Hotel At a Glance: Tuckaleechee Retreat Center
Tuckaleechee Retreat Center serves several purposes: it’s a summer camp resort and missionary training facility for Children’s Bible Ministries as well as a back-to-nature vacation spot for families set on 53 acres of land. Directly on the border of the vast Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Tuckaleechee Retreat Center provides rustic-looking-yet-modernized cabins for those looking to get away from it all.
- Cades Cove: Part of the Great Smoky Mountains, the cove is only 10 minutes from the property.
- Close to Knoxville: You’ll be 45 minutes south of the bright lights, plentiful restaurants, and shopping spots of Knoxville.
- Rustic cabins featuring quaint touches such as quilts, knotted pine walls, and country art, with modern amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and outdoor hot tubs.
- Splash into the outdoor pool, which is surrounded by mountain views.
Townsend, Tennessee: Peaceful Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains
Townsend’s nickname is “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies.” This tiny town (population 244!) in eastern Tennessee has the least-busy entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with its over 500,000 acres of protected forests, hiking trails, and picturesque streams. Here, you’ll find none of the kitsch and tourist-geared trappings of Gatlinburg, another main entrance to the park. Instead, you’ll find a few local restaurants and stunning mountain views at every turn.
Head to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, a museum that documents the history of the area, to see permanent exhibits such as a hand-built log cabin and Native American artifacts, as well as shows at the outdoor theater. If you’re in the mood to get out of town, Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s country theme park, is less than an hour’s drive away in Pigeon Forge.