Fall 2012 in the Smokies

2012 was a good year. It was the year my husband and I realized that Lexington was the city we wanted to call home, it was the first year we got into a healthy eating & exercise routine and actually stuck with it, it was the year Offbeat & Inspired was born (yay!) — it was a year of breakthroughs. It didn’t come without its share of difficulties, but the difficulties combined with the successes made it even richer.

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

This was the first year we took a trip to the Smoky Mountains, just the two of us. Fall was at its prime and we could think of no better way to spend a chilly weekend than at a cozy cabin nestled into those beautiful golden and crimson hills. If you haven’t rented a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, you don’t know what you’re missing. The cabins themselves are new, comfortable, well-constructed and most are fully stocked with games and some even have theater rooms — but the main event is the view from the back deck. On the decks of most cabins you’ll have your choice of a hot tub where you can soak under the stars with the mountains silhouetted on the horizon, or big old rocking chairs where you can spend your mornings with a hot cup of coffee and a fuzzy wool blanket.

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

in the reflection you’ll see my husband, the photographer (Hi Dave!!) and the mountains in the distance! What a view!


The cabin we stayed at on our weekend trip was only a short drive from Gatlinburg, a bustling town near Pigeon Forge with lots of restaurants and family-friendly activities. Our favorite Gatlinburg spot was The Village Shops, which is a little mercantile area tucked away off the main road, home to all kinds of novelty boutiques. We strolled up and down the stone lanes and explored charming little nooks devoted to everything from doughnut making to fine herbs, spices and teas. We picked up some of the best hot cocoa I’ve ever had and finally made our way back to the car when it got too chilly to continue our wanderings.

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

On the trips to and from Gatlinburg, we traveled winding back roads with all kinds of hidden gems and great spots for picture taking. I had an outfit I wanted to shoot for a blog post so we pulled over at this great ivy-covered Craft & Leather shop and snapped away!

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

Cardigan from Anthropologie, Dress & Belt from Ruche, Boots (“Wonser”) from Aldo


On our last day there, we visited a place called Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. Old Mill is in a more touristy area than Gatlinburg, but they have one of my favorite restaurants of all time — Old Mill Pottery House. This place is a quaint cafe with a delicious menu and everything is served on hand-thrown dishes that you can purchase from the boutique area when you’re done eating.

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

All of this gorgeous stoneware is created on-site!

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

As the long weekend came to a close, we were already planning our next trip to the Smokies. As we headed north through Tennessee, I was caught up in the beauty of farm country. To be so close to the mountains, and then to be rolling through acres of lush farmland with only 3 short hours to our front door — it’s no wonder we love it here so much.

We pulled off the road for another outfit shoot (that never quite made it onto the blog haha), but the main inspiration here was the country.

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

Shirt from Anthropologie


Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

Pants from William Rast, Boots from Free People


An old farmer saw us lingering near this gate and we noticed him riding towards us on his tractor. I got worried because I thought we might be trespassing, so I quickly ran back to the car while Dave talked to him. It turns out he wanted to open the gate so we could come inside to take more pictures. I love Tennessee.

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

So this is what I’ll remember of Fall 2012. I’m incredibly blessed to have a wonderful new city to call my home and to share an adventurous spirit with my amazing husband so we can explore and enjoy every little thing life has to offer. Here’s to an adventurous 2013!

Fall 2012 in the Smokies - Offbeat & Inspired

If you’ve never rented a cabin in the Smokies and you want to, we’ve had nothing but great experiences with Majestic Mountain Vacations and they offer cabins of all sizes. They can host up to 50 people or as few as 2!

What are your highlights from 2012? Will you be adventurous in 2013?

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  1. Oh thanks so much for this! My husband and I drove through the area in November and were so taken with the scenery. Now that I know there is somewhere great to stay…I’m bookmarking this!

    • You’re welcome!! Oh my goodness the scenery is to die for. I hope you book one of those cabins I know you’ll love it! 😀

  2. Yayy!!! Im so glad you love the Smokies as much as we do! One of the reason’s I love living in Knoxville is how close to the mountains we are! My husband is a firefighter in Sevierville just outside Gatlinburg I’m so jealous of the view he gets while he drives to work!

  3. This is so beautiful!! I’m glad you all had such a good time!

  4. Such beautiful photography! I absolutely adore your style, Tiffany!! I love that you love TN AND the smokies, too!! I love going up there…always so relaxing to be up in the woods in a cozy cabin!! xo

  5. Gorgeous pictures and a gorgeous girl 🙂 That is one of my favorites parts of the country, too. I think we might end up there some day …

    • Thank you so much!! That’s pretty much how we ended up out here. 😀 We visited some family and couldn’t get over how beautiful it all was!

  6. Wow, the photos are amazing! Strangely, I live so close and have only been once overnight. I may have to talk the hubs into a weekend in the mountains…so beautiful!

    • Thank you!! You should! We’ve only been down twice so far, but the cabins are so affordable and we’re close enough to do a regular Friday-Sunday weekend trip. I’m hoping we make it a point to go down more frequently this year. 🙂

  7. Vicky De Meo says:

    I love this blog post! Your descriptions and photos are brilliant, but my favorite parts are picturing my dinner being served on hand thrown dishes and the part where you ran back to the car because of the farmer chasing you down on the tractor!!!
    You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take Jersey out of the girl! Classic! <3

    • Thanks Mom! 😀 I guess this means you will be coming out soon so we can all go to a cabin in Pigeon Forge?? And yes, running from the guy on the tractor must have been due to my Jersey roots. HAHA! 🙂

  8. Absolutely stunning! I’ve always wanted to make it out to the Smokies, but I’m out in PA so hopefully one day! And I’m IN LOVE with your Free People boots! Your style is just beautiful!
    Just found your blog and I’m glad I did, hooked!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Aww thank you so much!! I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to this sooner, no idea how I missed it! The Smokies TRULY are beautiful. If you go, you will LOVE it! I hope you make your way out! 😀

  9. Love your site..my husband and I just retired to the Smoky Mountains after vacationing here nearly 30 years…my daughter and her family live near Lexington..and I and visited Finderskeepers many times…fun store…I will look forward to your emails and creative ideas..

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Thank you!! That’s so great! The Smokies and Lexington are our 2 loves (FindersKeepers Market included! :D) I don’t usually take 4 months to respond to comments, my apologies! I do hope you’re still enjoying our site!

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