The Cook Bros. Blog

10 Things to do in East Tennessee This Spring

Home to the Great Smoky Mountains, Zoo Knoxville, and Dollywood, East Tennessee offers dozens of events and activities. Here are 10 suggestions for travelers looking to enjoy the mild spring weather.

Couple Biking copy

Tellico Lake

Located 30 miles from Knoxville in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Tellico Lake is an ideal spot for boating, fishing, swimming. There are trails for hiking and horseback riding, and golfers can enjoy spectacular views of Tellico Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains at Rarity Bay’s Championship Golf Course.

Market Square

Home to the International Biscuit Festival in May, First Night Knoxville and a farmers’ market scheduled to reopen May 4, historic Market Square is the premier destination for shopping, dining, and nightlife in Downtown Knoxville.

Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville is home to more than 800 and offers camel rides, behind the scenes tours and the Williams Family Giraffe Encounter, where visitors can get up close and personal with the animals. Little visitors can enjoy Wee Play Adventure, an indoor play experience will take you on an adventure to an island inhabited by dragons and a wide array of exotic lizards.

University of Tennessee Gardens

Named the official state botanical gardens in 2013, the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville, Jackson, and Crossville are home to 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropicals, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and ornamental grasses. The gardens host events, classes, and workshops for adults and children throughout the spring and summer.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Straddling the Tennessee-North Carolina border for more than 800 square miles, Great Smoky Mountains National Park receives more than 9 million visitors every year, making it the most popular national park in the country. Download the Smokies Trip Planner to learn more about activities, attractions and accommodations at the park.

World’s Fair Park

Originally built for the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair, World’s Fair Park has since been expanded to include a festival lawn, a performance lawn and a lake area. The Court of Flags Fountain’s interactive water play area operates seasonally from March through October, and visitors can enjoy a playground that is open year-round. The Sunsphere towers 266 feet above the park, its observation deck providing visitors with a 360-degree view of the city and beyond.

Dogwood Arts Festival

The Dogwood Arts Festival is a monthlong celebration of art, music, and culture. Don’t miss Rhythm & Blooms, a three-day music festival steeped in Knoxville’s rich musical history.

Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country

The theme park, waterpark, and resort in Pigeon Forge is one of the most popular destinations in Tennessee. Owned by actor, musician, superstar diva Dolly Parton, Dollywood hosts five annual festivals including three in the spring: the Festival of Nations (March 19 to April 18), Barbecue and Bluegrass (May 13 to May 22), and Dollywood’s Thrill in the Hills (April 8-9).

Tulip Time at Crescent Bend

The historic Crescent Bend House and Gardens hosts the 16th annual Tulip Time festival from March 23 to April 30. More than 25,000 tulips will be in bloom, blanketing the 3-acre gardens overlooking the Tennessee River in a riot of color.

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring

Gatlinburg is home to nine spring-related festivals in April and May including the Beans and Cornbread Festival on May 12 and the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest on April 9, which features bottles from 17 Tennessee wineries and food from some of the best restaurants in the area.

Retirement in Tellico Village

So you’ve decided to retire in Tennessee and it’s time to look at the right community for you. Have you heard about Tellico Village? Cook Bros. is proud to work so closely with the residents of this luxurious community.

Among the various masterplanned waterfront retirement communities of Tellico Lake, Tellico Village is the most popular. Unlike other communities, Tellico Village has no age restrictions, exorbitant amenity fees or sky high golf club memberships. Instead, the Village offers “pay as you play” amenities and homes of various sizes, so you can be sure to enjoy the lifestyle fit for you.

Amenities include:

  • Three 18-Hole Championship Golf Courses
  • Lakefront Yacht Clubhouse with Dining
  • Three Golf Clubhouses with Dining
  • Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pools
  • 10 Tennis Courts
  • 8 Pickleball Courts
  • Full Service Marina with Boat Slips
  • Community Parks
  • A New and Updated Library
  • More than 60 Active Social Clubs
  • A 26,000 Square-Foot Wellness Center, featuring an indoor lap pool, 6,500 square-foot fitness center, indoor walking track, saunas, locker rooms, 4 outdoor tennis courts and a variety of weekly wellness classes

In addition, this near-5,000 acres and home to more than 7,000 residents was named one of the “Best Places in the U.S. for Boating” by Boating Life Magazine. Real Estate Scorecard gave Tellico Village a score of 80 and highly recommends the community as one of the finest waterfront retirement opportunities.

Interested in learning more? You can call Tellico Village at 1.888.287.0676 to schedule a tour.

5 Reasons You’ll Love Retirement in Tennessee

Forget Florida! If you’re preparing for retirement, Tennessee is the place you want to be. Let us shed some light on the many reasons the Volunteer State is truly a good place to call home.

Lower Cost of Living
Tennessee boasts one the lowest costs of living in the US with a Cost of Living Index nearly 11% below the national average. That means your retirement dollars go further for everything from housing to transportation to healthcare.

Mild Climate
Many retirees from states like Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota look forward to heading south to enjoy their golden years in sunshine. Unfortunately, they’re not prepared for the sweltering heat and severe weather conditions of states like Florida. Tennessee, on the other hand, offers a gentler heat with more mild weather all year round.

Breathtaking Scenery
Natural attractions are some of the state’s greatest treasures. From incredible mountain views, to plenty of waterfront for boating or fishing, or any one of the 54 state parks, there’s a bit of the countryside for everyone.

Mix of Urban and Rural
Whether you see yourself as city or country folk, there’s a community in Tennessee for you. The state offers a wide variety of shopping and easy access to major metropolitan areas as well as plenty of small town charm and quiet excursions. For many retirees, this mix offers the best of both worlds.

Something for Every Hobby
Part of every happy retirement means getting to do the things you love. No matter your special interest, Tennessee offers a wide variety to let you enjoy your favorite activities—and new ones as well. Everything, from sports and recreation, to American history, fine art and music, is fair game here.

Building Your Ideal Retirement Home

Are you thinking about building the retirement home of your dreams? If so, it’s important to carefully consider your needs both now and in the future.

  • Remember that location matters. Most seniors will want easy access to quality healthcare and family or friends, ease of transportation, and mild weather. Be sure to pick a location that also offers a variety of activities you would like to experience during retirement.

  • Most homeowners today are drawn to open floor plans, which allow for more socializing, but open spaces aren’t just good for having get-togethers at home. Wide hallways or doorways and large, open spaces make it easier to get around the house in a wheelchair or walker.

  • It’s a good idea to avoid stairs and opt for a single floor layout. While not all seniors are disabled or wheelchair bound, the propensity to fall can greatly increase as we age. Avoiding even a single step here or there is wise to help keep retirees feeling more stable on their feet.

  • Aim for at least one walk-in shower. Getting older can make climbing in and out of a bathtub nearly impossible. It’s a smart idea to select a spacious, wheelchair-accessible bathroom with grab bars near the toilets and showers.
  • Keep in mind that you may need higher or lower appliances and counters depending upon your needs. A senior who is currently using a wheelchair or walker may want lower counters in the kitchen and bathroom, whereas other aging adults may prefer higher appliances that prevent them from needing to bend down low.
  • Consider who might end up living with you in this home. If you think you may want one of your adult children or other family members to join you, you’ll need spaces that are right for their needs as well. If you expect to have grandchildren visiting—or even living in—your home for a time, you may need to consider more child-friendly spaces.

Trust Cook Bros. Construction to use our expertise to build the perfect home for your changing needs.

Happy 2016 from Your East Tennessee Contractor


It seems to be common practice at the end of every year to make New Year’s Resolutions. Not being ones to break with tradition, Cook Bros. Construction would like to make our own resolutions. We resolve to be Knoxville’s most trusted contractor, and to make every diligent effort to complete our projects in a way our customers have come to expect from us. Quality Craftsmanship without Compromise. The Cook Bros. resolution. From all of us, best wishes for a most happy and prosperous new year.

Enjoy Mild Temperatures During Retirement in East Tennessee


I don’t know how many retirees we have heard complain about the Florida heat, the cold of the northern states, and praise East Tennessee for its mild temperatures.

The usual scenario looks like this. A husband and wife have lived in a northern state most of their married lives. They can’t stand the cold of the winter and dislike having to get out in the snow and ice. The couple at some point vows to move south after they retire. They look to the warm beaches of Florida and quickly evacuate the North after their last day of work.

The rosy dream usually turns sour after they have spent one or two summers in the hot and humid Florida months. The disillusioned couple hates to move back to the cold they escaped so they move halfway back. This is how many couples discover the wonderful mild temperatures of East Tennessee.

Come talk to us before thinking about retiring to Florida. We can introduce you to some great lots and home models or help you with a custom build.; (865) 851-7373

Merry Christmas from Your East Tennessee Contractor


It has been said that the best Christmas decorations of all are the smiles on the faces of children. We at Cook Bros. Construction are in hearty agreement with that assessment of the holiday. We aim to bring joy and delight to our customer (and their children) in the work we do every day. Every remodel, renovation, or new construction we complete is with our customer in the forefront of our minds. The gift of love. the gift of peace. The gift of happiness. May all these be yours at Christmas.; (865) 851-7373

Build a Home Next to Fun People

Would you rather be surrounded by people that are negative or fun when you get to retire? It’s seems like a no brainer, right? Most people want to surround themselves with people they will have a good time with during the golden years of life.

The retirement community of Tellico Village in East Tennessee is a perfect spot for you to build your retirement home and be with great people. The community offers a wide variety of clubs and interests groups as well as three dynamite golf courses.

Watch the above video of a flash mob at a Tellico event. Let us know if these are people you would like to build your next home close by.; (865) 851-7373

Build A Home In Tellico Village Retirement Community

What’s one word that describes the Tellico Village retirement community in Loudon county? Activities.

Retirement in East Tennessee affords folks to do more of the things that they love with other people. Many in Tellico Village have told us that the danger of the community is overbooking yourself.

Let’s get you introduced to the area and talk about your dream home.; (865) 851-7373

A Contractor Meeting the Deadline On Time

When we finish a home build project there is a strange occurrence that takes place when we tell our clients about their home. Their faces show signs of shock. Many of our clients simply cannot believe that we have completed all of our tasks within the completed deadline.

We believe that contractors should not only hold themselves up to a certain level of high quality but we also believe that timeliness should be the normal standard. However, I think you will agree that many people in East Tennessee and all over the United States have come to expect that a contractor will miss deadlines.

Watch the video of the Walkers’ experience with our company. Discover what our clients really do find that we are a group that uphold quality and timeliness.

Can we sit down and talk to you this week about your dream home?; (865) 851-7373

  • Subscribe to our blog