By Darryl Payne
Posted on July 18, 2010
Have you ever discovered one of those little-known towns that's just full of surprises? You know… charming, interesting, but maybe not as well known as some others? That's the kind of place you remember and visit again and again. While you may be acquainted with the Great Smoky Mountains, you may not be aware of a little gem tucked away near the Smoky Mountains known as Sevierville, Tennessee.
Sevierville's claim to fame is as the birthplace of Dolly Parton. With a population of less than 11,000 residents, Sevierville is the very essence of the saying, "Good things come in small packages."
Experience NASCAR® Up Close and Personal
If you like NASCAR®, you'll love the NASCAR® SpeedPark™ in Sevierville. Ranked the 11th most visited attraction in Tennessee by the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, the NASCAR® SpeedPark™ has something for everyone. There are nine tracks ranging from the Baby Bristol, a 200-foot starter track for kids, to the Intimidator, a challenging track named after Dale Earnhardt himself. You'll also find an indoor rock climbing wall, electric speed bumper boats, an interactive arcade and an 18-hole medieval miniature golf course.
Diehard NASCAR® fans will also have to try the NASCAR® Silicon Motor Speedway. This 750-horsepower, full motion NASCAR® simulator gives you the virtual spills and thrills of whipping around all four turns at speeds most people will never experience in real life.
Shop Till You Drop
If shopping is your thing, Sevierville is the place for you. Tanger Five Oaks Factory Outlet Center is the largest outlet mall in all of Tennessee. Eddie Bauer, Liz Claiborne, Gap, Old Navy, Nautica and Banana Republic are just a few of the 25 brand names you can buy. For true shopaholics, there's also Governor's Crossing Outlet Center. Browse for bargains at Books A Million, Your Scrapbook Superstore, Farberware, Shoe Carnival and many others. Think shopping is for women only? Think again. Orvis Company Store and Bass Pro Outdoor World will hold the interest of any man for hours on end.
Is Golf Your Game?
If your idea of fun is chasing that little white ball across the green, you'll definitely enjoy the world-class golf courses in Sevierville. In 1994, an 18-hole, par-72, championship course opened in Eagle's Landing. This challenging course is surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Smoky Mountains. Eagle's Landing will also be the home of the newest resort course scheduled to open in spring 2008.
In Sevierville, you'll find Forbidden Caverns, one of America's most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Hundreds of years ago these caves provided shelter during winter for the Eastern Woodland Indians. In the early 1920s they provided shelter for moon shiners. In June 1967, after three years of development, Forbidden Caverns opened to the public. Now you can enjoy this magnificent sight.
View one-of-a-kind calcite formations that continue to grow, as well as rare cave onyx or dripstone. Sparkling rock formations, grottos and towering natural chimneys also await you. Try one of the hour-long guided tours through this magnificent wonder. Walk lighted paths as an audio guide describes all the intriguing sights along the way. These caves make Mother Nature proud!
Lions and Tigers and Bears… Oh My!
Rainforest Adventure Discovery Zoo is an indoor rainforest that houses over 400 intriguing varieties of animals. These creatures represent more than 130 species that make their homes in rainforests from around the world. You'll see crested porcupines, blue and gold macaws, diamond back terrapins, Texas tarantulas and giant marine toads to name a few. What a great opportunity to view some truly unique creatures that most people only see on television.
Sevierville is surely a small town with big appeal. In addition to all the activities you'll find, you'll also be centrally located to everything offered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the nearby towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Plan a getaway this weekend and see for yourself what excitement Sevierville holds!
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.