Tennessee Wesleyan is situated in the heart of East Tennessee, halfway between the historic attractions and metropolitan appeal of both Knoxville and Chattanooga. With our location in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, we have outdoor activities and metropolitan shopping and entertainment just a short drive away.
Southeast Tennessee offers limitless opportunities for outdoor adventures, including camping, biking, hiking, rafting and more.
McMinn County serves as a gateway to the Cherokee National Forest and the Cherohala Skyway. The Hiwassee, Ocoee and Tellico Rivers are less than 30 minutes away, providing convenient access to rafting and kayaking. The Ocoee River is best known as the host to the 1996 Summer Olympic kayaking events. The Ocoee Whitewater Center features a whitewater course open for kayaking and rafting between spring and fall.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the attractions of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are just a 90-minute drive away. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was recently named the most popular national park in the country, with more than 10 million visits in 2015. With a multitude of campground and Cades Cove, an 11-mile loop road that follows many of the grades and turns of old wagon roads, this area provides an incomparable view of wildlife and is great for a weekend getaway.
Cultural events, music festivals, art exhibitions and concerts are plentiful in McMinn County and the surrounding communities. The Athens Area Council for the Arts offers world-class performers and entertainers at local venues throughout the year. The city of Athens and the Downtown Business Association also sponsor multiple events throughout the year, including Pumpkintown.
McMinn County offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to learn more about its past through local museums and historical sites. The McMinn County Living Heritage Museum, Louisville and Nashville Railroad Station Museum and the Swift Aircraft Museum are just some of the local sites.
Shopping and Dining
Athens and the surrounding communities offer a variety of specialty shops, boutiques, unique outlets, department stores and locally-owned restaurants. For those who seek the excitement, entertainment and shopping opportunities of larger cities, Knoxville and Chattanooga are less than one hour away by car, and Nashville and Atlanta can be reached by car in less than three hours.