Tours. Soar up to 1,200-feet into the air and hover in the clouds like a VIP over farms, fields, waters, and other sights. Various tours are available; the grandest, “Smoky Mountain Spectacular,” flies over 100 miles of some of the earth’s oldest landscapes and covers both the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Zoom into the foothills of the Smoky Mountains near Sevierville with Bluff Mountain Adventures. Guided ATV trail rides on the 6,000-acre private property scramble over rugged natural terrain and up a mountain to reach some overlooks that open to spectacular views. Whether you’re a novice or an expert ATVer, prefer to ride solo or tandem, expect a thrill.
Shoot to splatter
Shoot to splatter at Tennessee Mountain Paintball. New low-impact paintball delivers high adrenaline but little pain for maximum fun. In this “real life video game,” you’ll eliminate competitors by tagging them with paint-filled capsules using an air-powered launcher.
Cross a swinging bridge
Cross a swinging bridge at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park, home to 150 acres of excitement. The 335-foot long “Bridge to Prosperity” is just one reason to visit: The adventure destination also offers an ATV tour, the largest climbing wall in the Smoky Mountains, and a seven-line zipline course including “The Goliath,” the highest and longest line in the Smokies.
Zipline in the Smokies
Zipline in the Smokies with Legacy Mountain Ziplines. Reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour on 4.5 miles of ziplines up to 500 feet above the ground. The course includes a total of seven ziplines; plan on about two hours of heart-pumping fun to complete it.
Play championship golf
Tee up against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains at Sevierville Golf Club, which Golf Advisor recently named one of the Top 10 courses in the state and one of the Top 50 courses nationwide. The Club features two award-winning 18-hole championship courses. The Highlands is a par 70 course with slightly sloped greens for medium speed. The River is a par 72 course that plays along and across the Little Pigeon River.
Reel in a trophy-sized smallmouth bass
Come to Sevierville to fish the Little Pigeon River, widely considered one of the best smallmouth streams in the world. Tennessee holds the world record for smallmouth bass and in Sevierville you can cast a line in waters teeming with fish yet uncrowded with anglers.
Swim in a private pool
Book a cabin with a private pool and live the luxurious fantasy throughout your stay. Hidden Mountain Resort has several cabins with private pools, including Cabin #5228, affectionately named “Down By The Water,” where the private pool visually blends into a lake, extending its feeling of grandeur. At Cabin #4167, also known as “Ski Valley Lodge,” the private hot tub is on a covered deck near an outdoor fireplace, while the partially shaded private pool stretches gracefully across the back of the property.
Tennessee boasts over 8,350 caves—more than any other state in the U.S.! Sevierville’s Forbidden Caverns is home to the nation’s largest known wall of rare cave onyx. Guided tours pass spectacular formations, towering natural chimneys, grottos, and a stream.