East Tennessee has long been a muse for country songs, and y’all, I can see why! The natural beauty, warm hospitality, and country charm left me yearning to go back. Below are some of the highlights of my mini–East Tennessee adventure, from pristine lakes to mouthwatering barbecue, Tazewell did not disappoint.
If you find yourself in East Tennessee, make sure not to miss Lake Norris. This sprawling 33,000-acre lake is surrounded by majestic mountains in every direction, creating a breathtaking backdrop for relaxation. Rumor has it that even country superstar Brad Paisley is a Lake Norris fan and comes here fishing. We even saw a boar on the shore. Random, I know but I love random. Even on Labor Day weekend this lake was quiet-What a gift!
Hiking the Cumberland Gap
A visit to East Tennessee wouldn't be complete without exploring the iconic Cumberland Gap, where Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia meet. The hiking trails offer the perfect opportunity to soak in all the natural beauty. Try to visit one of the caves for some nature made a.c.!
Gap Creek Cafe
While at the Cumberland Gap, take a break at the adorable Gap Creek Cafe. This charming spot has spectacular mountain views and a babbling creek. It's a hidden gem you won't want to miss for coffee, breakfast, or lunch.
Haymaker Farm Restaurant
Definitely have lunch at the Haymaker Farm Restaurant. This authentic BBQ place hits the spot! Pulled pork and fried okra for days! It takes a lot to impress me in the BBQ department, and Haymaker won me over hard.
Dinner at the Shipyard is the perfect choice. This casual waterfront spot made from shipping containers has great food, yard games, and live country music. Pretty much solidified my feeling that we were in a country song!
Veteran’s Scenic Overlook
On your way home, stop at Veteran’s Scenic Overlook. The view is nothing short of postcard-perfect, offering panoramic vistas that capture the essence of East Tennessee.
I loved it. And how could I forget? A selfie with Tennessee Lager. Why? Because it’s a Tennessee theme all around for me.
What’s your favorite place in East Tennessee, Sunshines? Share your East Tennessee adventures and recommendations in the comments below. Another trip has to be in my future!