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In order to get to Gatlinburg, you’ll have to drive through Knoxville, Tennessee. Resist the urge to hit the gas and, instead, stop to check out the Sunsphere, a 266-foot-tall golden disco ball in the sky. The Sunsphere was built as part of Knoxville’s 1982 World’s Fair, and is situated in World’s Fair Park. For picturesque and panoramic views of the University of Tennessee, the Smokies, the Tennessee River, the Tennessee Amphitheater, and fountains in the park, visitors can take a free elevator ride to the observatory deck on the fourth floor. Go one more floor up to the Icon Ultra Lounge where you can dine on a Sunburger (grass-fed patty with homemade salsa, chives, and local cheese) and have a glass of wine or a cocktail while soaking in that view.
Originally published in the March 2014 issue.