USA Travel

A Day in Gatlinburg | Exploring Tennessee

For us people who road trip, we also day trip. There are towns or cities along the way that we can only spend a waking day in. While I was exploring The Great Smoky Mountains, the city of Gatlinburg was that day trip for me. I had started off in Cherokee, North Carolina and drove through the park into Tennessee. I had never been to Tennessee before and wanted to check it off my list. What I found in Gatlinburg was absolute charm and friendliness, it made me more curious about the whole state. I feel another road trip coming, this time through the state of Tennessee.

Autumn in Gatlinburg

When planning a day trip or any trip for that matter, always decide on what interests you. For some people it could be nature or family fun. For myself, I wanted to see a bit of history and find delicious food while in Gatlinburg. I did just that!

Lunch at The Wild Plum Tea House

I spent several wonderful hours in this Smoky Mountain gateway town before I turned around and drove back to Cherokee, North Carolina. My favorite part of Gatlinburg was the food, of course. Lunch at The Wild Plum Tea House was a unique and extraordinary experience, and I would love to go again.

I really enjoy days like this one where I am somewhere new, doing things that I have never done before!

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The Ogle Cabin

I was not expecting to come across this historic cabin but I spotted it off the main road, while finding parking. Naturally my curiosity for history and homes got the best of me and The Ogle Cabin was the first bit of Gatlinburg that I explored.

The Ogle Cabin is an interesting piece of local history since it is the oldest and best preserved cabin in the Smoky Mountain area. This small rustic cabin was completed in 1807 by the Ogle family, who were first European settlers in what is now Gatlinburg. There are other Ogle homes within the area but those are later kin, this cabin was the first.

The Ogle Cabin is a terrific piece of Smoky Mountain history and is located adjacent to the Welcome Center.

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The Village Shops

Although I am not one for knick-knack shopping, I knew that The Village Shops would have interesting snacks that would hold me over until my lunch at The Wild Plum Tea Room. I found a tasty donut shop and candy store while here. The Village Shops has a sweet old world charm to it and is a great place to spend an hour or so while in Gatlinburg.

For store information and location, please visit – The Village Shops

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Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen

I love tasting candies and chocolates from wherever I travel. I knew prior to my visit to Gatlinburg that there was a great looking sweet shop called Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen. The name itself was catchy, so I made it a point to stop in. The store was adorable and there were candy makers by the window making fresh candies for the store. There were so many types of candies from chocolates, fudge, pecan logs to fudge.

I purchased a box of chocolatey Brown Bears and a piece of heavenly Divinity

The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen has been a Gatlinburg sweet staple since 1950. A young couple, Dave and Peggy Dych, were driving to California when they stopped off in Gatlinburg. They decided to stay because they saw potential in this Tennessee town. Thank goodness they did because I really enjoyed the candy I purchased!

For online orders and store location, please visit – Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen

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The Donut Friar

When I was walking through The Village Shops, I came across The Donut Friar and had to step in. This donut shop is located inside an inviting cottage with delicious scents of fresh baked goods all around. Inside was an old fashioned donut shop with a loft for seating, tasty sweet treats and a monk mascot.

There were so many scrumptious things in this shop from traditional donuts, cinnamon rolls, bars to cookies. They also serve coffee drinks to have with your donuts. This is a place that I know my father would have enjoyed because he always told me the best thing to have with your coffee was a glazed donut.

For location and hours, please visit – The Donut Friar

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Old Cemetery

Overlooking the town of Gatlinburg is an old cemetery that I found fascinating. This cemetery is on a slight incline and there are very old tombstones dating back a couple hundred years. I did feel some uncomfortable sections around the tree line that I stayed away from, but besides that this was a peaceful grave yard.

For as long as I can remember, old cemeteries and grave yards interested me. To me it was never strange or frightening but an interesting way of looking at life and the end of life. I will not go into it now, but for those who are just as interested in old grave yards, you should check this one out.

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The Plum Tea Room

Tucked within the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a little gem of place called The Wild Plum Tea Room. Locals had suggested this restaurant to me, thinking that I would enjoy it and they were correct. This dining experience was exactly what I was looking for during my day trip to Gatlinburg. It was charming, unique and served flavorful dishes with fresh ingredients.

I really enjoyed my lunch of Cream of Asparagus with Wild Rice Soup, Lobster Pie and a cup of their Wild Plum Tea with Cakes. I would travel back to Gatlinburg from the west coast just to eat here again, there is no doubt about that. I have traveled for a good meal before, so it will happen!

For my Review 👩🏻‍💻➡The Wild Plum Tea Room | Gatlinburg, Tennessee

For hours and location, please visit – The Wild Plum Tea Room

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I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me…

– Walt Whitman
Yours Truly driving back from Gatlinburg

🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!

📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre

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