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Knoxvillegateway to the smokies

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Dolly Parton's Favorite Street

Photo by Andrea Behrends

Photo by Andrea Behrends

Photo courtesy of Dollywood Publicity.        

Dolly Parton may be a household name—as a country singer, actress and businesswoman—but she’s never forgotten her Tennessee roots. When visiting her home state, she recommends taking the 40-minute ride southeast from Knoxville to the picturesque 14-mile Great Smoky Mountains Parkway. “It’s the road home for me and into the Great Smoky Mountains, through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg,” she says. Another reason to road trip? A decade ago, Parton told journalists she hoped to build a hotel one day on the grounds of Dollywood, her theme park in Pigeon Forge. Her dream is coming true with the aptly named DreamMore Resort, opening this summer. Visit, and you might just spot the icon herself.

Frank Allen’s Market & Grill
“It’s a gas station with a grill that has become a local hangout. They have the best slaw dogs in the county, and you might just see my bus parked there as I pick up lunch.”

Sevier County Courthouse
“A local artist named Jim Gray created a sculpture of me that sits in the courthouse yard. [The dedication] was one of the proudest moments for my daddy.”

The Old Mill
“They have some great fritters served with every down-home meal. What makes it special to me is this was one of the mills where my daddy would take our corn to be ground into meal.”

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
“This is a great family attraction with lots of fish and animals to see. They even have different exhibits every year. My nieces and nephews love it!”

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