Romantic Lodgings in the Great Smoky Mountains Backcountry
The Great Smoky Mountains unfold in rolling peaks, which turn a hazy blue in the morning fog that gives the range its name. As Creekwalk Inn at Whisperwood Farm's innkeeper Janice Haynes describes, "It's the most amazing place in the southeast. There are 42 mountains in the Appalachian Mountain Chain over 6,000 feet; 40 peaks are in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park." The 50-acre inn is nestled beside these peaks and trailheads—and Janice encourages exploration, packing lunches for her guests and helping them plan hikes before they venture out onto the trails.
After a day spent in the wilderness, return to the romantic bed-and-breakfast-style rooms at the inn. The "nook and cranny" rooms inside the inn feature unique furnishings and private baths. The Little Cataloochee room overlooks a creek and offers a screened-door entrance with a rocking chair as well as a jacuzzi bathtub.
Each morning, Janice serves a complimentary homemade breakfast, with dishes such as sausage-stuffed pastry and brandied french toast. "Our breakfasts are like a party," she says. She also creates private five-course dinners; be sure to give her a week's notice so she can prepare your personalized meal with herbs grown onsite and with fresh produce from Carver's Orchard, located just a mile from the inn.
Cosby, Tennessee: Appalachian Wilderness near Lively Entertainment
Among the many Appalachian peaks rising above Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nearly 5,000-foot Mount Cammerer stands out: it has a glassed-in fire tower at its summit, which boasts 360-degree views of surrounding hardwood forests. Wending up the alpine cliffs near the town of Cosby is the Lower Mount Cammerer Trail. While challenging, it’s accessible year-round to well-bundled climbers and sniffles-prone mountain goats thanks to eastern Tennessee’s moderate climate. It’s linked to the Appalachian Trail, a gateway to thousands of miles of hiking, and the area also offers multiple outlets for whitewater rafting and ziplining. For indoor diversions, head 20 miles east of Cosby to the entertainment enclaves of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for a country-music revue or live comedy show.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.