20 Unique Things to Do in Sevierville, Tennessee
Looking for something different? Want to visit a real standout? Someplace where experiences are true memory-makers? Sevierville, Tennessee has you covered. From natural wonders to manufactured marvels, some of our local pastimes are utterly one-of-a-kind. Add some pizzazz to your vacation itinerary with these unique things to do.
Snap a selfie with Dolly Parton’s statue on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn. This tribute to the most honored female country performer of all time by her hometown community is the only place on earth you’re guaranteed to get close to the living legend. The six-and-a-half-foot tall bronze sculpture was crafted by nationally-known local artist Jim Gray and unveiled more than 30 years ago.
Swoosh down the only near-vertical, translucent, looping body waterslide in the Southeast, the 66-foot tall “Wild Vortex,” at Wilderness at the Smokies. The resort boasts 17 waterslides, nine pools, a lazy river, and oodles of watery thrills, offering its guests lots of ways to splash, slide and surf at three distinct waterparks (two outdoors plus Tennessee’s largest indoor waterpark). Unique standouts include the 207-foot long “Timber Rattler,” one of the state’s longest tube slides, and “Smokies Surf Rider,” the region’s only simulated body-surfing experience. Little adventurers won’t want to miss Eastern Tennessee’s largest climbing, playing, and interactive playhouse, “Cubs Climbing Den.”
Drive through a historic covered bridge. The Harrisburg Covered Bridge is a king post truss design that crosses the East Fork of the Little Pigeon River. Located off Old State Highway 35 near U.S. 411, it is 83 feet long and one of only four historic covered bridges in Tennessee. The bridge was built in 1875 to replace the original bridge that was destroyed in a flood that same year. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Climb into an A-4 Skyhawk Cockpit for a pilot’s-eye view of flying at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation. Hundreds of historic artifacts and exhibits bring the history of human flight to life. Airworthy warbirds are stars of the aircraft collection that includes several vintage aircraft, radial and jet engines, plus military vehicles. The museum is the only one in the U.S. that houses two airworthy P-47 Thunderbolts; less than a dozen of these World War II aircraft still fly in the world.
Soar across the highest ziplines in the Smokies at Foxfire Mountain Adventures. The Goliath Zipline features five extreme ziplines that take riders up to 55 miles per hour and 475 feet above the forest floor. The two-hour tour is a great way to challenge yourself and enjoy rewarding views of the Smoky Mountains area.
See the nation’s largest known wall of rare cave onyx at Forbidden Caverns . While Tennessee boasts more caves than any other state in the nation—8,350 caves have been discovered so far!—this one in Sevierville is arguably the most spectacular. Guided tours pass unique formations, towering natural chimneys, grottos and an underground stream.
Meet a golden-headed lion tamarin, one of the smallest and rarest monkeys on earth, at RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo. Over 600 live animals representing more than 130 species are housed at this fascinating place. Among the other exotic birds, bugs, reptiles, mammals and amphibians on display are a northern blue-tongued skink, African crested porcupine, poison dart frog, rose hair tarantula, Gouldian finches (which are nearly extinct), and other cute and creepy rarely-seen creatures.
Go back in time on a self-guided walking tour of Sevierville’s 40 most important historic sites (grab a free map near the Dolly statue). First stop: The Sevier County Courthouse, the iconic standout in the Sevierville skyline, designed in the Beaux Arts style and built using bricks produced by local African-American brick masons. Construction was completed in 1896, the same year that the state of Tennessee celebrated its centennial. In 1976 it became the first courthouse in the state to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Climb Clingmans Dome, 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 of Clingmans Dome offers spectacular 360-degree views of the Smokies and beyond; on clear days you can see up to 100 miles in any direction!
See Tennessee Smokies Baseball in action. The Double-A Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs plays at Smokies Stadium, which has been dubbed “America's Friendliest Ballpark.” Inspired by Wrigley Field yet smaller in scale, the Stadium has seats close to the action and a wide concourse that loops around the field. On-field games take place between each half inning.
Buy historic treasures at the Smoky Mountain Relic Room , which is packed with 3.4 billion years of items for sale. Hundreds of thousands of fossils and artifacts representing every period of geological and human history are available, and the authenticity of every item is guaranteed. The Relic Room is located inside Smoky Mountain Knife Works , “the world’s largest knife showplace,” which stocks just about every kind of knife and sharp edge you can imagine, as well as some you never knew existed, from antique knives to kitchen essentials, hunting blades to fantasy gear.
Play a game of duckpin bowling at Axe House Tavern. The new entertainment venue features a variety of family-friendly games, fantastic cocktails and elevated pub food. The building itself was once The Pines Theater where Dolly Parton played her first paying gig at the age of 10. As a tribute, murals of the star grace both the inside of the restaurant and the outer brick wall facing Court Avenue.
Step inside a giant can of BUSH’S Baked Beans at the BUSH’S Beans Visitor Center. Founded in 1897, the original A.J. Bush & Company general store now serves as the Visitor Center for the family-owned company that produces Bush’s Best Beans and related products. Watch a short film about the family and its company history, get a peek at the laser-protected book with the secret recipe, and follow a bean’s journey from farm to can. Indulge in a range of Southern dishes including the “No. 1 Baked Beans in the World” and sweet Pinto Bean Pie at the on-site Family Café.
See works by one of the most celebrated artists in the Southeast at the cozy Robert A. Tino Gallery , which is inside a house built in 1844. Tino’s watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings capture nature’s beauty in diverse styles with skillful use of color, depth and texture. Working as an artist since the 1980s, Tino is best known for his landscapes, some of which include barns or houses and many of which showcase the Sevierville area.
Binge on apples at Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store , a working apple farm that offers goodies from fresh-picked apples to prepared treats. The Apple Pie Kitchen makes fried apple pies, apple doughnuts and apple dumplings; The Cider Room produces a variety of hot and cold apple ciders ranging from sweet to tart; The Candy Factory makes candied and caramel apples; The Creamery scoops ice cream; and the general store stocks an array of apple-themed products.
Eat, pray, barbecue at Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill. The juicy meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and can be drizzled with any of five barbecue sauces. The restaurant plays a Southern gospel soundtrack since restaurant owner Tony Gore is also a renowned singer and leader in that field.
Stand with one foot in Tennessee and the other in North Carolina at the Newfound Gap parking area (on US 441) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—the nation’s most-visited national park. While here, you can also set foot on the famed Appalachian Trail that meanders from Georgia to Maine.
For more inspiring travel ideas, contact Visit Sevierville at 1-888-766-5948.
When the stories start with, "I had the best time ever...," you know you've visited Sevierville, Tennessee.
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