I’ve been taking Trips To the Smoky Mountains for as a long as I can remember. As an adult, I’ve been taking my family there fairly frequently since 1993. I’ve been there many times and been all over the area. I love it. The beauty of the mountains and the plethora of things to do makes it a great destination for any age or economic demographic. From cheap restaurants and motels to gourmet experiences and gorgeous/expensive resorts. Live music, great craftsmen showing how it was done hundreds of years ago. Science, go carts and bungee jumping plus lots of food. Some cool bars for night life if that’s your thing. Great shopping and unusual items. Did I mention lots of moonshine stores and tours? Very cool.
I could list so many great things about the area but you can easily look up what you are interested. One of the best parts is being able to see and learn about the history of the area. Being of proud Native American heritage and being raised in both native and white culture, it is a fantastic place for me. You can see and learn much. Again I could go on forever, rafting, fishing hiking and water parks. Food !!! OK no let’s move on to lodging, specifically cabin rental this time around.
There are so many different choices for lodging in the area. Motels, hotels cabins and condos. Timeshares and complete resort communities. The list is endless and the prices range widely. You can still find a motel room in the area for under $50 a night. Or you can spend over a thousand a night. I’ve stayed in hotels, time shares and cabins here. Most were great and some, wellll lol. I want to talk about this last trip though. Let’s go through who I used, how it works and then a bunch of pictures ! Remember, I’m a fighter/trainer that travels often and writes a bit but not a travel writer or photographer! Please bear with me and enjoy my amateur status !
This time we went through a rental management company called Aunt Bugs. There are many like this in the area. People build or buy investment/vacation cabins in the area and put them in rental with a company to help cover costs. In the case of Aunt Bugs they are all in various gated properties. Large areas that are open, feel like you are in the middle of nowhere but have security as you come in. At ours, we drove up a tiny mountain road, straight up, for a solid 15 minutes after going through the gate to get to our cabin. Be aware that it can be like that. I loved it, but if you fear heights or tough driving you might want to rethink this.
We made our reservations and paid through AuntBugs.com. I travel often so I’m picky, but I will say for a small operation they did a great job. On check in day, we drive to their office in town, picked up the security pass and key and then headed off to our mountain home for the week. The one we were staying at was quite a ways from the town where the office was but that was great with me. See the cool tourist stuff in town and then drive out through the beautiful Wears Valley and up a mountain to our hideaway. Perfect.
The cabin we had was gorgeous, and remote. Standing on the beautiful deck the first night, having a beer and looking at the mountains a small black bear joined me. Didn’t really join me, he stood down in the yard and looked for food while I watched him. Great experience, but know that you will possibly come in contact with bears. Learn about what you need to do and how to act. There was also a great hot tub on the deck. We were there in March this time. One evening my wife and I stayed warm in the hot tub looking at the mountains, while snow flurries came down and we enjoyed a great bottle of wine. Truly as great as it can get.
I’m just going to let a group of random pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy and see if this might be the relaxing adventure for you.
Check out AuntBugs.com to see all the different options. The people there were helpful and it was all quite simple in a complex age. As somebody who gets to travel often, I really enjoyed this one. By the way, I didn’t hire the beautiful models in the pictures. That’s my wife and daughter. Martial arts has been good to me lol.
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