Distance: 188 miles, four hour and fifteen minute drive

In 1930, while on a trip to the Georgia coast, Chicagoans Dave and Florida Lasier became enthralled by the majesty of the Great Smokey Mountains, deciding then and there to build their dream home. While selecting just the right location, Florida snagged her silk stockings in a thicket of blackberry bushes, and the name Blackberry Farm was born. Today, Proprietor Mary Celeste Beall continues and pushes the family’s tradition of Southern hospitality, gourmet cuisine and lasting memories.

Named among the top small hotels in the world by publications ranging from Conde Nast Traveler to Travel + Leisure, Blackberry Farm offers activities ranging from outdoor adventures to luxurious spa treatments. Perhaps the most unique to the property, the Farmstead Field School offers a number of special activities in and around the garden, the pastures and the kitchen, including artisan cooking demos, tasting tours (think cheeses, meats, preserves and beer), and an interactive walking tour of the extensive heirloom vegetable, flower and herb gardens with Master Gardener John Coykendall.

Speaking of, Blackberry Farm gardens are a wonderful source of naturally grown produce that is woven through each meal’s menu. Over the years, the Farm has garnered industry praise, including three James Beard Awards and named Bon Appetit’s No. 1 Hotel for Food Lovers.

If you’re bringing the kiddos along, consider Camp Blackberry and Blackberry Youth Discovery. Tailored for ages 4-9, Camp Blackberry campers get time away from the family to seek out adventures tailor-made to their liking such as culinary, fine arts, outdoor adventure and more. Geared toward youth ages 10 and older, Blackberry Youth Discovery offers painting, ceramics, farmstead and adventure activities. Families looking for adventure together can partake in the adventure series which includes stream exploration, archery, farming and more.