“In my Tennessee mountain home, crickets sing in the fields nearby.”
Being a Tennessee girl, Dolly Parton song lyrics like this always make me want to embrace the mountain life. Her words describe the sounds and smells of mountain air making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside—and ready to run barefoot through a field of butterflies, jump in a creek and camp out under the stars.
Then I remember, I’m more of a “glamper,” not a camper. I don’t know the official definition of “glamping,” but I picture it as all the enjoyable aspects of camping, just with more comfort and sparkle. Think: The Dolly version of camping!
I really do want to thoroughly enjoy the rugged camping life in my Tennessee mountain home, but I’d much rather only HEAR the crickets sing in a field nearby than actually be IN the field with them. That’s where the properties within Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins come in. My husband likes the refreshing, secluded aspects of regular camping. I like the comfort and convenience of glamping. A Dollywood cabin was our compromise (and also our first cabin stay!).
Below are some of my tips for making the most of a luxury cabin visit with all the nice amenities—and still feeling like you’re “off the grid” on a real camping trip.
- Put the phones away. Seems obvious, but it can be hard to do with our busy lifestyles. It’s easy in the cabins though, because aside from the beautiful scenery, there are games, hot tubs—and some cabins even have a movie theater room.
- Watch sunrise. I’ll admit I’m not an early morning person, but nothing beats these Smoky Mountain views. Getting up to watch the sun rise brings a trip like this together, and made me feel like I was really camping.
- Take advantage of the hiking, trails and scenery nearby. Even if you aren’t staying out in the wilderness, there are plenty of easily-accessible places near Dollywood’s cabins to explore the great outdoors. You can definitely take in all the Smokies have to offer by going on a nice hike or driving through the scenic views.
- Play games outside or by the fireplace. Doing this definitely provided the feeling of being on a traditional camping trip. You could even eat s’mores while you play to take it to the next level.
- Optional: Get matching camping shirts. I know. This doesn’t really have anything to do with being off the grid, does it? But come on, matching shirts make any trip better. It doesn’t hurt to camp in style!
Here’s a short video of the views and the cabin we enjoyed. We stayed in Bearly Chocolate.