Sometimes, my thought processes amaze me. The time I thought it would be a great idea to run a half marathon in shoes that weren’t broken in amazed me because it was so incredibly moronic. Other times, like when I booked a cabin at Dancing Bear Lodge following a day of bike riding was, by far, one of my more brilliant schemes.
Dancing Bear is located in Townsend, TN about 10 miles from the entrance to the Smokey Mountains and, conveniently for us, a a short 45 minutes from Knoxville. It is also the sister hotel to Blackberry Farm, aka Mecca. It’s a very cool concept – think summer camp for adults – consisting of a main lodge with rooms and dining, and about 2 dozen small cabins throughout the property. Of course these cabins aren’t like your standard KOA digs. Here take a look:
What you can’t see aside from the the small kitchenette, walk in closet, huge sunken bathtub, and stone fireplace, is the fact that that bed right there is far and away the BEST bed I have ever slept on. A king size haven of feathery perfection that was one of the best places I could possibly think of to lay my head after 4 hours on a bike.
The other best place? This private hot tub on our porch. Oh hell yes. And honestly, I’d be lying if I said that the hot tub wasn’t approximately 95% of the reason I booked the room in the first place. Nothing, NOTHING feels better on a sore ass than a whirlwind of jets and some steamy water (sorry for the visual, but I mean really…)
And then there was dinner. Dinner is served nightly in the lodge with an ever-changing seasonal menu helmed by Chef Jeff Carter. You can read all about him here, but he’s essentially a culinary rock star in the area. And let me tell you, the things he can do with trout are downright sinful.
J and I, being famished from our earlier workout decided to order everything off the menu. Just kidding. But we did eat a lot and found my skirt a bit snug by the end of the meal… thank god for elastic. Here’s a looksie:
Not pictured that we also stuffed ourselves with: The most amazing cheeze puff biscutis I’ve ever had served with sorgum butter, truffled corn and crab chowder, and Chicken with peach glaze served atop polenta from heaven.
And obviously we couldn’t end there, so we traipsed around the lodge to the side patio to the complimentary s’more bar set up for fat kids like us. Told you it was like summer camp. But with booze. And really really good food. And hot tubs…
Fun fact: I like my marshmallows charred. Adds a little extra something (carcinogens? carbon?) that a properly toasted marshmallow simply lacks.
A room at Dancing Bear also includes a complimentary breakfast: Bagels, bread, granola, yogurt, quiche, muffins, all the fixings including some of the best strawberry jam I’ve ever had save for my mom’s. All enjoyed on the back porch with a steamy mug of hot coffee. A great way to end the weekend.
Rooms/Cabins at Dancing Bear range from $210 – $280 per night. A bit more than what J and I would typically spend BUT if you join their mailing list, you’ll get notified when they offer their bi-annual Half Price sale which is what we did.
Also, J and I mutually agreed that this would be a great place to stay following our wedding so now I can write the trip off a “wedding related research”. A win win for everyone.
If you are ever in TN and need a place to stay away from all the touristy nonsense, Dancing Bear Lodge is a beautiful, peaceful, and delicious option.