We’re continually on the hunt for experiences that add richness to our lives. In the spirit of the revival of road trips, we are proud to feature a monthly section featuring destinations within driving distance of Charleston. We feel that our smart and savvy readers will find these trips interesting and entertaining.
Driving four hours and thirty minutes Southwest of Charleston, West Virginia, brings you to Sevierville, Tennessee. Sevierville is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited National Park in the country. Because Sevierville is much older than its neighboring cities (Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg), it has a charming historic town square that set it apart from the others. From aviation attractions to tasty food, extreme discount shopping to selfies with “Dolly,” here are some things you’ll want to explore in Sevierville.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN SEVIERVILLE, TN
Apple Barn Village is a top attraction in Sevierville. It has two bustling restaurants with fantastic food (more on that below), but also a village of shops. Shops include a year-round Christmas store, winery, cider tasting, candy store, ice cream shop, and loads more.
Fans of Dolly Parton, legendary country music singer/songwriter, will enjoy the 6 1/2 foot statue of the local hometown sweetheart in front of the Sevierville Courthouse.
Another famous Sevierville local is artist Robert A. Tino. Robert does gorgeous wildlife, scenery, and landscape pictures in watercolors, acrylics, and oils. Check out his work in the Robert A. Tino Gallery, with many affordable pieces and some to dream about.
Sevierville is a heavy hitter in the discount shopping world, offering significant savings at Tanger Outlets, with over 100 name brand stores and designer outlets. You will find stores such as Vera Bradley, ASICS, Alex and Ani, and Disney Outlet amongst the vast complex. You’ll find the most exciting shopping at Little River Gem Mine, chock full of antiques, beautiful rocks, and gem mining for the kids.
There are many outdoor offerings in Sevierville, too, such as hiking, golf, hunting, fishing, ATV riding, canoeing, and horseback riding.
A unique attraction in Sevierville is to experience the thrill of riding in a 1928 Waco Bi-Plane (open cockpit) with Sky High Air Tours at the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Airport. You can have a birds-eye view of the beautiful Smoky Mountains as you soar amongst the Sevierville and Pigeon Forge skies during 8 to 30-minute rides. Keep with the spirit of flying, the Tennessee Museum of Aviation is a lesser-known family-friendly 50,000 square foot museum that houses historic aircraft collections. Two P-47 Thunderbolts that flew in World War II are in that collection.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN SEVIERVILLE, TN
So many awesome places to eat, so little time. For breakfast, indulge in the food that Sevierville is famous for…pancakes. Since 2001, Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin’s signature location has been serving breakfast dishes, including gourmet pancakes like Reese’s Peanut Butter or Sticky Bun. Applewood Farmhouse is another fan favorite rest, serving homestyle Southern fare with complimentary apple fritters and butter that are finger-licking good! Try the biscuits and gravy, cinnamon apples, or the fried potatoes in addition to your usual go-to breakfast.
Design your own burgers from over 100 ingredients at Monster Mash Burgers for lunch. The side of sweet potato fries comes with a marshmallow creme dip, or have the screeching slaw (cabbage) for a sweet and tangy option. Or, step into The Diner, a 50s retro eatery with great burgers, all-day breakfast, homemade pies, and homestyle dishes.
For dinner, try hand-cut steak dinners, seafood, and craft cocktails at Holston’s Kitchen or the farm-table classics or BBQ at Five Oaks Farm Kitchen. Five Oaks Farm’s cornbread salad and deviled eggs are recommended Southern favorites, and be sure to save room for the “enough to share” banana pudding.
Sevier Distilling Company is a fun place to try the local spirits, including Real Deal Shine, Yetti vodka, or Yenoh (pronounced ya-know) made from 100% honey.
Lastly, satisfy your sweet tooth with a concoction from Courthouse Donuts, also serving a good cup of coffee. The Key Lime Pie donut is rich and decadent!
WHERE TO STAY IN SEVIERVILLE, TN
An outstanding choice for lodging in Sevierville is Lodge at Five Oaks, a newly remodeled rustic hotel that is in the heart of many fun things to do. Its offer beautifully decorated rooms with hardwood floors, hickory furniture, a farming history-themed lobby, and a complimentary breakfast buffet. A swimming pool, water slide, and kid’s activity area are outside of the hotel, plus a lovely fire pit.
The Spa at Oak Haven Resort, at the foothills of the Smokies, is the perfect place to treat yourself to a “me” day or stay in a romantic cabin with the scenic mountains as your backdrop. Indulge in the Almost Heaven Massage, Reflexology, Sugar Scrubs, a variety of facials, or even brow treatments.
Sevierville, Tennessee, is a delightful place to visit and soak up the spectacular scenery and Appalachia culture. I’m sure this family hotspot will meet your traveling needs and then some.