3 Things You Shouldn’t Ever Do in Sevierville TN, According to a Local

the dollly parton statue in downtown sevierville

There are plenty of things to do in Sevierville, like visit the Dolly Parton statue. But there are also a number of things you should avoid (Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Here are three things not to do when you’re visiting Sevierville, TN

As someone who has lived in the area for decades, I can remember when Sevierville was the boring part of Sevier County. If Sevier County was a mullet, Sevierville was the business in the front part. But things have changed over the years. Sevierville is now a destination in and of itself. So, in this article, we’re going to talk about three things NOT to do on your trip to Sevier County. 

Sevierville is no longer a forgotten part of Sevier County tourism. But when you come to Sevierville there are some things you must not do, like go to the Wal-Mart. But also, don’t get stuck in the past and forget about Sevierville’s foodie scene or the alternate traffic routes. 

sevierville walmart
The Sevierville Wal-Mart may be one of the busiest in the enterprise (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. Don’t go to Wal-Mart

At one point, the Sevier County Wal-Mart was among the busiest in the world. It may still be. But I’m not going there. If I was in Sevierville and I needed something from Wal-Mart, I just wouldn’t go. I’d make the 45-minute drive to Newport or Jefferson City or even Maryville before I’d set foot in Sevierville’s Wal-Mart. 

Why? Well, if Dante were here today, he’d include the Sevierville Wal-Mart as one of his circles of Hell. Probably somewhere among gluttony, greed and anger. To be more specific, it’s always crowded. And a crowd of that size creates stress. Every time I’ve been there, people have been testy from the parking lot into the store. The employees are under siege and the supply chain is knotty at best. In the Sevierville Wal-Mart, it’s as if every day is Black Friday. 

“If Dante were here today, he’d include the Sevierville Wal-Mart as one of his circles of Hell.”

– John Gullion, Contributor, TheSmokies.com
Cars at Buc-ee's Gas Pumps
Getting into Sevierville can be a pain, and some new ventures, such as Buc-ee’s, have caused more congestion (photo by John Gullion/ThjeSmokies.com)

2. Don’t take the Parkway, or Exit 407

Getting into Sevierville can be a pain. But it’s important to remember that Exit 407 on I-40 isn’t the only way in. Sevier County officials have done a lot to open up that road, but it can still get choked by traffic. For instance, If you’re coming from the North, consider coming in through Newport. But if you’re coming from the South, take Highway 441 out of Maryville. You can also consider coming over from Wears Valley. 

There’s no way to avoid Sevier County traffic altogether but check your maps and plan. The biggest tip? The back route into Dollywood isn’t a secret anymore but it’s a great way to get to the far side of Pigeon Forge while avoiding heavy traffic. Take 411/35 to Veterans Boulevard. Even if you’re not going to Dollywood, it’s a quick way to get to the Gatlinburg side of Pigeon Forge. From there, you can use Teaster Lane to get back to West Pigeon Forge if you need to. But Veterans Boulevard is a cheat code when the Parkway is backed up. 

a traditional lobster roll and the nashville hot sandwich from pinchys
Pinchy’s has created a cult-like fan following in Sevierville (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

3. Don’t Write-Off the Foodie Scene 

I can remember when eating in Sevier County meant China Town Restaurant – which has been on that spot for more than 30 years. Or maybe fast food. A mediocre Mexican place. Now, Downtown Sevierville is a foodie paradise. From the Appalachian to Seasons 101. You’ve got Pinchy’s Lobster and Graze Burgers and Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ. You could eat like a king on vacation and never leave a couple of blocks’ radius. There’s a variety of styles and atmospheres from fancy to fun. But all of the food is great.

The development of the foodie scene in downtown Sevierville is the most positive thing that’s happened in Sevier County in years. I hope that people continue to find and support those restaurants specifically. Plus you can swing by and see the Dolly Parton statue. That’s a win-win. 

Some people have been coming to the mountains for years for whom Sevierville has been an afterthought. But things are changing. As Pigeon Forge has grown up against the boundary, many businesses and restaurants have found success in new places. When you come to Sevierville, don’t forget about the new foodie scene or consider alternate traffic routes. But most of all and whatever you do, do not go into that Wal-Mart under any circumstance. 

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