Under Canvas Location: Smokey Mountains
Keeping up with tradition, Mike and I planned a little outdoor getaway to celebrate our anniversary. We had been talking about visiting one of the Under Canvas properties for quite a while. With COVID causing a bit of a ‘travel headache’, the Smokey Mountains campsite was the perfect fit.
In the last couple of the years, Mike and I have dabbled with the true camping experience. From our time camping out at the base of Havasu Falls in Arizona to our guided 4-day hiking and camping experience in Peru; we got a true taste of sleeping on the ground, in a tent. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVED these trips. Our guides always made sure that the overall experience was anything but “roughing it”. However, neither of us could sit here and say that we actually slept half way decent either time.
As adventurous as those experiences were, we were looking for something a bit more luxury for our anniversary getaway. If you love the outdoors and all of the fun that come alongside camping but just don’t love the idea of a community bathroom and sleeping on the ground; then look no further than Under Canvas ‘glamping’ properties.
Getting to the Smokey Mountains:
Most of the Under Canvas properties are located very conveniently outside of national parks around the US. The Smokey Mountain location was no exception. This property is located 5-10 minutes from the entrance of the national park, 20 minutes to downtown Gatlinburg and 15 minutes to Pigeon Forge. After driving through the chaotic and crowded main streets of Pigeon Forge, we were more than happy to arrive at the quiet campsite.
For those living in Atlanta, the Smokey Mountains and this campsite are located approximately 4 hours from suburbs. Although, the final hour or so of the drive barely counts since every turn around the bend leads to another scenic view overlooking the fog filled Smokies.
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Smokey Mountains Under Canvas Accommodations:
Whether you love the outdoors but not the idea of actual camping or you enjoy camping but you are interested in a little ‘pampering’ instead; Under Canvas safari-style tents are the ones for you.
There are several different styles of tents; from tipi tents made for 1-2 people, to safari tents with king-sized beds, there is something for everyone. Traveling with kids? Choose the larger tent and add a cot for the little one.
We chose the standard safari tent with a king sized bed and an in-room bathroom and shower. The entire camp site is eco-friendly. Everything from the water-preserving shower (the pull-down type – but don’t worry the water gets hot within ~ 15 seconds) to the “heat” aka your own personal in-room fire ‘stove’ that you build yourself.
Upon arrival, we checked in and were given directions to our tent. The girls at the front were extremely helpful; immediately giving us tips for nearby hikes, dog friendly sports bars, and all of the ‘happenings’ on the campsite.
Every weekend is a little different on-site; from different musicians who come to play in an outdoor concert series, to the breakfast menu items, to other additional perks available to the campers. For instance, we got lucky and one of the employees does photography on the side and she had volunteered to do free photo sessions for anyone on the campsite. Of coarse I took her up on that offer immediately – much better than attempting to use my suitcase and a timer on my computer to capture us 3 in our safari tent.
Evenings Under Canvas
Just footsteps outside of our cozy tent were two blazing bonfires, live music below the lights, delicious food and drinks served up until 10:00PM and complimentary s’mores kits. I had zero expectations about the restaurant before we arrived. Since there was no menu available online or really any mention of what type of food they offered, I figured it would be very basic with limited to no healthy options… Boy was I wrong! From charcuterie and hummus, to grilled salmon and vegetable curry bowls, to specialty shrimp tacos and fulled loaded green goddess salads; the list goes on. We could only try so much given there was only the two of us but everything we tried was phenomenal.
After several hours of enjoying time by the fire, meeting people from all over the southeast, roasting some marshmallows, taking in the stars from above and truly disconnecting ( thank you no wi-fi!! ); it was time to call it a night .
Mornings Under Canvas:
WOW. So we thought evenings Under Canvas were ah-mazing, but we did not expect the mornings to be just as magical. Waking up to the cool crisp mountain air, smokey mountain fog sinking down towards the damp ground, hot coffee (to your preference) delivered to your tent ‘doorstep’, and delicious breakfast on-the-go is hard to beat.
You better believe after we left our stay in the Smokies, we immediately researched the other Under Canvas glamping locations.
Whether it’s along the northeast coast in Acadia National Park (Maine), or the desert of Moab; there is sure to be a destination for everyone. There are currently 9 sites; including the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore to name a few.
In other exciting news, there are 2 more sites coming soon! Soon enough there will be an Under Canvas at Yosemite and an Under Canvas Joshua Tree.
Sign me up!