When you come to stay in the Smokies, one of the best things to do nearby is to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park! With an abundance of outdoor activities, it’s no wonder it’s the most visited national park in the United States! If you’re wondering what you should do when you visit the park, check out these suggestions for awesome things to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park: (more…)
When you visit Pigeon Forge, there is no shortage of attractions and experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories. From thrilling rides, to fascinating museums and more, here are some of the top things to do in Pigeon Forge when you visit! (more…)
Summer was made for hiking, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to lace up your boots and hit the trails. Here is the list of our staff’s top 3 Great Smoky Mountains hiking trails.
Top 3 Hiking Trails
1. Laurel Falls
If you are looking to experience the thrill of a mountain cascade, look no further than Laurel Falls. Flanked by ‘mountain laurel’ (aka wild rhododendron), this hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains provides a truly stunning experience. The trail that leads to Laurel Falls is completely paved making it great for young families and those who are not accustomed to hiking in the mountains.
2. Alum Cave
The hiking trail to Alum Cave is more difficult than the paved path to Laurel Falls. Nevertheless, this hike leads to a geologically intriguing landmark. The giant (yet shallow) cave is all that remains of a massive limestone deposit that slowly dissolved over millions of years of rainfall. This is a prime example of chemistry in action in nature. For families that home school or that want to extend their children’s learning outside the walls of the classroom, Alum Cave could be an amazing research opportunity for your kiddos this summer.
3. Roundtop Trail
Our final recommendation on the Great Smoky Mountains hiking trails top 3 is Roundtop Trail. This hike begins near the Wears Valley community which makes it a great option if you stay in one of our mountain cabins. While this trail is the most difficult of the three, it also the least well-known ensuring your hike is quiet and enjoyable. This trail ends at the Little River in Townsend which is an added bonus in hot summer weather. For more information on the Roundtop Trail, check out this description of the trail.
After a really rough first half of 2020, folks are slowly adapting to the ‘new normal’. Planning a vacation to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge this summer probably means looking for outdoor attractions since it is easier to socially distance outside. Yet, finding family-friendly outdoor attractions can be difficult (and even more so in a pandemic). We have curated a list of the top 3 outdoor attractions for you and your family this summer that are open and ready to welcome visitors. All of these businesses have instituted coronavirus protocols to protect guests’ safety during their visits.
When you want to get some fresh air, what better way to do that than on top of a mountain? The Gatlinbury SkyLift Park is a great place to take your family to enjoy views of both the Great Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg. To protect the health of guests and staff, they have instituted stringent cleaning routines and require masks to be worn during visits. Make sure to purchase your tickets online to save time and better practice social distancing.
If you are the water-loving type, you should definitely check out Smoky Mountain Outdoors and their rafting adventures this summer. Not only can you enjoy fresh air and take a swim in the river, you can get a solid arm workout, too. Their variety of rafting trips include options for beginners through experts. With regular cleaning procedures and mask requirements inside their retail store, Smoky Mountain Outdoors is a fantastic place to spend some time on your next vacation.
If the thought of riding through the woods on an ATV gets you excited, you should take a look at Bluff Mountain Rentals. Their rides allow you to have an exhilarating vacation while also practicing social distance. Be aware that they are a first-come, first-serve business; make sure to get there early to ensure you and your family can all ride. Their daily rides take place at 10:00, noon, 2:00, and 4:00. You can see their trail map here.
Stay Safe Out There
So, whether you and your family want to see the Smokies from a chairlift, paddle down a river, or power up a mountain on an ATV, there are many outdoor attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg waiting to be experienced. Make sure to stay safe during your visit by wearing a mask, sanitizing your hands frequently, and maintaining social distance. If you need lodging in the area, check out some of our mountain-side cabins and plan your vacation today.
Picture it- you just booked a week at an awesome cabin in Wears Valley, Tennessee for your summer vacation. You are already planning to chill on the deck with a glass of pinot grigio while the kids play pool. Maybe you have even researched some hiking trails to enjoy. Yet, for even the most seasoned traveler, there is one age-old question that always evades our best efforts at vacation planning: “What restaurant should we try today?” Well, we here at Accommodations by Great Cabins in the Smokies have got you covered with our staff’s guide to the top 3 restaurants in Wears Valley, Tennessee.
The first restaurant on our list is definitely a staff favorite. In addition to serving delicious food, they are also committed to the local community. The menu at Elvira’s Café centers around locally-sourced ingredients and contemporary takes on mountain cooking. Expect quality ingredients, excellent customer service, and lots of locals.
Next on our list of the top restaurants in Wears Valley, Hillbilly’s Restaurant provides country cooking at its finest. Fluffy biscuits and solid portion sizes make this *the* breakfast spot in Wears Valley. After you bring the family down for a hefty brunch, you will have plenty of fuel to power your visit to Townsend or Gatlinburg.
Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant
The final restaurant in our top 3 countdown is Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant. Although they specialize in non-mountain cooking, they are the perfect choice for when you want something that reminds you of home. Their eggplant Parmesan sandwich is killer. Likewise, you absolutely must try one of their chocolate cannoli. (Might I also suggest buying a few to go? Practicing self-love on vacation is important, y’know.)
So, whether you are in the mood for down-home cooking or a scrumptious plate of spaghetti, Wears Valley has some great restaurants for you to try during your stay. If you have not booked your getaway yet, check out our cabin specials, and reserve your cabin today!
While summer officially started on June 20th this year, many of us had already made the sneakers-for-sandals swap that marks the change from spring to summer here in the south. The change of season often means yard work, visiting the local swimming hole, and trying not to get bitten by mosquitos. For others, though, it means avoiding the stove at all costs. Who wants to stand over a hot pan when it feels like a steam room outside? We here at Accommodations by Great Cabins in the Smokies are here to help with 5 staff-submitted summer recipes that will keep your kitchen as cool as a cucumber this summer.
Spiked Pineapple Slush
-1 large bag of frozen pinapple
-4 ounces of coconut rum
-8 ounces of ice water
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth (~2 minutes) and enjoy!
Warm-Weather Watermelon Salad
-half of a medium-sized watermelon cut into cubes
-8 ounces of halved strawberries
-a small handful of fresh, chopped mint leaves
-4 ounces of blueberries
-the juice of 1 lemon or lime
-1 tsp. of honey or agave syrup
-a dash of salt
Put the lemon (or lime) juice, honey (or agave syrup), mint, and salt into a large bowl and mix well. Then, add the fruit and cucumber; gently toss together and serve.
-1 bottle of cheap red wine
-4 ounces of simple syrup (water and sugar boiled together)
-half of an orange cut into slices
-juice of other half of the orange
-8 to 12 ounces of seasonal fruit cut into cubes (peaches, berries, and melon are all great choices)
-2 ounces of brandy or calvados (optional)
In a large pitcher or punch bowl, add the fruit cubes and slices. Then, pour in the wine, juice, simple syrup, and brandy/calvados together. Stir all together and refrigerate for 2+ hours. Serve the sangria over ice. *You can substitute the red wine and simple syrup for one bottle of muscadine wine.*
-4 to 5 medium cucumbers cut into cubes
-2 cloves of garlic
-1 small handful of cilantro (or flat leaf parsley)
-4 to 6 ounces of extra virgin olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
Blend all the ingredients together; you may need to pulse the mixture at first for it to come together. After it is sufficiently blended, refrigerate before serving. You can serve it with a dash of hot sauce if you want to give it a little extra flavor.
-1 thick sliced cucumber
-A selection of cold cuts (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, serrano ham, etc…)
-a selection of cheeses (mozzarella, feta, Manchego, stilton, smoked gouda, etc…)
-kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers, and other pickled vegetables
-1 chopped tomato
-1 sliced red onion
-extra virgin olive oil
-juice of 1 lemon
Arrange the cucumber, tomato, and onion on a large platter. Place the drained pickled vegetables and olives in piles around the salad; drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Next, add the cold cuts and cheese to the top of the salad. Serve with crusty baguette and a glass of chardonnay.
So there you have it folks; these are our top 5 summer recipes for your holidays. But do you know what would make these summer recipes even better? Getting to enjoy them from the comfort of a cabin with sweeping views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Check out all of our properties here.
One of the many perks of renting cabins in the Smokies is that they are all within close proximity to some of Tennessee’s greatest outlet shopping malls. Whether you want to go shopping on vacation because you forgot to pack some much-needed belongings, or take advantage of the outlet store pricing, you will be more than happy with the many stores these outlets have opened to the public.
Want to take advantage of some amazing deals and specialty shopping? Then visiting the Tanger Outlet Center is going to do just the trick. There are many brand name stores that sell their clothing at insanely cheap rates, which is why many Smoky Mountains cabin renters take advantage of these deals when passing through.
Gatlinburg offers a shopping experience like no other, as many of its stores tend to stray on the unique side. Filled with specialty shops that offer homemade crafts, Gatlinburg is well-known for its one of a kind products such as jam and jellies, ceramics, pottery, jewelry, and clothing. In fact, what makes Gatlinburg so special is that it has many interesting galleries, specialty food stores, artisanal crafts, and charming family businesses. There are also many opportunities for deals when visiting the Gatlinburg Outlet Mall, which is why it has gained popularity amongst the tourists and locals who rent cabins in the Smokies.
Want to look at some gift options without venturing too far away from your Smoky mountain cabin? Visit the many specialty shops that Townsend has to offer. Townsend is also popular for its many antique and collectible stores, which are definitely worth visiting. Since Townsend is the most peaceful side of the Smokies, you might have to take a small trip to its neighboring towns to visit any renown shopping malls such as the Tanger Outlet Center.
Wears Valley Shopping
Wears Valley also offers an assortment of specialty shopping, which includes antiques, handmade crafts, sporting goods, and furniture stores. They’re perfect if you’re willing to go the extra mile to land some awesome deals. If all you need is something specific and don’t want to spend an entire day shopping, these quaint little shops will be more than enough.
Pigeon Forge Shopping
If you want to purchase any memories of your trip to the Smoky Mountains, there are a string of souvenir shops that can offer you just that. Also, check out the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, or as the locals might call it the ‘Red Roof Mall’, as this mall has been ranked as one of Tennessee’s most visited outlet shopping centers.
Know that when choosing to rent a cabin in the Smokies, you will be in close range to all necessary amenities and can still uphold a luxurious lifestyle while being surrounded by greenery, mountains, and all around beauty.
Want to partake is some thrilling Smoky Mountain activities? If you do, there is no better place to start than by organizing a trip with your friends and family, and booking your Wears Valley cabin today. Vacationing to the Great Smoky Mountains has always been something that people look forward to, especially since it is an easy and fun way to submerge one’s self in nature and possibly learn a new trick or two.
Why Choose Wears Valley?
When visiting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, there are many different towns you can choose from. Although they might all have their unique specialties, sights, events, and scenic playgrounds, each and every one of them are worth visiting. So why choose Wears Valley? Wears Valley is known for its peaceful setting, amazing restaurants, unbeatable locations, abundance of exciting activities, and romantic venues, making it one of the most desirable locations in the Smoky Mountains.
Many people opt for cabin rentals in the Great Smoky Mountains because of how beautiful and serene the atmosphere is, while knowing that the mountain also offers a number of outdoor and indoor activities. If you have chosen to rent a Wears Valley cabin, you will be pleased to know that there are tons of different things to do within close proximity of your cabin.
Zip lining is one of the most popular activities in Wears Valley; everyone wants to know what it feels like to soar through the air while being able to gaze over some of the most impressive scenery the United States has to offer. The Wears Valley Zipline Adventures is very well know and even offers some of the most lengthy and thrilling zip lines in the region.
White water rafting is also offered by the Wears Valley Zipline Adventures, and is a very exciting sport to try out. Never been rafting? Why not give it a go and see what all the fuss is about?
If you’ve never had the chance to be in a helicopter, there is no better place to do so than when in the Great Smoky Mountains. Take a helicopter tour of Wears Valley and get a bird’s eye view of the magnificent National Park.
Hiking is also a go-to Wears Valley activity and brings many travelers to the peaks of Cove Mountain.
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do when visiting Wears Valley. In fact, many people wish that they had more time to spend as they were only able to take advantage of a handful of its most obvious attributes. In addition, there are many other events and fun things to do when staying in a Wears Valley cabin such as fishing, horseback riding, star gazing, building campfires, visiting farmer’s markets, and many more.
If you aren’t used to spending time with nature but are interested in changing your ways, renting a Great Smoky Mountain cabin might just be the vacation you never knew you needed. Surrounding yourself with greenery, wildlife, fantastic views, and sparkling waters can make you feel like a brand new person. Explore the world outside your door and get lost in the scenic landscapes that the Smokies are knownfor.
Why Renting a Great Smoky Mountains Cabin is a Fantastic Idea
All too often, we forget that immersing ourselves in nature has positive effects on both our mental and physical health, which is why doing so from time to time is always a smart move. Want to get out and explore the outdoors? What better way to do so than to rent a cabin in the Smokies and explore its surroundings? Choosing to spend your vacation or weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains is a fantastic idea and will benefit you in more ways than one. Not only are Great Smoky Mountain cabins affordable and accommodating, they are delightful to be in and offer a variety of interesting activities.
What Are the Most Sought-After Activities in the Smokies?
Although many people visit the Smokies to enjoy the peacefulness of nature, many choose it as a vacation destination because it is impossible to be in want of things to do. The most sought-after activities in the Great Smoky Mountains area are hiking, fishing, sightseeing, zip lining, horseback riding, scenic drives, and visiting historical sights.
Which Smoky Mountains Locations are Ideal all Year Round
When renting a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains it is important to factor in the season. Although most activities are open to the public all year round, there are some regions that might be more ideal depending on the time of year you choose to visit.
Summer, fall, and spring: All activities are open during this time of year, so you don’t have to worry about any trails being closed.
Winter: Due to weather conditions ziplining is not available during this season but there are still a number of things that you can do. In fact, Winter is one of the most beautiful times of year, and the Smokies are the perfect place to spend the holidays. Many hiking trails are still opened, and so don’t bar off the Smokies during the winter months.
For many people, the Great Smoky Mountains cabins are a home away from home, which is why we get so many recurring visitors every year. If you’ve never been to the Smokies but are interested in doing so, visit our website and see which one of our cabins calls out to you.
One of life’s biggest gifts is our capability of connecting with nature, which is why so many people enjoy spending their time surrounded by the many beauties that can be found near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. If you’re thinking of renting a Tennessee cabin and going on a winter hike, here are 4 must-see trails that will take your breath away.
Escape To A Tennessee Cabin And Venture To The Alum Cave Trail
If you love hiking, or simply being surrounded by nature, renting a Tennesse cabin should be at the top of your list. This is because Tennessee cabins are situated near many different hiking trails that can be accessed all year round. The Alum Cave Trail is one of the most popular trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and this is because it offers a variety of stellar views that are not that hard to get to. First time hiking? This is the trail for you.
Be Sure To Check-Out Andrews Bald Trail
Andrews Bald Trail is another great option for both first-time and seasoned hikers who are staying in a Tennessee cabin. This gorgeous trail starts with a large descent that eventually lowers you into Andrews Bald.
Wander Into Porter’s Creek
Another great trail to explore when staying in a Tennessee Cabin is the Porter’s Creek trail. Many tourist enjoy hiking through Porter’s Creek because, when pursued long enough, it can lead them to a dazzling waterfall. Porter’s Creek trail is rich with history and wildlife, making it a must-see for any Smoky Mountain newcomers.
Stretch Your Legs In Charlie’s Bunion
Another exceptional hiking route situated near the Tennessee cabins is the legendary Charlie’s Bunion trail. Charlie’s Bunion is one of a kind because it allows its hikers to gaze onto the horizon — for miles on end. Charlie’s Bunion is rich with scenery, making it a very sought-after trail. Renting a cabin in Tennessee and setting out to explore the many trails that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has to offer, is something that every individual should do at some point in their lives, simply because of how beautiful it is.