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Why Sevierville Should Be Your Next Tennessee Travel Destination

by Staff

I love visiting the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville are each delightful places to visit, with various fun and exciting things to do. While all three destinations are very close in proximity to each other, each is different and offers visitors a different vibe. My husband and I visited all three destinations in June. Each had outstanding attributes.

For those who seek a peaceful and relaxing escape, the town of Sevierville, Tennessee is the best choice. It is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Smokies that you definitely don’t want to miss. Here are some reasons to make Sevierville your next vacation destination.

Visit Sevierville hosted our visit. All opinions are my own. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Photo credit: Dean Fikar /

1. There Are Fewer Crowds

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge can get quite crowded during peak travel seasons, but Sevierville remains relatively quiet in comparison. This means smaller crowds, shorter lines, and less traffic overall.

2. It Has Quaint Charm

Sevierville has maintained its small-town charm, while other area locations have become more commercialized. There are plenty of locally owned shops and restaurants to explore, and the picturesque downtown area is perfect for a leisurely stroll.

3. There Are Fun Attractions

When it comes to sightseeing, Sevierville offers some impressive attractions. Let’s look at a few of the popular and newer attractions.

World’s Largest Buc-ee’s

As you enter town, don’t forget to stop at the world’s largest convenience store, Buc-ee’s. Known for its extensive gas pumps, clean bathrooms, and varieties of beef jerky, a stop there is an experience you don’t want to miss.  

Buc-ee’s sells everything from snacks to home decor to sporting equipment. Their Cherry Maple Beef Jerky is to die for. It isn’t a quick in-and-out stop; there is so much to see inside, so plan to spend at least a half-hour or so at Buc-ee’s.  

SkyLand Ranch

Why Sevierville Should Be Your Next Tennessee Travel Destination Over Gatlinburg

Skyland Ranch in Sevierville, TN

Photo credit: Robin O’Neal Smith

Another can’t-miss attraction is the new SkyLand Ranch. You can spend an entire day at the ranch if you desire. They have a mile-long, thrilling mountain roller coaster, the Wild Stallion. You board the coaster and chair lift near the parking area. The chair lift takes you to the top of the mountain, with various scenic views along the way. 

Once at the top, walk along Legacy Lookout, the treetop canopy walk. There is a petting zoo, miniature animals, a shooting range, a playground, boutique shops, live entertainment, food trucks, gem mining, lawn games, and more to enjoy.  

When we visited, we enjoyed musical performances and a cowboy show. The mountain coaster ride was fun too. 

Public Art

Dolly Parton statue in downtown Sevierville, TN

Photo credit: Robin O’Neal Smith

Stroll around historic downtown Sevierville and enjoy the expanding public art scene. There are numerous photo ops, including the famous bronze Dolly Parton statue. Did you know Sevierville is Dolly Parton’s hometown?

The author, Robin O’Neal Smith, in front of some of the public art in downtown Sevierville, TN

Photo credit: Robin O’Neal Smith

The Tracks of Time and Bertie the Bird Dog are the new sculptures to enjoy. Take a photo with the public butterfly art. Other murals are located around the downtown area.

Soaky Mountain Waterpark

If you visit during the summer, get cooled off at the Soaky Mountain Waterpark. This year, they have a new dueling water coaster called The Edge.

Xperia: Ocean Journey

An immersive cinematic experience, Xperia: Ocean Journey lets you dive into a voyage through the sea with humpback whales, squid, sea otters, and more. This new attraction is a first of its kind in the Smokies.

Sevierville Golf Club

Check out the Sevierville Golf Club if you’re ready to hit the links. It is the largest 18-hole golf course in the Smoky Mountains.

The Pines Downtown

The Pines Downtown is a great evening entertainment venue featuring snookball, foosball, duckpin bowling, and more. Enjoy elevated pub food and a top-notch cocktail menu. The remarkable thing about the Pines is that the building was the original Pines Theater, where, at age 10, Dolly Parton performed her first paid gig.   

Shine Girl Distillery

Shine Girl Distillery owned by Dolly Parton’s niece

Photo credit: Robin O’Neal Smith

A trip to Tennessee would not be complete without a visit to a distillery or tasting room. Shine Girl Distillery is owned by Dolly Parton’s niece, Danielle, who is a master distiller.  

Danielle was there when we visited; she poured our tastings and gave us a distillery tour.  

4. It’s Close to Other Amazing Attractions

When in Sevierville, there’s always something interesting to do nearby, from countless shows to the Dollywood amusement park. We enjoyed the Titanic Exhibit and zorbing at the Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge.  

You are also only a 25-minute drive from Gatlinburg, so you can drive down to visit SkyLift Park and Anakeesta or enjoy a meal at Ole Red or The Greenbrier Restaurant.

5. You Can Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Views of the Smoky Mountains

Photo credit: Sevierville CVB/Visit Sevierville

Sevierville is located at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, surrounded by some of the area’s best hiking, fishing, and outdoor recreation. Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers hiking, fishing, and beautiful scenery just a few minutes away. 

Sevierville also has plenty of greenways and trails looping through the city.  

6. There Are Serene Accommodation Options

Sevierville offers quiet and relaxing accommodations with cozy and comfortable cabins, modern vacation rentals, lodges, and gorgeous luxury treehouses perfect for couples, families, and solo travelers.  

When we visited, we stayed at the Sanctuary Treehouse Resort. Talk about amazing. The one-of-a-kind interactive treehouses in the Smoky Mountains are a delightful experience. It was so peaceful, with views of the mountains and two championship golf courses. Sitting on the deck and enjoying nature all around was very relaxing.  

Another interesting place to stay will be The Davis. This funeral home turned boutique hotel is set to open mid-2024.    

7. Sevierville Has an Incredible Food Scene

The Apple Barn and Cider Mill in Sevierville, TN

Photo credit: Robin O’Neal Smith

Sevierville is home to an exciting food scene, with many locally owned restaurants serving the best burgers, BBQs, and sandwiches you’ll ever taste. 

The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant has the most fluffy and delicious pancakes imaginable. Plan extra time to stroll through the Apple Barn and Cider Mill Village.  

For an elevated dining experience, head to The Appalachian Restaurant in downtown Sevierville. We dined at the Chef’s Table and enjoyed an extraordinary experience. Every course was carefully prepared and delicious, from the smoked melon salad to the dry-aged strip steak. 

The newest restaurant, owned and operated by the same team as The Appalachian, is Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ. It is a unique barbecue restaurant where all the pigs are born, raised, slaughtered, sourced, and prepared within Sevier County.

8. There Are Unique Shopping Opportunities

No vacation is complete without some shopping, and Sevierville has an interesting shopping scene. From the Tanger Outlets to the historic downtown district, you’ll discover unique stores and boutiques that offer a wide selection of specialty items. 

While Sevierville, Tennessee might not be the most well-known destination in the Smoky Mountains, it’s a delightful option with plenty of attractions, incredible food, serene accommodations, and unique shopping experiences. 

With lower crowds, more affordable prices, easy access to Dollywood, proximity to outdoor recreation, and a charming downtown, Sevierville has everything you need for a memorable vacation. So, next time you plan a trip to the Smokies, consider visiting Sevierville.

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