Disclosure: The Sevierville Chamber of Commerce invited me to experience a great girls’ getaway. Accommodations, food and entertainment costs were paid for by the Chamber. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.
Despite being a native Nashvillian I haven’t gotten out of my Middle Tennessee bubble and explored much of east Tennessee. Sometimes a girl just wants to escape for a weekend with her friends or daughters for a great girls’ getaway. The Sevierville Chamber of Commerce invited me, as well as Nyssa from The Cultureur, to experience local activities ideally suited for a girls’ getaway. It was the perfect break this busy working mama needed after the craziness of the holidays! Scroll down to the end of this post for my idea of a perfect day in Sevierville.
Day one of arrival I woke up in my own king-size bed in a gorgeous cozy cabin on the Oak Haven Resort property and there was nary a dog in sight or any shouts of “MOM, where’s my (fill in the blank!)” Ahhh yes! Conveniently located just off the main Sevierville exit, the resort is tucked away off a winding side road but still extremely close to all there is to do in Sevierville. And there is a LOT to do, trust me!
Breakfast was courtesy of Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin and it was just the fuel we needed for shopping at Tanger Outlet. But first we met with local stylist Donna Jean Roland from Faithfully Fashionable. I loved Donna’s advice on what colors are most flattering on me and realized that although I love, love wearing black, I need softer colors around my face. I also really enjoyed hearing Donna’s story about her career path that led her from the corporate ladder to her dream job of helping inspire women and aiding them in the discovery of their own unique style. We had a blast shopping and I scored a pair of pants on clearance at Banana Republic Outlet for less than $10!
This was a big highlight of the trip…food!
I’ve only seen the Smokies in the fall so I enjoyed seeing the beauty of winter.
Shopping not only makes you hungry, but thirsty, so of course the Rocky Top Wine Trail tour was a welcome way to wile away a chilly afternoon after lunch at The Chop House. I had no idea there were so many wineries in Sevierville. Although I’m a fan of reds (cabs and merlot or a blend) there were a few of the sweet sparkling wines that Sevierville is known for that I really enjoyed, especially the blueberry-lemon Indian Summer from Eagle Springs. That night we had a fun family style 50s dinner at The Diner located on the main Winfield Dunn Highway and known for burgers, fries, and banana splits. We enjoyed chatting with owner who recommended told us the inspiration behind The Diner’s Philly steak sandwich and how he and his wife ended up relocating to Sevierville.
The morning of day two was devoted to learning more about the rich history of the Smokies after a hearty country breakfast at Applewood Farmhouse. No trip to east Tennessee is complete without a pilgrimage to the great outdoors. We woke up to extremely cold temps (I think it was a whopping 5 degrees windchill) so our “hike” ended up being more of a car tour of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but I was completely delighted to have our guide be none other than historian Carroll McMahan, who has written numerous books about the history of Sevier County. Our afternoon concluded with a much-needed massage and facial at Oak Haven Spa.
Although we had our share of country cooking while in Sevierville, an extremely pleasant and elegant surprise came in the form of Bistro 109, just off the square. There’s a movement to revitalize this area and this warm and welcoming, but upscale, bistro is a welcome addition. Our entrees were fantastic and the wine and dessert list was amazing. It’s definitely a nice change of pace and would be perfect for a nicer dinner out with girlfriends or a special date night.
Day three featured another packed agenda. Carroll took us on a walking tour of downtown, which is on the verge of an exciting revitalization movement, and met the delightful owner of the brand-new Courthouse Donuts, Jennifer Dyer. History runs deep in Sevier County and it seems as if literally every brick and beam downtown has a tale to tell. Sevierville is definitely a “if these walls could talk” Southern little town. We also stopped to take the obligatory tourist pictures of the statue of Dolly Parton at the town square. Dolly is a Sevier County native and its biggest supporter. We also toured the Tennessee Museum of Aviation which houses some incredible planes and is filled with history, especially Tennessee’s role in aviation. Our afternoon was spent touring the amazing Wilderness at the Smokies, the largest indoor water park in Tennessee. It’s a definite “must see” for families. When you book accommodations at the resort your stay includes admission to the indoor and/or water park area. The Wild Waterdome Indoor Water Park is an impressive 66,000 square feet facility which includes a surf rider experience and the glass Foil Tech roof means you’ll get a tan indoors even if it’s below freezing outdoors (so pack your sunscreen even if it’s snowing out!)
That evening we experienced a live show in Sevierville, another “must do” if you’re in the area. We had tickets to one of the newest dinner slash entertainment options, the Lumberjack Feud Dinner Show which features real-life professional lumberjacks who have competed on ESPN. It was fun, fast-paced, and I really enjoyed the live bluegrass at the opening of the show and the lumberjack mascot dogs.
Saturday morning was departure time and although we originally had nothing on the schedule, our helicopter tour that was planned for late Friday afternoon was cancelle due to President Obama’s scheduled visit to nearby Knoxville. Lucky for me I did not have a plane to catch and was just driving back to Nashville, so I was able to actually go on two flight tours with Dan Haynes, owner of Scenic Helicopter Tours, that morning.
My helicopter rides with Scenic Helicopter Tours were amazing. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to experience a flight in a helicopter! I highly recommend it. We had absolutely perfect weather.
Now I love flying and although I have flown on commercial planes dozens of times I’m not a big fan of small planes so I assumed that the helicopter experience would be nerve wracking and turbulent and I might toss my cookies (or biscuits.) Can I just say I LOVED IT! I enjoyed every second of it. Flying in a helicopter was an amazing bucket list experience for me and we had the perfect clear blue sky weather for viewing Sevierville from the air as well as the Smokies in the distance. I would definitely recommend the staff at Fly Scenic and they offer several tour flight options.
Thinking back on all I experienced in Sevierville, I thought I’d share 10 options for a perfect girls’ getaway:
- Breakfast at Applewood Farmhouse or Flapjack’s
- Shopping at Tanger Outlet
- Lunch at the Chop House or The Diner
- Helicopter tour or hike (for you outdoorsy types)
- Wine tour and spa treatment (for you must need pampering types)
- Dinner at Bistro 109 on the square
Check out all my pictures from my girls’ getaway weekend in Sevierville on Flickr!