Wears Valley, where the views are breathtaking and the shops are sweet. This cute little town is only about 15 minutes from the main Parkway in Pigeon Forge, but far enough away to feel like it’s own quiet oasis. There are quite a few people that reside here (my parents included), but more importantly there are cute local shops, restaurants, and live animals that will make you want to stay all day and explore. I have lived in TN for the last 11 years and I know that I haven’t driven through all the back roads that twist and turn through this breathtaking unincorporated town. This quiet American farming town is nestled in between Pigeon Forge and Townsend and provides an entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The views really are spectacular, and if you’re looking for something to do while you’re here, spend the day exploring all that Wears Valley has to offer!
I’m Italian and I love food! Anytime we go anywhere I always make sure we’re going to eat. If you’re looking for yummy local food, those good mom and pop restaurants, you have come to the right place. Here is a list of some of my favorites:
Elvira’s Cafe: This place hands down has the best environment! From the inside out, this place truly is the whole package! They serve breakfast all day and Southern Classics for lunch and dinner. They are open Monday-Sunday 7:00-2:30, Dinner is served on Friday and Saturday starting at 5:00pm. We are there for Mother’s Day last year and they treated all the Mom’s to free dessert. It was amazing!
Friendly Falls: I have never been here, however pass it every time I drive up the mountain to go see my parents. Located right off of 321, this seems like a run place for a pit stop. They serve fresh fried local trout, hand cut fries, vegetarian, homemade speciality items, and seasonal brews. They offer outdoor dining only on the river and they also have live entertainment.
Grandmother’s Kitchen: This cute little restaurant is one I’ve been going to since I was a little girl. Before we actually moved to TN in 2005, we used to visit here on vacation. We started doing that when I was 10. This was always a place we would eat at, because my Aunt and Uncle who lived in Wears Valley raved about it. They attended the Wears Valley Methodist Church a hop skip and a jump away, and they always ate their after they went to Sunday’s service. A full service menu is offered for breakfast lunch. Their hours are from 7am-3pm daily. It’s not a very large place but your tummy will be thanking you when you’re finished.
Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant: I mentioned I was Italian, right? My parents eat here regularly and it’s one that we usually eat at when we are in the Valley visiting them. My Dad and husband love a good pie and I am a sucker for a good calzone. We are big bread lovers and their garlic knots are absolutely delicious! You can dine in or carry out. We usually do carry out but either way the food is amazing and we keep going back! They are open seven days a week from 3pm-10pm. 865.366.7162.
There are quite a few more restaurants in Wears Valley Unincorporated. Basically everything resides right off of Highway 321, Wears Valley Road. You can spend the day driving up and down the strip checking out all of the neat shops and restaurants. A new bakery recently opened and I highly recommend checking this place out. The Valley Bakery Shoppe and Cafe. Open 7am-4pm Monday thru Saturday (Closed Sunday). Everything is made fresh from scratch and they try to be as organic as possible. From salads, sandwiches, to sweet bakery treats, it’s just really delicious!
Wears Valley Unincorporated deserves to be on your bucket list. It is rich in history and the views and atmosphere remind me of something you see in movies. I love that no matter how much technology advancements we receive and continue to receive, Wears Valley Unincorporated holds true to the older days, when things were simple and the distractions were small. It truly is our own little Mayberry.