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Aquarium Action

This summer, the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, TN, will debut the Tennessee River Gorge Explorer, a catamaran-style vessel that will take visitors on an eco-cruise through the Tennessee River Gorge. 

In addition, the aquarium's new two-Day Big Fish Pass now allows visitors to extend their visit with unlimited access to both aquarium buildings over a two-day period. 


Holly Jolly Christmas Year-Round in Pigeon Forge,

If you LOVE Christmas, then you must stay at the Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, TN. SouthernTravelNews.com stayed at the property in fall 2009 and found it a delightful and cheery home away from home. From its holiday decor to its Singing Santa, the hotel enchants on many levels. Best of all, you can enjoy the Christmas spirit year-round right in the heart of East Tennessee's tourism area in the shadow of the Smokies.
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Victorian Rugby: Americana with a British Flair

Seeking a slice of Americana with a decidedly British aura? Then head for tiny Rugby, a restored Victorian town in east Tennessee's Cumberland Mountains. Boasting 20 structures from the 1880s including gingerbread homes, a picturesque church (see the photo at left), an old school and historic library, the village is a Victorian treasure trove. Join Knoxville-based freelance writer Katy Koontz for a snapshot of this enchanting village.
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Above the Rim: Knoxville Showcases Women's Hoops

Not surprisingly, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame is in Knoxville, TN, the home town of the Lady Volunteers, this year's NCAA National Champions. The Hall boasts an unusual exterior design feature -- a massive basketball and net (shown at left). Travel writer Katy Koontz takes readers on the Grand Tour, outlining the exhibits and explaining how visitors may play out their "hoop dreams."
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Good Times in Tennessee - With or Without Country

Country music is Nashville's lifeblood. But visitors will discover a lot more to see and do in the city than just country music-focused activities. Whether you're a fan or not, Nashville is a vibrant, eclectic city with a slew of rewarding diversions.

Nashville resident Tim Leffel, our local freelance writer on the scene, offers readers an excellent glimpse into the city's draws -- both country music attractions plus a local plantation, museums, historic sites and sporting venues. Come along as he uncovers the real Nashville.
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Nashville's Hot Chicken and Fish Joints

If you're looking for hot southern fried chicken and fish, then you'll love Nashville. Freelance travel writer Tim Leffel takes us to Nashville's top spots, where tangy chicken delights can set your lips on fire and the fried fish is served piping hot. Looking for ambience? You won't find it at most of these spots. But that's okay. It's the southern food that stars here.
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What's New in Pigeon Forge?

Pigeon Forge, a prime gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a tourist favorite. It boasts multiple dining, shopping and entertainment venues. It's also home to Dollywood, Dolly Parton's theme park (see our full-blown update on Dollywood on our Theme Park page!).

What's new for 2007 at Pigeon Forge? How about an inn focused entirely on Christmas theming? Or, a new Zorb attraction? Harley fans also have something to cheer about. And visitors will find new dining venues.

Here is a sampling of what you'll find different and enticing this year if you're headed to East Tennessee and this popular area.
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Smoky Mountain High... Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park delivers exhilerating natural beauty at a great price -- park entry is free. Outdoor adventure activities abound for visitors -- from hiking and biking, to white water rafting and kayaking.

Our freelance writer Katy Koontz, based in Knoxville, TN, is our expert on the scene reporting back to readers on the "Top 10 Most Fun and Interesting Things to do in the Smokies."

Take a walk on the wild and natural side, and delve into the activities at Great Smoky Mountain National
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