August 4, 2020
great smoky mountains arts and crafts community

Arts and Crafts in the Smoky Mountains

Just looking out over the Smokies’ incredible blue vistas inspires a fundamental aesthetic response; the heart and mind want to capture this view and remember it forever.  The Smokies’ rich artistic heritage is born from the first isolated settlers’ self-sufficiency. Mountain economy was not based on currency; instead wealth was determined by goods. Bushels of corn, wool sheared from sheep or furniture built from the forests’ trees were the sources of wealth. When time allowed, the utilitarian objects took on a stately elegance, reflecting the beauty of the environment in a weaving pattern on a basket or the carved design of a broom handle. Cherokee’s Oconaluftee Indian Village and Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual maintain the rich tradition of Native American crafts, including baskets, pottery and weaving. Appalachian crafts include: cane-bottom chairs, rocking chairs, corn shuck crafts, brooms, quilts and carved wood sculptures. The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, […]
August 4, 2020

3 Reasons to discover the North Carolina side of the Park.

NORTH CAROLINA Nearly half of the National Park lies in North Carolina and it’s just a short drive away via several different access routes. Beauty and adventure abound when you take for the North Carolina areas of the National Park.  Ask our staff for our Adventure Map when you visit to pick up your Jeep! Balsam Mountain Campground At 5,310 feet, this is the highest developed campground in the Smokies. Nearby, a self-guiding nature trail wanders three quarters of a mile through the majestic alpine forest. Heintooga Overlook At nearly a mile high in the sky, this overlook is a wonderful spot to spread out a blanket for an unforgettable picnic. Balsam Mountain Road, leading to the overlook and the campground, is closed from November through May. Deep Creek Deep Creek may well have been the site of the first Cherokee village. Set among blossoming dogwoods beside the creek near […]
July 15, 2020
aerial view gatlinburg

Find the Smoky Mountain Overlooks

Smoky Mountain Overlooks To See Unrivaled Views A great goal in your Jeep is to seek out the Overlooks in the area for an awesome persective of the Smoky Mountains. There are many ways to see the sights that bring millions to the park each year, but the favorite remains the free overlooks that you get from driving or hiking the mountains themselves. In this article, we’ll name some of those overlooks for you to find and share directions from Google Maps and worthwhile quoted information. Let’s begin: * Morton Overlook * US-441, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-1200 From Facebook: “A Scenic Roadside Look-Out in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On US-441 • Newfound Gap mile 14.7 • Morton Overlook mm 14.06 • Tunnel mm 13.9.” See this excerpt at * Chimney Tops Overlook * US-441, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-1200 From “The hike to Chimney Tops […]
July 14, 2020
smoky mountain sunset river

3 One Day Drives in your Smoky Mountain Jeep

The Smoky Mountains are a treasure trove of beautiful places to discover. When you are able to do so in a Jeep, it is more personal and more fun. Pack up some cold drinks and enjoy these awesome one day drives for a perfect Smoky Mountain getaway day. Maggie Valley and Waynesville, North Carolina Spend the day driving from Gatlinburg, Tennessee through the mountains to Cherokee and then on to Maggie Valley to enjoy a beautiful drive into North Carolina. This drive will take you past Chimney Tops and Newfound Gap and over the Smoky Mountains to the Cataloochee area of North Carolina. See how Cherokee has changed and developed over the years with many shops and craft areas to stop and see. As you venture on to the Maggie Valley and Waynesville area you will climb through the hills of North Carolina through beautiful scenery and then find these […]
July 6, 2020
junction 35

Where to Dine following your Jeep Adventures

After an awesome day long adventure in your Jeep, where is a great place to further adventure out for dinner?  Pigeon Forge has many new restaurants to try, we would like to recommend the new Junction 35 Bar and Kitchen!  Find locally made spirits at their distillery and enjoy them in a bar and beautiful dining atmosphere. Junction 35 Bar & Kitchen in Pigeon Forge From their website: “Welcome to Junction 35 With the goal of creating a one-of-a-kind distillery experience for our visitors we joined our distillery with a Kitchen & Bar. Whether you are looking for handcrafted cocktails made with our spirits, slow cooked bbq or a non gmo farm raised burger Junction 35 is just the ticket. Our place is a casual, energetic, fun place with good food, friendly faces, real hospitality and great tasting spirits.” From their menu: * Wings * Homemade Hummus Dip * Junction […]
June 21, 2020
geppetto's restaurant

Where is there dining in Wears Valley?

Thinking about eating in Wears Valley before you seek further advetures, check out these restaurants in and near Wears Valley Road for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Mountain Chick Cafe Wears Valley Road Espresso, Scones, Pastries, Breakfast, Lunch All it’s Cracked Up to Be! Elvira’s Cafe 4143 Wears Valley Rd Sevierville, TN 37862 (865) 366-2263 From their website: “Escape from the mundane, and embrace the FLAVOR! Specializing in fresh food made with local ingredients, Elvira’s invites you to taste all that Tennessee has to offer. Surround yourself with friendly faces and beautiful views while savoring a unique take on southern classics. Enjoy a biscuit or a crêpe with a cup of freshly brewed coffee all while breathing in the natural mountain air on our screened-in patio.”   Geppettos Italian Restaurant 3250 Wears Valley Rd Sevierville, TN 37862 (865) 366-7162   Stonehouse Pizza 1725 Waldens Creek Rd #101, Sevierville, […]
June 21, 2020
smoky mountain coaster

What is there to discover in Wears Valley, Tennessee?

People often wonder if there is anything fun to do in Wears Valley and we say yes! More than anything Wears Valley is a great starter location and connects to a full day of Jeep adventure depending on your adventure choices.  Wears Valley offers Ziplining, Antique Shopping, Dining, Camping and more. Looking for wine or moonshine?  You can find that too on your trip to Wears Valley.  Enjoy the Mountain Chick Cafe and Elvira’s as locally owned excellent stops on your way.  PawPaw’s Catfish is a local’s favorite also, so you can absolutely explore your way through Wears Valley on your way to the Foothills Parkway, Townsend, Cades Cove and Beyond. Metcalf Bottoms is a wonderful picnic area that is also the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Find the Little Greenbrier School, the Walker Sister’s Cabin and more as you explore this area of the park.  Pick […]
June 18, 2020
creek smoky mountains

Where is Upper Tremont Road?

Once you have selected your Jeep you are going to want to get some ideas of where to go to find the most awesome things to do in the Smoky Mountains.  We love to recommend some of the areas that are lesser known to the masses.  Near Wears Valley, Upper Tremont Road provides the perfect setting for a scenic drive. You will discover tree-shaded parking areas located around the loop allowing visitors to park for a picnic or access to the Middle Prong Trailhead To get to Upper Tremont Road you will want to drive to Townsend using Wears Valley Road. Just drive through Townsend into the Park, turn right toward Cades Cove, then, a few hundred yards later, turn left at the sign for Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Here you will be traveling the Lower Tremont Road which is a beautiful road with good fishing!  Here you […]
June 13, 2020
Catalloochee Valley North Caroina

Where is the Cataloochee Valley?

One of our most recommeded journeys is the trip to the Cataloochee Valley. The entrance road to Cataloochee Valley is a winding, gravel road that has some steep drop offs with no guard rails. The road is narrow, so drivers may be required to stop or back up their vehicles to allow oncoming motorists to pass. Horse trailer traffic may be encountered on the road. Please use caution when driving on this road. The most direct route into the valley is to take Cove Creek Road. To get to the valley from interstate I-40, exit at North Carolina exit #20 and travel 0.2 miles on route 276. Turn right onto Cove Creek Road and follow the signs 11 miles into the Cataloochee Valley. To get there from Oconaluftee or Cherokee, take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Highway 19. Follow 19 (toward Asheville) through Maggie Valley. Turn left onto Highway 276 N. […]