Blackberry Farm is tucked away on the Tennessee border of the Smoky Mountain range. Its mystique conveys a moneyed southern charm – a place where good ol boys run the south over sips of artisinal whiskey while their wives spend the afternoon on horseback riding. I thought this place would be the equivalent to a remote French Michelin 3*** hotel – stunning grounds, opulent rooms, and world-class cuisine; afterall, the price tag is certainly that ambitious.
What I got was 3*** grounds, a no star hotel room, and 1* food – Keyah Grande this was not. The grounds are manicured, calculated, expansive, and gorgeous. They certainly convey a certain well-off Tennessee lifestyle that (I suspect) few people actually live. The hotel room was tiny and surprisingly noisy; if politicians do indeed stay here, they will want to speak in hushed tones. The food was delicious and safe with its southern influences but strayed a bit when trying to impart a world-class elegance.
If you decide to go, allot an extra 2.5 hours, and take the scenic route – it is stunning. Take I75 south of 321 to 78, drive east to 360, and then continue east on 43. Once you hit 360, you will see a range of picturesque scenery – cow and horse fields, battered barns, rivers, waterfalls, small hills, and pretty forests. Then you start ascending the mountains where there are multiple vantage points. Some random pics: