Known as one of the more raucous college towns in America, Madison, Wisconsin’s reputation as…
Every once in awhile, you bump into one of those places that has it all. You could spend a month there and never try everything or get bored. Today I’m dreaming of one of those places located in the Great Smoky Mountains. An award-winning, luxury destination and resort named Blackberry Farm. Many people have never heard of Blackberry Farm, but believe me when I tell you this is a place you should have on your list. Every season offers stunning views, culinary delights fresh from the farm, and amazing adventures for people like me who love being in the great outdoors.
The food and wine are definitely one of the main attractions. The alfresco dining experience in something out of a Martha Stewart fairy tale. Every plate offers visual and culinary fireworks, creating plenty of foodspotting and instagram sharable moments. The style of food is called Foothills Cuisine, which is refined and rugged at the same time. The chefs borrow some ideas from haute cuisine and combine them with foods indigenous to Blackberry’s Smoky Mountain region and history. They also have their own wine cellar and brewery, which allows all the dishes to be complimented with just the right beer or wine. The end result is a culinary experience you will likely never forget.
With all the delicious food and wine, you have to get outside and move around a bit. Blackberry Farm features more than three miles of paved paths on the estate, as well as miles of trails throughout the property’s 9,200 acres of wooded mountains. You can take a guided excursion with a group or create your own adventure. One of the really unique things you can do at the farm is the antique tradition of Letterboxing. Rooted in history, this activity began during the 1850’s in Dartmoor, England. Travelers hiking the English moors would leave postcards in hidden boxes along the trails. The next person to discover the cache would then post the letters. The more modern version of Letterboxing utilizes log books and rubber stamps—which are often beautifully handmade—instead of postcards. You can buy a kit, go along with a guide and melt away an afternoon in the fresh mountain air.
Not in the mood for an adventure? You can also opt for a more pampered mountain experience at the Farmhouse Spa where there are services such as Tennessee Tranquility and Mountain Spring Mint Mojito. Bring harmony to your energy centers with yoga or chakra, both which can be taught in the privacy of your cottage or room.
Finally, and this is my favorite part, they have a quiver of Lexus luxury cars you can borrow to take a long leisurely mountain drive, or just head into town. Simply reserve the car of your choice and head on down the road. Wow, what a place!
Have you been to Blackberry Farm? Tell us how your spent your time there…