Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 58

TENNESSEE

Downtown Sweetwater is great for a walk.

1. Monroe County (Sweetwater,
Tellico Plains)
Halfway between Chattanooga and Knoxville, this county of rolling hills is the official southern Cherokee National Forest
gateway. It preserves East Tennessee history, and offers a full calendar of celebrations. There are skyways, waterfalls and
hiking in the wild; and shopping, golf
and arts and crafts in the towns. And, really delicious cheese and wine.
"Monroe County is the place that
makes you feel at home the very first time
you visit," says Blaina Tallent Best, Monroe
County Tourism Director. "And the people
are what truly make this place so special."
Adds Kassie Kelley-Watson, Sweetwater
Main Street Director: "Sweetwater appeals
to the history buff, nature lover, passionate antiquer, adventurer, and the kids."

FIVE THINGS NOT TO MISS:

* The Lost Sea Adventure, at America's largest
underground lake.

* Sweetwater Main Street, for shopping, walking
tour, historic sites and year-round festivals.
* Fort Loudon State Historic Park and Sequoyah
Birthplace Museum is one of the earliest British
forts on the western frontier (1756); and creator
of the Cherokee written language.
* Engleman Park Arboretum, an oasis with over 30
notable tree species, some exceeding 150 years
old.
* Tsali Notch Vineyard, specializing in 'America's
wild grapeā„¢' indigenous muscadine wines.

58

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BASILPICS

Horses graze at Cades Cove in the Tennessee Smokies.

2. Blount County (Maryville, Townsend)
Wind through mountain roads in the
protected wilderness of America's most
visited national park, and stand breathless in the belly of millions-of-years-old
caverns. The quiet side of the Smokies
offers solitude, family fun, sweeping vistas, local cuisine and history sites that
celebrate a diversity of mountain cultures.
"As a peaceful getaway without lots of
traffic, we cater to individuals who want to
get back to nature, enjoy outdoor living,
and connect with themselves and family,"
says Kim Mitchell, Blount Partnership Director of Tourism. "Our destinations will
remind you of your childhood-playing
in the dirt, riding your bike, splashing in
the river and living your best life."

FIVE THINGS NOT TO MISS:

* Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National
Park: Hike, bike, drive for some of the best
wildlife viewing in the park.
* Little River's gentle tubing with small rapids on
the "quiet side of the Smokies."
* Great Smoky Mountains, with more than 850
miles of hiking trails for all abilities and interests.
* Tuckaleechee Caverns: "Greatest Site Under the
Smokies."
* Downtown Maryville, for shopping, Southern
cuisine and historic 18th Century buildings.

3. Carter County (Roan Mountain,
Elizabethton)
To access a nice stretch of the Appalachian Trail, see the world's largest natural
rhododendron garden and learn about
the Overmountain Men's crucial role in
winning the American Revolution, visit
here. Aptly known as "Tennessee's Mountain Playground," this upper east destination includes the northern section of the
Cherokee National Forest.
"Carter County's unique combination
of small town charm, outdoor adventures
and rich history make it a terrific destination with something for everyone," says
Luke Freeman, Elizabethton/Carter County Tourism Coordinator.

FIVE THINGS NOT TO MISS:

* Roan Mountain hiking to the balds.

* Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park's Fort
Watauga, museum, demonstrations.
* Downtown Elizabethton shopping, dining, awardwinning covered bridge.
* Watauga River's trophy trout fishing.
* Tweetsie Trail bike riding-one of the state's
longest rail trails.


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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 8
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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