The Great Smoky Mountains — [Traveling During COVID-19 Part 2]

Tennessee was always one of my favorite states after the first time I visited Nashville back in 2013. I loved everything about the city the few times I had visited, but I never got the chance to make it out East by The Great Smoky Mountains. Staying in a cabin away from everyone is something I wanted to do for a while, so I figured what’s a better time than now when social distancing is encouraged?! (Note: We did go to two attractions in town, but we spent the majority of our time away from everyone.)

View from our cabin
View from our cabin
View from our cabin

Where To Stay:

To get the full experience, you’ll want to stay in a cabin somewhere outside the crowded towns. There are many hotels in downtown Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, but you would be missing out on the view and the quietness in the middle of the mountains.

We found our cabin on Airbnb, but there are many sites that offer different listings as well. (I just always use Airbnb when traveling. I find it easier and more beneficial.) We stayed outside of Pigeon Forge near Townsend. The view from our cabin was absolutely beautiful! The sunsets were breathtaking and the colors were so vibrant each evening. I think I saw some of my favorite sunsets here, hands down! (We even got to see a black bear one evening outside our cabin!)

Sunset on day one
Sunset on day three
Sunset on day three
Sunset on day four
Sunset on day four

I also brought my fur baby, Salem with me on his first road trip, so I wanted to make sure he had enough space and a comfortable place for him to stay.

Salem checking out the back deck.
Enjoying his first vacationΒ 
Sitting on the stairs to the loft aka his hiding spot

What To Do:

There are an endless amount of activities to do between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Many of them are in town near the crowds, but there are also numerous things you can do away from everyone. There are a few scenic drives that are gorgeous and you can stop along the way to take pictures or hike a trail. I love this idea, especially for social distancing!

One of the many Great Smoky Mountains sign
Cades Cove
Cades Cove
Beautiful scenery along the road
Beautiful scenery along the road

I listed these locations below, along with the two other attractions we went to.

The Titanic Museum was awesome and had so much history to share! If you’re a Titanic fan, I would definitely recommend stopping here. We went early in the morning so we could beat the crowds! Unfortunately, photos are not allowed besides the Lego Titanic replica and Wallace Hartley’s Violin. (Worth 1.7 million dollars; the highest price ever paid for a Titanic artifact!)

Wallace Hartley’s Violin
Lego Titanic replica
Heart of the ocean
Heart of the ocean
The Skybridge
On The Skybridge
The Smoky Mountains w/ GatlinburgΒ 

Hiking Trails/Waterfalls:

The most obvious thing to do when visiting The Great Smoky Mountains is to go hiking! They have so many waterfalls you can hike to with different experience levels, so even if you’re a beginner, you will make it.

Laurel Falls
Laurel Falls
Me in front of Laurel Falls
Side view of Laurel Falls
View from the trail

Laurel Falls is one of the popular trails, so I would suggest hiking early in the morning. We made it a little after sunrise and there were still a good amount of people on the trail already, but still enough space to keep distance. Some of the best waterfalls to check out are as follows:

The drive through The Smoky Mountains
The drive through The Smoky Mountains
Numerous streams on the side of the roads
Rainstorm moving in, but it never rained
Got a dragonfly in this shot!

Where To Eat:

Another good reason to stay in a cabin (or Airbnb in general) is cooking at your location! Ours came with a grill, so we were able to grill out on the back deck and make food without a problem, but of course no one wants to go on vacation and be stuck cooking half the time. We checked out a few restaurants, but always got our food to go. Some places I would recommend are:

Salem on the back deck
Chocolate chip cookie dough — Gigi’s Cupcakes

**I WOULD NOT recommend Calhoun’s! I found a bug in my food (first time in my life) and their curbside pickup was the absolute worst!

After my trip to The Great Smoky Mountains, I’m convinced Tennessee is one of the most beautiful states in the South! If you haven’t been yet, I would suggest booking a cabin and checking it out for yourself. I honestly think any season would be a great time for a visit!


La Flare

View from our cabin
View from our cabin

107 thoughts on “The Great Smoky Mountains — [Traveling During COVID-19 Part 2]

Add yours

  1. what a spectacular place! Those pictures specially the sunset are amazing! I wish I could travel again. I would love to have a getaway like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow what beautiful photos! I love how you’ve been able to show the highlights of the area, and including restaurant suggestions! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like a great trip! I want to go back to the Smoky Mountains! We haven’t been there since our honeymoon in 2006! It’s so gorgeous there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my ! You refuse need a trip soon!! Renting a cabin during the falll months would be gorgeous! Hope you make it soon! Thank you so much for reading!πŸ’—


    1. Thank you !!! I was pretty bummed you can’t take pics inside the Titanic Museum, but i bought the “heart of the ocean” replica and took a pic of it outside.😊 Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a beautiful part of Tennessee and North Carolina! I love the mountains and get to visit them frequently as my boyfriend’s family is there. That’d be such a great trip during lockdown!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is absolutely gorgeous! The views are so beautiful! And I’m telling you, your view from your cabin is SPOT ON, you take very lovely pictures. I would definitely add this to my list of places I’d like to travel to! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are so many things about this post that I love! That first sunset is stunning! I love that your cat is named Salem. I thought your guide was so clear and I loved all of the photography. Definitely following you for more!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. YES! YES! YES! I’m a Tennessee lover too. It’s on my to-do list for August actually. As I started planning the trip back in July, I was surprised to see how many of the cabins are booked right now. Thank you so much for the post. I bookmarked it for when I go!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow this looks amazing, and the pics 😍 I’m going on my first real travel since corona. Flying to another country to stay with my boyfriend for a week (he’s attending university there and we haven’t seen each other since forever) Gonna involve a lot of face masks and hand sanitizer

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a great place to take some time off, de-stress and embrace nature! It’s cool that your AirBnb accommodation allows pets. Appreciate the tips from this post. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get to make it back to Tennessee soon! Nashville is sooo much fun! It will be waiting for you once all this is over!
      Thank you so much for reading!πŸ’–


  10. This is a beautiful photos – as usual you have wonderful photos! I love all the photos of the waterfalls and enjoy that Salem came with you on this trip! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Sorayah. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post. As good as your narrative is (and it is very good) what has blown me away is the brilliant photos – some of them are just breathtaking. Even turning nature photographer with the dragonfly! And Salem is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much !!! Tennessee is truly beautiful. Hahaha you noticed the dragonfly! I loved that i was able to get that shot when it flew in the photo! Thank you so much for reading!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Built with

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: