The Smokies’ latest and greatest.
The list of great reasons to visit Sevierville, Tennessee, is already jam-packed—and it keeps growing with even more excitement! Here’s a peek at some of the newest developments underway in Dolly Parton’s hometown.
Buc-ee’s —a Texas-based roadside stop known for its extensive gas pumps, clean bathrooms, variety of snacks, and clever billboards—is building its biggest location that will rank as the world’s largest convenience store! The flagship Buc-ee’s Family Travel Center will sprawl 74,000 square feet and anchor a 200-acre development planned for Exit 407 off I-40, one of the nation’s most traveled roads. The new Sevierville Buc-ee’s will boast 120 fuel pumps (as well as several EV stations), a 250-foot car wash, and lots of Buc-ee’s staples including Texas barbecue, homemade fudge, and Beaver Nuggets. It will occupy land owned by Kituwah, LLC and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who are also looking into developing shops, restaurants, a world-class golf attraction, go-cart facility, and distillery experience at what’s dubbed “The 407: Gateway to Adventure.” Ground was broken on September 24, 2021, but anticipation for the spring 2023 opening is already building!
“The Edge,” a new first-of-its-kind dueling water coaster, is slated to open during the 2022 season at Soaky Mountain Waterpark. As long as two football fields and perched on the edge of the waterpark, it boasts double tubes that propel riders down a three-story drop into a surprising sequence of up and down blasts through a kaleidoscope of colors, including AquaLucent stripes that give riders a sense of sci-fi speed. “When riders shoot out of their tube, they will see not one but two imposing Boomerango walls ahead of them before dropping to the base of the wall, feeling extreme Gs,” says Dave Andrews, general manager of Soaky Mountain Waterpark. “As the momentum takes the riders up the parallel walls, they will be able to see their competitors and feel a sense of weightlessness before sliding back down. As a finishing touch, the riders will go over a zero-G hump to end the ride. The finish line is stacked with lights and effects to indicate who went over ‘The Edge.’” In addition to the new water coaster, the waterpark is expanding decking for 1,000 new seating options plus adding multiple large umbrellas for more shaded areas around the park.
SkyLand Ranch, planned to open in late summer 2022, aims to be a first-of-its-kind entertainment venue. Located on a 100-acre farm, the new Sevierville attraction will offer visitors the chance to ride two different styles of scenic chairlift (chairs and open-air cabins) plus a thrilling mile-long mountain roller coaster. You’ll also be able to walk across a suspended bridge, take a treetop canopy tour, visit rescued animals (including miniature cows and donkeys), explore a collection of boutique shops (including a toy store, bakeries and confectioneries), enjoy live entertainment, and more.
Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ, owned and operated by the same team behind The Appalachian (and located just steps away from that restaurant in historic downtown Sevierville), will open in spring 2022. Chef David Rule aims to create a barbecue restaurant unlike any other in the region, where all the pigs are born, raised, slaughtered, sourced, and prepared within Sevier County. “It’s an opportunity to really define East Tennessee barbecue,” says owner Austin Williams. Local ingredients like sorghum will be featured in menu items from barbecue sauce to sides.
Housed in a former Ford dealership owned by J.C. Trotter, the eatery will offer counter service, individual seating, a high-tech self-serve craft beer experience, and an outdoor stage where live music will be performed on weekends.
Two new boutique shops have opened on Bruce Street in historic downtown Sevierville and are ready to help you add some pizzazz to your style. Jolene’s is a whimsical shop that caters to lovers of bling, butterflies, and Dolly Parton with its curated selection of clothing and handmade local items from earrings to handbags to candles and other treasures. Smoky Mountain Wildflower stocks a variety of high-quality clothing, jewelry, accessories, locally-made pottery, home goods, and more surprises. Can’t find something you crave? Ask the staff for help and they’ll try to help source it for you.
The public art scene in historic downtown Sevierville is expanding. Of course, the bronze statue of Dolly Parton is sure to remain the city’s most iconic photo op, but two new sculptures will be unveiled soon: One made using railroad tracks and another featuring a bird dog that played a key role in the town’s history.
Sevierville aims to do all it can to make sure 2022 is a great year!
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