Fall season on the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” might lead one to think that gorgeous views and vistas of fall foliage may be all that Townsend, Tn has to offer during the autumn months. Well, that’s as far from the truth as saying Cades Cove is a “so-so” place to take pictures. From the town’s Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day to the numerous chances to catch local musicians and artisans throughout the area, Townsend, Tn is a hive for fall activity and family fun of all kinds.
So you’re in Townsend for a few days, or a long weekend this fall, well let’s start out with the reason most people come the Smokies each fall – the gorgeous fall colors. Townsend is the perfect place to catch fall in all its splendor whether you’re taking a quick trip around Cades Cove loop road or a longer drive down Rich Mountain Road. Both routes give you a good chance at taking in some picturesque fall scenery. And you can do everything in a day, probably even half a day then get back to town to do something else. If you’re wanting to get a bit further away from town, try driving the Foothills Parkway or the Cherohala Skyway. Both have plenty of magnificent overlooks and historic destinations located along the way.
You’ve got to at least set aside one day just to try the offerings from a few good Townsend restaurants. We suggest a different meal from a different restaurant for each meal. Try camp cooking for at least one meal, or going on a picnic. Some of the area’s best BBQ can be found at such events as the Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Days (Sept. 28 & 29), as well as all kinds of specialty sandwiches, homemade ice cream and desserts, and any other kind local festival-type food you could think of.
Now, while there does seem to be quite a few things to do around town, don’t forget to stray a bit into nature. As mentioned, take a picnic and explore the byways of the Smoky Mountains. Pack a backpack and hike to a beautiful, quiet area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are numerous hikes around Townsend, and especially the Cades Cove area. Find out about biking Townsend, or just stroll over to a nearby stream and throw a line in.
There are musicians and crafts people around town too numerous to even list. The arts and crafts of Townsend come alive in Townsend’s Artisan Guild. Most artists are in their stores daily and love for people to come by and talk with them about their craft…. And purchase a few things too. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. So come to Townsend, TN this fall and spend a day or two and get back to the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies”.