After traveling to the beach and overseas I thought the mountains would be a nice change of scenery. Tennessee turned out to be the perfect destination to get a balance of a unique nature oriented experiences and traditional touristy ones.
Knoxville is an extremely photogenic city. It has the look and feel of a busy downtown scene, without the chaotic traffic and noise. There are a number of attractions within walking distance or you can catch the free trolley. Depending on when you travel, there could be live entertainment and there’s always a variety of places to shop and things to eat.
Some of the popular attractions were closed down due to safety precautions, but we enjoyed exploring the city. We stopped at the Knoxville Museum of Art to see some interesting pieces before heading home. The facility was very nice and totally free!
My boyfriend and I stayed in Sevierville, which turned out to be the perfect median between mountainous Gatlinburg and the downtown city vibe of Knoxville.
Although there were also many attractions in Sevierville, we mostly used it as our safe haven. We did try a few great restaurants though.
I’ve never had Bojangles before and was shocked I’ve been missing out on really great fried chicken for so many years on this earth (haha). We also tried sushi bowls at Roll On In for the first time; both the service and our meal were amazing! Graze Burgers was a good stop for a quick, traditional burger & fries meal, while Seasons 101 provided us with a more classy date night experience.
We ventured around the Cades Cove loop and saw wild bears within the first 20 minutes! I highly recommend wearing comfy clothes and nice walking shoes to this location, as there are plenty of trails to follow along the way.
We found an overlook with an incredible view to enjoy the lunch we packed. The photos don’t do this region any justice. The sky and mountains were so beautiful they almost looked like they were painted. With no cell phone reception, we were able to totally unplug and enjoy a peaceful, nature-filled afternoon.
I’d love to return one day to experience the campgrounds or even spend the weekend in a cabin. I never would have thought to add Tennessee to my travel list, but after a week of nothing but great experiences I can totally see myself making my way back.
Until next time…