Getaway around KnoxvilleAccess
I arrived to Tennessee from Newark by plane.
Tennessee (United States)
My "wish list" of destinations to visit is huge and Knoxville just isn't there. Neither had it located on the map, nor was there anything in the area that caught my attention. But I had a personal event and I decided to spend three days there.
I flew, with a small American company, from Newark International Airport (New Jersey) to McGhee Tyson Airport, located in the south of Knoxville. Two hours of flight separate both airports. Due to the enormous distances of the United States, this flight is relatively fast.
Once there and with the rental car loaded, I took the road towards Harrogate. It is necessary to go around Knoxville and go north. In an hour of driving, I already realized that this is deep America. It's the real Tennessee we've all seen in the movies.
First stop could not have been more successful. The appetite tightened and that roadside restaurant was perfect. Without looking at the menu or prices, I knew it was the place to eat. "Lil's Jo's BBQ" is a wooden restaurant where country music is heard from the same parking lot. A giant "Open" and a pig invite you to enter. Inside it seams time has stopped. The tables are for 4 people, the chairs are high benches that give some privacy. An elderly lady recommended me the star dish. Obviously, I listened to her without understanding what she was talking about. She brought me a combination plate that I would never eat again, but that tasted like heaven to me: a kind of pork with fries, onion rings and toast. "Wherever you went, do as you saw." First stop: total success.
Half an hour from the restaurant, after crossing Maynardville and before reaching Tazewell, is the Airbnb house we rented. The house is beautiful. It's made of wood and has a porch with swings! It is quite large: three double bedrooms and three bathrooms. The dining room and kitchen are huge. It must be very cool to go in winter with the snowy garden and the fireplace lit. If they had it a bit cleaner, it would be perfect.
If you are in the area, even if you don't have any personal connection, I recommend going to LMU (Lincoln Memorial University). The entrance is impressive. The buildings are elegants and the gardens are amazing. Walking around gave me peace.
For dinner, at the "Sagebrush Steakhouse" they serve very good meat. It was here that I learned that the meat from the area is recognized in the county. It was delicious.
After this dinner I went to a mall open 24 hours and confirmed that I was in the most deep America. On the shelves, next to the fishing rods, are the revolvers and shotguns that are sold without any license. I went to sleep shocked.
The next day I wanted to spend the day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; but, once again, the distances in the United States betrayed me. I got to the entrance of the park at lunch time and when I saw that I didn't have time to see it anymore, I decided to go to Pigeon Forge. It is a wide avenue where you can experience exciting adventures. There are museums, shows and attractions on both sides of the road. The first thing I found was the WonderWorks Pigeon Forge which is an upside down house. It is an amusement park for the mind. Combine education and entertainment with more than 100 hands-on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark the imagination. Next up, Beyond the Lens! Family Fun is a suite of interactive exhibits with a state-of-the-art fully immersive adventure. In front is the Titanic Museum inside a giant reproduction of the ship. The park is huge. I arrived until the Hollywood Wax Museum and I think I still had 80% more to see. Pigeon Forge is a very touristic place, but very curious to see. It is very beast. Right at the exit is the Tanger Outlets Sevierville. American brands are at a very low price.
Going back to the Harrogate or Tazewell area, where we had the Airbnb, we decided to go to a small town, Cumberland Gap, to have dinner at the "Angelo's in the gap" tavern. It is a simple place, with wooden tables and stools where they serve battle food at a cheap price. It is frequented by the townspeople and there is live music. It was a complete success.
The next morning, after the personal event, I decided to eat at the Italian restaurant "Gondolier" and I already headed to Lancaster.
If you need and/or want help organizing your getaway, don't hesitate to send me an mail!
You can stay as long as you want or can.