Victorian-Style Mansion on Farmland in Smoky Mountain Foothills
Norman and Sarah Ball, the innkeepers of Blue Mountain Mist bed and breakfast, both have deep ties to the Smoky Mountains—in fact, they’re descendants of some of the area’s earliest inhabitants. Sarah grew up on the 60 acres of farmland that the bed and breakfast now occupies. She returned to these foothills later on with her husband to build the property's Victorian-style mansion and surrounding cottages. Today, 25 years later, their family runs all aspects of Blue Mountain Mist, from managing the office to cooking the hot southern breakfast served each morning. Norman and Sarah’s daughter-in-law serves as the resident massage therapist; one 30-minute, in-house massage is included with this Getaway.
The Balls are happy to share their knowledge of the area with their guests, be it talking about the local history or recommending nearby restaurants, activities, and attractions. They named the guest rooms in the main house after historical or geographical regions of the Smoky Mountains, like Greenbrier, White Oak Flats, and Elkmon. Each has its own look and layout—some come with bedside jacuzzis and cherry-wood fireplaces. Many rooms face the mountains, whereas others overlook the property’s ponds, flower gardens, and meadows.
You can fuel up for a day of mountain hiking or antiquing with a complimentary full breakfast, served daily in the dining room. The menu for the family-style meal changes, but usually features Sarah’s stuffed french toast or Norman’s sausage-and-egg quiche. Guests are also known to return to the dining room throughout the day to visit what’s affectionately known as Temptation Station, where pies and cakes baked that day are left out as snacks.
Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains: Sprawling Wilderness of Ancient Peaks with Family-Friendly Attractions
One of the most United States' most-visited national parks, the Great Smoky Mountains wilderness stretches across the Tennessee-North Carolina border. It’s covered with old-growth forests, river valleys, and coves, including Cades Cove, home to nearly 10,000 different species of plants and animals. This particular parkland also includes various homesteads and other historic buildings that date back to the 1800s.
Blue Mountain Mist lies in the city of Sevierville, about 30 minutes north of the national park. It’s known for its shopping, encompassing two of the area’s largest outlet malls as well as a variety of antique shops. The nearby community of Pigeon Forge gets a lot of visitors thanks to Dollywood, the theme park owned and operated by Sevier County native Dolly Parton. The park has a number of thrilling roller coasters as well as stages where musicians play everything from gospel to bluegrass.
Continuing south from here will bring you to Gatlinburg, the closest city to the Smokies; the national park surrounds Gatlinburg on three sides. This city is also a good place to stop for family-friendly attractions, including one of North America’s largest arts-and-crafts communities and Ober Gatlinburg, a beginner-friendly ski resort.