3 Old Tennessee Treasures in Blount County, Gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Dan Lawson cabin in Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Dan Lawson cabin in Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Explore the past on the peaceful side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Blount County, Tenn. Here are our top picks for historic wanderings.

1. Cades Cove

This preserved pioneer village in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a visitor favorite. Meander through the historic homesteads, watch the miller grind grain and sit in the churches. You'll picture yourself living in a simpler time. The closest lodging to Cades Cove is in Townsend, Tenn. where you can rent a cozy mountain cabin of your own. Find a cabin.

2. Tuckaleechee Caverns

In the 1700s during hot summers, women would do their sewing chores at a cool spot in the valley near Cades Cove. Nearby, school children also liked to nap near the cool breeze escaping from a sinkhole venting air from a cave. Today, a Tuckaleechee Caverns tour featuring 12-foot tall stalagmites in the year-round 58-degree temperature is a great way for vacationing families to escape the heat. Learn more at (865) 448-2274, www.tuckaleecheecaverns.com

3. Antiquing Heaven

Just 20 miles from the national park entrance, there is a smattering of over 15 antique stores in Maryville, Tenn. Start your treasure hunt at stores with names like Druid Hill, Good Morning Glory, Good Ole Girls and Hoo La La. Many store owners have been collecting for over 30 years, and there's one shop that specializes in antique clocks. Find an antique store.

For more information:
Blount County
Alcoa, Maryville, Townsend & Walland, Tennessee
The Peaceful Side of the Smokies