{travel tales part two- kansas -> st. louis -> nashville -> gatlinburg -> asheville}

Happy Sunday y’all, let’s pick up where we left off!

After leaving Nashville, we took off for the Gatlinburg/Sevierville/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area. We rented a cabin on top of a mountain that happened to be about equal  distance to all of these cities which meant for easy exploring access to a variety of places. With a few days of busy travel behind us, I was looking forward to lots of book and magazine reading time!

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Our cabin had three porches to soak in the view, but my favorite was sitting on the third floor. There were some awesome chairs that despite the cold, I was eager to enjoy!

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We rested up and then set out to start checking destinations off of my “sights to see” list. My travel BFF, Trip Advisor, had some great suggestions that I was ready to discover! Our first stop was The Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store in Sevierville. This place was so neat! On the property, there is restaurants, bakery, candy shop, home store, winery and much more.

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Inside the Apple Barn, there is a cafe where they serve up hot cider, apple pie, tarts, turnovers and other yummy treats. After walking around for awhile, I was ready for a treat.

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I went for the warm apple pie and homemade vanilla ice cream, it was tasty and gets five star approval from me! Outside of a barn, there is a kitchen room with all glass front, It was neat to see everything being made from scratch, I would have loved to hear their tips and tricks for making the delicious goodies!

Next up on my list was The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. Like The Apple Barn, this stop was home to a general store, restaurant, pottery factory and other fun places to check out.

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This was the real reason why I wanted to stop here- the actual mill. It reminds me so much of the mills I used to see in Pennsylvania when I lived there as a kid! It was such a beautiful day.

Next up was a day trip to a historical landmark that I have been wanting to visit for years, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC! This 178,926 square feet estate was completed in 1895 and was home to the wealthy Vanderbilt Family. It is still owned by the family, but in 1930 it was opened to the public for tours and events. For all my fellow One Tree Hill fans, yes I made sure I went to the spot on the property where Brooke and Julian talked about getting married at the Biltmore in Season 8! 🙂

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I am in awe of this place. The size, the architecture, the history – it is all just too fantastic. You can’t take pictures inside, but the awe continued through each and every one of the rooms that were open to the public. Image

At every turn there was something new that caught my attention. It all just reminded me of something you would see in historical Europe or Downton Abbey!

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This was the view from the garden terrace, I can’t wait to go back here in the Spring sometime!

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Besides the house, the 8,000 acre property also includes Antler Hill Village and Winery. This was such a fun place to explore!

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We explored the village and winery a bit before heading over to the Farm at Antler Hill on the property. This interactive destination takes you back in time to the late 1800s to early 1900s when this was a center for all of the families and staff that worked throughout the Biltmore Estate. A highlight was definitely watching a blacksmith demonstration in the same shop that has been used on the property for decades.

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This guy was amazing! He told stories throughout his work, and really made you feel like you were experiencing what life was like back in the day.

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This porch makes me so happy. Between the rustic chairs and beautiful wreath, I could have stayed there forever! After many hours (that still weren’t enough to see everything), we were off to explore the rest of Asheville.

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Asheville has so many unique shops and stops, what a fun city! A friend recently visited Asheville and shared some of the tasty, local restaurants she had visited. We chose Farm Burger, and man were we happy with this choice! Everything was delicious and I loved the fresh mentality of the restaurant. With happy stomachs, it was time to head back to the cabin.

We spent our last day enjoying the foggy mornings, relaxing fireplace and local scenery. And with that, our vacation had come to a close and we got ready for the drive back to Kansas. I am so  thankful for this opportunity to relax and rejuvenate, and check a few places of the bucket list while doing so!

ImageUntil next time, enjoy this day of rest!

best, courtney

One thought on “{travel tales part two- kansas -> st. louis -> nashville -> gatlinburg -> asheville}

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