I’m sitting in front of my Mac trying to find a place to stay. As mentioned in previous post we only decided we were good to travel a couple of weeks before we launched our current adventure. We knew we wanted to end up in or near Asheville, NC. First day of trip, August 28th. In other words 8 days into our trip is Labor Day.
Who camps on Labor Day? Answer: Everyone! So I couldn’t get any of the places I had flagged as wanting to stay. But I found a well rated RV park 35 minutes from Asheville starting on September 4th and grabbed it. That left me having to to stay somewhere between Chattanooga and Asheville for a week or two first.
We had been wanting to stay at Anchor Down and I was able to get three days there but the following weekend was Labor Day Weekend and I was coming up empty. Then I spotted Dumplin Valley Farm RV Park. 11 minutes from Anchor Down and I says to myself. Scott ain’t nobody ever thought of camping at a farm on Labor Day! I got a Campsite Brews T-Shirt for you if you got that reference and mention it in the comments.
Anyway, I checked and low and behold they had sites available. Wohoo! I now had us booked through the first month of our first full timing trip away from home. I’m of course very proud of myself for pulling off the small miracle of booking campsites for Labor Day Weekend less than 2 weeks beforehand. Yes, I am amazing…..Amazingly lucky!
So who cares about how great I am at this? I know what you really want to know is should I stay at this RV park or not? So let’s start with what’s unique about this park. It’s on a lovely hillside, on a farm, silo and all. It’s claim to fame is an annual Bluegrass Festival and it’s evidently harder to get a site during the festival than it is to get a lakefront site on Labor Day at your favorite lake. The festival was a couple of weeks after we left. I actually would have loved to have added that experience, but alas, it was not meant to be.
Here are the positives, The sites are mostly nice and mostly well laid out. The campground is literally 3 minutes from the big Bass Pro Shops at the Sevierville exit. Meaning you are about 12-15 mins from Pigeon forge in normal weekly traffic. Much longer on a weekend. The park is well maintained and has full hookups. So location is the best thing about this RV park.
They assign you a site. When you book you choose a type of site and when you arrive they tell you where to go. I’ll be honest. I was like why did you put me in between other campers when almost all you’re sites are empty. The answer was so we could me another fun and fabulous couple. Because, well that’s what we do. We met Roger and Janet and we immediately connected.
The best thing about camping is the people. I spent an evening with Roger and Janet and their close friends, a couple they met camping, and had a great time while Cathy was out working. We ended up spending the next couple of nights hanging out at there site, they were behind us. We toured each other’s 5th wheels and shared full timing tid-bits of knowledge. We laughed and shared some adult beverages and now have another set of friends we hope very much to see again.
Dumplin Valley has a stage and I was disappointed that we missed any live music. Roger and Janet assured us the Bluegrass Festival was worth attending in the future and attendees were usually fun. So we plan to check it out in the future and you probably should check into it.
I would say this is a good spot for a short stop over especially to hit Pigeon Forge for a day or two if you can get into a more scenic location or you prefer quieter setting close in. The campground is easy to get into and out of.
Some of our venturing out from here was still to Dandridge which was still a short drive. I covered these in Dandridge Tennessee post. We also ventured into Pigeon Forge some. From a brewery perspective we stopped at the Gatlinburg Brewing Company. As someone who used to design logo’s let me just say they have a great one. It is so well done. They staff was friendly and the pretzel and beer cheese we had was delicious. The venue in Pigeon Forge was pretty nice. We have not been to the one in Gatlinburg. There’s outside seating, covered. Lots of TV’s and a swag store.
The beer selection was fairly large and in all fairness. I did not try them all. I did a flight and a couple of 4 oz pours. My average rating on Untappd was about a 3.5. Anything under 3.75 I probably would not order again. The bright spot was the Gatty Issues. A BlackBerry Tangerine Sour. The Tripel Threat collab with Renz Nest Brewery was also pretty good. I’m not saying this isn’t a great place and we were not there during a busy time or event. I would say stop and try for yourself as the beers may be more to your taste and I did not try them all.
We also hit up one of my favorite spots, Margaritaville. I had some excellent fish tacos and of course a Perfect Margarita. Don’t go here without getting key lime pie. Did I tell you Cathy surprised me with a trip to Red Rocks to see Jimmy? That’s what happens when your wife is fabulous. Anyway grabbed and new buffet T-Shirt and we moved on
While Cathy was prospecting I walked on down to the dependable Casual Pint. They always have a good variety of beers on tap including locals. We watched the first half of Georgia kicking Oregons ass and headed back to the camper during half-time. While I was hanging at the pint I enjoyed “Sharpen the Blades” from Xul Beer Company out of Knoxville, TN. One of my favorite breweries. I don’t think they make a bad beer. I also had a nice sour, a Berliner Weisse from Albright Brewing Company named “Eddy Out”. Try these if you get the opportunity.