Staff picks: Favorite part of living in East Tennessee


Ed Dudrick

The mountains and fall colors are two of our favorite parts of East Tennessee. One of the best ways to see them is through the BHS Hiking Club. This shot was taken on Sunday’s hike to Charlies Bunion.

We can daydream about traveling to exotic locales and partaking in fantastical adventures, but the reality is that, for the time being, we’re stuck here in East Tennessee. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though – in fact, there are some things that our writers really love about East Tennessee.

There are lots of great things about East Tennessee, but the thing I am thankful for the most is the chain of convenience stores known as Weigel’s. The thing about Weigel’s is that, like their description implies, they are convenient. They provide delicious milk and dairy products at VERY low prices. Also, if I’m ever in the mood for some beef jerky, that’s the place I’ll go because of their large variety of jerky options. Also, with the exception of the occasional shifty character, the service at Weigel’s is the definition of southern hospitality. Weigel’s is the place to go if you are visiting East Tennessee. [Graham Benefiel]

There is nothing better than an East Tennessee fall. The leaves turn the most perfect shades of orange, red, and yellow. When the wind blows and swirls the leaves around in the air it provides the most magical feeling. Everywhere seems to radiate good, warm feelings. [Zoey Line]

My favorite thing about East Tennessee is the scenery. No matter the season, it’s absolutely beautiful in the mountains, or just about anywhere. The rich greenery of summer, the bright colors of the fall, the skeletal trees in the winter, and the new blooms of spring are all beautiful in their own unique way. [Emily Price]

I’m just happy that there are really no major natural disasters that affect East Tennessee. We’re too far inland for hurricanes and tsunamis, too hilly for the worst tornadoes, no volcanoes, no bad wildfires, and if we get an earthquake it’s more fun than life-threatening. And even though we don’t get blizzards, we will get out of school for a sixteenth-inch of snow. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

My favorite thing about East Tennessee would have to be the allergies that you get when you live in a massive ditch (valley). Thanks, Tennessee, for the four shots a week! [Ed Dudrick]

One of the best things about East Tennessee is downtown Knoxville, from the history behind the buildings to the great food and shopping in Market Square. There is so much to do there and concerts are the best. Charming characters include Elvis and his supporting pal (wife?), great all-around folks who want to tell you life stories, and self-proclaimed hipsters that want nothing to do with your “uncultured” self. Luckily for you there is now an Urban Outfitters to help you with that situation. Saturday mornings, you can walk through the Farmers Market and get fresh produce and local wares. Friendly faces will provide you with a selection so diverse, you can sip an ice-cold peach lemonade while shopping for fancy eggplants and unique woolen socks. [Taylor A. Johnson]

My favorite thing about living in East Tennessee would have to be going to Dollywood with my friends and family. Over the summer, I basically live there. From the shows – my favorite is Dreamland Drive-In – to the roller coasters like Thunderhead and Wild Eagle, Dollywood comes very close to the place where dreams come true and I can’t wait to go back next summer. [Katie Matthews]

Tennessee has many fun experiences to offer its citizens, and one of my favorite things that Tennessee offers is a great time on the lake with my friends during the blistering hot summer days. [Litza Craig]