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.

Elvira’s Cafe


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.

Hillbilly’s Restaurant


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

-1 cucumber

-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.

Southern Sangria

-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.*

Cucumber Gazpacho

-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.

Antipasti Salad

-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.