Are you longing for a tranquil getaway surrounded by natural beauty? Townsend, Tennessee provides a fresh breath of Great Smoky Mountain air and a chance to enjoy a wealth of adventures. Known as the Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains, this stunning area within Blount County offers outdoor scenery with hiking trails, greenways, shops, breweries, dining and more.

Taking place in the nation’s most popular, but serene, national park, the Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon and 5k “Fun Run” is the perfect escape with enchanting races through the woods. The beautiful course is also home to the 2019 Vacation Races’ 8th national park half marathon. It features captivating panoramic views against the backdrop of the Peaceful Side of the Smokies. Whether striving to achieve a goal time or just make it across the finish line, there’s a race for a variety of runners. The start and finish line are at the Talley Ho Inn in Townsend, Tennessee, where the pre- and post-race activities will take place.

Stay awhile and enjoy a post-run beer at Blackberry Farm Brewery. Their carefully-crafted, award-winning beer is the perfect complement to your adventurous lifestyle. This is your time to kick back, relax and have a taste of the South.

If you’re still looking to explore, take a nice walk, jog or bike ride along the Cades Cove Loop Road. Known for its picturesque landscape, the 6,800-acre valley of Cades Cove has an array of wildlife and historic structures. Take a lap around the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road. This one-way breathtaking lap is a one-of-a-kind scenic route that will leave you with a lasting appreciation for the Great Smoky Mountains. The loop is open from sunrise to sunset as weather permits from May to September. Please note that only foot and bicycle traffic are allowed on the trail on Wednesdays and Saturdays until 10 a.m. Get a head start to your morning with a stroll through Cades Cove Loop Road or wind down your evening with a picture-perfect drive around it.  

Abrams Falls at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Another great option for walking, running or biking is the Townsend Greenway that not only has beautiful views but also connects you to all the restaurants, shops and attractions in the area.

After you’ve soaked up the scenery, make your way over to Little River Trading Company located along the foothills of the Smokies. Since 1996, this local full service outdoor store has the finest outdoor gear and clothing in the region. Whether you’re looking for apparel, footwear, outdoor activity equipment or traveling and climbing necessities, Little River Trading Company has you covered. With over 80 quality brands, including their own and more such as Patagonia and The North Face, this outfitter is second to none. Each staff member is an outdoor adventure seeker trained in the new designs, brands and technology in order for your next journey to be unforgettable.

After a day of adventure, head over to dinner at Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro. The perfect combination of fresh, locally grown farm-to-table food along with the backdrop of the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” is waiting for you. Have a stroll with a cocktail in hand on the patio and relax by the fire pit under the night sky seeing stars clearer and brighter than ever before.

Escape the chaos of over-populated cities and head to Townsend, Tennessee to experience the nation’s finest natural beauty. Explore trails, greenways, outfitters, breweries and diners that are found nowhere else in the world. Enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and plan your summer vacation in Blount County. Visit smokymountains.org for more information.