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Buckhorn Remains Couple’s Favorite Getaway

Buckhorn Remains Couple's Favorite Gateway

My wife Jane and I were married at the Buckhorn Inn on June 12, 1982.   It was a small wedding party of our families and a few close friends.  The ceremony took place on the terrace with everyone gathered around us.   With the beautiful backdrop of Mt Le Conte and the surrounding mountains, it was special to say the least.   The rehearsal dinner and reception were also held at the inn which was rented entirely to our families and guests.   Being young and excited with the entire affair, we hardly had a chance to really appreciate the surroundings, but the memories of loved ones and the unique inn were wonderful.   Jane’s parents were longtime residents of Knoxville, TN and heard about the inn through friends.  Of course this was in the days before the addition to the main inn.  We stayed in Cottage 2 that first night after the ceremony before hitting our honeymoon road to other places.  In retrospect, we wish we had stayed to honeymoon at the Buckhorn. 

Fast forward 25 years to our next trip to the Buckhorn for our 25th wedding anniversary in 2007.  Although we had talked about visiting again over those years, somehow, raising our two children, careers, and other family vacations distracted us from doing so.   Finding the inn’s website we were excited to make plans for that first trip back.  It was thrilling to pull into the parking area when we arrived and see the place again.  When we checked in and were asked if we had stayed there before, I immediately and rather proudly explained we had been married at the inn and were back for the first time for our 25th anniversary.  Lee, John and the staff immediately made us feel welcome and treated us as someone special.  We were totally enchanted with rediscovering the Buckhorn.  We were impressed again with the stunning views, as well as the fabulous meals, and beautiful grounds.  The new additions and upgrades to the inn made it so luxurious.   Being avid hikers, we quickly established our daily routine: hitting the trails in the park after breakfast for an adventurous day long trek, followed by a gourmet dinner at the inn.   As we said then and now, it just couldn’t be any better.   We could stay only 3 nights this first time back, but immediately made plans to return the next year. 

The Buckhorn is now our favorite getaway destination.   We have made it up for spring and fall trips most every year since as well as our anniversary each June.   From our standpoint, we had catching up to do!  For our 30th anniversary we brought our grown children along for their first trip to the inn.  Our stays revolve around daily hikes in the Smokies and the sublime comforts of the inn.  We have explored many different trails, but return regularly to destinations such as Mt Cammerer, the  Ramsay Cascades, the Albright Grove, Brushy Mountain, the Jumpoff on Mt Kephart, Mt. Leconte and many others.   We’ve established favorite trails for wildflowers in the spring, for fall leaves, waterfalls and summit views.   If it is a long strenuous hike, we’re in, so long as we can get back to the inn in time for a little recovery and a sumptuous Buckhorn dinner (which we never miss).    Despite sometimes tired legs, we tramp around the grounds every day.  Jane makes sure to visit the swans and check out the gardens each afternoon.   Another routine is a post dinner walk to the Webb Mountain overlook to enjoy the night air and stars.   I take endless photos of the views in all weather conditions, trying to capture the unique beauty of each day we spend there.   We truly relish our time at the Buckhorn.   Those times are made all the more special by Lee, John and the staff, who greet us as familiar friends.   We really feel welcomed like family and are prone to call all by first name.   For us the Buckhorn Inn is the most special of places; for its unique beauty and history, the people, the surrounding mountains, and our own personal connection. Sincerely from Robert and Jane