Dolly Parton's Favourite Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee!
Here are Miss Parton's favourite things to do in the Smoky Mountains.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park —The Great Smoky Mountains are the most special place to me in the whole world. I often say that no matter where I go in the world, I take my mountains with me—no!—not those mountains! My Smoky Mountains! They are a part of my DNA and influence everyword I write and every thought I have.
Cades Cove —There is not a more beautiful or unique place in the whole world, and I have been all over it. Every time I gothere I think of the people who settled this area and how hard they had to work to live. My upbringing was not much different than the lives they led in the Cove. Yet no matter how tough it may have been, the blessing of living in one of the most beautiful places in the world always reassures you that everything will be just fine.
The Tennessee Mountain Home —This is the house where I grew up. It’s a humble place but we had everything we needed, including running water, as long as you were willing to run and get it. I use it now as my own little retreat, a placeto relax, to think and to write.
Sevierville Courthouse Square —My hometown is Sevierville—at least that’s where I went to school. Several years ago a talented artist named Jim Gray created a statue ofme that sits in the courthouse grounds. My daddy was so proud of that statue. He used to kid me that no matter how important I felt about the statue,it still was just an outhouse for pigeons. I also know he used to go down there at night sometimes with a brush andsome water to clean it. The statue meant a lot to him so it means a lot to me.
Sevier County High School —I am very proud of my alma mater. I played in the band and will always be a Smoky Bear! (Just look for the big bear on top of the buildingwhen you drive by.) I often joke that I spent all of my days in high school dreaming about not being there. But the truth is I loved my time at highschool and this year I hope to go to my high school reunion.
Dollywood— Dollywood is the place I created for families and kids. It celebrates the heritage of my people, and provides a place to share that with our guests. I have many a friend to Dollywood and no matter who they are or where they come from, they always say the same thing, “I had no idea that Dollywood would be so big and pretty.” Funny thing is that’s what theysaid when they first met me!
Dixie Stampede —I say that Dixie Stampede is the most fun place to eat in the Smokies,and I mean it. If you want a place totake your family for exciting and wholesome entertainment with a great meal, Dixie is a great value.
Dollywood’sSplash Country —It gets warm sometimes in the Smokies and you need a place to cool off. I know I am biased but SplashCountry is the greatest water park in the world—and you don’t have to worry about getting bit by a turtle.
Le Conte Medical Center— I am proud of a lot of things but my association with the Robert F. Thomas Foundation and the new Sevier Countyhospital we’re calling the LeConte Medical Centeris among my most proud moments. Dr.Robert F. Thomas delivered me as a baby and was our family doctor. He rode on horseback and took whateverpayment folks could afford to pay. Dr.Thomas delivered me on a cold and snowy day in January and my daddy paid himwith a sack of corn meal—and guess what? I’ve been rollin’ in the dough ever since (ha!).
Frank Allen’s— Everyone is always looking for a “joint” to eat at that only locals know. Frank Allen’s is a local Sevier County experience I love. My favorite is their slaw dog, but you’ll have to eat your way through the menu and find your own very favorite treat. Just be sure to tell them Dolly sent you.
The Glades— If you can’t find what you want from one of Dollywood’s craftsmen, justoutside of Gatlinburg there’s a special little place you may never of heard of called the Glades. It has house after house of artists and shops that have some of the best crafts our local artisans have to offer.
Imagination Library— This is not a real place but it has a special place in my heart. This is a program we started right here in Sevier County providing a book a month to kids before they start school. It’s hard to believe that our little homegrown program has now grown to over 1,000 communities in 3 countries and wedistribute over half-a-million books a month.
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