26.2 Things to Do at Dollywood

If you are a runner, you have dreamed of crossing many finish lines. Perhaps you’ve even pondered the ultimate runner’s goal – completing a full marathon (26.2 miles).

This weekend, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon will fill the streets of nearby Knoxville, Tennessee, as runners attempt to earn that coveted medal. Why not make it a weekend for the whole family by including a visit to Dollywood on your way to the finish line?

In the spirit of the marathon, here are 26.2 things to do at Dollywood this marathon weekend:

  1. Did you know the marathon has its origins in ancient Greece? Learn and explore the cultures and cuisine of the world during Dollywood’s Festival of Nations March 16 – April 14.
  2. Be inspired by the strength and courage of our national symbol by a visit to Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, the country’s largest presentation of non-releasable bald eagles.
  3. Rest those legs either before or after the race via a trip on the Dollywood Express. Enjoy 20 minutes of refreshing views as you journey through the mountains on a steam engine.
  4. Carb load in the best way possible! Head over to the Grist Meal for Dollywood’s famous Cinnamon Bread, which is sure to fuel you to the finish line (or reward you for reaching the finish line!)
  5. The average marathoner takes more than 55,000 steps in one race. No need to add extra ones – use the Dollywood App to plan your path around the park.
  6. Stay hydrated by making good use of the free ice water offered throughout the park.
  7. Make use of your quick-dry running gear by cooling off at Smoky Mountain River Rampage – one of the wettest rides at Dollywood!
  8. Rest those feet (and tap to the beat) at the many music performances at Dollywood, such as Kingdom Heirs or Dolly’s story at Heartsong Theater.
  9. Take a break at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa to enjoy a refreshing dip in the heated indoor pool available to guests.
  10. You’ve earned a cool finisher’s medal as a marathoner! A handcrafted iron hook from the Blacksmith & Foundry in Craftsman’s Valley is the perfect way to display it.
  11. Design a t-shirt to match your new medal! Let the artists at Airbrush T-Shirts (located in Craftsman’s Valley) create the perfect shirt to commemorate your weekend.
  12. Did you know quartz is rumored to heal and soothe muscles? Swing by Lucky 7 Mine to see for yourself!
  13. Nothing is better than a deep tissue massage for post-run soreness. The Spa at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is ready to help you recover and recharge.
  14. While you’re at The Spa at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, treat those tired feet to a pedicure. There are many options to choose from!
  15. No time for a full body massage? The Spa at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort offers a cure for what ails you – a leg and foot massage! Check the spa menu for details.
  16. Can’t make it to the park? Still want to enjoy a hearty dinner and a fun show? Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction has both!
  17. You may be looking for a boost of energy before or after the marathon. Look no further than Cuba Vibra! The athleticism of the dancers is astounding and inspiring!
  18. What is better than the adrenaline rush of the finish line (and a lot cooler)? Plunging into the thrilling waters at the end of Daredevil Falls! The splash is better than any hydration station you’ll find on the race course!
  19. Keep the adrenaline rush going with a ride on the Drop Line! Chances are, you’ll be happy your feet are back on solid ground.
  20. Go “home” after the race – Dolly’s home, that is! Tour a replica of her home at Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home within the park.
  21. You’ve been on your feet enough, so don’t spend your time in line! Get a TimeSaver Pass to navigate right on through the wait.
  22. Nothing says rest like a cabin overlooking the mountains. Rest and relax in one of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins.
  23. An average runner burns 2,500 during a marathon. Swing by Dollywood’s Sweet Shoppe and enjoy every moment of replenishing what you’ve burned. You’ve earned it!
  24. Need to warm up before the race? Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa offers a 24-hour fitness center for resort guests.
  25. After running that far, a good shower and a good meal are the best reward! Song and Hearth: A Southern Eatery offers an all-you-care-to-eat dining option for breakfast and dinner.
  26. Run all day; play all evening! Dollywood is open until 7 or 8 p.m. during the month of April. (Check the operating calendar for hours on specific days.)

(26.2) Most importantly, in running and in life, it’s not just about the finish line – the joy is in the journey! Have fun!

By | 2019-03-29T15:58:19+00:00 March 29th, 2019|Trip Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jan Walker (Dollywood Insider 2018-2019) is an East Tennessee native who found herself in South Carolina after pursuing her dream job as a college art professor. She loves all things Tennessee, including hiking and camping in the Smoky Mountains, running the Knoxville Marathon and of course, Dollywood. The mother of two teenagers (and one German Shepherd), Jan loves bringing her family to Dollywood every year because there is something fun for everyone to enjoy during their visit. Her favorite ride at Dollywood is Blazing Fury, which she loved as a child and now gets to enjoy with her own kids. In addition to teaching, Jan is an avid runner, certified fitness instructor, author and aspiring cake decorator.
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