Crazy Weather!

There’s no doubt that Hurricane Sandy has thrown a wrench into the travel plans of a lot of folks in the Eastern United States. Fortunately for us in the Smokies, rain, high winds and cold temperatures have been a blessing compared to the massive snows, wind damage and flooding experienced by much of the seaboard.

So if your travel plans have you in the Smokies this week, the good news is that the worst of Sandy’s impact should be moving on quickly. While the upper mountain elevations are getting some snow, most of us here in the foothills will see highs in the 50s for most of the rest of the week, along with sunny skies.

Note, however, that Newfound Gap Road between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, North Carolina is closed in the national park, so if that route was part of your itinerary, you may need to make some adjustments. But for the most part, you shouldn’t have trouble finding fun in the Smokies this weekend, even if you want to hike. There are plenty of other accessible spots in the national park that offer hiking opportunities.

Be sure to check your favorite weather-forecast site or app to keep up with what’s going on, or visit the Smoky Mountain web cam on our home page to get a firsthand look at what the weather looks like out there.

Cabin Of The Week – Little Feather

If a little seclusion and privacy sounds like you’re idea of a little heaven in the mountains of East Tennessee, consider this rustic-looking one-bedroom cabin that is sheltered by the surrounding woodlands but also offers gorgeous mountain views.

With one bedroom and a sleeper sofa, Little Feather can accommodate as many as four adults, but this intimate log charmer is ideal for two, whether it’s a honeymoon, anniversary trip or a romantic weekend retreat. Rest in the quiet and repose of a sunrise or sunset from a relaxing back-deck rocker or set the mood with amenities like the outdoor hot tub or the wood-burning fireplace inside.

Meanwhile, conveniences like cable TVs and DVD players and a fully functional and equipped kitchen ensure that your experience is anything but rustic and primitive, affording you all the comforts and amenities of home. There’s even a pool table for gaming fun, or just hop in the car for a quick trip to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville.

And remember that whether you’re looking for secluded Gatlinburg cabins, Pigeon Forge properties or Wears Valley rentals, Volunteer Cabin Rentals has the ideal selection of vacation-friendly homes.

The Wonders Of Magic!

There’s a lot of entertainment to be enjoyed in the Smokies, but if you’re staying in one of our secluded Pigeon Forge cabins and are looking for a break from music shows, you might want to experience The Wonders of Magic show at WonderWorks, starring Terry Evanswood. Now in his 14th season performing in the Smokies, Evanswood has the distinction of being the longest-running headliner in Pigeon Forge. During that time, more than a million guests have been astounded by this critically acclaimed magician’s illusions.

The show offers more than just magic and large-scale illusions, however. There’s comedy, music, impressions, classic sleight of hand and Houdini-style escapes. The production is ideal for families with children, although the show appeals to audiences of all ages.

As testament to Evanswood’s skill and showmanship, the International Magicians Society presented him with their Merlin Award, the industry’s equivalent of the Oscar. The honor was bestowed both for his lifetime achievement in the craft as well as for his founding of the Hall of Magic museum, which is on display to the public at WonderWorks. The free attraction features artifacts, costumes, props, autographs and personal memorabilia from noted magicians throughout history.

Foothills Fall Festival

If you’re staying in one of our Wears Valley cabin rentals this weekend, you might be interested to know that you won’t be very far away from one of this region’s premier annual festivals. The Foothills Fall Festival, October 12-14 is a weekend full of world-class concerts, juried arts and crafts, kids’ activities and much more.

The event, which takes place in downtown Maryville, is presented on such a large scale that it can’t be contained in one area. The concerts are staged at the outdoor amphitheater at Jack Green Park, and the arts and crafts fair will be set up along Broadway street downtown. The kids’ Adventure Lane area—featuring rides, inflatables, activities and games—occupies 16 acres along the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway.

The festival is popular, in part, for the big names that take the concert stage each year. This year’s headliners include Gary Allan, Train and Darius Rucker. Meanwhile, the arts show features nearly 100 selected vendors from around the Southeast. All participants feature creative, hand-made products in a wide range of media, including pottery, baskets, photography and fine art, jewelry, woodworking and much more. Free entertainment such as craft demonstrations, street theater, face painting, musicians and more can be enjoyed by guests visiting the arts fair.

Learn more at

A Smoky Mountain Homecoming

This weekend, visitors to the Smokies will have a chance to experience authentic local history and culture at its best. The 20th Annual Robert A. Tino Smoky Mountain Homecoming offers two days of old-fashioned family fun in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains. The event takes place October 6 and 7 at the noted artist’s Sunset View Farm in Sevierville. Daily hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appalachian heritage will be celebrated all weekend long thanks to regional craftsmen, dressed in period attire, who will be demonstrating their time-honored arts and crafts. Craft vendors will be on hand to sell handmade wares such as jewelry, baskets, pottery and fine art pieces.

Meanwhile the sounds of bluegrass music will fill the air thanks to live acts such as Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier and The South Of The River Boys. Or you might consider listening to a tall tale courtesy of a local storyteller.

There will be plenty of food on hand, including tasty barbecue, which you might want to enjoy during a tasty picnic lunch under a shade tree. You’ll also find funnel cakes, kettle corn, fresh lemonade, ice cream and other old-time treats. Other event highlights include the state’s largest antique tractor and engine show and an old-fashioned Sunday morning church service under the old oak trees.

If you happen to be staying with us at Volunteer Cabin Rentals this weekend, you’ll be happy to know that our cabins in Wears Valley, TN, are a short drive from Sevierville and the Smoky Mountain Homecoming event.