I have got to share this little town with you. I love Townsend! I really don’t know why, I just do!
If you are in Pigeon Forge and turn onto Wears Valley Road, you will end up in a little town called Townsend. On your way down Wears Valley Road, you can enjoy several gift shops with mountain made crafts, ice cream shops, and plenty of fudge.
If you are a junk man (like myself), there are several thrift shops and antique stores along the way too. It is also a beautiful drive. Like I said, keep going until you reach a stop sign and then you are there!
Now it’s not a big town at all. There are some gas stations with little sandwich shops filled with normal touristy souvenirs. Several restaurants are placed throughout the main road. You may want to stop and ask some locals for their recommendations. I haven’t been there to eat much. We did go to a wing place not long ago, and it was really good, but I can’t remember the name of it.
There are several churches in Townsend also. In fact, I have sung at one of them, Townsend Church of God. One of my good friends is filling in as the pastor there for a while. There are a lot of real friendly folks. Most have been there for generations.
We have stayed a couple times at the KOA Campground there and it was wonderful—there are lots and cabins right along the river. At night, you can sleep to the soothing sound of the water rushing over the rocks. I love that sound! There is a pool, an arcade, and children’s activities as well. If you are looking for a camping experience, I highly recommend them.
Townsend is also filled with tubing. Several businesses have opened up offering tubes to ride the rapids at your own pace. Several of them allow you to rent a tube for the day. They also offer life jackets. One piece of advice here…be careful and check into the water depths, because it can get really rough if there has been a lot of rain. If it is too bad, the rafting places won’t rent you a tube.
Along the main road are also some carving places that do live demonstrations. Some of these are done with small ornate carving utensils and some are done with chainsaws! Either way, it sure is a sight!
One time we were lucky to have camped in the fall when the Methodist church was having their Fall Bazaar. It was filled with homemade treats, auction items, and yard sale treasures. We bought a really cool antique hat box for $4 and enough peanut butter fudge to fill your truck!
I love going to Townsend in October. The weather is crisp and cool. There are smells of wood burning from campsites and the leaves are showing off their vibrant colors.
Many people come to the Smokies and don’t even know it’s there. It is definitely a slower pace from Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg…but sometimes I prefer a slower pace. It is a wonderful way to “waste” the afternoon.
Another selling point? Because of the lack of buildings and tourism compared to Pigeon Forge and such, Townsend has some beautiful unobstructed views of the mountains. Many of the local people who want outside weddings go there.
Hope you can make the trip, have some fudge, and maybe a chicken wing or two. Townsend doesn’t get all the hype of the other towns that call The Smokies home, but it can stand on it’s own for lodging, entertainment, food, and shopping. Go grab a tube and take the family away to “waste” a day or two!