Growing up in the Midwest, then moving to Florida and ultimately settling with my young family in Tennessee, I have seen a lot of different lifestyles. Whenever visiting an area or moving there, it takes some time to adapt to the local lifestyle. I have recruited some of my fellow Knoxville Moms Contributors as well as others in my close circle to come up with things visitors, as well as those who have just moved here, need to know.
- DO NOT attempt to feed, pet, or handle wildlife, especially bears! If these animals become too comfortable with humans they will be euthanized. It is also not safe for you.
- Do not move or stack rocks in rivers as it is very harmful for the ecosystem.
- Tennessee law states that dogs are not allowed on national park trails.
- Smoky Mountain National park is the most visited in the US; expect traffic.
- Keep appropriate distance from other groups on trails; personal space is nice.
- Always clean up after yourself, don’t leave behind litter.
- Peyton Manning and Dolly Parton can do no wrong around here, and that is the way it is.
- Expect to see a lot of orange. To quote Sandra Bullock from the Blind Side, “I will not wear that gaudy orange, I will not. It’s not in my color wheel and I’m not gonna wear it.” Well, we do!
- Knoxville can become a ghost town on football Saturdays.
- If the smallest amount of snow is in the forecast, don’t expect to do much; things shut down.
- Prepare for bad allergies in the spring.
- Even though this is the South, we are an interesting mix of redneck and hipster. You’re going to see just as many people sipping craft beer and wearing Chacos as you are to see folks in camo who show goats on the weekends.
- Always be mindful of other boats and keep a proper distance.
- Always walk behind someone fishing from shore, not in front.
- Listen to the instructions when renting a boat.
- Watch out for swimmers, kayakers, or anyone else low to the water.
- A lot of the marinas and docks are private property — look for signs.
- Always follow boating safety.
On the road
- If you don’t know where your are going or want to take in the sights, please pull over instead of slowing your speed. It can become dangerous to you and those around you.
- Don’t expect locals to know the numbers of state roads; to us it is Kingston Pike, not US70.
- We love hospitality here in the South and a courtesy wave is much appreciated when we let you into traffic.
- The closer you get to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, the more traffic there will be.
- At certain times of the year, Dollywood closes days during the week. Check your plans in advance to make sure you aren’t trying to go on a day in which they are closed.
- Moonshine tasting can be found just about everywhere in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
- You can usually find brochures with coupons for the various museums, shows, and other tourist activities. Check your hotel, local fast food restaurants or visitor centers.
- If you have moved to the area, a lot of places will offer local discounts.
East Tennessee is much more than the national parks. There is so much more to enjoy and explore. Check out the amazing variety of Knoxville Mom posts to find more things to do! Click Here for Knoxville Moms in and around Knoxville.