About Townsend Tennessee

Townsend is a small mountain town located on the west side of the GSMNP on the Tennessee side.  It is best known as the western entrance into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. People often referred to Townsend as the “quiet side of the Smokies” because it too is fairly undeveloped and spread out along Route 321, East Lamar Alexander Parkway.  This is a major highway to the mountain that runs from near the national park passing through the towns of Townsend and Walland before reaching Maryville, Tennessee.

Townsend is slightly off the beaten path and is further away from the tourist hubs of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg which further adds to it’s appeal as a quiet unassuming place away from it all.  Townsend is, however, the closest town to the Smoky mountains number one attraction,  Cades Cove.  So for the naturalist who enjoys things like hiking, horseback riding, tubing, fishing or just rocking on a porch at a cabin in the wood,  Townsend is the perfect getaway destination.

Townsend has a surprising number of good restaurants.  It is home to the Cades Cove wine cellars.  And also home to a number of festivals that run throughout the season featuring things like heritage,  quilting, and trout fishing.

City of Townsend

  • Elevation: 326 m
  • Weather: -3°C, Wind NE at 8 km/h, 62% Humidity
  • Zip code: 37882
  • Incorporated: 1921
  • Population: 444 (2016)

Townsend Dining

  • Apple Valley Cafe

Apple Valley Cafe

If you’re craving good food and good people, there’s no better restaurant to stop in Townsend than the Apple Valley Cafe. Start your day with the fresh, locally-roasted coffee and our country breakfast, complete with eggs cooked to order. Call ahead orders are welcome at 865-448-1232

  • Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro

Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro

The Smokies' newest farm-to-table restaurant, the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, redefines regional cuisine in an upscale casual setting that is perfect for dinners served in the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

  • Black Bear Cafe

Black Bear Cafe

7621 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882 Phone:(865) 448-8887 "Long time Townsend favorite! Great breakfasts & lunches! Superb service and friendly faces!

  • Little River Bar-B-Que

Little River Bar-B-Que

1-865-448-2500 8303 Route 73 Townsend, TN 37882 "Best BBQ in Townsend? The setting is wonderful, sit by the back porch and enjoy the river! Reports have it that the ribs and sauce are very good. Try picking a time when they are not so busy!"

  • Riverstone Family Restaurant

Riverstone Family Restaurant

1-865-448-8816 8503 Route 73 Townsend, TN 37882 "Big Portions - Affordable! Riverstone serves up a full breakfast menu with everything from steak and eggs to french toast. The dinner menu is your usual American menu, offering up steaks, salads, a nice selection of fish and a few interesting items like frogs legs! Food prepared to order, but worth the wait!"