Cummins Falls

My 2013 East Tennessee Bucket List: Music, Mountains, and More

This time of year people are talking about their Bucket Lists, which is just a fun way of saying, “No more delays! I’m finally going to do something I’ve always wanted to do.”

My Bucket List—and probably yours too—has a half-dozen Tennessee destinations.

Blackberry Farm in Walland bolts to the top in the “pamper me” category. With a pastoral setting in the Great Smoky Mountains, this luxury accommodation offers its own Foothills Cuisine, a wellness spa, and a whole host of recreational activities. So maybe I’ll find my way to a sumptuous feather bed….

At the rustic end of the spectrum, 2013 might be the year I trek up to LeConte Lodge and enjoy Smoky Mountain panoramic vistas from above 6,500 ft. before crawling into a bunk for a hard-earned rest. I’m going to set my sights on checking this adventure off my Bucket List. You might decide this is your year to hike some or all of the 71 miles of the Appalachian Trail that run through the national park.

Drop Me in the Water 

Have you visited Tennessee’s newest state park? Cummins Falls State Park near Cookeville deserves a spot on your Bucket List. Its magnificent waterfalls drop to a series of rock “steps” into one of the state’s best swimming holes. And while you’re getting soaked you might as well try a wet’n’wild adventure at RiverRush, Tennessee’s first water coaster. The new attraction opens in May at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

Cummins Falls

Start Your Engines

Maybe this is your year for NASCAR (Isn’t every year a NASCAR year?) NASCAR comes to Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17 for the Food City 500. The roar of engines won’t drown out Grammy Award-winning artist Charlie Daniels and his band, performing at the pre-race show. NASCAR returns to Bristol for Irwin Tools Race Night on Aug. 24.

Jam Out at the Best Festivals in the Country

Will you join tens of thousands of music fans from across the country and spend four days at Bonnaroo 2013? Often called “America’s best music festival,” this celebration of diverse music styles will overtake Manchester June 13-16. No telling who’ll be performing just yet.

Music of a different sort takes over downtown Knoxville during the Rossini Festival. The festival’s not-to-be-missed International Street Fair will April 27 and the Knoxville Opera’s production of “Cinderella” plays April 26 and April 28.

Tennessee’s History 

2013 is a landmark year in Tennessee history, so I plan to participate in observances of the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears. Ross’ Landing in Chattanooga and Red Clay State Park in Cleveland will host commemoration events during August and September. This year is also the 150th anniversary of the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga. The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will host the 2013 Civil War Signature Event on Oct. 10-12.

Order or Download the 2013 Vacation Guide


The 2013 Tennessee Vacation Guide just arrived and will be a great source for you in putting together your Bucket List. This fully illustrated FREE guide to the attractions and activities in the Volunteer State will be your wish book. You can find new places to put on your Bucket List as quickly as your check off the ones already there. Order a copy or download the eguide by clicking here.

Hi! I’m Linda Lange. As a travel writer living in Knoxville, I fully appreciate barbecue, bluegrass and Dollywood. My story...Read on


  1. Pingback: A Bucketful of To-Dos in West Tennessee | Tennessee Triptales

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    We will be goibg to Gatlinburg/Pigeon forge april 20-25. Looking for local music entertainment while we are there. Bluegrass. Mountain . Southern gospel..

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