David and I recently returned from a rejuvenating week-long excursion in the Smoky Mountains, filled with hiking, camping, dining, and glamping. When you think of glamping, you might envision chandeliers in a camper, but our "glamping" experience was a little bit of both worlds - minus chandeliers. 😉
A Unique Glamping Experience
Every year, we seek out places that offer both hot showers, scenery, and a cozy view and fire pit. Depending on your desired level of comfort, you can choose from various comfort levels. We manage to stay within a reasonable budget by mixing up our accommodations, allowing us to rejuvenate in the great outdoors while still enjoying a hot shower and a few days of traditional tent or yurt camping under the starry skies. Camping out at night may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it works for us and keeps us connected to the wild!
Luxurious Lavender Soap by Me and a Tree
Camp Leconte Glamping
This year, we began our journey near Gatlinburg at a place called Camp Leconte Glamping. It's an adorable, intimate location that offers vintage campers equipped with heaters & air conditioning to suit your needs. The main camp area boasts restrooms with steaming hot showers, water and dryers, although the camper trailers themselves don't have bathrooms inside. All essential amenities, including a rest rooms, heated pool, ping pong tables, various games, and a camp store, are located at the front of the camp. As it was my birthday, we started our adventure here, enjoying a comfy night by the fire, mingling with fellow glampers and campers, and marveling at the impressive setups of those who bring their spacious motor homes glided out with string lights and patios. There are also around five regular tent camping sites, which we often utilize at least a few nights to diversify our experience and save some money while still enjoying the rest of the amenities until we move on to the next hiking town.
Perfectly Located for Nature Enthusiasts
What I love most about camping here is its proximity to the region's best trails. While I understand that the entire state of Tennessee is breathtaking and offers countless remarkable hiking opportunities, we've grown fond of starting near Leconte over the years.
Effective Bug Off! Mosquito Spray by Me and a Tree
A Scenic Exploration of the Smoky Mountains
We explored the Smoky Mountains extensively, going from Camp LaConte to Elkmont Camp Site and then driving along the Blue Ridge Highway, through Maggie Valley and Cherokee, and eventually reaching North Carolina. The scenery was absolutely stunning, with leaves just beginning in the beautiful change of colors. As we hiked up to around 5,000-6,000 feet, we were enraptured in a picturesque view of mountainsides and and dipping mountain valleys adorned with subtle shades of autumn colors that make the Smoky Mountains a mesmerizing display during the changing seasons.
Visitor Welcome Centers
If you're planning a visit, consider stopping by the welcome centers in each area. Despite having visited the region numerous times in the past, we decided to explore one this year, and it turned out to be a fun and educational experience. The displays, books, historical insights, and a miniature topographical map of the Smoky Mountains encased in glass provide a deeper understanding of the elevations and trails, making it an enlightening and educational stop.
Autumn-Inspired Autumn Orange Soap Bar by Me and a Tree
Embracing Local Culture and Aromas
During our journey, we had the pleasure of meeting a Cherokee Indian Herbal Medicin Man and his wife. We purchased some Palo Santo wood, which is every bit as beautiful as Sandalwood in terms of scent. I've never encountered anything quite like it and wish I could create a wall with its warm exotic scent. With hints of vanilla and a deep, intoxicating aroma that's hard to describe, it's a natural wonder that relaxes the mind. It's hard to fathom the scent of this wood is a natural phenomenon. I simply love it.
We also acquired white sage and fir tree smudge/incense sticks because we appreciate their pleasant aroma and wanted to try our hand at crafting our own for enjoyment.
Me and a Tree's Experience of Handmade Incense Near Cherokee
Relaxing Soy Massage Honeysuckle Soy Candle & Clay Soap by Me and a Tree
Scenic Drives for All Seasons
Even if hiking isn't your thing, driving through the Smoky Mountains is an experience like no other. The winding roads, tree-canopied streets, and the feeling of traversing a country road provide a cozy and relaxing ambiance. The changing colors of the trees, combined with the winding roads and the presence of rock and brick-like tunnels, make one feel as if in a far distant land rather than in America. It's simply breathtaking, and we can't believe we're fortunate enough to live in the midst of such beauty all year round.
Must-Visit Places on Your Journey
Here are a few must-visit places along your journey:Camp LeConte: Ruby Slipper Glamper & Tent Site (I should have taken more photos of the bathrooms and amenities as they are a welcome sight for sore eyes (and muscles!)—hot showers and clean luxurious bathrooms at this site do not go unappreciated after a long hike! We return every year just for the steaming hot showers perfect for a glampy experience!
- Me and a Tree's Ruby Red Slipper Glamping Experience.
Scenic Views from Me and a Tree: Chimney Tops Hiking Summit
- Me and a Tree's Encounter with Ghost Town Houses and Chimneys
- Me and a Tree's Tranquil Tent Sight Lower Down Elkmont (no hot water but has bathrooms and cleaning sinks for camp equipment)
Exploring Gemstones at Me and a Tree's Maggie Valley Rock Shop Experience
- Savoring Local Delights at Me and a Tree's Asheville Food Places Laughing Seed Cafe Best Brussel Sprouts we've ever tasted!
Journeying Along the Blue Ridge Parkway with Me and a Tree
As we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, frost adorned the treetops and even the ground, creating a mesmerizing winter wonderland. I would love to revisit in the winter, with heated seats, snow tires, and a canteen of hot cocoa!
Tick Shield Balm For Outdoor Protection & Safety
I hope you enjoy the photos from our trip ( my computer wasn't working well so I am unable to upload more photos but hopefully you enjoyed it as much as we did and hope you gleaned a few tips to enhance your next outdoor adventure when visiting the outdoors! Regardless of your interests, remember to carry our Bug Off! mosquito repellent spray and our keep you safe Tick Shield Pocket Balm to protect you and your loved ones from bugs while ensuring that both you and the local flora and fauna continue to thrive without use of harmful and toxic chemical sprays. Stay healthy and happy and see you on the road to your next adventure! Grab your protection, and have some fun!
Visit us and purchase bug protection and more on our website, "Me and a Tree" Natural Herbal Skincare Brand