Old-Fashioned Bed and Breakfast High Above the Tuckasiegee River
From Tuckasiegee River Mountain Lodge’s front porch, you can look out onto a seemingly endless expanse of forest-covered Smoky Mountains. It’s a sensational view that rewards those making the trip down a mile-long road that winds through the wilderness. Inside the cozy lodge, husband-and-wife innkeepers John and Nancy Hopp, along with their son and daughter-in-law, help folks feel at home with home-cooked breakfasts, a quaint gift shop, and a meeting room where you can watch TV sitcoms from the 1940s and 1950s. And the quaint experience of staying at this mountaintop lodge is enhanced by its advantageous location, about an hour's drive within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Biltmore Estate, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The lodge has just five guest suites, which helps ensure peace and quiet during your stay. Each suite is named for a different gemstone and is appropriately decorated in rich hues of ruby, emerald, sapphire, amethyst, or pearl, as well as with rustic wood paneling and antique furnishings. All rooms are pet-friendly, and on chilly nights, you and your furry friend can warm up next to the electric fireplace.
At the lodge's restaurant, innkeeper James Shively uses local produce and farm-fresh eggs to make a decadent complimentary breakfast that has included pancakes, fresh fruit, and cooked-to-order eggs. You can eat in the onsite dining room, in the comfort of your guest room, or amid the mountain breezes on the porch. The restaurant also serves sandwiches, salads, and more for lunch and dinner.
Whittier, NC: Tranquil Riverside Town near Great Smoky Mountains National Park
More than a century ago, Whittier started as a fast-growing lumber town along the Tuckasiegee River in western North Carolina. Nestled deep in the mountains, the town experienced some success in the lumber industry, but its breathtaking natural setting is what still draws visitors. From Whittier, you’re about a 10-minute drive from the southern entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can hike or ride horseback past rushing waterfalls and spot woodland creatures, including black bears, woodchucks, and wild turkeys. To get up close and personal with nature, you can go whitewater rafting on the nearby Tuckasiegee River or snow-tubing down the hills in winter.
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad chugs past colorful hemlock, birch, and sugar-maple trees as it makes its way along the Tuckasiegee River. Board the old-fashioned locomotive at nearby Bryson City for a more than three-hour journey to historical railroad towns and depots. The railway's seasonal specialty tours are fun for families; in October, Snoopy and the crew stop by as the train transforms into the Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express. In winter, sleigh bells and carols fill the air aboard the Polar Express–themed train.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.