A few of the local attractions in the Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg areas are: The statue of Dolly Parton in downtown Sevierville is a popular photo op. There are also some cute little gift shops and restaurants.
The Bush Bean Factory—have your picture taken with Duke, the Wonder Dog, and learn all about the local family that still runs the Bush Bean company. Very interesting tour, includes a café and general store.
Forbidden Caverns: See all of the beauty that is tucked inside the Smoky Mountains. Known as one of America’s most spectacular caverns, these caves are filled with spectacular formations, natural chimneys, grottos,and mountain streams.
The Titanic, Wonderworks, Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Park, Lumberjack Feud, Dixie Stampede, and The Smoky Mountain Opry are some of the most popular attractions in Pigeon Forge. There’s also horseback riding, helicopter rides, zip lines, alpine coasters, go carts, trampoline park, wineries, white water rafting and tubing down a relaxing river if you are so inclined. The Island is also a popular area in Pigeon Forge, with rides, shopping and restaurants and, of course, the giant ferris wheel!
For the shopper: Tanger Outlets at Five Oaks is a popular destination with great stores such as Coach, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, J. Crew and a host of others. If you are looking for more unusual items, there’s the Village Shops in Gatlinburg, the Glades district in Gatlinburg filled with all sorts of local craftsmen and their beautiful creations.
Spa experiences: Riverstone Spa in Pigeon Forge and the spa at Margaritaville are both excellent.
For nature lovers:
The Great Smoky Mountains becomes your backyard while staying in this area. Hiking trails abound as well as roads for mountain biking. Ober Gatlinburg has tubing and ski runs and you can ice skate after riding the gondola up the side of the mountain.
Cades Cove is a popular destination and is full of wild life! It is closed to vehicular traffic Saturdays and Wednesdays until 10 a.m. when you may bike or walk through the cove and experience it in a whole new way.
There are picnic areas, horseback riding stables and great places to throw your tube in on a hot summer day!
Set against the backdrop of the foothills of the Smoky Mountain, Douglas Lake is a popular lake for all types of people. With 513 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of room for boating, fishing or just enjoying nature. There are campgrounds surrounding the lake and recreation areas which include picnic areas and restrooms.
Birdwatching is best from late July to early October. Nourished by three rivers, Douglas Lake has become the premier crappie lake in East Tennessee. Other good fishing includes: white bass, sauger, black crappie, striped bass, spotted bass, walleye, blue cat, flat head catfish, channel catfish, red horse, red breast sunfish and bluegill. Fishing is a year round sport at Douglas although spring and fall are the preferred seasons. From November to May, the wide shallow embankment, fertile creek hollows and stump beds, attract the crappie in huge numbers during the spring spawning season making crappie fishing excellent! Spring is the best time for bass fishing but you’ll find there’s good stock year-round.
If you want to add a hiking adventure to your time at the lake, the trailhead to the Trotter Bluff Small Wild Area is adjacent to the Douglas Dam Headwater Campground. Hike the almost 2 miles of trail that winds through 30 acres of hardwood forest and limestone sinkholes to an overlook of the lake’s tailwaters. Springtime hikes are enhanced with colorful wildflowers that dot the landscape.The Dandridge Partnership Trail is a 1.2 mile out-and back that winds through wooded terrain.
**Douglas Lake is a seasonal lake regulated by the TVA. There will always be water in the main channel however, during certain times of the year there will not be a lot of water at our shoreline. The TVA starts to fill the lake over Memorial Day and it is usually full by the end of May. The TVA then starts to empty the lake after Labor Day and by the end of September, there is not a lot of water at our shoreline but there is still water in the main channel and you can drop your boat at one of the marinas on the main channel.