Wears Vally, TN Restaurants, Shopping & Things To Do
A Hidden Gem in the Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Area
It can be overwhelming trying to decide what to do and where to go with so many options in the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area.
So, if you ever came home exhausted from a vacation, I have the perfect
secret spot for you
I will tell you why you will love Wears Valley if you want to truly "get away from it all."
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Where is it and how do I get there?
From Pigeon Forge, it's about 7 miles from the Main Parkway to Wears Valley. All you have to do is turn onto Wears Valley Road and follow it all the way, and once you've reached Paw Paw's Catfish Kitchen, you are pretty much there. It is easy-peasy to get there, and the drive is scenic and beautiful.
So, you can see it's just 15 minutes to get to Pigeon Forge and all the attractions from your Wears Valley cabin.
On the way to Wears Valley there are also many attractions such as:
2 Mountain Coasters
Friendly Falls wedding venue
Wears Valley Zipline Adventures
Bigfoot Philly Cheesesteaks
Chainsaw & Wood Carvers
Wear Farm City Park
Small Shops & Eateries
But once you are in Wears Valley, you may not want to leave
and I will tell you why...
There are many things to do and beautiful places to stay in Wears Valley, as you will see below. There are good places to eat, shop, and attractions...but things are a lot more spread out and move at a slightly slower pace with less traffic nightmares.
Traffic is nowhere near what you will experience in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge.
Also, there is no matching the mountain scenery you will experience in Wears Valley.
1.) Hidden Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Line Springs Road
If you thought you might be too far from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you will be happy to know that I actually love this little "back entrance". It leads to some prime spots! And without all the traffic in Gatlinburg!
Little Greenbrier School
Walker Sister's Place
Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area & Trailhead
Elkmont Ghost Town
Jakes Creek & Little River Trail (See my page on Wildflower & Waterfall Trails)
The Sinks waterfall
See more hidden gems in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
2.) Elvira's Cafe
4143 Wears Valley Road
Award winning restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch, and specialty crepes. Offers traditional Southern fixings with a touch of Russian flavor.
Try a Fried green tomato BLT, or a Cade's Cove Special. How about a Grown-Up Grilled Cheese or some Blackened North Carolina Trout? There is a kid's menu and something for everyone. Call ahead as hours can be seasonal and subject to change.
3.) Tennessee Shine Co.
3303 Wears Valley Road
Stop in and sample some homemade Tennessee whiskey, wine and moonshine at the tasting bar, and pick up your favorite bottle to take back to the cabin.
Tennessee XXX Distillery makes a large variety of unique flavors! Also gifts and t-shirts, make great souvenir or gift for someone back home. Sits right in front of the mountains with the most gorgeous scenery.
4.) Harper Bros Mountain & Hawk Skylift
4149 Wears Valley Road
Oh my, anything to do with horses, I am there. Seasonal, guided horseback riding, Harper Bros General Merchandise Store with all kinds of treasures, and a peaceful 2,150 ft. high Skylift with Wears Valley mountain views.
Enjoy some Starbucks Coffee on your roundtrip ride of at least 30 minutes and relax in rocking chairs and swings at the top, and even play checkers. Have some complimentary Moon Pies and water in the Hawk's Nest too!
According to their website, Hawk Skylift is handicapped accessible.
5.) The Preserve Resort
3031 Hickory Lodge Drive, Wears Valley
I'm a little biased, but this is one of the resorts I have done inspections in, it is one of my favorites, and it is just breathtaking. The views and true mountain experience is hard to beat. This resort has many cabins and also amenities like a workout facility, steam room, sauna, a seasonal, outdoor community pool, a covered pavilion and wedding chapel onsite.
There is a good chance you will see bears around. Cars must be locked; trash cannot be left outside on decks. They mostly come out at night, I never saw one during the day, but I saw their footprints a lot.
(Find out about what to do if you see a bear on my page here.)
It is way up high, about miles up the mountain from Wears Valley Road, so if you want to be close to town, this will not be for you. Also, if you go in winter, you could get snowed in or need 4WD.
See cabins at The Preserve here.
6.) Antiques & Other Shops
You can find rustic, barnwood, and other styles of custom-built furniture and cabinetry at Riverwoods Home Furnishings, a 10,000 sq. ft showroom.
Stop by The Mountain Brothers General Store, or if you like antique shopping you will find some treasures at one of these places:
Bear Valley Antiques
7.) Foothills Parkway Access
Approximately 3400 Wears Valley Road, Wears Valley
After many decades of construction delays, the long awaited "Missing Link" of the Foothills Parkway that crosses this area, is finally open and includes floating bridges along breathtaking mountainsides. (You can see my video here)
Take a relaxing drive, stop at the many overlooks and see the seasonal views as you drift along this stretch of road that you can now access from the entryway here.
8.) Wears Valley Social Food Truck Park
3209 Wears Valley Road, Wears Valley
Seasonal Food Truck Parking area for people to gather and try new treats! You never know who will show up, and what kind of food you might find.
Sit at a picnic table, or take it to go, either way the possibilities are endless!
Wears Valley Road, Wears Valley
Stop by Tennessee Mountain View Winery or Cades Cove Cellars. See how the wines are made and try some samples of the many different homemade flavors.
Also try some Sweetwater Valley cheeses, sausages, local pottery, jewelry, artwork and more at Cades Cove Cellars, and try the locally grown and harvested flavors at family-owned Tennessee Mountain View Winery.
10.) Paw Paw's Catfish Cajun & Creole
2760 Wears Valley Road, Wears Valley
This is a little gem! It is part of my page Hidden Gem Places to Eat in the area.
Little restaurant with big Cajun flavors. Besides fried catfish, they have boiled crawfish, fried shrimp, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, boudin balls, shrimp etouffee New Orleans Muffalettas, Poboys and more.
How about some alligator bites or frog legs? Or a hamburger steak & grilled onions, homemade gravy, bread & mashed potatoes. Also call about ordering BBQ Ribs.
Desserts include white chocolate bread pudding, chocolate layered cake, lemon icebox pie and more. Ask about King Cakes during the Mardi Gras season & snowballs.
11.) Unforgettable View Country Inn & Spa
3720 Wears Valley Road, Wears Valley
Highly rated spa with unbeatable view.
Offering several types of massages under a gazebo or inside next to a stone fireplace, and other services like foot scrubs, aromatherapy, exfoliating treatment, couple's massage and even cabin or hotel visits.
You can also book a night in the Laurel Falls Room, The Old Mill Room or The Little Red Cottage and have breakfast with an unforgettable mountain view!
12.) Other Attractions in Wears Valley
There are so many great spots to find if you look around Wears Valley.
Check out Myers Bros Farm U-Pick Farm and Grandmother's Kitchen for some breakfast and some Cathead biscuits, for instance. Then there is Bigfoot Philly Cheesesteaks and Wears Valley Ziplines too. Stop by Heavenly Roast Coffee for a pick me up, or sweet treat.
So much to do, so much to see, but yet - SO peaceful and easy to be there!