Spring Road Trip, Part I

Jump in the car and let’s go check out some great, local road trip destinations in East Tennessee!

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Now that March is here, spring is just around the corner. You can probably tell by all our spring-themed posts that we’ve got spring fever! Now that we’re officially out of hibernation mode, it’s time to plan for some fun.

One of the most fun things to do around here in the springtime is go road-tripping. We’ve put together a few short day-trip itineraries for East Tennessee. Read on to plan your next local adventure!

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Morristown

Panther Creek Park Overlook

Even if the weather is bad, taking the drive to Panther Creek and getting a look at the magnificent vista at the overlook is worth it. Trees are already budding out, and bulbs are popping into bloom all over, which is all just icing on the cake. The view will still be lovely in the summer, but right now is a great time to get up there, because the bare trees mean you’ll get a much better view of the lake below.

And, as an added bonus: if the weather is good, be sure to take a walk in the woods on one of the many trails in the park!

Downtown Skywalk

Downtown Morristown’s Skywalk is in good company: Paris and New York have also recently put time and effort into fixing up similar pedestrian structures. This article in The Architects Newspaper offers a nice discussion on the history and significance of this famous structure—famous, at least, around here! Take an hour or two to wander the elevated sidewalks that rendered downtown Morristown a 1960s utopian dream.

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Tinsley-Bible Drug Co.

This old pharmacy has been in business since 1911. The lunch counter (and old-fashioned soda fountain!) is open Monday through Friday, and it’s a great place to rustle up a burger and dipped ice cream cone.

Douglas Dam

Even if you’re not a civil engineer buff, Douglas Dam (and Lake) is definitely worth a visit. Wildlife around the dam and water is prolific, including fish, birds, deer, turkey and more! And, of course, you can spend a great afternoon on a rental jetski or boat on the water.

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Knoxville

Sunsphere

The famous World’s Fair Park Sunsphere forever changed the Knoxville skyline in 1982. Today, its observation deck is open and free to visit, offering pretty spectacular views of the park and surrounding cityscape. Note: there has been an operational restaurant at the top of the Sunsphere at different times over the years, but it’s currently only available for special events. If you’re getting hungry, you can always picnic in the park or take a walk over to Market Square for a bite.

Market Square

In May, the seasonal Farmer’s Market gets underway, but until then, Market Square in Knoxville is still worth an afternoon of your time. There are lots of local boutiques and artisans with wares to sell, public art and great food—much of it local! Don’t forget to walk over to Gay Street and check out Mast General Store and all the gourmet restaurants there.

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Family Activities for Spring and Summer Breaks!

If you’re planning to stick close to home and you need a way to keep your kids occupied, here are a few ideas.

It’s just a hair past Valentine’s Day. You know what that means: time to start thinking about what to do with your kids for spring and summer break! You may think it’s way too early, but some of the most popular summer activities can fill up pretty quickly. Lots of families like to enjoy spring and summer breaks out of town, on a family vacation, but if you’re planning to stick close to home and you need a way to keep your school-aged kids occupied, here are a few ideas. (Note: East Tennessee is actually packed with great family activities, so this isn’t even close to a complete list!)

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If you’re in Morristown:

Morristown Library

The library is always a great activity staple: it’s educational, relaxed and fun for the kids. Wednesday morning story time for the little ones starts at 10:30. Remember the summer reading program from when you were a kid? Relive the magic with your kids, now! They can win cool prizes for completing reading challenges. See the website for more details.

Boys and Girls Club

Morristown is lucky to have a thriving Boys and Girls Club to serve its youth. Offering after-school activities and school holiday hours, this is a place where kids can go to interact with peers, get help with schoolwork, learn skills in physical education, arts and more! It’s a community-minded facility, and many kids who start out at the Boys and Girls Club grow up to volunteer here. See the website for more details.

Rose Center

Rose Center Summer Academy of the Arts and Rose Center Summer Players are two time-honored traditions for this historic school building. Visit the website to learn more.

If you’re near Knoxville (or willing to drive about an hour to get there):

The Muse

The Muse is a fun hands-on kids’ museum in Knoxville. Worth the day trip, there are themed activities and even a planetarium on site. It’s only $7 per person for admission, and $2 for a planetarium show. Check out their schedule for more information.

Zoo Knoxville

The zoo offers spring and fall break camps for kids aged 6-10. The price for members is $155, and for non-members is $175. Kids have a learning theme to go with their week. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9-3. You’ll need to pack their sack lunches, but drinks are provided. See the zoo’s camp page for more details.

Summer week camps are the same prices, but the age range is wider: ages 4 all the way to 13, grouped appropriately. These are also learning themed, with many topics and dates to choose from. As in the spring/fall break camps, kids bring their own lunches and drinks are provided.

Here’s a bigger list of free and inexpensive Knoxville activities to give you more ideas.

To see great Morristown family events at a glance, see the calendar at this site. 2017 has a great lineup of free music, sports activities and holiday events coming up.

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Of course, don’t forget our area’s great public spaces! City parks, state parks and national parks are all close by for a healthy way to connect with our lovely Tennessee environment.

Many local churches also plan great spring break and summer activities for kids, so look into those, too!

If you’re interested in real estate in beautiful East Tennessee, go to DarleneReeves-Kline.com to browse and contact us with any questions you might have.