As an eco-conscious traveler, Alex is always on the lookout for destinations that prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Tennessee has plenty of options for eco-friendly travel, including resorts and attractions that showcase the natural beauty of the state while minimizing their impact on the environment. In this article, Alex shares their favorite eco-conscious places and resorts in Tennessee.
Howdy y’all, it’s Alex! I’ve always had a hankering to explore the great state of Tennessee, with its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and southern charm. So, I packed my bags, grabbed my camera, and hit the road to see what this state had to offer. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! From the music city of Nashville to the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee truly has something for everyone.
Great Smokey Mountains Adventure
Alex checked out this video and worked a few of the activities into his stay: As an eco-conscious traveler, Alex was excited to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, which is known for its natural beauty and eco-friendly travel options. Here are the top things that Alex recommends doing in the park, from hiking to scenic drives:
Exploring Cades Cove Area The Cades Cove area is a fantastic place to view wildlife, with white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, turkey, and other animals. The area also has the widest variety of historic buildings within the National Park Service, dating back to 1818 when Europeans settled the area. The 11-mile one-way loop is the perfect way to drive around Cades Cove and see the scenery and wildlife right from your car.
Hiking from Cades Cove Area Some of the most picturesque hikes in the park begin at Cades Cove. The Abrams Falls trail is a 5-mile out-and-back hike that leads you to a 20-foot high waterfall, one of the most impressive in the park. While in the area, don’t forget about the Cades Cove nature trail, another easy hike that’s especially beautiful in the fall.
Climbing to the Top of Clingman’s Dome The tallest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Clingman’s Dome. The observation tower located at the summit offers panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and beyond. On clear days, the view from the top of the tower reaches as far as 100 miles.
Driving Along the Blue Ridge Parkway While most of the Blue Ridge Parkway resides outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s still something you should do all in the area. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most famous scenic routes in the United States, stretching 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. There are several great viewpoints along the way where you can stop and take photos or simply enjoy the view.
Splashing in the Waterfalls It’s hard to rate the best waterfalls in the Smokies because there are so many good ones. Grotto Falls is unique because it’s easily accessible, and you can walk right behind the water and view it from every angle. Laurel Falls is the most popular waterfall in the park, and it’s an easy hike, only 2.3 miles round trip. Rainbow Falls is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the Smokies, and it’s common to witness a rainbow mist when the sun is shining.
When it comes to lodging, Alex recommends staying at eco-conscious places and resorts that prioritize sustainability and the environment. By staying at these places, you can minimize your carbon footprint while enjoying your vacation. Whether you’re looking to go for a scenic drive, view some historical buildings, or take a walk on the Appalachian Trail, there’s something to do for everyone in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
From luxurious eco-resorts to historic landmarks, Tennessee offers plenty of options for eco-conscious travelers like Alex. By prioritizing sustainability and environmental responsibility, these destinations help ensure that the natural beauty of the state is preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is a luxurious resort that also prioritizes sustainability. The property operates on a farm-to-table model, sourcing ingredients from local farmers and using sustainable practices to grow their own produce. Guests can participate in farm tours, culinary experiences, and outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.
The Lodge at Buckberry Creek
Another eco-conscious resort in the Great Smoky Mountains is The Lodge at Buckberry Creek. This rustic lodge offers breathtaking views of the mountains and focuses on sustainable practices like energy-efficient lighting, recycling programs, and water conservation. Guests can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, and the resort also offers a shuttle service to nearby attractions.
Shiloh National Military Park
For history buffs and nature lovers, Shiloh National Military Park offers a unique combination of both. This park commemorates the Battle of Shiloh during the Civil War and also features beautiful hiking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities. The park focuses on preserving the natural resources of the area and offers educational programs on sustainable practices.
As the former home of President Andrew Jackson, The Hermitage is a historic landmark in Nashville. But the property also prioritizes sustainability and has implemented a number of environmentally-friendly practices, including recycling and water conservation. The property also features a garden and farm where guests can learn about sustainable agriculture practices.
Hiwassee River Weddings and Events:
This eco-friendly wedding and event venue is located in Delano, Tennessee, and boasts stunning views of the Hiwassee River. The venue features solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, and organic gardens that provide fresh produce for guests. They also use composting toilets and offer recycling bins to reduce waste.
This eco-friendly bed and breakfast is located in Gordonsville, Tennessee, and is a perfect destination for those seeking a tranquil retreat. The property features solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and organic gardens that provide fresh produce for guests. They also use non-toxic cleaning products and serve organic breakfasts made with local ingredients.
As a music lover, I couldn’t wait to explore Nashville, known as the Music City. I wandered down the honky-tonk bars of Broadway and listened to live music from some of the best musicians in the country. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum gave me a deeper understanding of the history of country music, and the Ryman Auditorium provided a one-of-a-kind music experience. I also stopped by the Johnny Cash Museum, where I learned about the life and legacy of one of the greatest musicians of all time.
After the Great Smoky Mountains, I made my way to Chattanooga. This city has a little bit of everything, from world-class rock climbing at Lookout Mountain to exploring the history of the Civil War at Point Park. I also took a ride on the Incline Railway, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Last but not least was Memphis, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and home of some of the best BBQ in the world. I visited Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, and learned about the life of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I also stopped by Sun Studio, where legendary musicians like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis got their start.