Tucked into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the town of Maryville, TN dates far back in America’s history. Beginning as an 18th century fort, it officially became a town before the turn of that same century. Just twenty short miles from the bright lights and fun of Knoxville, it retains a small-town feel and, as it is surrounded by beautiful scenery, it is a popular place among the region’s many travelers.
What to Do in Maryville
While one of the common things to do during a visit to Maryville is to actually leave it and head into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (with an entrance just 13 miles from downtown), there is a great deal to see and do in the town itself. A brief list of the local activities include:
- The Alcoa-Maryville Greenway – Running between the two towns, it features a riverside footpath and bicycle path with many ways to enter or exit along the way. Nine miles in length, it begins in Maryville’s Sandy Springs Park and you will often be able to access shopping districts and nature areas from the trail.
- Sam Houston Historic Schoolhouse – Though associated with Texas, Sam Houston originated in East Tennessee and was a teacher in the Maryville area. A visit here is unforgettable and truly charming at any time of year.
- Blount County Historical Museum – Located in town, it can be a great companion to a visit to the Cades Cove Museum and the Sam Houston site (above) if you want a good history of the region.
- Capitol Theater – This authentic Art Deco treasure dates back to the 1920s and can seat around one thousand guests. Book a tour, and visit their coffee house.
- The Antique Malls – If you are an antique enthusiast, you have some great choices right in Maryville, including the Parkway Antique Mall and the Druid Hill Antique Mall, among others.
- Foothills Mall – A classic mall with movie theater, shops, and big box stores, it also features specialty stores and eateries.
- Vineyards and Breweries – Like other areas of the region, Maryville also meets the needs and interests of those eager to sample local specialties that include wine and other alcoholic beverages. Options popular with travelers include Blue Goose Farm and Vineyards, Round 6 Brewing, and Pleasant Hill Vineyards, among others.
When the weather is fine, there is even more you can do and see in town. For example, there is a fully functional drive-in movie theater, The Parkway Drive-In, that remains open from spring through fall.
Don’t forget that the area is ideal for cabin rentals all year long, and these can serve as a wonderful base from which to make a greater exploration of Maryville and the entire region. Whether you head to Look Rock Tower along the Foothills Parkway (another great thing to explore while in town) or do a food tour of the many barbecue restaurants and other specialty foods, you can make an entire vacation from this one town and the natural beauty all around it.
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