The major advantage of choosing Wears Valley as your vacation destination is that you’re right smack dab in the middle between Pigeon Forge, the land of many attractions, and Townsend, the more quiet side of the Smokies. 15 minutes driving could take you either direction, and 15 or 20 minutes more could take you to Gatlinburg or Maryville.
Wears Valley and Townsend have plenty to see and enjoy on its own merits too. Visitors who come to see us will see we take more after Townsend in offering a low-traffic, simplified environment that intends to honor the Smokies with less of a focus on mainstream tourism and more on homegrown, traditional Appalachian culture.
Wears Valley #1 Attraction:
Friendly Falls, Gnorbert’s Magical Gem Mine. Kids and adults alike will enjoy mining for gems in the garden area of Friendly Falls just next to the primary waterfall. Your kids will never forget the fun they had here. www.friendlyfalls.com
Gem Mining has become an excellent vacation past time. All ages enjoy the “dig” and then there is the exploration of the type of gem you have mined and the fun of taking them home. Gnorbert’s Magic Gem Mine is sure to intrigue the family. Buckets are available for $10.00 and $25.00 and all will enjoy the activity at Friendly Falls at the Cove Creek Cascades.
Wears Valley Adventures – If you dig a more extreme experience in the National Park, then Wears Valley Adventure is for you. Find outdoor gear, hiking needs, jeep rentals, cool lodging, waterfall dining and picnicking and more. Check out Wears Valley Adventures to learn more about things to do in Wears Valley. http://www.wearsvalleyadventures.com.
Cades Cove – Cades Cove is a valley offering a multitude of natural attractions for visitors coming through Townsend. Wildlife such as white-tailed deer, bears, coyotes, groundhogs, turkeys, raccoons, skunks, and just about every other type of animal you can find in the mountains. You can hike, bike, go horseback riding, go fishing, go on a nature shoot (photos of course) and even go camping in the backcountry. See more on Cades Cove at www.cadescove.net.
Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals – Big rolling power and adventure! We have 2014 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive Jeep Wranglers awaiting and completing your Smoky Mountain getaway. 200 miles of sheer fun, exceptional beauty, exploration and free wheeling up-close fun in the outdoors of Wears Valley, Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains invigorate your vacation with Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals.
Wear Farm City Park – On Wears Valley road towards Pigeon Forge is the Wear Farm city park where visitors and locals alike can spend an afternoon for simple fun and exercise. This is a large, open facility with two children’s playgrounds, football field, five baseball fields, pavilion, walking trails, basketball court, two concession stands and much more. http://www.cityofpigeonforge.com/wears-farm-city-park.aspx
Townsend Wye – One of the most popular recreational riverbeds in East Tennessee, the Townsend Wye is a tradition for thousands of locals and visitors every year. The Wye is just a single river cutting through the National Park running alongside the main road of Townsend, but it’s just wide enough without needing to be too wide, and shallow enough for people to enjoy swimming, fishing, tubing, what have you! There are also plenty of good spots to enjoy a simple picnic or family get-together as well. Parking is free, but you need to expect parking spaces will fill up quickly during the summer and most vacation periods outside of winter. Shuttles may also be available for transport. Also, as the river has no lifeguard or safety regulation in place, exercise good judgment at all times.
Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center – Probably the finest museum capturing all the nature, beauty and spirit of Southern Appalachia you will ever see, the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is a nonprofit organization dedicating to preserving the history and culture of the Tennessee man from Native American to European Pioneer and on. The Heritage Center provides scout programs, field trip opportunities, facility rentals, and special events like the Fiber Arts Festival, Music of the Mountains, Spring Concert Series and more. http://www.gsmheritagecenter.org
Gnorbert Recommends: Consider a jeep from Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals, once you are done Gem Mining of course, and then you’ll be able to do a bunch of the things on the list here. Cades Cove, Townsend Wye, and more.