The community of Townsend, TN, is a portal to adventure. This small, tight-knit community is loaded with tons of family fun. Majestic views of the captivating Smoky Mountains and crisp, fresh breezes await you. As you enjoy a relaxing hike or a brisk horseback ride, you’ll feel at home in this serene yet exciting place. As the locals call it, The Peaceful Side of the Smokies, is one of the top destinations for travelers to the region. Keep reading to hear about all that this town has to offer you and your family.
Several Ways to Get Around Town
A trip to Townsend is an opportunity to try many different forms of transportation. Rent a bike and go on the Ellejoy Jaunt to take in scenic farmland and mountain views, or ride the Townsend Bicycle Trail, a short trip with access to restaurants and shops. At Cades Cove, there are elegant carriage rides or bumpy hayrides for the whole family to enjoy. And in Townsend, there are several stables offering horseback riding opportunities.
Have an Adventure
For adventurous kids of at least two years old, the thrill of ziplining through the trees is too exciting an experience to pass up. But if you like to get your kicks with your feet firmly on the ground (or under it), head to 825 Cavern Road to explore caverns that are upwards of 20 million years old. If floating is more your speed, rent a tube and cruise down the river.
Go Horseback Riding
Mount up and head out on a guided horseback ride. The Cade Cove Riding Stables offer lessons for everyone, from top-notch riders to beginners and everyone in between. All kids over the age of 6 and measure at least 4 feet are welcome to ride. Check out the scenery just like the first settlers, from horseback. It is also important to note that cameras and phones are strictly forbidden while riding. This is for the safety of the horse as well as the rider. If you’re looking to sit back and relax, we’d suggest a hayride or carriage ride. There are no camera restrictions for either of these options. For a complete listing of prices and options, click here.
Discover the Town’s Heritage
Give the kids a better appreciation for Townsend’s heritage, and get them excited about history with a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. There are period buildings, live demonstrations, and a range of programs that make education fun and engaging. Buildings include a wheelwright shop, a smokehouse, barns, and log cabins. If you happen to visit Townsend in September, try to catch the annual Fall Heritage Festival. The event is a chance to enjoy Bluegrass, arts, and crafts with the whole family. The event is free and offers its visitors a ton of timeless Appalachian events such as clogging and square dancing. There’s a ton of old-timey games for the kids and loads of tasty treats. Try some fried pie or snack on kettle corn as you take in the exhibits and craft vendors. Be sure to check out the calendar for a complete listing of all the awesome events at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center.
Visit the National Park
Townsend is one of the gateways to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the entrance is close to Cades Cove, one of the park’s most commonly visited areas. The cove features an 11-mile road through stunning scenery featuring mountains, waterfalls, and an operational grist mill. Aside from the static natural beauty, this area is famous for its wildlife. You’ll have the chance to see deer, bears, coyotes, turkeys, and a ton of other animals. Hiking is also a popular thing to do in the park. It also gives you a better chance of spotting more of the animals mentioned earlier. If you’re looking for a longer trek, try your hand at the Cades Cove Loop Road.
Be sure to bring some burgers and hotdogs for dinner after the hike. Townsend’s entrance to the park is also close to a picnic area beside a mountain stream. There you can fire up a grill and enjoy dining with the family surrounded by all the natural beauty of the park. Make sure you and your family get there while the sun is in the sky, as the park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Stay and Play
A weekend getaway in Townsend isn’t nearly long enough to take in all of the sights and enjoy all of the attractions. Fortunately, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to places to stay. Rent a beautiful chalet where it’s possible to soak up the mountain views while you soak in a hot tub; go rustic and rugged with a woodland cabin far from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life; stay in a quaint cottage; or enjoy a relaxed stay in a bungalow with easy access to the surrounding sights.
As you can see, Townsend, really is a portal to adventure. Discovering beauty is effortless in The Peaceful Side of the Smokies, and is fun for the whole family. Whether enjoying the outdoor things to do like ziplining and horseback riding or soaking up the culture at the Heritage Center, it’s no wonder why this is one of the top destinations for family getaways. Plan your trip today and ensure that the next family vacation is a success. Head over to VacationRenter and let us help you pick out the perfect place for your trip!