Want to get out of Nashville for a bit? A long weekend of southern comfort in the Smokies might be just the thing to push your reset button. Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park draw millions of guests from around the world each year. Each normal year, anyway. 

Increasing tourism has also brought increased variety and quality of dining establishments. One of the newest of these is at Westgate Resorts, which recently announced the opening of Southern Comfort restaurant—a new Southern-cuisine dining experience, showcasing the very best dishes from the South, from low-country to Cajun and back. This is also the first restaurant to open in partnership with the iconic Southern Comfort® whiskey brand, meaning it represents an iconic Southern brand! 

“We are thrilled to partner with Westgate Resorts on such an exciting project in one of the South’s most scenic settings. The connection between Southern cuisine and the nearly 150-year-old Southern Comfort brand is a natural that we think guests will love,” said Jake Wenz of Sazerac Company, which owns Southern Comfort Whiskey. 

Southern Comfort Restaurant

The Southern Comfort restaurant menu features classics like Fried Green Tomatoes, Catfish Nuggets, and Fried Okra, as well as signature dishes like Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, Creole Jambalaya, Carolina Shrimp and Grits, Texas Chicken Fried Steak, Southern Cast Iron Rib-Eye, Fresh Mississippi Catfish and Southern Fried Chicken and Biscuits. It really is a taste of the South! Meaning you’ll want to try their barbecue, or maybe—get this—Kentucky raised Wagyu Ribeye! 

And if you’re staying at Westgate Resort, but Southern Comfort isn’t your jam, or you just want to visit for a bite, the resort hosts a celebrated lineup of Tennessee eateries, including Wild Bear Tavern, ranked the no. 6 restaurant overall and the no. 1 German restaurant in Pigeon Forge on TripAdvisor. For more information about Southern Comfort, visit Southern Comfort's Official Dining Page, at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa. 

Other onsite attractions at Westgate include:  

  • Wild Bear Falls Water Park: One of the best water parks in Tennessee, Wild Bear Falls provides endless aquatic fun at an affordable price.  
  • Crocket Creek & Mountain Top Pools 
  • Mini-Golf: Miniature gold surrounded by a picturesque mountain backdrop of dazzling views, stunning foliage, forests, slopes, waterfalls + wildlife.  
  • Flying Bear Zipline: Soar through the air and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the breathtakingly stunning Great Smoky Mountains from the coolest biplane in the Smokies. This not-to-be-missed vacation activity is perfect for thrill-seekers, novices and kids alike.  
  • Award-Winning Serenity Spa by Westgate: Innovative treatments offer head-to-toe indulgence that rejuvenate body, mind and soul 

One of the great things about this area is that visitors have tons of options, for every taste, from old fashioned camping to luxury cabin rentals that can comfortably hold a large extended family, from hotels to resorts. The increasing influx of tourist has led to expanded options for visitors as well. It’s not just Dollywood and Pigeon Forge anymore, though Dollywood remains a huge draw.  

Image by Thomas Hoang from Pixabay

Of course there are endless options for fun in the region, but other nearby attractions include: 

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park  

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

  • Arcadia: Enjoy more than 100 of the hottest games in this 25,000 square foot amusement center.  
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum: Museum with kitschy oddities on display.  

  • Gatlinburg SkyLift Park: Open-air chairlift fide to the top of a 1,800-foot overlook with views of the Smoky Mountains. 

Get out your travel guide and explore. But no matter where you get off to, enjoy the great outdoors and have a blast, social distance-style! 




This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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