Where Can You Find 600 Live Animals in Sevierville?

You don’t have to look twice at the title, you read it right the first time. Yep, 600 live animals in one place, in Sevierville, TN. It’s called Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo and it’s a great place to take the family for an exciting day in the Smokies.

A tropical rainforest isn’t the first thing you probably think about when vacationing or taking a trip to the Smokies, but you can now add it to the itinerary. From snakes, turtles, and crocodiles to kangaroos, lemurs, and hedgehogs, there are species here so abundantly found in rainforests you won’t believe your eyes.

In all, the Rainforest Adventures complex houses more than 600 animals which represent 150 species including reptiles, mammals, bugs, birds, and amphibians. And all in a tropical environment, for East Tennessee at least. On average, the building temperature is set at 80 degrees.

The Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm except December 25. Children 2 years and younger are admitted free, children 3-12 years of age are $6.99, adults 13-54 years of age are $11.99, and seniors are $9.99. If you are a Zoo Member, besides admission, you receive discounts on birthday parties and purchases in the gift shop. Groups of 10 or more and school groups also receive a discounted rate.

RainForest Adventures has been open since June 2001 and in that time has welcomed millions of visitors into its facilities. The RainForest Adventures has thrived since its inception and become a destination for those coming to the Smoky Mountains. It’s lauded as one of the finest small zoos in the country to this day with hundreds of animals representing 140 different species.

Check out their website to get a FREE discount coupon to Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo.

Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo
109 NASCAR Drive
Sevierville, TN 37862

River Rage Tubing

Tubing in the Smoky Mountains is as much a part of a Smokies summer vacation as planning a trip to Dollywood, or taking a hike to Mount LeConte. It’s just something you do around here in the summer. If you’re in Sevierville, there are plenty of opportunities to get out, float a tube, and just relax on down the river.

Tubing is also one of the cheapest ways to enjoy the Smokies. And places like River Rage Tubing in nearby Townsend specialize in tubing FUN. For a mere $8 you can rent a tube and spend all day on the river. Each time down you can simply ride the shuttle back then ride down again. It’s still only $8 there are no additional fees for as many trips as you’d like to make.

As for the river itself, River Rage provides for tubing on the Little River in the Smoky Mountain towns of Sevierville and Townsend, TN. If you’re looking at other tubing options, you’ll likely be charged in the $12-16 range to tube the Little River. At River Rage Tubing you can choose from different size floats . Pick the one that you’ll feel the most comfortable in. You’ll also enjoy private access to the Little River, 3 different locations to choose from, etc.

When you’re not floating down the Little River, River Rage’s BBQ restaurant is a great place to take a break and get some good grub. Besides a restaurant, River Rage has a place to ride Go-Carts on site and there are restrooms for those who might need to change clothes following a day on the river. Is there a better way to spend a day in the Great Smoky Mountains? It’d be hard to find one. You don’t have to take a class or anything to go tubing, just start floating and enjoy the ride!

The River Store at River Rage Tubing offers river shoes if you’d like them. They have other products you could by to make your trip down the Little River more enjoyable too. The minimum age is 3 years old and children under 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult. River Rage Tubing is open from 10 am to 7 pm April through September.

The Battle of Fair Garden

Recently, a new sign commemorating the Battle of Fair Garden was dedicated as part of Sevierville’s annual Arbor Day celebration. For many, the Battle of Fair Garden brings about puzzled looks and questions like, “What is the Battle of Fair Garden?”.

While the marker was placed for the Civil War Trails program, which promote awareness of Civil War sites with driving tours, the site is one of the more unknown battles in terms of popularity. A multi-state program, Civil War Trails highlights over 200 sites in Tennessee. If you’d like a list of these trail sites, maps can usually be found at the various welcome centers across the state.

“With interesting connections to nationally known figures such as Colonel Eli Lilly, who fought in battle and later formed the world renowned Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company, and General Sturgis, for whom the town of Sturgis, S.D., was named, the Battle of Fair Garden Marker is sure to attract a large number of visitors,” said officials in attendance at the marker dedication.

As for the battle itself, it has become known primarily for being the largest skirmish between the Blue and the Grey in Sevier County. History tells us that Confederate Gen. James Longstreet commanded Gen. William Martin to drive the Union calvary from an area south of the French Broad River on Jan. 25, 1864. This was an area that stretched 8 miles from Dandridge to the Little Pigeon River and encompassed three Sevier County farms – Rose Glen, the Stuart Dickey Farm, and the McNutt Farm.

General Samuel Sturgis led the Union forces in advance of the approaching Confederate army at Rose Glen. Three days later, the Union had lost 65 lives and 100 Confederate soldiers had perished at the Battle of Fair Garden.

The Battle of Fair Garden will celebrate an anniversary in January, a 150th anniversary to be exact.

An interesting story about the times. Most Sevier Countians were Union sympathizers during the Civil War, living in a Confederate state. Then, no one really knew who to trust, many point to those issues as reasons the Battle of Fair Garden is just now being recognized after so many years.

Parker’s Greatest Knife Show

Parker’s Greatest Knife Show is the biggest antique knife show in the Great Smoky Mountains region in Sevierville, Tn.

Parkers’ Greatest Knife Show is one of the premiere antique knife shows in the country and definitely in the Smoky Mountain region.

From June 13-15, Parkers’ knife show will be at the Sevierville Events Center at Bridgemont. This new, state-of-the-art events center is located right off Highway 66 in Sevierville, TN. You can even see it from the road, just look for the Music Outlet and then pull across the bridge into the events center. This astounding facility only makes the knife show that much better. Countless knife and hunting-related vendors and knives as far as the eye can see. There will be knife collectors from around the region and across the country to trade with, converse, and talk shop with all day.

The knife collecting community is one of the greatest set of hobbyists around. The information obtained over many years from shows to personal research about their collectibles makes any collector you’re sure to run in to a veritable scholar on knife history. Whether you’re searching for pocket knives or fixed blades, WR Case or Boker you’ll find some amazing blades and learn a lot about the history of the particular knife itself. The vendors that will be on hand have been in the knife collecting business since they were children. It’s not uncommon for many to relay stories about getting their first knife handed down to them from a parent or grandparent. There are sure to be a number of one-of-kind pieces or knives that were limited production runs available for purchase as well.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the late Jim Parker, part of the original Parker Knife family, and the work he did to make this such a successful show. Parker’s Greatest Knife show has now been around for 20 years and has grown considerably. In the knife world, the Parker name is held up with the likes of Case. From owning their own knife company to selling and trading the biggest brands in the knife world, this is the show to experience. Even if you are not a knife collector you will enjoy the greatest knife show on earth! If you are in the Pigeon Forge area in June, set aside some time for this special event.

The show begins Thursday, June 13 at Noon and runs till 6 pm. Friday, doors open at 9 am and close at 5 pm. Saturday, things get started at 9 am and go till 2 pm. Admission is $7 per day, or $15 for a 3-day pass. For those of you who want to get a head start on things, you can purchase an early bird pass for $20 which allows for special entry time each day and Free parking at the event.

Holston’s Kitchen

Holston’s Kitchen in Sevierville has been open for only a few weeks, but it’s already made its mark in Sevierville. Situated on Dolly Parton Parkway across from Tennessee State Bank, it’s positioned on a brand new site to capture all those people who use Veteran’s to reach Dollywood.

This brand new upscale eatery features American fare with a splash of Tex-Mex and Irish if you count the Fish and Chips. Several half-pound burger variations including the newly-crafted Mexico City burger, as well as sandwiches like the smoked turkey club, Tennessee pulled pork, French dip and the Reuben highlighted the lunch and lighter side of the menu.

As for dinner dishes and entrees, grilled Hawaiian chicken jumps out at you from the start and on down the menu the Smoky Mountain Grill featuring a marinated chicken breast topped with bacon, barbecue sauce and Monterrey Jack cheese would make any mouth water. Back on the Tex-Mex side of things, the Margarita Grilled Chicken with its pineapple mango sauce, tortilla strips, and pico de gallo will surely get its share of orders in the near future.

Holston’s signature dishes included such favorites as country-fried steak, spare ribs, pork chops and open-face prime roast beef. And when it comes to steak choices, have your pick. From the filet to the 10-ounce sirloin to the 12-ounce rib-eye, you really can’t go wrong if you’re craving steak straight of the grill and marinated to perfection.

Now, don’t leave before you try something off the desert menu. The carrot cake, strawberry short cake, and mudd cake are all worth the wait. Next time you’re in Sevierville, or you find yourself with a little time before or after a trip to Dollywood, stop by and have a bite at Holston’s Kitchen in Sevierville.

Holston’s Kitchen
639 Dolly Parton Parkway
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Dumplin Creek Development

New backing means a new start for the Dumplin Creek Development project off Interstate 40 in Kodak. A group representing Neyland Land Associates recently took ownership of the 200-acre project that has literally sat untouched for a period of time. The City of Sevierville is also involved.

Sevierville’s end of the deal includes application for $4 million in grant money, which would be matched by the city, to be used toward road improvements in the area. Included in those plans are a brand new Sevierville exit along Interstate 40. If everything goes according to plan, work could begin as soon as this fall.

John Turley, the creator behind Turkey Creek in Knoxville, presented the idea 5 years ago to the city. The development was expected to bring shopping, hotels, restaurants, and even a theater to area. Those plans still remain.

Local leaders are adamant that another access point (Exit 408) from the interstate is needed for this area. Not only that, but there have also been talks about widening Bryan Road over to Douglas Dam Road, then widening Douglas Dam Road to State Route 66.

Mark Nagi, spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, pointed out that a new interchange would only be considered when improvements to the current Exit 407 were completed.

“An Exit 408 interchange was considered when planning was being done for improvements to the Exit 407 interchange,” Nagi said. “We need to wait until the Exit 407 improvements are completed and evaluate its operation to determine what additional measures may be needed, if any. TDOT will look into an interchange at Exit 408 in the future.”

At the moment, plans for the Dumplin Creek development are in the discussion phase. Sevierville has given no money to fund Dumplin Creek as of yet.

Great Smoky Mountain Cabin Deals in Sevierville

If you’re looking for a great deal on a luxurious Sevierville cabin or chalet rental, keep reading. There are a number of cabin rental companies in the Sevierville and Smoky Mountain are that feature monthly special aimed at enticing visitors to vacation in the area and book at one of their properties.

Companies like Sugar Maple Cabins and Majestic Mountain Vacations are just a few of the most respected Sevierville cabin rental and each offer seasonal discounts and specials.

For example, Sugar Maple Cabins is offering the following specials at this time:

Stay 3 Nights for the price of 2
Stay at Sugar Maple Cabins for at least 3 nights until March 14, and your least expensive night is FREE! THREE night minimum stay required. This special cannot be combined with any other discounts or specials.

20% Off a reservation of 2 Nights or More
Stay 2 nights or more through March 14 and get 20% off the nightly rate. This offer is good only on new reservations and may not be combined with any other discounts. This offer excludes holidays.

They also offer a number of specials that run the entire year including:

– Make a 6 night reservation and only pay for 5 nights.

– Repeat guest discounts! We offer a 5 percent discount that can be applied to other valid specials. If no other specials apply our standard 15 % repeat guest discount may be used. (The 15% and the 5% discounts may not be combined), are not valid during holidays, require a two-night or longer reservation and are only available by calling our reservation office at (877) 237-9055. Discount must be mentioned when making reservation.

– A Year Round 10% Off Special. We offer 10% off the nightly lodging rate (two night or longer stay required) for any of the following: members of AAA or AARP, Sam’s Club (member card required), and active or retired military personnel (ID required). Discount is only available by calling our reservation office at (877) – 237-9055 (discount must be mentioned when making reservation).

The above specials are valid for selected cabins and dates / Valid on new reservations only / Specials cannot be combined / Excludes holidays.

Shop Like a Pro in Sevierville

When people say they’re going to Sevierville, especially locals, that usually means one thing – shopping. And around here, it’s good to be prepared for a Smoky Mountain shopping trip because the crowds, and the traffic, can be maddening for even the most experienced of retail warriors.

So, with that in mind, we here at Inside Sevierville have come up with a little checklist to make your Sevierville shopping experience that much more enjoyable and have you shopping like a pro. Now, lets get started.

  1. Bring a friend(s) with you. If you don’t have all day to shop, a friend, or more than one, can help you locate items faster, get you better deals on things like buy one get one , etc. Or, it can be another set of eyes to tell you whether or not those shoes or that shirt look good.
  2. Take in a few of shops you usually just pass by, like East Tennessee’s original outlet – Hammer’s. At Hammer’s, they’ve got department store quality clothing alongside bins of sample shoes. If you’re shopping for an upcoming vacation, stop by stores like TJ Maxx or Belk for national brand name clothing, home goods and beauty supplies.
  3. Many of the outlet malls and sometimes even the specialty stores will hold sales and shopping events, so timing can be key in finding great deals. This can save you a little more, but it can also mean you’ll have to deal with a larger crowd. If you prefer to shop when things aren’t so busy, mid-week is an ideal time to browse. Often there are fewer people in the stores, giving you more elbow room to find the best deals.
  4. Search for deals before you leave and stock up on coupons. Major outlets, like Sevierville’s Tanger Five Oaks Outlet Mall, offer online & mobile coupons (which are different and sometimes worth more) and weekly coupon specials through their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tangeroutlet). Sign up in advance and save time while shopping.
  5. Prepare and print out a map. Spend a little prep time researching what is available. A complete list of Chamber member stores and a list of the 100+ high end outlets at Tanger Five Oaks are good places to start.

Ripley’s Old McDonald’s Farm Mini Golf

If you’re looking for a place where pigs actually do fly, let me point you in the direction of Sevierville, Tennessee. More specifically, to Ripley’s Old McDonald’s Farm Mini-Golf Course. Here you’ll find 54 spectacular holes of interactive Smoky Mountain family fun!

This unique, putt-putt adventure is a fantasy only Ripley’s could create! You’ll find dozens of interactive displays, water features that span the course, and fun, lively barnyard characters throughout the course. Step inside the barn and you’ll find the latest, state-of-the-art arcade games. Perfect if rain happens to get in the way of golfing, or if someone in your party would rather just enjoy the games inside. Check out the candy factory while you’re inside too. Especially if you love sweets!

Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf is the perfect afternoon getaway for a family visiting the Smokies. Oh, and by the way, you did read it right earlier, there are 54 holes offered at Old McDonald’s Farm in Sevierville. You could play 18 holes, or if you’re still in the putt-putt mood go for 36 holes! All the while, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the many crazy barnyard and Smoky Mountain animals that call this course home including raccoons, bears, chipmunks, skunks, cows and opossums. And don’t forget about those flying pigs!

To top it all off, Ripley’s Old McDonald’s Farm Mini Golf was recently voted by Travel & Leisure magazine as one of the 14 Wackiest Mini Golf Courses in America.

Try your hand at a hole in one down on the farm at Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf in Sevierville. Check out their hours of operation and buy tickets online.

Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf
1639 Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37862
(865) 428-1699

Historic Downtown Sevierville

Sevierville’s historic town square is just one of the reasons people make it a destination whenever they travel to the Smoky Mountains. Not only do you have the picturesque square with the Dolly Parton statue on courthouse lawn, there are a number of historic buildings located in direct vicinity of the courthouse.

Some of those specific buildings had nothing to do with local government. Places like Temple’s Feed Store where former County Commissioner Jimmie Temple married over 15,000 couples next to feed sacks and various household plants used to align the downtown area. Though the feed store is no longer there, people like Temple continue to conduct marriage ceremonies downtown. A variety of wedding chapels call historic downtown home and so does the town’s bus station which is located in Taulbee’s Restaurant.

Sevierville’s 108-year-old courthouse, located in the heart of downtown, is an excellent example of Victorian architecture. Built in 1895-96 for $22,000 and renovated in 1970-74 for $577,000, the courthouse is a direct reflection of the care and pride residents put into keeping the hometown feeling alive in downtown Sevierville. The latest addition cost $500,000 Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the courthouse stands proud with 13-inch thick brick walls and a foundation made of limestone hauled from the old McCown place, the site where Vulcan Materials Company now stands. The Seth Thomas Clock in the courthouse tower originally cost $1,353 plus $42.55 freight.

These are just a few of the historic structures located downtown. Others, like the Harrisburg Covered Bridge can be found within a short drive from downtown. Just ask any of the locals that might be hanging around for directions…. They can point you to most places your looking for.