Sevierville, Tennessee rests in the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers picturesque views, delicious southern cooking, and plenty of hospitality.
Sevierville’s historic district has been the center of town since the city was founded in 1975, and is a new member of Tennessee’s Main Street program. A statue honoring Sevierville’s own Dolly Parton graces the Sevier County Courthouse lawn and is a popular photo spot for many area visitors who also browse the handful of quaint shops that encircle the city’s 1896 Beaux Arts style courthouse. Downtown’s dining options range from healthy home cooked fare at Healthy Balance Meals, to barbecue at Hickory Cabin Seasoning Company. Choose an elegant meal at Bistro 109 or belly up to the donut bar at Courthouse Donuts where patrons order up fresh cake donuts and top them any way they please. The Bees Knees serves up moonshine donuts – made with the famous Appalachian spirit – alongside cute gifts and shabby chic decor. Those looking to enjoy more than a bite of “shine,” should head to the family owned Sevier Distilling Company, set to open this summer.
Downtown Sevierville’s beauty is found in the architecture, warm hospitality, and the spectacular scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited – with twice as many visitors as the next most popular park, the Grand Canyon. Eight hundred miles of maintained trails crisscross their way through the park and offer awe-inspiring views from rocky outcrops with names like Inspiration Point. Once taller than the Rocky Mountains, the Smokies have been softened by millions of years of wear and are now covered in lush forest. Thanks to serendipitous geography and weather patterns, the Great Smoky Mountains have become a biological wonderland. Nine-hundred-seventy species previously unknown to science have been discovered in the area and rare events, such as June’s synchronous firefly mating ritual, can be seen here. One of the most popular places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains is Cades Cove, an eleven mile loop with scenic hikes leading to the homes, churches, mills, and remnants of the farms and orchards of the cove’s early settlers.
Apples were one of the most important fruits grown by these early mountain settlers, mostly because they could be used to make everything from cider to pies. The Apple Barn & Cider Mill in Sevierville honors the versatility of apples in much the same way. Their working apple orchard produces fruit for fresh cider. apple butter, stack cakes and more. On site bakers prepare and serve up to 5,000 fresh, fried apple pies on busy summer days, and candy makers craft caramel apples and old-fashioned stick candies behind huge plate glass windows. Visit the Apple Barn Winery to sample award winning fruit wines and enjoy a hearty southern dinner in the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, where every meal begins with a non-alcoholic Applewood Julep and a mound of fresh apple fritters.
Find more southern flavors along Sevierville’s Parkway – like Dolly’s favorite food, a Slaw Dog from Frank Allen’s Market, or the famous ribs and heavenly desserts served up at Gospel singer Tony Gore’s roadside restaurant – or cruise the back roads for lesser known dining hotspots in the Great Smoky Mountains.