Grab your girlfriends for a shopping getaway to the Smoky Mountains this summer.
Escape the heat while cashing in on bargains.
Revamp your wardrobe with a little help from your friends.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Summer is swimsuit season.
For most women, those aren’t happy words.
In bedrooms across the nation, summer kicks off with a common private ritual: You pull on your swimming suit, look in the mirror, peel that thing off as fast as possible, then stuff it back in the drawer muttering a familiar promise to yourself: Next summer you’ll have that bikini bod.
This summer, take action. You don’t need a new you. You need a new swimming suit.
Think shopping is about as much fun as starting a diet? Think again! Turn what might otherwise be a chore into a vacation. Grab the gals whose opinions you trust most and head for the Tennessee Smoky Mountains for a girlfriends’ getaway focused on shopping. Your pals can help steer you to buy what flatters most then chat over a shared bottle of wine or moonshine in a cozy mountain cabin after a productive day of shopping.
The mountains not the beach? Heck yeah! Sevierville boasts abundant shopping opportunities from outlet malls to high-end boutiques, specialty shops to flea markets, art galleries to antique shops—plus cool mountain temperatures to help you keep feeling fresh even while strolling from shop to shop toting bags of newfound treasures.
Saving money on what you need, want and find is easy: Just download the Sevierville Smoky Mountains and Tanger apps and also pick up a coupon book at the Sevierville Visitors Center. Expect to find the latest styles plus basic essentials, abundant store inventories, and even skilled service providers like style consultant Donna Roland of Faithfully Fashionable, who can help guide a total makeover based on your skin tone, body shape, frame size, and personality during a Girls’ Night Out Style Party or one-on-one personal styling services.
Tanger Outlets Sevierville is one of the brand’s most popular locations and the largest authentic outlet center in the state of Tennessee. It offers brand names in nearly 100 stores at discount prices of up to 70 percent off retail on designer clothing, shoes, jewelry, handbags and other items. (You can even sweeten the deals: Buy a Tanger Coupon Book for $5 to help save over $1,675—the book is free for police, fire, rescue service and military personnel.) For swimwear, head first to PacSun, Aerie, Old Navy, Chico’s, Lane Bryant, Eddie Bauer, Banana Republic or Catherine’s Plus Sizes.
Once you choose swimwear, may as well tackle the next two most challenging items on every girl’s shopping list: bras and jeans. Find great selections at L’eggs Hanes Bali Playtex for lingerie and Levi’s and Lucky Brands for jeans.
After bagging the trifecta of wardrobe necessities, you can update your look from head to toe at Tanger Outlets Sevierville: Grab some new shoes from the Clarks Outlet and new earrings from the Kay Jewelers Outlet. Choose a new perfume at the Fragrance Outlet, a new handbag from Coach, plus some new workwear at the Uniform Destination or Talbots. Find outfits for any occasion at designer stores such as Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Ann Taylor.
Just for fun, you might take a shopping break to play a round of miniature golf at Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Mini-Golf, conveniently located at Tanger Outlets Sevierville. Play the “Chicken Eggspress,” “Porky Putts,” or the “Udder Course” surrounded by animatronic farm animals that comment on your golf swing. Grab lunch or dinner nearby at The Chop House, a casual steakhouse that serves grilled steaks, prime rib and seafood plus a variety of wines.
With rack after rack of cute finds it’s easy to spend an entire day at Tanger Outlets Sevierville, but it’s not the only shopping haven in town. Just next door is the Governor’s Crossing Outlet Center, home to two dozen stores from familiar favorites like Sally Beauty Supply, Shoe Carnival and JoAnn Fabric & Craft Store to unique options like Your Scrapbook Clearance Store, which sells an impressive selection of scrapbook supplies at 50 percent off, and Country Clutter, which specializes in home décor items as well as fashion accessories and handbags.
While revamping your look, don’t miss Sevierville’s boutique shops. At Boot Factory Outlet choose any pair of Western, work, hiking, fashion or motorcycle boots and get two additional pairs free—and, yes, you and two friends can each choose a pair and split the cost of the highest priced pair! Prefer moccasins? Head to Cherokee Trading Post for soft leather footwear as well as oodles of jewelry. BAAK Boutique stocks trendy women’s fashion, from flirty tops to adorable socks. Loralei’s offers a selection of jewelry, clothing and more from local artists as well as name brands. Sweetbriar Boutique has women’s clothing styles to fit any taste and budget in sizes ranging from small to XXXL.
Make time to visit the bronze statue of Dolly Parton on the courthouse lawn in historic downtown Sevierville; the tribute to the superstar by her hometown community is the perfect place to snap a selfie. Then indulge your sweet tooth at Courthouse Donuts, a design-your-own donut shop. Choose an icing like chocolate or vanilla, a topping like peanuts, coconut or sprinkles, and a sauce such as caramel or marshmallow cream, then watch as a fluffy vanilla cake ring is prepared to your specifications.
If you feel ready to drop, treat yourself to well-deserved luxury pampering at a spa that caters to girlfriend getaways with decadent treatments like pond-side nature massages or ice cream pedicures. The Spa at Oak Haven, Utopia Healing Arts Center, and Wanderlust Salon & Spa are just a few of the Sevierville spas that can help you feel refreshed.
When you’re ready to kick up your heels or just take a break between stores, the Rocky Top Wine Trail offers six sip-worthy stops. Among them is Hillside Winery, the area’s newest winery, which offers daily tours and tastings of its sparkling and Italian-style wines that range from dry to sweet, white to red. If moonshine and whiskey is more pleasing to your palate, stop by one of the local distilleries such as Thunder Road Distillery, which pours up to ten free samples of its award-winning corn whiskey, rum, rye, flavored moonshine, vodka and limited edition bourbon. Buy a bottle or more of your favorite before retreating for the night to Oak Haven Resort & Spa or Hidden Mountain Resort to enjoy more quality time with your girls.
A shopping-centric girlfriends’ getaway in Sevierville, Tennessee, is a time to revamp your wardrobe, connect with friends, plus relax and feel rejuvenated in the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains. Now that’s a summer refreshment!
Sevierville TN Chamber of Commerce: 1-888-766-5948
– Photos courtesy Visit Sevierville
This article was first published on Visit Sevierville’s official tourism website.