The Sidecar Inn is a great base for day trips to explore the many interesting destinations in the surrounding area. Below are suggestions for day trips.
In 1927 a series of recordings were made that included the first recording of Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum tells the story of these earliest recordings of country music, and how that sound continues to reverberate down through the years to today.
Oak Ridge, TN
Known as “The Secret City” from its origins during the Manhattan project, Oak Ridge was built to house those working on the project. Construction started in 1942, and within a couple of years Oak Ridge was the fifth largest city in Tennessee. The American Museum of Science and Energy and the Y-12 History Center are both good sites to visit to learn about the history of the Manhattan Project and Oak Ridge’s contributions. As of this writing in March of 2022, the Y-12 History Center is not open due to Covid. Roger has found it to be very interesting, and hopes it will reopen soon.
Museum of Appalachia
Located about 40 miles to the northwest, near Clinton TN, is a museum that recreates an Appalachian community on 65 acres. A vast collection of folk art, musical instruments, baskets, quilts, Native American artifacts, and more, are on display.
Cities & Parks
One of my favorite towns to visit is Asheville, located just a couple of hours to the east on I-40. From the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Biltmore, the NC Arboretum, live music, art galleries, and a multitude of breweries, there is much to keep one entertained. For more information, please visit their website or talk to Roger.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Located about 60 miles to the northwest, the Cumberland Gap was one of the first gateways to the west. The Visitor Center is located on U.S. Highway 25E just south of Middlesboro, Kentucky, and houses a museum with hands-on exhibits, a book sales outlet, and an auditorium featuring two films. More at the National Parks website, or here at “Another Walk in the Park” website.
Bryson City, NC
Bryson City is a town located almost due south of Gatlinburg on the opposite side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Maggie Valley is a small town located on the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains. Trout fishing, hiking, elk, and numerous festivals are among the things to do. Here is a link to an online visitor’s guide.
Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum
Dale’s Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum contains an amazing array of antique, and rare, motorcycles as well as memorabilia. Many of the bikes are in running condition. I’ve been there a few times and often one of the bikes was taken outside and started.
Cataloochee Valley & Elk Watching
A variety of wildlife, including elk, frequent the area. The roads leading into the valley both contain a long stretch of gravel road, sharp curves, and steep drop offs. Vehicles pulling trailers and RVs are not recommended. Another guide to the area is here on a Maggie Valley webpage.
Abundant trout fishing is available on both the North Carolina and Tennessee sides of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
These are but a few suggestions for day trips. There are many others!