NavCal River Rides' canopied boat sends visitors floating down the picturesque Tennessee River, acquainting them with the history and hijinks of steamboat captains and Civil War veterans. The seasoned skipper channels the spirit of Samuel Clemens, spinning family-friendly yarns and sharing 19th-century mustache-combing tips during a 90-minute cruise aboard a craft equipped with a restroom and $1 refreshments. Additionally, youngsters can hone their navigation skills while steering the vessel on the way past the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s famed “body farm” forensic-anthropology center. On select dates, Ms. Drusilla hops aboard to divulge the spookier details of the river’s history during a 45-minute haunted history tour that regales guests with frightening tales of ghostly barges and terrifying legends of a beast that is both cat and fish. NavCal also provides river-taxi cruises to home football games that depart from South Knoxville Bridge, The Landings Riverfront Apartments, and River Towne Condominiums.
Overlooking a mountain stream at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Comfort Inn in Gatlinburg features homey comforts in close proximity to Tennessee’s major attractions. The hotel is next door to outdoor excursions and only a few minutes from Dollywood. Smoke-free rooms harbor microwaves and refrigerators, as well as private balconies that face breathtaking Smoky Mountain vistas. Each morning, staff members set out a complimentary hot breakfast in the lobby with eggs, fresh fruit, and several waffle flavors.
In addition to spelunking expeditions, Greater Outdoor Adventures? guides run whitewater-rafting and hiking excursions in the Smokey Mountains area. The instructors are well trained, safety conscious, and capable of handling any diplomatic emergencies that may arise during encounters with the mole people.