Glamping in TN – April 2023

Hey Guys!

A few months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw an ad for Tennessee Glamping.

I’ve never been one for camping but wasn’t sure what Glamping was but it looked very cool!

So, I clicked on the ad and after reading more about it, I decided that I had to stay there!

I started looking at their calendar in Oct 2022 and it was already booked out for months so I decided I would look for my birthday weekend in April.

They had April 9th-12th available, so I booked it! Happy Birthday to me!! 😉

For an extra $50, you could check in 2 hrs early so I decided to purchase that option as well as the late check out option that allowed you to check out at 11:30 am instead of 10 am.

They also offered the option of purchasing firewood for $15 a bundle. Since we were going to be there for 3 nights, I purchased 3 bundles…each bundle contains about 15 small logs.

Tip: After researching this property, I discovered they were featured on the Discovery show Building off the Grid….see a YouTube video of one of their domes here.

After waiting 6 long months, the day had finally arrived to head to our glamping dome!

After having breakfast at restaurant close to our home, we began the 2 hour drive to the glamping site.

On our way to the dome, we passed a huge nursery that was growing tons of beautiful pink and white dogwood trees!

This area is actually known as the nursery capital of the world!!

The domes are located in Altamont, TN.….see a map of the area here.

We ended up arriving to the glamping site one hour before our 1 pm check in time and noticed there were no cars around, so we headed inside the glamping dome to see if it was ready.

Our first view of the dome!

There are 3 domes located here on 16 acres of secluded property.

I booked dome 3 which is their newest dome.

There are several steps you have to walk to get to the dome but it wasn’t too bad.

Pictures of the outside of the dome!

The dome was so cool!

It had a hot tub, outdoor shower, 3 different decks and awesome views!

They had several chairs spread throughout the different decks…we loved the bean bag chairs on the lower deck!

The inside of the dome was even nicer!

The decor was so modern and we loved the color scheme they had chosen.

The dome had a king size bed, a nice size bathroom with a large stand up shower, 2 bath robes, a pull out couch, a small table with two chairs, a mini fridge, dishes, coffee pot, coffee, sugar, tea, games, towels, washcloths, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, WiFi and so much more!

They really have put a lot of thought into their properties.

All you needed to bring was your food and you were all set!

Tip: Just 10 mins from the dome is a Dollar General Market. It’s the closest market to the dome. There’s also a gas station near the DG Market. The nearest grocery store is Piggly Wiggly in Gruetli-Laager which is 20 mins from the dome

I loved all of the little personal touches like this little name plate.

The views from the dome were awesome!

Once we got settled in, we decided to relax for a while in the hot tub.

After spending some time in the hot tub, we decided it was time for lunch.

Since we had eaten a big breakfast, we decided to just prepare a charcuterie board.

After lunch, we spent more time in the hot tub and just relaxing and taking it all in.

Later that evening, my hubby grilled steaks for dinner.

After dinner, we started a fire and enjoyed the quietness and the views.

With lows in the 40’s, the weather was perfect for a fire each evening we were there.

Tip: The dome is heated & offers a portable heater and electric blankets…it also has a small air conditioning unit that works well.

After sitting by the fire for a while, we decided to spend more time in the hot tub.

Later, I prepared some coffee and a small dessert charcuterie board to enjoy by the fire.

I had read that at one time, they offered a s’mores package but I didn’t see that on their site anywhere so I guess they stopped offering it. I also saw where they used to offer an occulus, telescope and even a guitar in some of the domes but our dome didn’t have any of that.

After our dessert, more chill time by the fire and some awesome stargazing, we called it a night.

Tip: Download the Night Sky X app to quickly identify stars, planets, constellations and satellites.

DAY TWO

The next morning, we enjoyed our coffee on the deck.

We walked around the deck checking out all of the amenities.

The dome has a 50 gallon hot water heater so no cold showers here!

We loved the projector screen but there was no projector! 🙁

After being up for a while, my husband prepared our breakfast.

I had leftover steak and a small omelet while the hubby had a ham and cheese muffin with some grits and potatoes.

After breakfast, we checked out the nearby caves.

The caves were not that big but still worth checking out.

A shot of the dome from the trail below

Later, we decided we would hike the nearby Greeter Falls.

The drive to the falls took less than 15 mins.

The falls is located in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area.

Savage Gulf State Natural Area is a scenic 15,000+ acre area in South Cumberland State Park filled with many beautiful hardwood forests, tumbling creeks, sandstone cliffs, and some incredible waterfalls.

The hike to Greeter Falls is only 1 mile round trip and a fairly easy hike.

As we were walking the trail, there was a sign that pointed to the Greeter Home place so we decided to check it out.

The Greeter family lived and operated a sawmill near Greeter Falls in the late 1800’s.

The Greeters were from Switzerland and spent some time in Brooklyn, N.Y. before coming to Tennessee and purchasing 640 acres.

It was so neat to see that remnants of their home were still on the property.

The well looked very deep …thankfully, they had it covered!

After checking out the home place, we headed back to the main trail and continued the short walk to Greeter Falls.

You can either hike 1 mile round trip to the falls or do the falls loop trail.

Shots along the trail…it’s very rocky so make sure to wear really good shoes!

At the loop junction you had a choice to take either the trail to Boardtree Falls or to Greeter Falls.

We decided to head to Greeter Falls first.

At Greeter Falls, you can view the upper and the lower falls.

We chose the upper falls first….this is also the location of an early grist mill that the Greeter family later converted into a lumber milling operation.

The mill was destroyed years ago by a flood.

The upper falls is nice but not that impressive. It only has a 15 ft drop.

After spending a few minutes here, we headed to the lower falls.

The upper falls is incredible and I highly recommend it but it’s a bit of a challenge getting down to the falls as you have to walk down a slippery spiral staircase that descends to a series of wooden and metal stairs.

It was a bit terrifying!

It was worth it for these views!

From here, we had to walk down the wooden stairs towards the metal staircase that leads down to the falls.

The metal staircase

Finally, at the bottom! So beautiful!

After spending a few minutes here, we headed back up the stairs to hike to Boardtree Falls.

However, after walking for a while, we decided to turn around because we didn’t feel like we had enough water to last us the rest of the hike.

Read reviews here

After arriving back to our car, we decided to grab some water and head back and walk to the Blue Hole….it was only 1/2 mile one way.

The trail was very flat and much easier than the hike to Greeter Falls but after arriving, we didn’t feel it was worth our time.

A lot of people come here to swim during the summer.

Shortly after arriving, we headed back to our car.

We drove through the small town of Altamont on our way back to the dome.

We passed an old Mormon church that was built in 1944.

Altamont has one of the oldest Mormon congregations in the southeastern United States.

We also passed this monument..it was erected in memory of the boys from Grundy county who gave their lives for their country.

Click here & here for nearby restaurants & for places to stay in Altamont, click here …and click here for another cool property that was located 1 minute by car from the domes.

We spotted the historic Northcutt House that was built in the late 1800’s and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Once we arrived back to the dome, we were ready to eat but since it was already 2 pm, we decided we didn’t want to eat a big lunch so I just made another charcuterie board to hold us over until dinner.

After we ate we spent some time in the hot tub and then later built a fire.

Later that evening, we grilled hamburgers for dinner and sat outside by the fire while we ate.

After dinner, we spent more time in the hot tub while we stargazed!

The dome was in a perfect location for stargazing as you had no light pollution!

After spending some time in the hot tub, we went inside a played Jenga!

Sadly, I lost both games! 🙁

After the game, we put a colored pin in the map that was hanging on the wall.

It was cool to see how far people had traveled to stay in the dome…some as far as Alaska and Montana!

After stargazing from inside the dome for a while, we called it a night.

DAY THREE

The next morning we woke up early to watch the sunrise.

The views from the dome inside and out were incredible!

Today was my birthday so, I had brought myself some flowers and requested a pancake breakfast from my hubby while I enjoyed the sunrise from the hot tub!

Having my birthday breakfast outside on the deck.

My hubby made him a bacon and cheese muffin, a sausage muffin and some grits w/ potatoes.

After breakfast and spending more time in the hot tub, we decided to go hike the nearby Foster Falls.

The falls were located about 40 mins from the dome.

This is another short hike …only 1 mile round trip.

About 1/10th of a mile from the parking lot, you will come to an overlook of the falls.

Foster Falls is a spectacular 60-foot waterfall plunging into a deep pool!

If you take the trail to the right, it will take you to Fiery Gizzard Trail.

The trail is 12.5 miles one way and strenuous…it has been rated one of the top 25 trails in the US!

See a map of the trail here

After taking a few pictures of the falls from the overlook, we continued the trail to the lower falls.

The walk down is a bit treacherous so make sure you have on good shoes!

You will cross over a small swinging bridge once you are the bottom of the steps.

Our first view of that beautiful falls!

A lot of people will come here to swim during the summer and I can see why!

This falls reminded me of Greeter Falls.

There was hardly anyone around on any of the hikes that we did.

Shots of the falls

To the far right of Foster Falls, was another small falls..I couldn’t get a good shot of it without having to walk through a bunch of rocks so decided against it.

After taking way too many pictures of the falls, we walked a little of the nearby Foster Falls Climbers Loop Trail. This is a 2 mile loop trail and very popular for climbers.

The views are beautiful!

We climbed on some nearby rocks and just relaxed for a while.

After relaxing for a while, we decided to continue hiking along the loop trail.

The trail is very forested and has lots of sheer rock cliffs.

We came up on this huge rock that had fallen from the cliff above years earlier.

After spending about 2 hrs here, we decided to head 10 mins down the road to the Dutch Maid Bakery & Cafe in Tracy City TN.

Tip: 5 mins from Foster Falls is Denny Cove Falls, 15 mins from Foster Falls is Sycamore Falls & 35 mins from Foster Falls is Bridal Veil Falls

After a short drive, we arrived to the bakery.

The Dutch Maid Bakery is on the Historic registry for being the oldest family owned bakery in the state of Tennessee….it was opened in 1902 and has been continuously opened since that time except for one year when they had to close due to a fire.

The bakery has been at this location since 1927. The original bakery burned down in 1925.

Watch a YouTube video about the bakery here...it was featured on the Tennessee Crossroads show 10 years ago.

There is also a small cafe attached to the bakery.

The old store was full of yummy goodies and antiques.

It was so hard to decide what we wanted…..we wanted one of everything!

We settled on 2 loaves of fresh made bread, a pack of cinnamon rolls, a small loaf of chocolate bread and an apricot filled bread!

A picture of the Baggenstoss family that opened the bakery in 1902.

After making our purchases, we walked around the small town.

A mural on the side of the bakery’s building.

There was a small historical exhibit across the street from the bakery.

We spotted an old building near the exhibit. It had the Marugg Company painted on the side.

After researching the name, I discovered that this business started in 1873 by Martin Marugg who was one of the early Swiss settlers of Gruetli. The Marugg Company, which specialized in Austrian scythes and other cutting-edged hand tools, was started in Gruetli.

The company moved to Tracy City around 1891 and in 1904 the current building was constructed. The building was, and still is, used for both the manufacturing of handles and the mailorder business.

It has been placed on the National Register of Historic places.

Click here to watch a YouTube video where the company was featured on Tennessee Crossroads

Statue were scattered throughout the small town

After leaving the town, we headed back to the dome where I once again prepared a charcuterie board.

After eating, we spent some time in the hot tub.

Later that evening, we prepared sandwiches for dinner at ate outside by the fire.

Of course, we had to have cake since it was my birthday so we had some of that delicious chocolate cake from the Dutch Maid Bakery…So good!

After our cake and coffee, we went back outside to stargaze for a while before calling it a night.

DAY FOUR

Once again, we woke up early to watch the incredible sunrise.

A shot of the dome

After watching the sunrise, we enjoyed some of those delicious baked goods from the Dutch Maid Bakery.

After breakfast, we spent the morning relaxing before having to check out at 11:30 am.

Around 9:30 am, we heard the people who were renting the dome beside us, leaving.

So, we walked over to check out that dome.

Wow, there were so many stairs leading down to the dome!

The domes are approx. 450 sq ft but this dome had a much smaller deck than our dome had.

Read here about the different domes that are offered

This is dome one and it was very nice but the bed was right in front of the clear plastic area of the dome….meaning, that after the sun rises, you will get hot quickly as there is nothing to block the sun.

Shots of the inside

This is the dome that was featured on Discovery Network: Building off the Grid.

Walking back up the stairs was exhausting…I can’t imagine walking up and down those stairs with all of your luggage and coolers. I’m glad we chose dome 3.

Dome 2 is more easily accessible with parking right at the dome.

After checking out Dome 2, we walked back over to our dome to start packing up.

Before checking out, we had to wash and put away the dishes…that was it.

We took a few more pictures before leaving the dome.

After leaving the dome, we headed 10 mins down the road to a nearby restaurant called Close to Home to have lunch.

The restaurant had a pretty extensive menu to be in such a small town.

My hubby and I both ordered a burger and fries.

The food was really good.

After lunch, we decided to hike the nearby Stone Door trail.

The trail is only 1.8 miles round trip and had some amazing views!

After arriving, we first walked to the nearby Laurel Falls.

There is a ranger station and a gift shop located at the start of the trail.

The hike to the falls is only 0.4 mi round trip but there are A LOT of stairs to get there.

The falls was pretty but not sure it was worth the effort!

After the falls, we started the stone door trail.

The trail is 0.9 miles one way and the first 0.2 miles of the trail is paved…it’s a fairly easy, flat trail.

After a short distance, you will come to the Laurel Gulf Overlook.

This area would be beautiful during the fall!

There are longer trails that you can do on this hike.

Once you arrive, you will see a sign pointing you to the overlooks.

If you have children, I highly recommend you keep a very close eye on them as there are sheer drop offs located here!

The views are outstanding!

We loved this hike and there was hardly anyone else around!

After admiring the views, we headed down the stone door.

Headed down the steep, stone stairs to the bottom!

It was a bit scary….make sure you are wearing good shoes!

Looking back up the stairs

The trail continues to a larger network of hikes throughout South Cumberland State Park. If you would like you can continue on to connect to other amazing places like Ranger Falls, or Greeter Falls.

We decided to head back up the stairs and head back to the car.

Once we got back to the top, we noticed another overlook that we had missed.

So, we walked over to check it out.

The heights made my feet hurt! It was a long way down!

The views were so beautiful!

We saw this rock hanging over the edge and decided we just had to get our picture standing there!

It wasn’t as scary as it looked but I couldn’t stop thinking about the rock breaking off!

After taking a few more pictures, we headed back to our car and headed home!

Thanks for reading!

Nearby Restaurants & other activities:

Viola’s Pizza – it’s 20 mins from the dome

Web3 Mexican Grill – 10 mins from the dome

Brown’s Dairy Bar – 20 mins from the dome

The Southern Oven – 25 mins

Mountain Goat Market – very popular – 35 mins

Hanks Corner Grill – 30 mins

High Point Restaurant – fine dining – must make reservations – 35 mins

Rosie’s Farmhouse Kitchen – 30 mins

Dari Delight – 30 mins

Potbellies Family Restaurant – 30 mins

Monteagle, TN is 40 mins from the domes

Coalmont is 20 mins

McMinnville is 35 mins – this link lists several  things to do in the area

Rock Island State Park is 50 mins

Cumberland Caverns – very popular – 40 mins

Restaurants near the Cumberland Caverns

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park – 40 mins

Fall Creek Falls State Park – 1 hr

Chattanooga – 1 hr 20 mins

Nashville – 1.5 hrs

South Cumberland State Park – 30 mins

Greeter Falls Lodge – 10 mins

Beersheba Springs – 15 mins

Savage Gulf State Natural Area – 20 mins

Savage Falls – 35 mins

Historic Bell Buckle, TN – 55 mins

Jack Daniel’s Distillery – 1 hr

Wineries

Nearest gas station is 10 mins away near the DG Market in Altamont

Nearby grocery stores

Cookeville – 1 hr 20 mins

Manchester – 35 mins

Tullahoma – 45 mins – click here for how to spend 48 hrs in Tullahoma

Smooth Rapids Outfitters – 35 mins

Canoe the Caney – 1 hr 15 mins – very popular

The Coalmont Cabin – 20 mins – 3.5 acre private waterfront retreat on top of the South Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee – I’m thinking this will be my next rental!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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