Located between Knoxville and Chattanooga, Loudon County, Tennessee, has long been known for its mountain views, eclectic downtowns and outdoor recreational opportunities. Now, this diverse location, easy to access via Highway 321 from I-75 and I-40 East, is also known for its destination resort options.
Windy Hill Farm and Preserve (Breck Ellison Road, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 865-657-1700) is a one-of-a-kind resort that offers a variety of all-inclusive experiences. Patriarch “Big George” Sampson acquired the property in 2000, seeing it as the perfect place to pass along his passion for cattle farming stewardship of the land. Now his descendants are carrying his traditions and inviting visitors to join them on the farm.
There are three lodging options to choose from, Water Tower Cabins, The Lodge or The Farmhouse. All stays include daily meals and packages can be crafted to include outdoor adventure, luxurious pampering, educational experiences and more.
This boutique resort sits on 650 acres of preserve and farmland along two miles of Tennessee River shoreline. Its unique setting and specialized staff combine to offer deluxe clay shoots and archery classes as well as specialized quail hunting experiences with professional guides and trained dogs. Cooking classes focus on hyper-local ingredients grown on the farm. There are also beekeeping sessions with honey tastings and wine hikes, where participants visit tasting stations as they explore nature trails and breathtaking views of the preserve.
Additional options include spa services, bourbon tasting, paddling, fishing and more. Music lovers will enjoy shows at the farm’s Granary Stage, which welcomes regional Americana artists for a popular concert series each summer.
Whitestone Inn (1200 Paint Rock Road, Kingston, Tennessee 37763; 865-376-0113) is a retreat featuring 23 suites with lakefront views. Rooms are located in several buildings around the property, each with its own personality. Situated on Watts Bar Lake, this charming bed and breakfast has porches that beckon and views that inspire, as its 360 acres of pastures, meadows and shoreline provide a peaceful escape. Whitestone also offers a menu of recreational options for those who want to stay active. The lake, as well as Whitestone’s pond, make fishing, boating and paddling fun options. There are eight miles of walking trails as well as tennis courts, a heated pool, disc golf and more.
Indoors, guests can enjoy pool and ping pong tables, board games and the library. Breakfast and snacks throughout the day are included with a room. Dinner (reservations required) is served daily and features a changing menu of Southern favorites and chef’s specialties.
Beginning each April there is music to take in during the lakefront concert series at the nearby amphitheater at Tennessee National. This property, long known as a premier golf resort, now has amenities open to the public which include dining, boat rentals, concerts and other special events, along with rental cottages.
For more musical entertainment, along with mouth-watering East Tennessee barbecue, visitors can check out the Smokin’ F BBQ & Feed Lot (1821 Lynn Road, Philadelphia, Tennessee; 979-436-3482). Every Friday and Saturday evening acoustic artists are featured and once a month, full band shows highlight the Smokin’ F Concert Series BarnBQues.
If you go…
Sweetwater Valley Farm (17988 West Lee Highway, Philadelphia, Tennessee 37846; 865-458-919) is known far and wide for its tasty, award-winning cheeses, producing an estimated 300,000 pounds annually. The farm’s state-of-the-art facility and adjacent to the farm store, are open for tours and shopping.
Tennessee Valley Winery (15606 Hotchkiss Valley Road, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 865-986 5147) offers visitors a free tasting and an opportunity to learn about one of the oldest operating family-owned wineries in Tennessee.
Loudon County is also home to several top-rated golf courses designed by some of the sport’s biggest names including Greg Norman.
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