I believe it’s good to break from traditional norms and experience the holidays in a completely new way. Christmas 2021 was precisely that for me in the Smokey Mountains.

I celebrated Christmas Eve on Long Island at my mom’s house. However, I would be departing for the airport at 3:30 AM on Christmas morning. I had never flown on Christmas Day before so this was an exciting new journey for me. I would meet up with my dad, step-mom, and step-brother in the Smokey Mountains in Topton, NC.

To my surprise, there were a lot of people at the airport. My initial assumptions were the airport would be quiet as travelers would have already been to their destinations for Christmas. It makes sense why there’s that old saying about why you should never assume. The airport was busy that morning with many travelers abound. It was a shock to me, but pretty neat to see others partaking in the Christmas Day departure.

Upon landing in NC, it was a three-hour drive to Topton; I had no idea what was in store for me. The breathtaking views and peaceful seclusion were a sight to behold making for a relaxing and peaceful Christmas.

My First Glimpse Atop The Smokey Mountains

We were staying in the Smokey Mountains. It was quite the winding road up to the cabins where you feel completely separated from the entire world. Albeit, this is a welcomed change of pace.

River outside check-in building atop the Smokey Mountains.
A river outside the check-in building atop the Smokey Mountains.

One of the very first observations I alluded to earlier upon reaching the top of the Smokey Mountains was the length of time it takes to reach the top. Some local workers maintained the surrounding areas and cabins themselves so one could venture a guess that some of these people may live in the mountains. I would imagine doing things like grocery shopping or getting essentials could become an all-day event considering the length of time to travel up and down the mountain was about 35-40 minutes. That’s just to get down the mountain as now you need to drive into town as there’s nothing around except peaceful tranquility for miles.

Delving Inside The Massive Cabin

Inside the cabin overlooking the kitchen
The view of the kitchen inside the cabin as you walk through the front door.

I had stayed in a cabin before when I visited Georgia. However, I have never stayed in a cabin of this grandeur and structure. I knew I wasn’t in Kansas, err, Long Island anymore.

The awe overcame me as I gazed upon the inside of the cabin. It looked like a work of art on the inside and had a cozy feeling to it. I envisioned myself waking up in the morning having my coffee and breakfast and starting into the mountains. Breath-taking doesn’t begin to describe it.

My view of the Smokey Mountains from the main deck of the cabin
My view of the Smokey Mountains from the main deck of the cabin.

Disconnected From The Outside World Atop The Smokey Mountains

The view looked like something out of a Bob Ross painting, but in this scenario, that painting had come to life and I was living in it. That thought of paradise swooned over me. Having a view of this picture-perfect beauty while having dinner – what better way is there to enjoy a peaceful Christmas dinner?

A beautiful view of the Smokey Mountains while enjoying dinner
A beautiful view of the Smokey Mountains while enjoying dinner.

It’s hard to find something to complain especially something so beautiful.

My only negative in staying in the Smokey Mountains is once you’re there you’re there. What do I mean by that? Well, you’re not going anywhere else. This is a destination vacation should you choose to experience it. Day in and day out will be inside this cabin. Unless you have the gumption and desire to make the trek up and down the Smokey Mountains and the wherewithal to drive into town, you have reached your final destination.

Additionally, should one choose to take day trips away from the cabin, a good chunk of your time will consist of traveling. A lot of vacation time consists of travel, so plan your time accordingly and determine what’s most important for your trip.

I find a good stay at the cabin to be three days. I get stir-crazy beyond that. If there were a faster way to get to and from the cabins and into town, I would certainly stay longer, but you are in the mountains after all.

Very Comfortable Living Quarters

The living room of the cabin
The living room of the cabin.

The living room of the cabin is where we spent the majority of our time. How could you not? There’s so much to look at with easy access to the kitchen and views of the mountains all around you. We also thoroughly enjoyed utilizing the fireplace, but no need to worry about firewood. This fireplace uses an on/off switch that will run for some time and once it powers down, feel free to turn it on again. We did!

While you could choose to go downstairs, that was mostly a sleeping quarter with a TV, bathroom, and couch. Waking up to a mountain view is certainly a cool experience. While I slept downstairs, it wasn’t where any of us chose to spend our days. Instead, we preferred the main floor of the cabin.

If you’re looking for something else to do that doesn’t include the main living room area, there’s my favorite spot that I think everyone should experience which is a quick walk out of the back door near the kitchen.

A Place of Relaxation and Beautiful Views

The fireplace out on the patio overlooking the Smokey Mountains
The fireplace is out on the patio overlooking the Smokey Mountains.

While out on the patio, we could start a fire, have conversations, and gaze out into Mother Nature. There were tables and chairs to sit at and an outdoor couch which was my go-to spot. The screened-in windows are a unique feature of the cabin. They operate via remote control. A nice little piece of technology in the limited-cellular access Smokey Mountains.

Sending text messages will be difficult and phone calls are not going to connect. You’ll need to make your way down the mountain to do that, however, don’t fret, there’s a landline phone within the cabin.

A view of the Smokey Mountains as the sun rises
Gazing out into the mountains as the sun rises.

I highly recommend before you depart the Smokey Mountains, you wake up to see the sunrise beyond the mountains. If that doesn’t make you smile or feel at ease, I don’t know what will. As someone who comes from the suburbs of Long Island where hustle and bustle reign supreme, I for one enjoy a break from reality and engulf myself in a slower-paced life; a future goal of mine.

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