The Smokies and East Tennessee
Fly to Knoxville, and check into the Hotel St. Oliver downtown. Stroll Gay Street and browse at the Mast General Store and Yee Haw Industries. Eat dinner at La Costa in Market Square or the Crown & Goose in the Old City.
Visit the East Tennessee History Center. Grab lunch to go from the Tomato Head, and listen to live music at the WDVX Blue Plate Special over the lunch hour. Visit the World’s Fair Park and climb to the top of the Sunsphere. Eat dinner in South Knoxville at King Tut Grill.
Head north to the Cherokee National Forest and drive to the top of Roan Mountain. Take a stroll along the Appalachian Trail and look for the wild rhododendron. Overnight in Erwin.
Drive to Historic Rugby on the Cumberland Plateau, and tour the Victorian English village. Stay in one of the historic bed and breakfasts and dine on authentic English fare at Rugby’s restaurant.
Drive south to Fall Creek Falls State Park and hike to the falls, the tallest east of the Rockies. Visit the nature center and stay overnight in the park inn.
Drive down the Sequatchie Valley, stopping in Dayton to see the site of the Scopes Monkey Trial and Whitwell to visit the Children’s Holocaust Memorial. Press on to Chattanooga and check into the Stone Fort Inn, or another downtown lodging.
Visit the Tennessee Aquarium in the morning. If the weather is nice, drive to Lookout Mountain and tour Rock City and Point Park. Watch the sun set over Chattanooga. If it is raining, visit the Hunter Museum of American Art. Eat dinner at the Back Inn Café.
Take a day trip to the Ocoee River in the southern Cherokee National Forest. If you’re up for it, raft the white water. Otherwise, take a scenic drive and stop at the Ocoee Whitewater Center. Return to Chattanooga for your final night.
Make your way back to Knoxville, stopping in Vonore on the way to tour a replica of the British Fort Loudoun and visit the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition