Skip links

Local Legends in East Tennessee

There are hundreds of famous artists, athletes, actors, and authors that have roots in East Tennessee, but not all of them kept their ties to the historic, beautiful, and mountainous place. However, a few prominent country artists saw the beauty in the landscape and culture of East Tennessee, so they wanted to give locals and tourists an opportunity for an amazing experience. From restaurants to amusement parks, Jimmy Buffett, Paula Deen, Blake Shelton, and Dolly Parton take care of us here in East Tennessee when it comes to entertainment. 

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton was born in a small community just outside of Gatlinburg. The great fame and stardom that Parton gained throughout her life did not get in the way of her burning passion for East Tennessee. From rollercoasters, water parks, live entertainment and music, exceptional food, to cozy cabins on-site, Dollywood is an incredible way to spend a family vacation. Dollywood is located within the Pigeon Forge community and is a true staple of East Tennessee. You can also check out both of her dinner shows, Pirates Voyage and Dolly Parton’s Stampede!

Jimmy Buffet

Jimmy Buffet is an American singer and songwriter with ties to country and pop music, but he essentially created his own “island” genre of music. Buffett gave Americans a resort to express and replicate his imagination – Margaritaville. There are several Margaritaville resorts within the United States, and East Tennessee is lucky enough to have its very own. Located in Pigeon Forge, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville of East Tennessee provides customers a look into Jimmy Buffett’s music, passions, and imagination. Plus, there are exciting activities and amazing food to try!

Paula Deen

Paula Deen – the queen of southern cooking. East Tennessee is fortunate enough to be the home to one of Paula Deen’s five Family Kitchens. Located on the island of Pigeon Forge, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen offers more than just incredible southern food and great views. It also offers a dining experience like no other. All of the items on the menu are served “family-style,” which means entrees and sides are meant to be passed around the table and enjoyed by everyone. 

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton actually opened his staple restaurant, bar, and venue, Ole Red, last year in Gatlinburg. Ole Red is a place anyone could easily spend an entire day filled with fun. Blake Shelton wanted to create an experience for country music fans, tourists, locals, and everyone else to enjoy together. Ole Red offers live entertainment, dining, drinks, dancing, shopping, and our favorite – surprise visits from the country star himself. 

The next time you visit East Tennessee, be sure to explore these amazing sites created and inspired by some true legends in the music industry. Whether it is on your way into East Tennessee or on your way out, be sure to stay a night or two with us at Whitestone Inn to wind down and enjoy the amazing views in the foothills of the Smokies. Visit our website to book your stay today.