Built in 1810, Pinhook Plantation House is the oldest home in southeastern Tennessee’s Polk County. It started out as a private residence before being transformed into an inn for farmers selling crops and livestock along the Hiwassee River. During the Civil War, the building served as a lookout point—the view extends across the river to the Cherokee National Forest. Today, the clapboard fixture functions as a country-style bed and breakfast. It was renovated in 2001, but many of the home’s original features remain intact, including heart-pine floors and fireplaces constructed out of handmade bricks.
In-suite offerings: Hand-sewn quilts, antiques, and views of the mountains and river
Signature breakfast dish:French toast stuffed with cream cheese and pineapple filling
Soak it in: Enjoy a cup of tea in a rocking chair on the front porch, or take a nap in a hammock under the magnolia trees.
Keep an eye out for: Black bears, boars, and red-breasted nuthatch birds in the southern section of Cherokee National Forest
Go for the gold: The Ocoee Whitewater Center hosted the canoe, kayak, and slalom events during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Today visitors can go whitewater rafting or hike scenic trails along the river.
Shop ‘til you drop: The area is home to several antique shops, art galleries, and wineries.
Neat perk: The gift bag included with this Getaway comes stuffed with locally made wares including soap, jewelry, and jelly.
Calhoun, Tennessee: Scenic Riverside Town near Cherokee National Forest
Situated on the Hiwassee River in southeastern Tennessee, Calhoun is a dot on the map about an hour from Chattanooga. The town’s proximity to the Cherokee National Forest makes it a good home base for outdoor adventure. The forest stretches along the North Carolina border, encompassing more than 640,000 acres of wilderness. Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails wind through the scenic Appalachian Mountains, and you can fish for large-mouth bass and yellow perch in the many lakes, rivers, and streams. The area also offers some of the region’s best whitewater rafting. In fact, the Ocoee Whitewater Center hosted a number of events during the 1996 Summer Olympics.