Sevierville is the jewel of eastern Tennessee, and self-described as “your hometown in the Smokies.” The city’s eastern section flanks the forks of the Little Pigeon River, while the rest of the city hovers nobly within the Tennessee Valley, on the cusp of the Great Smoky Mountains. Vacation rentals in Sevierville put you in the heart of the city with tons of things to do. What should you try first? Here are the top 15 attractions in Sevierville.

1. Swing By the Visitor’s Center

Start your vacation with a trip to the Sevierville Visitor Center. The center has coupons for local attractions, tours, and restaurants, not to mention all the lowdown on local events, music, where to eat, shop, and play. The adjacent Smoky Mountains Association Gift Shop sells Sevierville and national parks souvenirs. All gift shop proceeds benefit the non-profit Friends of the Smokies, a group that preserves the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

2. See the Next Best Thing to Dolly Parton in Person

Dolly Parton put this city on the map. She’s its most famous resident, and her statue ever presides over the Sevier County Courthouse lawn in historic downtown Sevierville. The statue is also a stop on Dolly’s Hometown Tour, which is definitely worth checking out, although you can just visit the statue if you’re pressed for time. Dolly’s replica is life-sized, bronze, and a must-see for music lovers.

3. Canter Cowboy-Style Around the Smoky Mountains

Traverse wooded areas, cross streams, and climb hills in the Smoky Mountains, all while on horseback. Five Oaks Riding Stables offers guided horseback rides that are 30 minutes or an hour. Choose one of two trails spanning a total of 65 acres in and around the Smoky Mountains. Families and groups are welcome.

4. Stroll the Parrot Mountain and Gardens

Have you ever seen a toucan up close? See many toucans in the flesh at Parrot Mountain and Gardens, a bird sanctuary containing a series of landscaped gardens and outdoor spaces that are home to magpies, hornbills, and various colorful species of parrot. There is also a small deli with a deck overlooking the Smokies. Pick up a memento in the cottage gift shop on your way out.

5. Go Tubing in the Smokies

River Romp takes tubing to new levels with their Smokey Mountains River Romp. The romp transports you 2.5 miles down the Little Pigeon River, on the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains. A driver retrieves you and returns your family to the starting point, where you have the choice of picnicking, going on another romp, or leaving. Children 2 to 4 ride for free.

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6. Be a Monster Truck Star for a Day

Monster Truck Ride of Sevierville treats families to monster truck adventures around an enclosed track featuring twisting bumps and 2 eight-foot hills. Trucks are 12,000 pounds, 12 feet tall, and have 5 1/2-foot tires. Each truck has spacious seating areas for groups, and each ride is five laps around the track.

7. Get a Bird’s-Eye View of Sevierville and the Smokey Mountains

Sevier County Choppers is an authorized FAA Repair and Overhaul Facility that provides private chopper tours of Sevier County. The four-minute introductory tour takes you over the whole of Sevierville and the Smoky Mountains. Longer tours explore nearby Pigeon Forge, Douglas Lake, and Gatlinburg. There is also a half-hour See It All tour. Choppers seat up to three, and the company provides headsets for every passenger.

8. Cheer on the Local Sluggers

Take the family out to the ballgame at Smokies Stadium, home of the Tennessee Smokies, a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Smokies Stadium is affectionately known as “America’s friendliest ballpark,” and its roster of home game events attests to this distinction. The stadium welcomes families to its designated picnic areas, and often hosts family nights, food discount nights, and fireworks nights.

9. Burn Rubber Like a NASCAR Champion

Race your family and friends at NASCAR SpeedPark, a family-centric source of thrill rides and amusement park attractions. There are eight main tracks for all skill levels and more than a dozen rides and fun activities, such as bumper cars, kids hot rods, fantasy kids golf, rock climbing, and a 5,000-square foot arcade.

10. Mount a Rain Forest Expedition

Just down the road from NASCAR SpeedPark, on Nascar Drive in Sevierville, is RainForest Adventures, a discovery zoo housing 600 live animals. The species are exotic and quite different from what you expect to find at standard zoos. There are golden-headed lion tamarins, kinkajous, lemurs, coatimundis, and servals. There are also rainforest birds, bugs, amphibians, and reptiles to see. The zoo is open year-round.

11. Tour Sevierville’s Forbidden Caverns

Trivia: There are over 8,300 caves in Tennessee. Sevierville’s Forbidden Caverns located beneath the Smokies are among the most phenomenal. The caverns contain grottos, chimneys tall as buildings, a stream, and dozens of unique formations. The Forbidden Caverns tour dramatizes this underground wonder through stereophonic sound presentations and lighting effects. There are handrails for safety, and all trails are well lit.

12. Catch the Latest Box Office Smash

If your vacation rental period overlaps with the release of Hollywood family-safe blockbusters, catch them at Governor’s Crossing Stadium 14. This Sevierville movie theater pampers guests with plush, reclining seats, a 55-foot wide screen, a 46,000-watt 16-channel Dolby Surround system, and 3-D features. There are matinee show times and children’s ticket specials.

13. Take Your Boldest Adventures Indoors

Seize your ninja destiny at Sevier Air, a family-oriented indoor trampoline and ninja warrior adventure park, the largest in the area at 38,000 square feet. Climb a three-story net system, navigate a ninja park obstacle course, or explore adult fitness options, such as boot camp. A Drop-N-Shop service lets you drop off your kids for three hours while you go and explore more adult-themed activities, such as retail therapy.

14. Speaking of Retail Therapy: Raid Tanger Outlets

Find ridiculous deals on designer brand-name apparel, footwear, housewares, home furnishings, accessories, jewelry, and assorted specialty items at Tanger Outlets. Tanger offers a Best Price Promise on everything, personal shopping services with free online or telephone consultations, and pickup or delivery of purchased merchandise. The Sevierville location also has free Wi-Fi, so you’re welcome to window shop, slip into the food court, and surf on your tablet while people-watching.

15. Zip Through an Afternoon of Hair-Raising Fun

Located on the site of an old family farm, Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park is family owned and family-themed. The park features safe, supervised ziplining throughout the Smokies, welcoming children as young as seven. There are also elevated swinging bridges and hiking trails, bear crawler ATV trailways, a rope jungle for aerial adventures, and a climbing wall. When you’re done, refuel at the park’s Zippin’ Pig Barbecue.

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