Eastern Tennessee Is Open to Visitors

By Annie Tobey | December 2nd, 2016

Though affected by wildfires, the tourist attractions are open to visitors


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The wildfires that swept through Sevier County and Great Smoky Mountains National Park have captured the attention of the media and the concern of people from all over. Those of us who have experienced the beauty of the nation’s most popular national forest and the good times at mountain communities are especially heartbroken at the loss of property and life.

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long to give our support to the area. Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Townsend are open for business immediately. Smoky Mountain visitors can continue to experience the area’s restaurants, lodging and attractions. Gatlinburg anticipates opening the downtown Parkway and River Road on Dec. 7.

The eastern Tennessee communities offer a host of activities for all ages and interest levels. The area is best known for quirky museums, recreation and colorful shows, such as the Titanic museum, Alcatraz East crime museum, Ripley’s Aquarium and Hatfield and McCoy dinner show; crafters galore; rides and performances in Dollywood theme park; outdoor play and underground caverns; and quaint shops. The mountains provide natural beauty, history and outdoor recreation.

Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner, who lost his home and business, expressed the heart and resilience of this community during a daily press conference, stating, “If you want to help Gatlinburg, come back and visit us. We’re gonna be back… We’re gonna be better than ever.”

Pigeon Forge businesses were not damaged during this week’s fires and are operating as usual. The city’s Winterfest festival continues, including several Christmas shows at various theaters. Dollywood theme park reopens on Friday, Dec. 2. Restaurants and lodging properties are operating on normal schedules.

Businesses in Sevierville, Dolly Parton’s hometown, are open and operating as usual, including Wilderness at the Smokies and Tanger Outlets.

The National Park Service announced today that the Townsend, Tennessee, entrance into Cades Cove, the popular Great Smoky Mountains scenic drive, is now open to the public. Townsend tourism sites and attractions are welcoming visitors.

For additional attraction business hours, events and updates, visit the websites for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountains tourism. Explore the state of Tennessee or follow  “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Up-to-date information regarding Sevier County can also be found at https://www.tnvacation.com/sevier-county-update.

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