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 a new location that will rank as one of the world’s largest convenience stores! 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 mid-2023 opening is already building!
“The Edge” is a new first-of-its-kind dueling water coaster 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 has expanded decking for 1,000 new seating options plus adding multiple large umbrellas for more shaded areas around the park.
SkyLand Ranch, 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
(and located just steps away from that restaurant in historic downtown Sevierville),
has added a new flavor to downtown Sevierville. 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.
…Can’t find something you crave? Ask the staff for help and they’ll try to help source it for you.
Just a few doors down, Penny’s Café serves up luncheon items, craft coffees, and fresh, healthy smoothies. The quaint atmosphere is enhanced with original, local art available for purchase. Grab a smoothie and enjoy a leisurely stroll along Bruce Street while learning the town’s history from interpretive markers and works of public art throughout downtown.
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 have joined that famous feature. The Tracks of Time was made by a local metalworker using railroad tracks from The Old Slow & Easy railroad that once ran along Bruce Street. A second sculpture by regional artist Mary Ruden depicts Bertie the Bird Dog who delivered his owner’s business deposit to the bank every day by himself and returned with the deposit slip held safely in a money pouch between his teeth.
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