Summer Staycation

My wife and I stopped at the Tennessee Welcome Center on I-81 southbound as we were driving home from Virginia. The center is directly across the interstate from the Grand Guitar.

A banner reading “National Tourism Week” gave me reason to stop and think. What local tourist attractions have I not yet seen? Many people make an effort to visit famous attractions when traveling but often overlook those that are closest to home.

I grew up in New York but never took the ferry to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. I visited the observation deck of the Empire State Building as a tourist in 1999, 20 years after moving away from New York. At least I did get to the World Trade Center’s observation deck while still a New York resident.

I’ve started a to-do list of places to visit in East Tennessee. So far, I’ve thought of James White’s Fort, the Museum of Appalachia and The Lost Sea. I’m sure there are many more.

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