Cade’s Cove is one of our favorite day trip destinations. There is more to Cade’s Cove than just driving the loop and looking at all the buildings and we are going to share our best tips and tricks to get the most out of your Cade’s Cove experience. Let’s start planning…

Plan Out Your Day:

From May- September, Cade’s Cove Loop Road is closed in the mornings until 10 a.m on Wednesday and Saturday for bicyclists and pedestrians to explore the area without any cars. So if you want to trek the loop or cycle around this is the best time to go.

Every day the loop is open starting at 9 am. If it’s those amazing wildlife photos you’re after, then the earlier the better. You can capture amazing shots of white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, groundhogs, turkey, raccoons, skunks, birds galore, and so much more.

In the Summer we highly recommend going bright and early. Take your time stopping at all the sites and checking out the architecture and a few trails. The barns are always a big hit, but we will let you figure out why. We don’t want to spoil all the fun.

Pack a Picnic:

Cade’s Cove has some awesome spots with incredible views to be a lovely backdrop for a picnic. Cades Cove provides a designated picnic area with 81 sites for you to choose from. Here is one of our favorite picnics to pack that is simple, delicious, and not too heavy so you can still get in some good walking after:

Chicken Salad in Grilled Pita Pockets with bacon: Pick up some store bought chicken salad (or make your own). Grill up the pita pockets with a drizzle of olive oil for a nice little crunch. Slice pitas in have, open them up, stuff with chicken salad and add any condiments you want. We like to add bacon slices and some lettuce and tomato. It holds up well and is a nice, light, sandwich.

Strawberry Bacon Blue Cheese Salad: Take your fav salad base, toss on some sliced strawberries, blue cheese crumbles, pecans, and bacon. Drizzle with a vinaigrette of your choice and enjoy a lovely refreshing salad.

A few munchy things: A main dish, a salad, and a few muchy bits makes up the best picnic. Your muchy bits can be melon and prosciutto, veggies and ranch dip, watermelon, nuts, chips, really whatever your heart desires.

Other things to pack to pack: Freeze a few water bottles to keep it all cool and for a refreshing drink with your picnic, silverware if needed, salt/pepper, condiment packets, a blanket, plates, and napkins. Check out more picnic ideas and recipes.

Don’t Forget:

There are a few things you will want to have with you and a camera is one of them. The views are breathtaking, and you will want to capture everything you see. A Cade’s Cove map that you can get from their website. Water bottles to stay hydrated. And lastly, bug spray and sunscreen. It is Tennessee and we have little pesky bugs and the sun is bright in the summer, so don’t forget protection from all the elements.

We know you will have a blast at Cade’s Cove! For more information check out

Check out all our cabins in perfect driving distance to Cade’s Cove, Knoxville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge:

Big Ponderosa       Little Ponderosa      Red Roof      Green Roof      The Cottage      The Cozy Country Apartment

 The Bunkhouse      Smoky Mountain Dream

For more information, give us a call at 865-297-5171 or send us an email .



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