At the turn of the 20th century, the plantation that was to become Frightmare Manor was just a regular estate, owned by seemingly upstanding citizen Jeremiah Lexer. Lexer, however, turned out to be one of America's earliest and Tenessee's most prolific serial killer. More than 30 corpses were unearthed throughout the property and in its marshy backwoods--and even after Lexer took his own life, mysterious deaths continued to plague the plantation.
Nowadays, Frightmare Manor draws on this horrifying history with haunted houses recently featured in Hauntworld the Magazine and named the #1 Haunted Attraction in Eastern Tennessee by Knoxville News Media. The hair-raising events sprawl across 4.5 acres that house four attractions, including the mansion and its wooded grounds. As visitors explore, spooky special effects and actors create thrills scarier than many haunted houses' ghost-shaped wall decals.
Photographer Genelda Myers lives with her family in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, a setting whose craggy beauty allows her to constantly practice her specialty: outdoor photography. Drawing on a college degree in photography and graphic design, Myers directs traditional yet relaxed shoots that capture subjects at ease amid scenic outdoor environs. The resulting images, which Genelda converts to print and digital forms, chronicle landmark moments ranging from a newlywed’s first kiss to a child’s first altercation with a garden hose.
Weaverville Yoga's passionate instructors help aspiring yogis pose, stretch, and align themselves toward physical wellness and spiritual serenity with tension-melting Kundalini and therapeutic yoga classes. The serene studio’s muted tones and natural light set a soothing stage for a robust schedule, engendering relaxation as students vogue through body-bending poses. During exhilarating Kundalini yoga sessions, students harness holistic balance and serenity through poses facilitated by meditative pranayama breathing and underscored by tranquil music. The studio's gentle yoga classes share therapeutic yogic techniques to aid pupils with limited mobility caused by age, illness, or lengthy embraces with an ice sculpture. In Flexible Yoga for the Inflexible Man, instructors walk all-male groups through classes that help students regain pliancy more quickly than a freshly buttered pipe cleaner.
Piloted by Coast Guard-licensed captains who have gone through comprehensive training, Smoky Mountain Jet Boat Rides glide passengers across the waters of Lake Fontana. Tours begin with a five-minute trip to the Almond boat dock, where water tourists board their barges and drift down the Nantahala River toward Lake Fontana. During 40-minute excursions, eyes are enveloped by a vista of The Great Smoky Mountains, as vessels whiz atop still waters leaving sailboats and out-of-gas speedboats in their wake. A lifelong devotee to the tourism industry, Smokey Mountain president Nick Williams heads a crew that delicately assembles each watercraft used for touring speed-thirsty voyagers. Structures based on the New Zealand Style Jet Boat allow Smoky Mountain's schooners to perform impressive aquatic escapades, such as spinning within their own length and impersonating animatronic sharks. There are no restrictions on age and expeditions must be scheduled in advance.
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.