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.