23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Townsend (TN)

There are quite some fun things to do in Townsend, TN, if you are planning an exploration of this part of Tennessee.

The city of Townsend is nestled close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Blount County, Tennessee State. It is found on ” the Peaceful Side of the Smokies” in the Southeastern United States.

The city’s location is famous for the different wildlife it accommodates and for conserving the Southern Appalachian culture. The population of Townsend in 2020 was 574. Townsend

Townsend’s size can be deceptive, but it features numerous attractions, including a large number of museums. Its attractions primarily center on the Great Smokies human and natural history.

Visit Townsend, TN, and enjoy its fascinating mountain views, rich cultural heritage, fun rides, and numerous activities that will pique your interest.

Are you planning an exploration of Townsend? Here are the top things to do in Townsend, TN.

Things to Do in Townsend, TN

1. Tuckaleechee Caverns

Tuckaleechee Caverns
Credits: Nature’s Charm / Shutterstock
Tuckaleechee Caverns

The Tuckaleechee Caverns is an extensive cave system that anyone would love to see. It is known to be the cave with the highest recognition by AAA in the Eastern part of the US. This destination is an old landmark and is perceived as one of the most significant landmarks in the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Stalagmites and Stalactites, with a height of 24 feet, grow within the depths and various unique rock formations almost as big as a complete house.

The primary attraction is the Silver Falls, a vast, two-level underground waterfall having fascinating views and cool water.

Another exciting site is the Big Room, a large flat area as big as a football stadium. Visitors engage in lots of climbing, walking, and touring this fascinating cave system. This destination is one of the best places to visit in Townsend, TN.

Address: 825 Cavern Rd, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

2. Cades Cove

Cades Cove
Credits: Rico van Manen / Shutterstock
Cades Cove

Cades Cove, ten miles southwest of Townsend, is a secluded, verdurous valley within the Great Smoky Mountains. It is among the most visited locations in the area.

Cades Cove is an iconic site in this region as it has many eye-catching features that will pique your interest, including its scenic landscapes, gorgeous meadows, rich wildlife, and historic buildings.

You can spot deer or bears as they are part of the many animals that wander through the verdant fields of the valley. You can spot many as you drive the picturesque highway across Cades Cove.

Other activities to try during your tours include camping, hayride MHA, and horseback riding. Most excursions permit visitors to check out significant destinations surrounding the region if they are to have a more organized tour.

Address: Cades Cove Loop Rd, Tennessee, United States

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Credits: Danita Delimont / Shutterstock
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the many reasons why Townsend is famous amongst tourists is because of the Great Smoky Mountains. Exploring this Park is one of the top things to do in Townsend, TN.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is also part of the old mountain range surrounding Tennessee and other areas in North Carolina.

The Park, comprising over 800 square miles, is the abode of over 15,000 different plants and animals. Visitors can explore the ridges, meadows, and forests, which are lovely sights to see during your visit.

The inherent features in the Park attract a significant number of people compared to the other national parks in the United States. 

Apart from the numerous lively picturesque views of the mountains, there are many breathtaking activities that this National Park has installed for you. Townsend features outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, zipline camping, river tubing, and more.

Address: Tennessee, United States.

4. Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
Credits: Kevin Oliver / Flickr
Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is nestled in Townsend, TN. The facility is devoted to commemorating the iconic culture and history of societies that settled around this place years ago. Visiting this Center is one of the best things to do in Townsend, TN.

The Native Americans are the most critical group of individuals in the area that lived years back as early as 3000 BC in the Great Smoky Mountains. 

The Great Smoky Heritage Center comprises artworks from these old Cherokee clans, including ceremonial equipment, pottery, and hunting weapons. Furthermore, it also has exhibits that display the early lifestyle of the colonial residents, their everyday lives, and activities. 

Within the Great Smoky Heritage Center is a historic village that comprises a sawmill, cantilever beams, smokehouse, and many other structures used by these people.

Address: 123 Cromwell Dr, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

5. Townsend Visitors Center

You can find the Townsend Visitors Center in the backyard of Cades Cove. It is chiefly focused on offering information about natural history, cultural traditions, travel, tourism, and unique areas in the Great Smoky Mountains and Blount County, Cades Cove, and Townsend.

The Center is a special place for indigenous artisans to showcase and sell their talents in their Exhibit Room. Festivals and other unique events are done annually, emphasizing this region’s rich history, traditional music, and local craft.

The Visitors Center is involved in recycling materials, including plastic, paper, aluminum, cardboard, unique urinals, and compact fluorescent bulbs. It has 10 acres of green space for festivals, cattle, and hay.

The Center also has an excellent staff to guide you and give you information on everything you need to know about this region.

Address: 7906 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

6. Cades Cove Gallery

Cades Cove Gallery
Credits: BearFotos / Shutterstock

One of the best places to visit in Townsend, TN, if you love artistic items, is the Cades Cove Gallery. If you also wish to bring back memorabilia or souvenirs, here is an excellent place to visit.

The Gallery comprises numerous photographs by Barry Spruce, displaying this region’s wildlife and nature.

Barry Spruce also provides visitors with guided trips, allowing them to have a scintillating tour of the Cades Cove even as you take photos of the animals roaming under his watch.

Make sure to bring back photos of what you took and have the Gallery frame them. The pictures will serve as memorabilia of your visit to this Gallery.

Address: 7843 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

7. Gift and Souvenir Shops

No tour is complete without having to purchase a souvenir to bring back home to your loved friend at home.

You need something to bring memories of your tour experience in that area, in this case, Townsend. Make sure to stop by the numerous souvenir stores within the city.

Many exciting things will pique your interest, ranging from the woodwork, themed furniture, home decor, and others unique to this region.

Some gift stores include Cabin Treasures, Tennessee Sally’s, Mountainside Primitive, and Home Decor.

Address: Townsend, Tennessee, United States

8. Bircher and Twine

Bircher and Twine
Credits: herbert251 / Shutterstock

A tour is never complete without visiting a gift shop to get souvenirs to take back home. These souvenirs help you remember lovely memories of places you visited.

The Bircher and Twine is a beautiful gift and Home Decor shop in Townsend, TN, in the peaceful area of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

They provide visitors with unusual items from small to large, such as jewelry, gemstones, old furniture pieces, unique home decor, etc.

Their customer service relationship is top-notch, and they will welcome you with open hands when you visit. Their items are appropriately arranged and stacked so you can quickly locate whichever piece you want.

Address: 161 Painted Trillium Way In Trillium Cove Shopping Village, Townsend, TN 37882-4232, United States

For a fun road trip in Tennessee, do not miss exploring our checklist of things to do in Dandridge, things to do in Brentwood, and things to do in Hendersonville.

9. Mountain Festivals

One of the fun things to do in Townsend, TN, is to be part of the Mountain Festival. To meet up with this event held from time to time in the Great Smoky Mountains, make sure to schedule your vacation within the period of these festive events.

Festivals such as the Townsend Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day commemorate the crafts and traditions of the Appalachian cultures via bluegrass concerts, exhibits, and other numerous activities hosted during springtime.

You will get the opportunity to see magnificent works from pottery professionals from this region as they showcase their talents during the festival at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.

Make sure not to miss out on the Hot Air Balloon Festival if you find Balloon rides interesting. The Balloon Festival also features fine music, delectable dishes, and drinks.

For visitors who desire something magical, there is a yearly display of synchronous fireflies every summer. It is a beautiful sight as you gaze upon thousands of warm yellow lights.

Address: Townsend, Tennessee, United States

10. Cades Cove Cellars

Cades Cove Cellars
Credits: Caftor / Shutterstock

Have a glass of Cade Cove wines if you’re looking for what to do in Townsend, TN, and m are a lover of good wine.

This Cade Cove Cellars, established in 1984, makes the best of wines that personifies the rich, incredible history of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

You can enjoy a free tasting of their favorite wines, join the tour in their facility to glimpse the processes involved in winemaking or attend any of their wine festivals where most of the region’s favorite drinks are displayed. 

Make sure to visit their gift shop to purchase signature wines, crafts, accessories, and other unique items to take back as souvenirs to your loved ones and friends.

Address: 7126 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

11. Davy Crockett Riding Stable

Davy Crockett Riding Stable
Credits: gabati / Shutterstock

If you are looking for a place to have a perfect getaway experience in the Smoky Mountains, make sure you visit the Davy Crockett Riding Stable in Townsend, TN.

The Davy Crockett Riding Stable is an ideal place to bring the entire family to have fun. Riding Stable experience is top-notch.

You don’t need to worry if it is your first time getting on a horse, as the tour is for people of all experiences and ages, the horses to see here are well trained and are friendly around kids.

Horseback riding is an ideal way to immerse yourself in nature while simultaneously enjoying the gorgeous beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Take photos at the end of your horse rides with family and friends. 

Address: 505 Old Cades Cove Rd, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

12. The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum

Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum
Credits: Allen Forrest / Flickr
Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum

Over the years, this city and neighboring areas had successful railroads and Lumber industries. If you are a history enthusiast, check out this Museum.

The Lumber Company was established to commemorate its history and preserve and maintain it for upcoming generations.

You will see exhibits and collections that clearly depict the early settlers in this area and the Native Americans.

You can be part of their numerous artistic programs, which promise to be engaging and entertaining, like the tour, where you will see the repurposed train engine formerly used for Lumber activities.

Address: 7747 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

13. Mountain River Fishing

Mountain River Fishing
Credits: Piotr Wawrzyniuk / Shutterstock

Plenty of rivers in the city meander through the valleys and contain much marine life. Townsend has a cold mountain river filled with lots of fish known as the Little River.

During hiking, you will discover various water bodies, such as Abam Creek.

Most people might choose fly fishing. You can also go fishing for the invasive brown trout in the mountains’ deeper areas. 

Many of these rivers have been available for fishing since 1834. However, visitors must have a license before heading out to the waters. The license can be obtained from any of their local stores or their website.

You can also bring your equipment as it saves you money, but if you have problems with your fishing lines, you can check in any of their outfitters’ stores.

Address: Townsend, Tennessee, United States

14. Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont
Credits: Ancapital / Shutterstock

For visitors who would love to have a better knowledge of the ecosystem of the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the best things to do in Townsend, TN, to visit is the Great Smoky Institute at Tremont

The Institute provides adults and youths the opportunity to learn and understand the ecological diversity of this region.

Numerous activities and programs help foster the management of this area’s ecological diversity, including workshops, guided hiking experiences, summer camping, photography workshops, and more.

By getting involved with any of these events or checking out the exhibits within the facility, you will have a much better insight into the Great Smoky Mountains’ biological diversity.

Address: 9275 Tremont Rd, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

15. River Rage Go-Kart Track

River Rage Go-Kart Track
Credits: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock

The River Rage Go-Kart Kart Track is among the fun attractions in Townsend, TN. Make sure to visit and enjoy a fun-filled outdoor experience.

Admission into the River Rage Go-Kart track requires a fee to explore the many opportunities it holds. The experience is top-notch and something you do not want to miss.

This destination is also pet friendly, and you can bring your pets along, but make sure to keep them all on a leash. The Track also contains restrooms, wheelchair access, and free Wi-Fi.

Address: 8307 State Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882-4308, United States

Tennessee makes one of the top places to visit in the United States, check out the list of things to do in Murfreesboro,things to do in Lebanon, and things to do in Maryville for a fun time.

16. ABR’s Visitor & Education Center

One of the places to learn something unique is the ABR’s Visitor & Education Center. It is a perfect place to be if you want to learn about the Appalachian Bear Rescue.

The 1989 fall was harsh on the black bears of the Great Smoky Mountains. A scarcity of hard mast (nut and sea) drove this creature to lower elevations in search of food. This situation resulted in a vast number of orphaned cubs.

Not until a team of volunteers decided to form the Appalachian Black Bear Rehabilitation & Release Center, Inc., to aid the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in catering for these orphaned cubs.

The early period of this movement was focused on contributing funds, site locations, and the construction of fences to preserve this creature.

The Center is accessible to the public and should be a must-see when you visit Tennessee. There are video clips of cubs catered for since 1999, and you can learn how this Black Bear’s Company operates.

Address: Off East Lamar Alexander Parkway on Highway 321 Trillium Cove Shopping Center, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

17. Hiking and Mountain Climbing

Hiking and Mountain Climbing
Credits: Maridav / Shutterstock

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park tour will not be complete if you do not hike the Trails or go climbing in the beautiful mountains.

Due to the Great Smoky Mountains’ high elevations, it has many opportunities for amateurs and experts to climb the various mountain heights that are nestled under the area.

Do well to come with the necessary gear and knowledge to have a safe and fun adventure. There are quick and easy hiking trails for individuals who might find it challenging to go climbing.

Townsend is a starting point for trails such as Lumber Ridge Trailhead, Spruce Flats Falls trails, and the Ridge Trailhead, all of which will take you to the picturesque locations surrounding the area.

Visitors will spot several iconic spots while hiking.

Address: Townsen, Tennessee, United States

18. Wild Laurel Golf Course

Wild Laurel Golf Course
Credits: EpicStockMedia / Shutterstock

Are you wondering what to do in Townsend, TN? Go golfing at Wild Laurel Golf Course. Despite being a challenging course, it is still a fascinating location to play golf. The Wild Laurel Golf Course was designed by Edmund B. Ault, ASGCA, and consists of Bermuda fairways and Bent Grass greens.

Other things to find here are meandering creeks, changing elevation, rich wildlife and nature, meandering streams, and mountainous hills.

Despite being situated in a fenced area, the Golf Course is available for public events and plays while still having rental clubs, a bar, and 19th hole and practice areas.

Address: 702 Country Club Dr, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

19. Smoky Mountain River Rat Tubing

Smoky Mountain River Rat Tubing
Credits: PPstock / Shutterstock

Ensure to visit Smoky Mountain River Rat Tubing for an incredible adventure with the whole family.

Smoky Mountain River Rat Tubing has been a family-owned and operated business since 1995. It is an ideal place to have that perfect outdoor experience with friends and family. Bring your swimming shoes and get ready to have a one-of-a-kind experience.

This unique destination offers a nice escape in the heart of the Smokies ranging from excellent Tubing to Whitewater Rafting.

You can go tubing just once or all through the day. Make sure to make reservations before arrival.

Address: 205 Wears Valley Rd, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

20. Camping

Credits: Junjira Limcharoen / Shutterstock

Camping is a loved activity for many and one you can engage in if you choose to have an extended vacation. It is an ideal way to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the simplicity of life.

There are numerous known camping sites where visitors can make reservations for their camping, such as the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA Holiday, Mountaineer Campground, and the Little River Campground.

For individuals who want to be a bit more adventurous, you can try out the backcountry and dispersed camping. You can choose to set up your gear in a secluded location, camp at remote sites, and enjoy the beautiful views of the Park without the crowd.

Many cameleers come along with their gear to the Park, but within the city are outdoor outfitters where visitors can buy any equipment they require.

Address: Townsend, Tennessee, United States

21. The Lily Barn Garden

Lily Barn Garden
Credits: FOTO Eak / Shutterstock

The Lily Barn Garden is a top-tier state-certified Botanical garden in Townsend, TN. This Botanical Garden has existed for twenty years and has water plants, natives, and daylilies. It is one place to make purchases of native plants.

The Garden comprises a vast selection of yard art and a great kiddies maze. Water shoes are allowed for walking in the creek under the supervision of parents.

There are more than 140 various kinds of hardy Daylilies to buy in the Lily Barn Garden. These ornamentals blossom in May, and their peak is at the end of June when the Daylily Festival is organized.

Here is an ideal spot to host special events, including your family reunions, weddings, and picnics. There is a gazebo in front of their pond surrounded by many daylilies; an ideal setting to say your vows.

Address: 1116 Carrs Creek Rd, Townsend, TN 37882-3127, United States

22. River Tubing

River Tubing
Credits: Fim Rachanon / Shutterstock

One of the fun things to do in Townsend, TN, is to brave the rapids of the rivers in parks by indulging in River Tubing,

There are numerous stores within Townsend, including River Rat Tubing, which provides visitors with all the necessary gear and adventurous trips to the various water bodies within the mountain valleys. 

You will have an incredible experience as you ride through the currents, travel against rocks, and get yourself soaked up by the cool water of the rivers. With its calm and peaceful channels, the Little River is ideal for experts and amateurs.

Try white water rafting on the Pigeon River for something more challenging. You have no reason to worry about the equipment, as this company is equipped with all the cars you need to have fun here.

Address: 8435 TN-73, Townsend, TN 37882, United States

23. Apple Valley Mountain Village

Apple Valley Mountain Village
Credits: Apple Valley Stores / Facebook
Apple Valley Mountain Village

The Apple Valley Mountain Village is situated at the base of the Dancing Bear Lodge. It is an ideal place to visit while adventuring the most popular destination in Smokey Mountain, known as Cades Cove.

The Apple Valley Mountain Village comprises the General Store, The Dancing Bean, and Apple Valley Cafe. The General Store contains souvenirs and gift items that showcase the true spirit of the Smokies.

Before you leave, take some famous Apple Valley Fudge to your loved ones and friends, and if you wish to get more, you can place an order via their website.

You can stock up your cupboard with their locally produced jellies, butter, and jam; you can also opt in for their home decor, which will remind you to reminisce about the mountains, or even go through their extensive collection of T-shirts for a unique souvenir.

Address: 7138 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882-3801, United States

Explore other parts of Tennessee, check out our list of things to do in Pigeon Forgethings to do in Jackson, and things to do in Chattanooga.

Plan Your Trip to Townsend

Visit Townsend, TN, if you are searching for a place to have a perfect getaway experience. This city is a gateway to the most famous Park in the United States.

Fast rivers, museums, and hiking trails are the many things to find here, making your vacation experience scintillating. Make the best of your trip with this guide.