WELL-KNOWN & UNKNOWN THINGS TO DO IN SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE
Find fun that’s famous plus off-the-beaten path and open secrets.
When planning your visit to Dolly Parton’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, odds are that you’ll want to hit some of the best-known spots around town. Great! Our city is packed with attractions that are famous for good reason. But add some other equally-fascinating yet lesser-known things to see and do to your itinerary, and you’ll have no regrets. In fact, we bet you’ll have so much fun you’ll want come back soon to discover even more Sevierville surprises.
The bronze statue of Dolly Parton is the most iconic place in Sevierville. The must-see sculpture of Dolly holding her guitar was unveiled more than 30 years ago and has attracted millions of visitors from all over the world. But it’s not the only art you’ll find downtown. Others include an eagle statue, a mural of a young blonde child enjoying a burger, and a monarch butterfly wings mural. A sculpture made using railroad tracks and a statue of a bird dog will be unveiled soon.
Behind the famed Dolly statue stands the Sevier County Courthouse, constructed in 1896 in the Beaux Arts style using bricks made by African-American brick masons. Another photogenic historic structure is the Harrisburg Covered Bridge, one of only four historic covered bridges in Tennessee. It crosses the East Fork of the Little Pigeon River off Old State Highway 35 near U.S. 411.
You’ve heard of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the No. 1 most visited national park in the U.S. Among its hundreds of miles of trails are 70 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail and a half-mile climb up Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Tennessee. At the Newfound Gap parking lot you can straddle the Tennessee / North Carolina state line. But the park isn’t the only way to enjoy the great outdoors. Discover Sevierville’s Greenways, a network of more than 12 miles of paved, lighted paths ranging from a half-mile to six miles and positioned near waterways, trees, and gardens. There’s also Douglas Lake, one of the manmade wonders of the Smoky Mountains with 550 miles of shoreline.
Look up and you can see Scenic Helicopter Tours soaring up to 1,200 feet in the sky for aerial tours of the area. Since 1972 the company has flown FAA- and National Park Service-approved flights over The Smokies with daily tours that range from eight to 100 miles. You can’t as readily see that Sevierville’s Forbidden Caverns is home to the nation’s largest known wall of rare cave onyx. Guided underground tours pass spectacular formations, towering natural chimneys, grottos, and a stream.
NASCAR SpeedPark Smoky Mountains packs 25 acres with go-kart tracks, bumper boats, amusement park rides, and even a huge arcade with about 75 games. Love games? East Tennessee Billiards is a pool hall and eatery with six diamond pool tables. The Pines Downtown, a new entertainment venue in Downtown Sevierville, features duckpin bowling, snookball, shuffleboard, Giant Jenga and more. The building itself was once The Pines Theater where Dolly Parton played her first paying gig at the age of 10.
Tanger Outlets Sevierville, Tennessee’s largest authentic outlet center, has attracted shoppers since the early 1990s with nearly 100 brand-name stores offering designer clothing, shoes, accessories and more at discount prices of up to 70 percent off retail. Among Sevierville’s lesser-known stores is the Relic Room, located inside Smoky Mountain Knife Works, where hundreds of thousands of fossils and artifacts representing 3.4 billion years of geological and human history are for sale and the authenticity of every item is guaranteed.
The Robert A. Tino Gallery showcases watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings by one of the Southeast’s most celebrated artists, including many landscapes featuring the Sevierville area. Original works by local and regional artists are sold at Gallery 10, which offers an eclectic range of works across many artistic styles. Local artisans’ handmade goods including pottery, clothing, jams and jellies, candy, and baked goods are also on shelves at Ogle Brothers General Store.
Southern dishes are on menus across Sevierville including fried chicken at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant & Grill, ribs at Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill, cheeseburgers at Graze Burgers, pancakes at Flapjacks, and many more. But Sevierville also boasts an array of eateries that serve international favorites like Szechuan shrimp at China I, curry at Thai Basil, and burritos at El Paso Mexican Restaurant, among others.
However you define fun, enjoy it multiple ways in Sevierville.