Blake Walsh

22 Best Things to Do in Dandridge, TN

  • Published 2023/01/10

Old cities can teach you a lot about history, and Dandridge, with everything it offers, is no exception.

This one was Tennessee’s second-oldest city.

Like Martha Dandridge Washington, this city is overflowing with stunning features that draw thousands of tourists each year.

Walking around the streets may bring you back in time, explaining the city’s rich history.

Its natural setting also introduces tourists to the best things to do in Dandridge, Tennessee.

Don’t waste a second and start booking the trip of a lifetime.

Enjoy the View at Douglas Lake

Sunny day at Douglas Lake

Irina Mos /

Everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the natural scenery by traveling throughout the world.

Visit Douglas Lake, located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, to seize the opportunity.

This was formerly ranked among the top fishing lakes in the United States, showcasing its immense promise in terms of providing the best lakeside experience for tourists.

A vulture beside Douglas Lake

Patricia G. Adderley /

Take a breather at one of Dandridge’s wonderful attractions, where you may participate in a variety of lakeside activities.

Choose a location along the 550-mile coastline where you can be free of tension and anxiety.

On the lake, don’t forget to go boating, fishing, and swimming.

Be one of the 1.7 million people that visit this beautiful lake in East Tennessee each year.

Daytime view of Douglas Lake and the great smoky mountains

Wirestock Creators /

Drop by and Eat a Snack at Tinsley-Bible Drug Store

Would you like a drink of soda while you wait for your prescription to be filled?

Tinsley-Bible Drug Store is one of the few remaining drugstores that can provide afternoon snacks, gourmet cakes, and attractive home décor all in one location.

Drugstores were hardly complimented by tourists, let alone featured on anyone’s travel schedule.

Tinsley-Bible Drug Store, as one of the unusual things to visit in Dandridge, might completely change your perspective.

Tinsley-Bible Drug Store has been in business since 1911 and thus can be trusted.

Tinsley-Bible Drug Store should be on your list of downtown places to visit if you want to do a lot of things in one area.

Rent a Boat at the Lighthouse Pointe Marina

Lighthouse Pointe Marina provides a variety of boating services to assist you to gain a better understanding of the lake.

It can also enhance the condition of your boat if you have one.

The greatest way to see Dandridge is to get on a boat and relax in the middle of the lake.

Lighthouse Point Marina’s rental, storage, and maintenance services might help you have the wonderful trip you’ve always wanted on Douglas Lake.

Customers may select from a variety of unique boats that can accommodate up to ten people for a pleasant, enjoyable, and safe lake experience.

On the boat, you’ll find life vests and other safety equipment to keep you safe during the journey.

Visit and Help the Wolfdogs at the Wolf Paws

Wolf PAWS (Positive Awareness Wolfdog Sanctuary) offers a stable shelter for neglected and abused wolf dogs to raise awareness about this remarkable canine species.

This institution, which strikes out as one of the great places to visit in Dandridge, will soothe your animal-loving spirit.

To avoid overcrowding the wolf dogs, this park only allows individual visits.

Make an appointment ahead of time.

Bring your camera to capture the moment and make the most of your one-hour tour.

Guest may also help pursue WOLF Paws’ mission, as a non-profit organization, which is to provide wolf dogs a semi-natural atmosphere by donating a little amount.

Get a Dessert at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery

Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, founded in 1958, is pleased to provide comfort food in over 300 locations across the United States and Canada.

Make a pit stop at Perkins to sample one of the city’s most popular eateries.

If you’re traveling along Interstate 40 on your way to US Highway 92, it’s one of the places near you.

You can eat some of the world’s most popular classic American foods at any time of day here.

If you’re hungry in the morning, try going here for brunch.

Go for a Swim in the Mountain Harbor Marina

Mountain Harbor Marina has the largest boat rental facility for those who want to explore more of Douglas Lake, and its affordable costs make it even better.

Improve your sailing experience by taking advantage of the many amenities provided at Mountain Harbor Marina.

For a minimum of two hours, jet skis, sledding, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting are also available.

There are no extra fees if you use their inflatable boats for two or more hours.

If you want to spend a long time swimming on Douglas Lake, you can expand the timeframe.

Mountain Harbor Marina is unquestionably a must-see destination in Dandridge, Tennessee.

Watch a Music Performance at the Music on the Town

This is a call to all music fans out there!

During the colder seasons each year, Music on the Town delivers a free concert experience for Dandridge locals and tourists every Thursday for seven weeks.

You may also purchase meals from nearby places that have set up pop-up units throughout the performance site so that you don’t miss the musical sets that the bands have arranged particularly for you.

Learn more about bands from Tennessee and adjacent states to expand your music library with new songs and genres.

You’re not only exposing yourself to new experiences, but you’re also evolving yourself for the better.

Hike at the Smoky Mountain National Park

Scenic view from Smoky Mountain National Park

Sean Pavone /

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, established in 1926, is made up of ridge after ridge of apparently infinite woodland on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

The park is known for its biodiversity, natural beauty, and history.

A hiker sitting on the peak of Smoky Mountain National Park

Torin Shanahan /

It is a hiker’s paradise with small and challenging routes, as well as camping, fishing, picnics, and motor touring together with some journeys that may need overnight camping in the woods.

In the spring, summer, and fall, the Park conducts Ranger-led tours.

Explore the peaceful forests and hillsides to see what we can do to maintain this natural beauty.

A log cabin at Smoky Mountain National Park

Bob Pool /

Learn History at the Dandridge Dike

Dikes, such as this one in Dandridge, are an important element of the town’s infrastructure that protects the community from extensive floods.

If the Tennessee Valley Authority had not built a dike as part of the project, the town—including its economic district—would have been flooded.

Dandridge’s economy has thrived since the construction of the dike, and it continues to do so now.

Take pictures of the various markers that remind people how the Dandridge Dike rescued the town from drowning.

There are at least ten landmarks scattered across the town, so you’ll most certainly notice one everywhere you walk in Dandridge, particularly downtown.

Take photographs with your family and friends at this gorgeous overlook.

Visit Bush’s Beans Visitor Center

The Bush’s Beans Visitors Center shows tourists how the renowned business started producing beans and how it maintained its industry reputation for over a century.

You don’t have to spend money to enter the tourist center and take a tour of the bean company’s illustrious past since this location is accessible to all.

Learn more about the company’s bean production process, which will provide you with an idea of how the business works at the facility.

Spend some more time inside the café, where you may choose from a large range of foods, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.

If you’re already in town, it’s undoubtedly one of the locations to see today.

Play Golf at the Dandridge Golf & Country Club

Dandridge Golf and Country Club first opened its doors in 1980 and now has 27 holes, eighteen of whom were designed by Dan Maples.

Within a twenty-mile radius of the city’s corporate bonds, there are three golfing courses.

Tropical courses and curled grass layouts are featured on all of them.

Regardless of the golfer’s skill level, Dandridge Golf and Country Club provide an entertaining game of golf.

These courses provide panoramic vistas of the Smoky Mountains and Douglas Lake, a mild environment throughout the year, and the occasional glimpse of deer and other species grazing in the fairways, in addition to a fantastic round of golf.

Have a Delicious Meal at the Taste of Dandridge

The Taste of Dandridge, which opened in 2011, delivers wonderful Southern-inspired cuisine to the market.

It may be difficult to find great dining in town, but restaurants like these show that you are not losing out.

People come to Taste of Dandridge for its lunch specialties, which are prepared in a restaurant with a simple but classy ambiance.

It also has enough room for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.

The city’s restaurant scene, it’s truly a well-kept gem.

Start your meals with appetizers and their signature rib-eye steak to pique your appetite, then finish with a scrumptious dessert.

Buy Home Decors at the Shoppes at Roper Mansion

The Shoppes at Roper Mansion provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience as well as tours of the beautifully landscaped Federal mansion.

Roper Mansion, built in 1820, now offers antiques, collectibles, gifts, home décor, vintage jewelry, and even a pet store.

The elegant ballroom has been transformed into an art gallery with original paintings from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, signed and dated prints, sculptures, and folk art.

There are four porches from which to rest and take in the sights of Dandridge’s wonderful old town.

Located at 218 W Main Street Dandridge, Tennessee, Shoppes at Roper Mansion is a great place to go shopping.

Eat a Lovely Dinner at Bush’s Family Café

Bush’s Family Café is part of the home company that produces Tennessee’s iconic beans.

It is situated within the Bush Family Center’s grounds.

This café is not only one of the nicest places to dine in Dandridge, but it is also one of the city’s top attractions.

There’s also a museum, a general store, and a gift shop here.

Furthermore, this location emits a welcoming ambiance that both children and adults will enjoy.

Try their popular pulled pork barbecue sandwich, which has received positive feedback from past customers.

To make your typical breakfast even more appetizing, add the fan-favorite Bush’s Chili Pot.

Visit the Lake at Swann’s Marina

Swann’s Marina, originally built in 1943, is a facility that offers tourists a wonderful time on the lake for quite a long time.

For decades, this offers excellent and high-quality boat rentals.

Swann’s Marina stands out among the marinas and boat rental businesses around Douglas Lake since having a cafeteria where you may relax in the afternoon.

Start your day off quite well by hiring one of their boats, which are available in a variety of sizes.

Inquire about their fishing equipment so you may spend the remainder of the day fishing with your family or friends.

Its extensive history in the market may also attest to why tourists return to this location year after year.

Engage in Sports in the Field of Dreams Activity Center

Field of Dreams Activity Center, located at 1145 Treadway Dr, Dandridge, Tennessee, is a 31,000-square-foot facility that is meant to improve residents’ quality of life.

It is a location where people of all ages and backgrounds may enjoy recreational activities.

Indoor soccer and basketball games, as well as workshops like body shaping, pilates, and Aerobics, are all available here.

Many different forms of organized children’s sports are held at the sports center.

Aside from athletic activities, the Field of Dreams Activity Center offers a variety of amenities such as an Activity Room, Baseball and Football Fields, Gyms, and a Pavilion.

Have a Tasty Breakfast at Owen’s Restaurant

Are you looking for family-friendly restaurants in Dandridge?

There’s no need to search further because Owen’s Restaurant provides everything you’re looking for in terms of atmosphere and cuisine.

Owen’s Restaurant is the city’s favorite breakfast spot, featuring classic Southern fare.

It’s a Dandridge restaurant run by a family and may be found at 834 TN-92, Dandridge, TN.

People enjoy coming here in the morning since it is one of the few cafes in the city that opens early.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Dandridge Partnership Trail

Among the natural attractions in the city you can enjoy is the Dandridge Partnership Trail.

Located in the southern part of the Highway 92 Bridge, the trail spans more than a mile providing visitors with wonderful sceneries of the Douglas Reservoir.

This gives you opportunities to enjoy swimming and fishing at the lake.

Likewise, get connected with nature, stroll around the area and meet some wildlife along the way.

Pitch your tents and go hiking on the trail.

You can also bring your leashed furry family member to discover the outdoors with you.

Explore the Dandridge Partnership Trail.

Join the Traditions at the Scots-Irish Festival

Become one of the locals and enjoy the events at the Scots-Irish Festival.

The festival is free to the public and is held annually between the city’s Main Street and Gay Street on Highway 92.

It aims to provide entertainment while promoting and educating people about the rich heritage of the early Scots-Irish settlers in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina areas during the 1700s.

The events kick off with a traditional bagpipe concert by the Knoxville Pipes and Drums, followed by an opening ceremony and a parade on Main Street.

Catch the Pipe Band Playoff Competition and get to appreciate Appalachian music along with the uniqueness of the Celtic roots.

You can also watch amazing demonstrations of Irish Step and Highland dancing.

Little ones can join in the fun with plenty of games and activities like jump ropes, Lincoln logs, rocking horses, Jenga, and marble runs.

Watch as dogs parade along Main Street or bring your well-behaved dogs to join the parade.

The Scots-Irish Festival ends with a performance by the Lone Piper at the top of Loch Douglas.

Check-In at The Dandridge Point Resort

Enjoy a restful stay by the lakeside and a view of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at The Dandridge Point Resort.

This lakefront hotel is located at Boat Dock Drive offering a relaxing getaway for your family.

Their full-service marina includes amenities like a fuel dock, a ship store, boat ramps, courtesy docking, and more.

You can also take advantage of vacation packages like camping, dining, skiing, or boating.

Enjoy delicious fares at their full-service restaurant, catch some entertainment, or visit nearby cities like Knoxville.

Several golf courses are also located nearby in case you want to have some golf games.

Have a memorable stay at The Dandridge Point Resort.

Grab Quick Bites and Drinks at Alleyway Caffe

If you’re looking for some tasty quick bites and beverages to perk you up, you can drop by Alleyway Caffe

This family-owned coffee shop on East Main Street serves a variety of local coffee flavors and herbal teas for you to enjoy.

Have an Iced Chai or White Chocolate Raspberry and Vanilla Latte; you can also choose from delicious seasonal drinks on the menu.

And who doesn’t like a cup of good hot chocolate to brighten up the day?

Aside from assorted drinks, you’ll surely love to bite into some double chocolate crescents and cinnamon rolls.

For yummy baked goods to start your morning, you can have cherry almond or blueberry scones.

Other Alleyway Caffe favorites include cheese danish, chocolate chip cookies, cakes, cookies, and brownies.

Enjoy Camping and Leisure Activities at Anchor Down RV Resort

Want to camp out in an RV? Anchor Down RV Resort on Highway 139 is the perfect spot to park and enjoy.

The location offers 170 spacious sites with nightly rates available.

There are plenty of amenities like amp services, full hookups, laundry facilities, fire pits, and others.

Your family will enjoy lots of water activities like boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, or swimming.

Likewise, they have a pool with a waterslide and a kiddie pool you can go to for a relaxing swim.

Volleyball, pickleball, and basketball courts are also available for your sports activities; otherwise, you can enjoy games like cornhole and gaga ball.

Little ones have more to enjoy at the playground area while you grill some barbecue at the covered pavilions or set up a picnic at the tables.

Your fur buddies will surely have fun at the leash-free pet park equipped with pet stations.

Have great family outdoor activities at Anchor Down RV Resort.

Final Thoughts

Dandridge, Tennessee, has long been a popular tourist destination.

After all, who wouldn’t want to visit a destination with breathtaking views, fascinating history, a refreshing atmosphere, and kind-hearted people?

Aside from that, this city has a diverse food culture.

Treat your loved ones on a Dandridge trip to see the soothing natural landscape, well-known restaurants, heart-pounding excursions, and much more.

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