Fly Through the Trees in Sevierville, Tennessee
DISTANCE: 200 miles, 3½ hours
ADVENTURE LEVEL: 8 (It isn’t skydiving or hang gliding, but it’s not that far off.)
Sevierville, Tennessee, is generally the calmer section of the Great Smoky Mountains vacation haven around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find plenty of thrills in Dolly Parton’s hometown. For starters, cross America’s Bridge To Prosperity in Sevierville—it’s the longest swinging bridge in the U.S.
And even if you’ve ziplined before, you haven’t ziplined like this. Wahoo Ziplines takes off from a high ridge above the French Broad River. You’ll zip on the nation’s longest zip line over water and then soar up to 250 feet through the treetops. —T. W. W.
REST UP: For rustic luxury, try Oak Haven Resort. These luxury log cabins are snug against the wooded foothills of the Smoky Mountains and range from one- to seven-bedroom accommodations. All cabins include a well-equipped kitchen, a hot tub, gas fireplace and grill, large porches, and a washer and dryer. For an option brimming with kid-friendly activities, check out Wilderness at the Smokies, a resort with indoor and outdoor waterparks and a three-story ropes course—all included with your room.
GEAR UP: All gear necessary for the Sevierville ziplines is provided, but the Coleman Factory Outlet is not only a good spot for lanterns and camp stoves but also for light jackets, rain gear, and a variety of outdoor accessories.
REFUEL: Hit up the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, a Southern eatery, located in a refurbished family farmhouse. The Diner is a 1950s-style diner complete with a metallic exterior and a jukebox—try one of the milkshakes or malts. Plus, it serves breakfast all day.
CHICKEN? Take the hour-long tour of Forbidden Caverns. Slightly thrilling, these caverns boast extraordinary rock formations, a cool stream, and many grottos. Open seasonally April to November. Bonus: despite the season, it’s a constant 58 degrees down there. Adventure Level: 2 (It’s a tour. Not a big deal.)