A Sevierville vacation with friends is all about comfort foods, shopping finds, nature’s beauty, big thrills and sweet wine. If you want to bond your besties, here’s why to book a Southern-style girlfriend getaway in Sevierville, Tennessee.
There are plenty of places you could pick for your girlfriend getaway, but none with better views or prettier hiking trails than those you'll find in Sevierville and the surrounding areas. Located about 20 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, nature-loving gal pals will appreciate the scenic mountain drive through the park, watching as the trees change from green and leafy to pointed and piney. Fellow Travel Mamas who are prone to motion sickness like me should take the wheel OR pop a Dramamine before the drive.
Choose from trails for all hiking levels, from easy to difficult. If your time is limited, pick a path close to the base of the mountain like Cataract Falls; a short, rocky trail that leads to a small but lovely waterfall. The winding drive to the top is worth it for the expansive, 360 degree views from Clingmans Dome. You may need to stop a couple of times to catch your breath as you march up this steep path because the air is so thin this high in the Smokies, but the air is so clean and pure you won't mind. Stop for a picnic in the park and enjoy lunch in the shade of dogwood trees amid tweeting birds.
Splurge on a limousine and go wine-tasting in Sevierville with your gal pals. The Rocky Top Wine Trail features five wineries within 12 miles. Get this: they don't charge for tastings! Yep, you can sample wines made from local grapes (and, in some cases apples or honey) without coming out-of-pocket. Of course, if you're like me, you'll want to purchase a bottle or two to drink later. Be sure to tip your hosts for sharing their wines and knowledge with you.
At each tasting room, expect a couple of drier options like chardonnay or zinfandel and a whole lot of sweet Southern wines like spumante and muscadine. Got any teetotalers or expectant moms in your crew? The wine rooms will happily serve up alcohol-free drinkies like strawberry lemonade or sparkling cider.
Get a stamp at each spot. If you hit up three wine rooms, you'll be rewarded with a wine glass souvenir. Visit all five spots on the trail to get an Italian (stemless) wine glass.
Nothing bonds friends better than experiencing an adrenaline-pumping thrill together! My favorite part of this blogger trip was an exhilarating flight with Scenic Helicopter Tours with my new friends. I almost didn't go because I was afraid I'd get motion sick (and I couldn't take a Dramamine because I'd been wine-tasting all day). But then Anna, author of the My Life and Kids blog, insisted I go and all but dragged me onto the launch pad. We embarked on a brief, 15-minute tour of Sevierville and the surrounding areas. It was just long enough to get the thrill of take-off and landing and view some gorgeous scenery of the area's plentiful treetops, but not long enough to cause any motion sickness. I had gotten very queasy when I flew in a small (four-seat) airplane years ago, but I felt absolutely fine aboard this helicopter. Longer tours are also available.
As our group departed the helicopter, we almost crawled on our bellies away from the launch pad because we were all so paranoid about being hit by the propellers, even though the Scenic Helicopters employees stood up straight and didn't seem to lose their heads. We all giggled and held hands, joyous from our flight.
For more adventure, visit the Adrenaline Park for zip-lining. Zip with your girlfriends across the French Broad River, shouting, “Woooo-hoooo!” all the way. Once is never enough, so buy a second zip. Ask the operator to spin your harness for an extra thrill on your way down. After your zip-lining experience, be sure to take a walk on the glass bottom Mountain Dew Sky Bridge to peer down at the trees below. The Adrenaline Park also offers jet boat rides and horseback riding.
No girlfriend getaway is complete without a little shopping! Before you hit the stores, book a Faithfully Fashionable consultation with Donna Roland. She'll tell you which colors work best for your skin, hair and eyes. There are five color profiles.Apparently I'm a “soft” which means I should opt for pastel colors and never, ever wear black because it makes me look old. I know black is supposed to be slimming but I'd rather look fat than old. When I got home, I put all of my black shirts and dresses into the donation pile.
Donna also helps you determine your body type, and gives suggestions for dressing and accessorizing to accentuate your best assets. You can even book Donna to go shopping with you and your girlfriends! She steered me away from some frumpy mom jeans and told me when colors didn't look right on me. I wish I could take Donna with me every time I go shopping. Truly, I know I will shop smarter (and look cuter!) because of her fashion advice.
The Tanger Five Oaks Factory Outlet is home to a multitude of shops, from Gymboree Outlet and Disney Store for kids to Ann Taylor Factory Store and Michael Kors for adults. Check their website for coupons and sales before you go.
Looking for Sevierville souvenirs? Head to the Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store for all things apple-y and quaint. This complex is home to the Apple Barn Winery, one of the stops on the Rocky Top Wine Trail, as well as the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, which serves up delicious apple fritters with every meal.
Where to stay in Sevierville
My six new friends and I bedded down in a cabin at the Oak Haven Resort & Spa. Our cabin provided gorgeous mountain views from a huge porch outfitted with rocking chairs aplenty. After days jam-packed with activities, it sure was nice to come back to our spacious, homey cabin with its patriotic country decor. There was a plethora of space to hang out way past our bedtime munching popcorn, sipping wine and gabbing. Our cabin boasted six bedrooms, a full kitchen (plus a kitchenette in the basement), a pool table, two arcade games, a washing machine and dryer, two Jacuzzi bathtubs, a Jacuzzi hot tub on the porch, and an outdoor barbecue.
I didn't get a chance to check out the resort's outdoor pool, playground or spa during my stay but I would love to stay at this cabin resort again and explore more of Sevierville someday during a visit with my family (so I can cross the nearby famed Dollywood off my bucket list!).
You don’t go to Sevierville for quinoa and yoga classes. You won’t find a lot of fruit smoothies or martini bars in this Southern town. You will find lots of pulled pork, hush puppies, corn bread, collard greens, and fried green tomatoes. Forget dieting here and embrace the greasy goodness! Read more about dining in Sevierville.
Why book a girlfriend getaway in Sevierville
One of the best things about a girlfriend getaway in Sevierville? The prices! I was blown away by how inexpensive everything was in this town. From free wine tastings to affordable helicopter rides and discounted clothing, Sevierville makes a wise choice for friends or families seeking a vacation they can afford.
I didn't know much (or anything, really) about Sevierville before my visit, besides that it was the hometown of country music star Dolly Parton. It offers hiking in the Smoky Mountains, wine-tasting, helicopter rides, zip-lining, shopping and lots of good ol' Southern cuisine. Who knew?!
What's your favorite thing to do on a girlfriend getaway? Let us know in the comments below!
A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you to the Sevierville Convention & Visitors Bureau for hosting my visit. All opinions are mine, as always.