Fresh off of the chaos of the back-to-school season, Chris and I ventured to Blackberry Mountain to get a closer look at this exclusive property to share with our Protravel International network! From St. Louis to Tennessee, our travel time was brief, just enough to get caught up on some emails and to do a bit of journaling before our arrival. Putting pen to paper and organizing the itinerary for our trips and outlining my goals for each visit helps me to be able to arrive with a clear mind and fully embrace the moments once we’re there. I’d been planning this trip to The Smoky Mountains for months, though some things- like the beauty that was in store for us- there’s just no preparing for. Built on the intersection of wellness and sustainability, Blackberry Mountain’s true-to-the-region design elements, menu, and therapeutic ingredients are sourced mindfully to claim as little impact as possible on the environment.
Packing for Blackberry Mountain
Chris and my idea of a wellness retreat and relaxing couple’s getaway, of course, includes some quality time at the spa, but we find that we really connect with ourselves and each other best when we’re exploring nature together. Knowing we’d be filling our days with climbing, hiking, horseback riding, and just about any outdoor challenge we could fit into our agenda, we were grateful to partner with Lululemon to fill our suitcases with everything we needed to stay active – and look good while doing it. (There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel and look your best for your partner of nearly twenty years!) We both appreciate the look, quality, and performance of Lululemon while we’re at home and traveling. Taking your go-to looks, and best-fitting favorites with you while traveling means it’s one less thing to worry about while you’re away from home.
Blackberry Mountain also encourages guests to bring what’s essential to them for swimming and hiking and wear Mountain casual dinner attire.
Arriving at Blackberry Mountain
The Smoky Mountains never fail to take my breath away. Just on the cusp of the turning of the leaves, the billowing mountain tops, rolling hills, and winding rivers offer endless awe-inspiring moments that remind you, you’re in one of the most beautiful places in the world! The kind Mountain staff directed us to our private stone cottage, built with the defining craftsmanship of the region, perfectly complemented by some modern design touches and sweeping views of the Smokies.
Navigating the resort (and it’s 5,200 acres!) is easy when you’re given a golf cart to help you get to where you’re going in a hurry… but you won’t need to hurry, because you’re on Mountain time. Relax and take in the views of the rustling leaves, the sun glazing the treetops, and enjoy every moment. The team at Blackberry Mountain has accounted for any amenity you may desire and Mother Nature provides the rest!
Dining at Blackberry Mountain
Blackberry Mountain describes their exquisite dining locales as “fuss-free,” and for clean-eating foodies like Chris and myself, this was more than intriguing. I love seeing chef-inspired meals arranged to let the natural flavors of the ingredients shine through. Beautifully arranged dishes with a strong emphasis on nutrition were served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We both appreciated the quiet elegance of dining at Three Sisters and Firetower- especially after activity-packed days where towards the end all you want are your partner, a delicious meal, a crackling fire, perfectly paired wine, and fresh mountain air.
We enjoyed breakfast at Whippoorwill Lounge and Firetower during our stay and if you get the chance to try the Firetower oatmeal, I highly recommend it! Both of the breakfast spots serve a robust lunch menu ranging from lighter snacks like poke and seaweed crackers or rich ribeye burgers. You’ll never have trouble fueling your next adventure and the accommodating staff can assist with recommendations for practically any craving.
Dinnertime at Firetower and Three Sisters feature menus that change with the seasons, ensuring the freshest ingredients are sourced locally and sustainably. Hints of cuisine from across the world are kissed with Mountain hospitality, making your meal and entire experience unique each evening.
Lauren’s Top Dinner Picks:
Sliced Avocado Salad Onion Ash, Yogurt & Crisped Wild Rice Charred Curried Broccolini Spiced Almond ‘Ndjua & Pickled Shallots Grilled King Salmon Roasted Green Tomato Puree, Mushrooms, Summer Bears & Pistachios
Chris’ Top Dinner Picks:
Mixed Greens Salad Champagne-Ramp-Hemlock Dressing & Toasted Benne Seeds House Made Tagliatelle Summer Vegetables & Parmesan Wood Grilled Ribeye Cap Bravas Styled Potatoes, Ratatouille, & Salsa Verde
Exploring Blackberry Mountain
Because we’ve had the privilege of visiting Blackberry Farm before, we knew that there would be no shortage of Mountain-style wellness activities that were just as good for our minds and souls as they were for our bodies! Chris made plans to hit the river for some refreshing fly fishing, and I was eager to visit the stables and nourish my love for all things equine. The rhythmic stomp of a horse trot puts me into a meditative mindset like no other, and I’m grateful to be able to continually experience these moments until Chris gives in and gets me and Lilah our horse farm one day.
Clay sport shooting, rock climbing, hiking, and guided tours of the mountainside are all a part of the adventure during your visit to Blackberry Mountain. Your options for a taste of the Mountain life are only limited by the length of your stay! Each season gifts new opportunities to explore the beautiful Tennessee River Valley, foothills, and mountainside.
Blackberry Mountain’s host of options for exploring the great outdoors creates the ultimate escape for luxury wellness travelers. Whether you’d prefer to literally soak in your mountain views on the edge of your private deck, or work as a team to trek spaces beyond your wildest dreams, it’s all waiting for you here.
Fitness Picks at Blackberry Mountain
Hike to breakfast in an arranged class, spin your stress away at Spin Lab, immerse yourself in healing vibrations during a sound bath at the yoga loft. As a luxury wellness destination, Blackberry Mountain shares a bit of everything from intense cardio to soulful experiences that nourish your mental health. Seven days a week guests can partake in an assortment of classes. While visiting I was eager to try yoga among the treetops at the Yoga Loft. Bird song and cool crisp air were just what I needed to fully relax and start my restoration! Of course, traditional fitness classes including an assortment of HIIT, yoga, pilates, cardio barre, and stretching are available across the resort. The impeccable gym houses state of the art equipment to supplement any fitness need you may have between classes and moments in the great outdoors!
While visiting Blackberry Mountain we participated in the ultra-challenging Mountain HIIT class that truly pushed our cardio to the limit! We followed this class with Cardio Drumming, a unique experience that was both fun and a chance to flex while learning from an instructor who was the perfect combination of engaging and entertaining! Aerial Yoga took my love for yoga classes while traveling to new heights. The ultimate in core-crushing, muscle-lengthening conditioning, this workout was still restorative and meditative with a calming finish. I swear I felt two inches taller after my class, Aerial Yoga takes all of the pressure off of your back and really allows your joints to open and achieve a deep stretch.
Hiking the trails through Blackberry Mountain, Chris and I found a challenge and a deeper connection with nature. Reaching the heights of Firetower (2,843 Elevation) and Goat Hill (2,430 Elevation) were absolutely high points of our trip together!
Wellness Experiences at Blackberry Mountain
The wellness experts at Blackberry Mountain have curated and created an assortment of experiences to nourish you from the inside out – all with a touch of regional charm. Whether you’d like to enhance your forest foraging knowledge, receive personal tips from an esteemed personal trainer, fly through an Aerial Yoga session, try your hand at watercolor, and sink into your best self through guided meditation, all of these special moments happen at Blackberry Mountain! The Mountain’s warmest personnel share the benefits of experiences like forest bathing, sound bathing, inner exploration through art, and personal enrichment activities. I highly recommend the ultra nourishing experience of sound bathing, each sound resonates in a totally different and healing rhythm!
Holistic Health Opportunities
Chris and I incorporate holistic therapies into our wellness routines at home and while traveling. It’s important to me to continually experience the best treatments from practitioners across the world so that I may mindfully recommend the best to our network. You can start your visit here with a Naturopathic Wellness Consultation where you can be directed to treatments that can best enhance your wellness well beyond your stay at Blackberry Mountain. Wellness traveling is an intentional act, as I created my itinerary for our Blackberry Mountain stay I was eager to explore their acupuncture, nervous system reset, and herbal remedies offerings for guests from across the world. I was thrilled to see the Classroom offering – a chance to sit down with the brightest minds to explore Eastern and Western medicine, learn more about troubling ailments, and delve deeper into the latest scientific research and supportive holistic treatments. I’m excited to be able to share more experiences like this with travelers as it’s truly a gift that’s shared long after you’ve ventured home.
Body Therapies and Skincare Solutions on the Mountain
Vibrant, robust ingredients are foraged and sourced to create the ultimate healing and transformative body therapies at Blackberry Mountain’s Nest. Experts assert the best care for your wellness goals during your visit including an assortment of tailored massages, cleansing treatments for your skin, nourishing finishers to leave you feeling silky from hair to toe, and enhancements to boost your health and mood.
While visiting Nest I booked an 80-minute Echinacea Herbal Buff. Due to the exquisite assortment of treatments I recommend speaking with the experts to plan your course of action throughout your stay. I adored my therapist and the smooth and silky finish of the scrub has kept my skin glowing even as I write this! Skincare and massage therapists at Blackberry Mountain will guide your selection, ensuring you’re getting the most out of your therapies and your visit.
Time spent in nature is invaluable. Beyond the glossy pages of travel magazines, apart from the noise and buzz of everyday living, the calming presence of the world just as it was meant to be is so soothing for the mind, body, and soul. Blackberry Mountain’s resort encompasses the true Mountain life experience with hints of polished luxury travel tucked around every corner. It’s easy to feel at peace here when you’re on the mountain’s edge. The hospitality team behind Blackberry Mountain has created one of the most nourishing health wellness experiences I’ve found in the States!
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