Provision Center for Proton Therapy patient Wayne Mason may have come for cancer treatment, but weeks spent in Knoxville also gave him an opportunity to see the local sights! And he was impressed. Here’s his must-do list of local activities in and around Knoxville and beyond!
- Neyland Stadium tour—Great for college football fans! $8. Phillip Fulmer Way. (865)974-1205. Reservation required
- James White Fort—Awesome historical tour of the homestead of Knoxville’s founder. The frontier sitting in the middle of downtown (beside the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame). 205 Hill Avenue Southeast. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (865) 525-6514.
- Fort Dickerson – Remains of Civil War Fortification – GREAT for serious history buffs like me. Provides a cool view of UT and the Tennessee River through downtown. Beautiful picnic area. 3000 Fort Dickerson Rd SW. (865) 215-2311.
- East Tennessee History Center—Best indoor museum I have ever visited. The log cabin inside the museum belonged to ancestors of Provision therapist Jennifer Combs. . 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 601 S. Gay St. 865-214-8830.
- Knoxville Zoo—Has construction going on but still a very good zoo. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 3500 Knoxville Zoo Dr. 865-637-5331.
- Cades Cove—Takes awhile. I have been several times in my life and still went twice while I was here. I would not recommend going on weekends during spring/summer. Very crowded. There are two ways to enjoy Cade’s Cove—either by just riding through and enjoying the scenery and the deer and wild turkeys, OR by stopping at any or all the old buildings. The cemeteries are very interesting at the church sites and the cabins and homesteads are awesome. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tenn. (865) 436-1200
- Townsend—Cades Cove Cellars (7126 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.) is very nice. Townsend also has several nice antique shops. Worth checking out. Steak and Trout restaurant ( 7839 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.) is also very good and reasonable.
- Oak Ridge—Frontier Firearms (1218 Gallaher Rd., Kingston) is a very nice indoor shooting range. Great for rainy day activities. The guys who run it are ex-military. Very knowledgeable and helpful. (10 a.m.-7 p.m., M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. (865-376-0793. American Museum of Science and Energy (300 S. Tulane Ave., Oak Ridge) is AWESOME! Will take quite awhile to tour. Has lots of information about the development of Oak Ridge, a production site for the Manhattan Project during World War II. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. M-Sat., 1 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. (865) 576-3200. Secret City Scenic Excursion Train and/or dinner ride (TN-58, Oak Ridge). VERY NICE. I used this as Valentine;s date for mywife. She loved it. However it is a little pricey for the dinner ride. (865) 241-2140.
- Sweetwater Valley Farms— Great cheese making facility and delicious cheeses. Beautiful scenery and easy to get to. Free cheese tastings. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.1 M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 7988 West Lee Highway in Philadelphia. (865)458-9192.
- Norris Dam State Park—Beautiful scenery, beautiful drive, great looking campground. Walking across the dam is pretty cool. 125 Village Green Circle, Rocky Top. (865) 426-7461.
- Norris Lake—Beautiful area even in the winter, probably even more in spring.
- Gatlinburg —Ripley’ Aquarium of the Smokies is a very cool aquarium. Very nice. 88 River Road. (865) 240-1358. No Way Jose’s Mexican Cantina next door is very good. Food is actually home made and fresh. 555 Parkway. (865) 430-5673.
- Museum of Appalachia—AMBER IS RIGHT! This is one of the coolest places I have ever been, but it takes a while to tour if you do it justice. A lot to see. Must eat at the onsite restaurant. The ladies who operate the restaurant said they use recipes from church cookbooks. Just imagine how good! 2819 Andersonville Hwy., Clinton. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.-Tues. & Thurs.-Sat. (865) 494-7680.
- Chattanooga—Walked along the riverwalk. Beautiful. The indoor carousel is very beautiful, although it was not operating the day we were there. Years ago I went to Rock City, Ruby Falls, and Lookout Mountain. All three are very cool. Seeing it all in one day would be tough.
- Nashville—For folks who have to stay through weekends, Nashville is an easy three hour drive, but is NOT a day trip. Accomodations outside Nashville are MUCH cheaper than staying in Nashville. Of course, Ryman Auditorium and The Grand Ole Opry are awesome. We also stopped at the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home) while in Nashville. Beautiful and very informative tour.
We intended to tour the World’s Fair Park but ran out of time. Many of these things are free. Most are modestly priced. Aquarium, Museum of Appalachia, American Museum of Science and Energy, and the dinner train are the most expensive, but all are worth the cost. Thanks to Elizabeth Vanzo and Kristen Coffield for the help they provided while I was here. These two are a Godsend!!!