Summer is heating up with live music, unique festivals and fun ways to cool off and soak up outdoor adventure. Here’s what’s new, trending and sizzling this summer in Tennessee.
Here’s a look at some of the events, festivals and attractions in East Tennessee within a short drive of Hawkins County.
New Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Distilleries and Shops
Sevierville – The aroma of wood-burning and meat smoking will delight your taste buds as Veteran Chef David Rule brings new flavor at Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ in the downtown’s historic district.
Sevierville – Iron Forge Brewery brings eclectic taste, featuring an indoor tasting room, outdoor patio, restaurant and enclosed beer garden with dramatic views of Le Conte and Little Pigeon River.
Townsend – Guests can tour the new Company Distilling, enjoy a cocktail, sample Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with maple wood and listen to live music.
Johnson City – One of the city’s newest downtown restaurants is treating guests to a unique dining experience. Juan Siao celebrates a fusion of authentic Mexican and Asian cuisine.
New Hotels & Places to Stay
Pigeon Forge – Guests will soon enjoy 91 new mountain-themed guest rooms, a grand lobby, more eats and treats,diverse activities and entertainment like in-room scavenger hunts at Country Cascades Waterpark Resort, as part of the resort’s $30 million expansion.
Sevierville – SkyLand Ranch transports guests via a scenic chairlift to the top of SkyLand Ranch, where hours of fun await, including a mountain coaster, suspended bridge, canopy walks and a variety of miniature animals like cows and donkeys, which are all rescues.
New Attractions and Exhibits
Murfreesboro – See squirt guns, floating lily pads, mini boats, a fishing pond, hydroelectric dam, vortex ball drops, launchers and fun activities at the new WaterWorks exhibit at Discovery Center.
Chattanooga – Artists bring works to life inspired by myths, fairy tales and modern epics in the Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration at the Hunter Museum.
Knoxville – Learn the story of Clayton, how to protect the planet, become an otter spotter, explore fun activities and join the mission of a lifetime at theKnoxville Zoo’s Knoxville Zoo’s Clayton Otter Creek exhibit.
Trending Places this Summer
Tullahoma – Join Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. for Front Porch Fridays on the third Friday of each month, with live music, food & cocktails featuring George Dickel whiskey.
McMinnville – Experience shows from below, 333-feet underground in the world-famous spectacular Volcano Room during Cumberland Caverns Live, with concerts this summer like Jefferson Starship, 10,000 Maniacs and Reckless Kelly.
Chattanooga – Rock City celebrates its 90th anniversary with fun events like Summer Music Weekends and a year-long line-up of enhancements focused on innovation, sustainability, art and people.
Knoxville – Thousands will flock to the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall for the Brickuniverse Lego Fan Convention Aug. 13-14 downtown with LEGO builds, life-sized LEGO models and fun activities.
Anderson County – Hit the water aboard a canoe, kayak, hydro-bike, paddleboat or stand-up paddleboard while enjoying the beauty of East Tennessee, including at Norris Lake, Clinch River, Melton Hill Lake and Big Ridge State Park. Find out how to rent and book your outdoor adventure.
Johnson City – Fridays After 5, a 12-week free summer concert series in King Commons Park, is a community favorite in the heart of the historic downtown district, home to local restaurants, breweries, retail shops, parks, public art and 360-degree mountain views.
Mountain City – Throw an ax, hit the mountain biking or hiking trails, bird watch, gather around the firepit or front porch, enjoy lunch or check out a community event at Doe Mountain Recreation Area.
Summer Festivals & Events
Johnson City (June 25) – The Brothers Comatose, Kitchen Dwellers and Urban Soil are set to perform at the micro music festival, High on the Hillside, also featuring food trucks and craft beer.
Monterey (July 1-2) – Freedom Fest 2022 at Old Gray Event Center is the Upper Cumberland’s kick-off for Independence Day weekend, featuring country stars Chris Janson, Ty Herndon, Andy Griggs and Darryl Worley. Activities include a BBQ cook-off, kids’ zone, 100 vendors and fireworks show.
Granville (July 2) – Celebrate the Red, White and Blue with a firework show off the waters of Cordell Hull Lake. Bring the family, lawn chairs and picnic for the free Fireworks on the Cumberland.
Cookeville (July 4) – Experience the second largest fireworks show in Tennessee at Red, White & BOOM! Star Spangled Concert & Fireworks Spectacular at the Putnam Co. Fairgrounds. The concert kicks off at 5 p.m., followed by the fireworks show at 9 p.m.
Knoxville (July 4) – Come chill on the hill. Mabry-Hazen House hosts an old-fashioned Fourth of July Celebration 5-10 p.m. with great views, good food and beer, live music, fun games and tours of the 1958 house. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and spread out on 7 acres of green space to watch the fireworks.
Kingsport (July 15-23) – Kingsport Fun Fest is packed with live music, an art show, trash barrel paint-in, parade, scavenger hunt, downtown street fair, handmade market, and kids’ activities.
Cumberland Gap (July 16) – Explore the region’s plentiful outdoor activities like kayaking, ATV parks, guided hikes, live music and workshops during the Tri-State Outdoors Fest.
Rutledge (July 23) – The Grainger County Tomato Festival, named a top ten festival in the U.S. by Parade magazine, features local artists, authors, craftsmen, live music and world-famous tomatoes.
Knoxville (Aug. 5-6) – More than 200 quilts will be on display, with vendor demos, scavenger hunt and boutique of unique items at the Smoky Mountain Quilt Show at Knoxville Expo Center.
Johnson City (Aug. 19-20) – The Meet the Mountains festival is a one-stop-shop to experience all of the region’s outdoor opportunities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, ziplining and mountain biking.
Knoxville (Aug. 28) – Embrace culture, cuisine, film festival, crafts and fun activities during the Knox Asian Festival, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at World’s Fair Park.