When the mountains are calling, you simply must go. Whether you’re in need of solo respite or looking to explore new landscapes on your next family getaway, this list has ideal destinations for both. Plan your next escape at one of these Southern mountain retreats with views for days and plenty of opportunities to unplug!
*Listed in alphabetical order
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Location: Corbin, KY
More info: parks.ky.gov
Dubbed the “Niagara of the South,” 68-foot-tall Cumberland Falls is one of only a handful of places where a moonbow is visible during a full moon, and the state park offers 1,657 acres of outdoor fun. From hiking and horseback riding to boating and fishing, there’s a little something for every nature lover. Among the park’s newest attractions is the Cumberland Falls Mining Company, which allows guests to discover genuine gemstones and fossils at the gemstone flume. You might find anything from pyrite, fluorite, or quartz to moonstone, topaz, and emerald. The historic DuPont Lodge offers 51 rooms with full amenities and a view, but the property also features 25 cabins and cottages, as well as 49 campsites for a more rustic lodging experience.
Locations in South: Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greenville, NC; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, TX
More info: getaway.house
Tiny Getaway cabins can be found throughout the South, offering tranquil spaces for up to four people. Each space is just 140 to 200 square feet and is designed to “include everything you need and nothing you don’t.” That means no electronic distractions like TVs or telephones but all the supplies necessary to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
But the cabins DO include linens and towels, heat, and a hot shower with biodegradable bath products, as well as a small kitchen with cooking essentials and non-perishable provisions like coffee, snacks, and pasta for purchase. Loud noises and music outside of the cabins are forbidden, ensuring guests get the peaceful experience they’re after. Guests shouldn’t miss out on the fire pit!
Lakeview at Fontana
Location: Bryson City, NC
More info: lakeviewatfontana.com
Ideal for a solo retreat or low-key trip with the gals, Lakeview at Fontana offers a kid-free, dog-friendly experience — the epitome of relaxation. Featuring unhosted self-check-in and check-out, as well as honor-system markets for bath and body products, food, and drink, the peaceful space provides everything you need to disconnect and return home refreshed. Massages are also available, and don’t miss your chance to experience a treetop soak.
Set on the forested hillside in a secluded cabana, each 90-minute appointment includes custom-blended therapeutic Epsom and Himalayan salts with aromatic essential oils, plus bath towels and robes for two guests. Upgraded options include champagne, rose quartz-charged soaking salts, and Fontana Lake views. Lakeview at Fontana closes for the season on November 19, 2023, and will reopen on April 5, 2024.
Mentone Mountain Getaways
Location: Mentone, AL
More info: mentonemountaingetaways,com
Set in the heart of Mentone and Lookout Mountain, Mentone Mountain Getaways includes more than a dozen cabins to accommodate individuals or families. From one-bedroom, one-bath spaces to three-bedroom, two-bath options, there are various abodes to choose from, including a pet-friendly cottage. Nearby attractions include hikes, ziplines, water sports, and multiple restaurants — but the site’s concierge services offer everything one might need to enjoy a relaxing stay right on the property. This includes grocery pickup and delivery, personal chef services, massage, yoga, and more. Management also promises 24/7 availability, including weekends and holidays.
SB Tip: Mentone landed on our list of must-visit small towns in Alabama! Check out our article for more to see and do in the area.
Pine Mountain State Resort Park
Location: Pineville, KY
More info: parks.ky.gov
Kentucky’s first state park boasts 30 rooms in the Herndon J. Evans Lodge, each with a private patio or balcony to take in the mountain views. The pet-friendly property also features 21 cottages, as well as an on-site restaurant with a menu that focuses on locally sourced meats and produce. The park is an ideal spot for birding, as the Cumberland Plateau is home to species that can’t be found anywhere else in the state.
There are lots of other family-friendly spaces, too, including a miniature golf course, swimming pool, 12 miles of self-guided hiking trails, and multiple picnic areas with tables, grills, restrooms, and covered shelters. For large gatherings and events, the Laurel Cove Amphitheater is available to rent.
Snowbird Mountain Lodge
Location: Robbinsville, NC
More info: snowbirdlodge.com
When you’re not exploring the Smoky Mountains’ forest, creeks, and amazing views, you can take advantage of the other activities that come with an all-inclusive stay at one of three lodges. Play pickleball, tennis, or cornhole; visit a historic cabin filled with Civil War-era artifacts, or grab your gear and go whitewater rafting.
If you’re simply looking for a bit of quiet, solo time out in nature, Snowbird Mountain Lodge makes sure you get that in its rustic rooms. Though they feature plush mattresses, comfy robes, and a selection of coffee and tea, you won’t find a TV anywhere — allowing you to leave distractions behind and take in everything that the 100-acre property has to offer.
Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park
Location: Gatlinburg, TN
More info: westgateresorts.com
If you’re looking for a spot that’s close to a lot of action, this award-winning resort boasts all the comforts of home in a location just a stone’s throw away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. An ideal family vacation destination, the property features a spa, zipline, mini golf course, and on-site restaurants.
Guests can also get tickets to Wild Bear Falls Water Park, a heated indoor/outdoor space that boasts everything from a 300-gallon dumping bucket and a 350-foot-long tube slide to a hot tub experience and a swimming hole fit for both lounging and doing laps. At the end of the day, visitors can retreat to a villa, available in studios featuring up to two bedrooms.
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