East TN Writer

Amanda Stravinsky

Hey! I’m Amanda Stravinsky, a born-and-raised Jersey girl who now makes her home in the awesome, musically-inclined city of Nashville. My family and I vacationed in East Tennessee every year when I was young. Driving through the Great Smoky Mountains, staying in cabins in Gatlinburg, horseback riding in Pigeon Forge and Dandridge instilled in me a love for this state at an early age. I now have the privilege of working and living in Tennessee. My blog posts will center on what’s happening around this great state.  I’d love it if you joined me! Describe your perfect Tennessee day. If gas prices were virtually non-existent? Okay. The weather would be a crisp 50 degrees, bright sunshine, one or two fluffy clouds in the sky. The Nashville city skyline would be void of city haze. My day would start in Nashville with a quick run to Bongo Java for a mocha latte and a stroll through Centennial Park with my friends. Then, we’d drive to Sevier County to hike Rainbow Falls. Coming back from our hike, we would drive back to Chattanooga for the aquarium and the Southern Belle Riverboat tour. We would end the day right where we started, in Nashville, settling down for some southern home-cooking at the Loveless Café. Of course, one day wouldn’t be enough so I would add a second day and head to Memphis for some toe-tapping music and finger-licking-good barbecue. Where’s the first place you’d take a friend visiting Tennessee? Being an honorary Nashvillian, I would have to take my friend to downtown Broadway to experience the sights, smells and sounds of live music blaring from the honky- tonks, flashing neon lights and that lingering smell that tells you some great BBQ is always at your fingertips. If you could meet one historical Tennessean, who would it be and why? (This can be someone still living.) I’ve always wanted to meet Aretha Franklin who was born and raised in Memphis. It would be an honor to be in the presence of one of the great singers of our time, to hear her story of how she used her powerhouse voice to break into the music industry. Also, I would ask her for some singing lessons.


Stories By Amanda

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Winterfest 25th

Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebrates 25 Years

Written by: Dave Jones, East Tennessee Regional Manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Smoky Mountain Winterfest celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with...Read on

Belle Meade Christmas2


If there’s one thing Tennessee does well, besides being the global music destination of choice, it’s blowing the dust off history and bringing it back...Read on

Courtesy of Melly Kay, Flickr Creative Commons

Just in time for the holidays: Tennessee sweet treats

The holidays are right around the corner and if there’s one thing many agree with, it’s that holiday calories don’t count. Good thing, too, because...Read on

Starry Nights 2012-30

Experience Memphis holiday magic

Any trip to Memphis is special, but a visit during the holidays is even more magical. Across the city during December, you’ll find parades, holiday-themed...Read on

ober gatlinburg


When it comes to ice skating, I’m no Michelle Kwan. My kind of skating is the let’s-inch-very-slowly-to-the-wall-without-falling variety. But, that doesn’t stop me from lacing...Read on


Make a list, check it twice. Shopping in Tennessee is everything nice

The holiday season is (finally!) upon us. Christmas lights in small towns and big cities are switching on, giving Tennessee a warm holiday glow; parades...Read on

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Start at country music’s beginning in Bristol, TN/VA

Written by: Dave Jones, East Tennessee Regional Manager for the Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development I would like to take you back in time to...Read on