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Located just outside of Pigeon Forge, you’ll find Wears Valley. This valley is known for its gorgeous mountain views and is considered the “peaceful side of the Smokies.” If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Wears Valley is the place for you. It’s filled with both history and culture and runs parallel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For those who are interested in exploring this hidden gem, we’ve put together a guide to visiting Wears Valley TN.
About Wears Valley
Wears Valley is a quiet community in the Smoky Mountain area that attracts both locals and visitors alike. It’s well known for its breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains and is especially popular during the fall. This area is small, however, stretching only 3 miles wide and 5 miles long. It’s size is part of what makes it so special! Wears Valley is surrounded by mountains on all sides, and even provides its own entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’re looking for a less crowded way to get into the park, this is the place to go. It’s home to fun things to do, mom and pop restaurants you’ll love, and stunning scenery.
Things to Do in Wears Valley
Though it’s small in size, it’s not limited on fun activities! There are plenty of things to do in Wears Valley and close by. See the Smokies from new heights at Wears Valley Zipline Adventures, where you can enjoy over a mile and a half of some of the longest and highest ziplines in the area. From these ziplines, you’ll have gorgeous views of Mount LeConte and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can also visit a unique attraction in the Smoky Mountains, Goats on the Roof. Yes — there are actual goats on the roof! Not only can you feed the goats, but you can do some shopping, gem mining, and enjoy some ice cream. If you’re looking for a thrill, go for a ride on the Coaster at Goats on the Roof. You’ll control your own speed as you go on an exciting journey through the hills of Tennessee. Go up to 30 miles per hour, or take a slower, scenic ride around the track.
As we mentioned before, you’ll also find a “secret entrance” to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Wears Valley TN. This is where many of the locals go to enter the park. The entrance connects to Little River Gorge Road, which allows you to access some of the most popular areas of the park, including Cades Cove!
Check out more things to do in Wears Valley TN.
Places to Eat in Wears Valley
Some of the best hidden gem restaurants in the Smoky Mountains are located in Wears Valley! Wears Valley is home to some delicious mom and pop restaurants you have to try while you’re in the Smokies. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Elvira’s Cafe is a local favorite. Enjoy fresh, farm-to-table food in a friendly atmosphere. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m., and the menu includes everything from hot cakes, to french toast, to country ham and eggs! For lunch, choose from a variety of sandwiches and burgers, from a grown up grilled cheese to a roasted turkey sandwich. For dinner, the menu includes pork chops, chicken tenders, catfish, trout and more! You’ll feel right at home at Elvira’s Cafe.
At Grandmother’s Kitchen, you’ll find all your favorite Southern staples you can enjoy for breakfast and lunch. You can find this restaurant near the center of Wears Valley. If you’re in the mood for old-fashioned, home cooking this is the spot for you. For breakfast, enjoy platters with eggs and your choice of breakfast meat. For dinner, enjoy platters like catfish, fried chicken, country fried steak and more!
Hillbilly’s Restaurant has a casual, laid-back atmosphere. They serve up a delicious country-style breakfast, and a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads. To start your day off right, enjoy one of their popular breakfast dishes, like Aunt Bessies Rolled Up Eggs or Banana Foster French Toast. Their burgers are cooked just right with the best beef available. You can also try their country fried steak, chicken tenders or grilled chicken burger!
When you’re in the mood for Italian, head to Geppetto’s. This family-friendly restaurant serves pizza, pasta, subs and delicious desserts. Dine indoors or at one of the picnic tables outside! For dinner and a view, pick a table in the large indoor dining room, which offers gorgeous views of Cove Mountain. Whether you’re in the mood for a hand tossed pizza or spaghetti, you’ll love the authentic Italian dishes at Geppetto’s.
Where is Wears Valley?
For those who have never heard of Wears Valley TN before, it’s a small community right outside of Pigeon Forge. It sits between Pigeon Forge and Townsend. Wears Valley is located on US 321, about 10 minutes west/southwest of Pigeon Forge. It’s less than a half hour drive from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. You can easily access Wears Valley from the Pigeon Forge Parkway by traveling west on Wears Valley Road.
Where to Stay
When you want to visit Wears Valley TN, the best place to stay is in a Smoky Mountain cabin rental. In fact, there are cabins located right in the Wears Valley area! No matter the occasion, you can find a cabin rental for your stay. Cabins come with a variety of amenities, from full kitchens, to hot tubs, to mountain views. For added entertainment, choose a cabin with a game room, home theater or indoor pool!
Take a look at all the amazing cabins in the Smoky Mountains and choose one for your stay!