NO PLACE I RATHER BE – THEN RIGHT HERE IN TENNESSEE

Hey y’all! I totally feel like we’ve been jumping all over the place this hockey season! So, for those of you that don’t know Todd has been with a new team for a while now and we couldn’t be happier. We are now in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Although I’m a city gal, I fell in love with southern living from my time spent in Mississippi a few hockey seasons back and Knoxville Tennessee offers the best of both worlds! The southern charm is alive and well – everyone is so kind! But the weather and the over all busyness serve as a reminder that I may not be as far south as I may think.

For all my country music fans, Knoxville is the birth place of Kenny Chesney, the radio stations play a great mix of old and new country, the bars are wild and cowboy boots look darling with every single outfit. Have I my mentioned my sweet tea addiction yet? I literally have it with every single meal, so not good for me but so so good! I can go on and on about how much I’m absolutely in love with Knoxville and since I’m headed back there in just TWO MORE SLEEPS I’ve put together a small list of touristy things to do and see if your hockey travels ever take you this way!

Pigeon Forge: This is a must! A cutesy little mountain town in eastern Tennessee. More importantly, it is the home of Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park (please tell me you know who THE Dolly Parton is!!!) Dollywood comes fully equipped with rides, a water park, and a museum of her fabulous costumes and other memorable items from her many tours. If Dolly ain’t you’re thing, then feel free to check out the magic shows, dinner theatres and of course the outlet mall! Also, please please please visit the Chocolate Monkey and purchase at least 10 Buck Eyes – tiny drops of chocolate and peanut butter heaven *drooling*. During the holiday season the town is decked out in lights and if you’re a Christmas freak like me, then it’s worth checking out.

Gatlinburg: After you tackle Pigeon Forge, head right on through to Gatlinburg, home of the Smoky Mountains National Park. Most of the attractions you will find here offer amazing views. You can head up to the Space Needle observation tower or take a ride up the Sky Lift. However, if these activities don’t interest you then there’s plenty of moonshine, whiskey and wine tasting. Todd and I went to Sugarlands Distillery. The tasting includes nine moonshine samples ranging from 40-100 proof! I managed to get through all nine samples – no chaser. Then, when you’re done, make sure you grab a bottle to go. I obviously recommend the Sweet Tea moonshine, no explanation necessary.

University of Tennessee: Home of the Vols! Grab your orange gear and head over the campus to catch a football game. I know absolutely nothing about football, I mean I’m totally still trying to figure out the whole hockey thing but Knoxville takes their football very seriously. So buckle up and get on board. Plus, we can totally use it as an excuse to tailgate!

Market Square: A popular place to eat, shop and play anytime of day. It’s walking distance from most hotels if you’re planing to only spend a few nights in Knoxville. There’s lots of yummy restaurants and cute little shops that are worth visiting. I love getting out there and seeing different fashion trends outside Toronto!

Overall, Knoxville is a complete hidden gem and it will not disappoint! I feel like there is always something to do and see depending on when you are there. The food is good, the shopping is decent and you’re only a three hour drive from Nashville! I’m literally over the moon obsessed with this place and I always hate leaving! Good thing I’ll be reunited with moonshine, sweet tea and hockey so soon!  Been to Knoxville? I’d love to hear about your experience! Comment in the section below.

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