The Knoxville K-Jays moved east to Sevier County in 2000 and became the Tennessee Smokies (Hwy. 66, 865/286-2300, www.smokiesbaseball.com, $6–10). The Smokies, a AA Cubs affiliate, play in a stadium located right next to I-40 at exit 407. The regular season runs from April to August. Smokies games are heavy on between-inning entertainment and promotions.
Special no-alcohol seating areas are available. Field-level seats are $9 for adults and $8 for children and seniors; bleacher seats are $7 for adults and $6 for seniors and children. Tickets for the grass berm along the outfield are $6. Reserved-seat tickets are $1 more if you buy them at the gate. Advance tickets are available online and in person at the Smokies box office.
For something totally different, sign up for a hot-air balloon ride with Smoky Mountain Balloon Adventures (865/484-0330, www.smokymtnballoons.com). For $229 per adult (less if you agree to join up with another group), you’ll get 1–1.5 hours in a hot-air balloon, floating over the foothills of the Smokies. Balloon trips meet up at the Starbucks shop at 646 Winfield Dunn Parkway (Hwy. 66) in Sevierville, and guests are shuttled to the launch site, which varies based on wind and weather conditions.
After your flight, you’ll enjoy a toast with the captain and you’ll get a special certificate as a keepsake. Balloon flights are offered from April to November. Most flights depart early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and reach altitudes of between 1,500 and 2,000 feet above the ground.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition