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Wednesday, 24 January 2018 20:52

Fun Things to Do in Cades Cove TN

If you are headed to or from the Smoky Mountains’ most spectacularly beautiful destination, Cades Cove, you’ll want to soak up every aspect! But what all is there to do in Cades Cove, TN?

There are opportunities year-round to enjoy this popular destination! First, you'll certainly want to stop by Apple Valley to pick up a guidebook and a map of the area before you venture in so that you are well-prepared for these exciting things to do during your adventure: 

  1. Explore the hiking trails. Whether you are exploring with the family or on your own, there are a number of trails to choose from ranging from the most popular, which is a 5 mile hike along Abrams Creek, to shorter options like Cades Cove Nature Trail.

  2. Visit a museum. The Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center is a perfect place to view historic treasures, preserved heirlooms, and artifacts in the Cades Cove Museum.

  3. Enjoy a bus tour. Sit back, relax and soak up the scenery and wildlife on a fully guided 3-4 hour bus tour led by experienced and friendly Cades Cove Heritage Tours guides.

  4. Drive the Cades Cove loop. If you prefer to travel the 11-mile loop on your own, you’ll have the opportunity to view the stunning mountains, rolling greens, and meadows filled with wildflowers. Perhaps you’ll even see some of the local wildlife, including bears, hogs, deer, turkeys and more! 
    John Oliver Cabin in Winter small

  5. Go fishing. The Little River has a number of places to pull off and try your hand at trout fishing! These areas allow easy access to the water as well.

  6. Eat, drink, and be merry. Cades Cove Cellars is a great place to stop in and try out a selection of wines made on-site. But if you’re more of a beer lover, stop into Apple Valley Cafe Express for a cold one and don’t forget to try out Townsend’s Best Burger & Toppings Bar while you’re there!

  7. Shop ‘til you drop. The Townsend Visitors Center offers some great souvenirs to complete your trip. Apple Valley Stores also has a variety of merchandise to capture the spirit of the Smoky Mountains and take a bit of fun home with you, from t-shirts to books and much, MUCH more! 

AV porch

However you spend your time exploring Cades Cove, be prepared to take a leisurely approach and enjoy this beautiful place so you can take it all in!

To learn more about Cades Cove, stop by Apple Valley Stores for free information, and visit the National Park Service website to make sure trails are open before planning your journey. Happy trails to you!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 21:41

Kindness Rewarded: Buy $50 Gift Card, Get $10 Free!

Now through December 24, 2017, take advantage of this amazing gift card promotion*...our gift to you this holiday season! 

holiday gift card promo

*Cards must be purchased by December 24, 2017. Voucher valid through December 31, 2018. Cards may be purchased in-store or from our online store

**Certificates ONLY redeemable in-store or by calling to place your order at 865-448-9878**

Sunday, 08 October 2017 19:31

Top Reasons to Visit Apple Valley After a Day in the Smokies

View the video to learn the Top Reasons to Visit Apple Valley After a Day in the Smokies.

Monday, 09 October 2017 19:17

Fall Foliage Viewing in the Smokies

Fall has arrived, and there is no denying that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best places to view the gorgeous fall foliage! But when is the best time to plan an excursion to experience the wonderful changes in hue?

The Old Champion in Fall Smokies

SmokyMountains.com has taken the guesswork out of your leaf-peeping adventures by unveiling an interactive map that predicts when Mother Nature will reveal her vibrant colors, and when the biggest bursts will be at their peak! The National Park is also home to over 187,000 acres of forest, including miles of lakes, wildlife habitats, rivers, streams, and more. It’s no wonder our gorgeous area is referred to as, “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies.”

River Foliage in Smokies

Stay ahead of the fall foliage frenzy this year by checking out the interactive map, and plan your adventure in advance! We will even happily have your leaf-peeping lunch packed and ready for you – just order online from Apple Valley Cafe Express!

We look forward to seeing you when you visit our lovely corner of East Tennessee!

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 18:57

Delicious Dessert Recipes with Apple Butter

Delicious Dessert Recipes with Apple Butter

Apple Valley’s Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter is a favorite for many people because the smell alone conjures up memories of watching grandma bake delicious biscuits in the kitchen, and then lovingly spread warm, spiced apple butter over them.

You can create the same memories for your family, and the best part is that there are many creative ways to use apple butter. In our last blog we offered ideas on how to incorporate it into dishes, and now we want to suggest some great desserts to try out!

Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter Pumpkin Pieapple butter biscuit

Makes 6 servings


1 cup Apple Valley Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter

1 cup pumpkin (fresh or canned)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

3 eggs, beaten slightly

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1 pie shell, unbaked 9-inch

Sweetened whipped cream (for garnish)


Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a bowl, combine the apple butter, sugar, pumpkin, salt, and spices. Next, stir in the eggs. Gradually add the milk and be sure to mix well. Pour ingredients into the pie shell. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set. Enjoy!

Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter Bars

Makes 2 dozen


1 cup Apple Valley Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter

1 egg

1/2 cup butterapple butter recipes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

1 cup chopped apples


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease baking pan (13 x 9 x 2 inch). In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, then beat in egg and apple butter.  Mix in half of the flour, sifted with the baking soda and the apple pie spice. Beat in remaining flour, then stir in the apples.  Spread into the greased baking pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan and then cut into bars.


1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk (or cider)

1 cup confectioners' sugar


Mix sugar, vanilla and milk (or cider) into a drizzling consistency, and drizzle over cooled bars.


Now that you have these delicious dessert recipes, all you need is some Apple Valley Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter…stock your pantry today! 

Thursday, 18 August 2016 17:22

Great Recipes Using Apple Butter

Everyone knows that our Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter is delicious when spread over a fresh, warm biscuit…but there are so many other delectable ways to incorporate it into dishes as well! 

The best part is that when you buy any 4 Apple Valley fruit butters, we will give you 1 Granny's Old Fashion Apple Butter for FREE, to help you get started!

apple butter recipes

Try these out:

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Ribs
Makes 4 Servings

First things first! Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs – that way, seasonings will penetrate the meat for full flavor. Even better, request that the butcher remove the membrane!


Basting Sauce

1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 cup Apple Valley Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter

1/4 cup bourbon whiskey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons Apple Valley Apple Cider

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Ribs fruit butters

1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 2- to 2 1/4-pound racks baby back pork ribs

1 large onion, sliced

6 thin rounds peeled fresh ginger1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

1 1/4 cups Apple Valley Apple Cider


Basting sauce:

In medium bowl, whisk all ingredients to blend.


In small bowl, mix 7 first listed ingredients. After removing membrane, rub 1 tablespoon seasoning mix into each side of each rib rack. In large roasting pan, place ribs, cover and let chill from 6 hours (minimum) up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lift ribs from pan and scatter ginger, cinnamon stick, and onion in pan. Pour cider into pan as well. Replace ribs in pan, meat side down, and cover pan with foil. Roast until meat on ribs is tender/begins to pull away from bones (about 2 hours). Remove foil; cool for minimum of 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours.

Prepare barbecue in medium-high heat. Grill ribs until heated throughout and slightly charred (about 5 minutes per side). Brush a generous amount of basting sauce evenly on all sides. When sauce becomes sticky glaze (about 3 minutes more per side), place rib racks on cutting board. Cut racks into individual ribs, between each bone. Serve with remaining sauce on the side, and enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Thighsfruit butters
Makes 4 Servings


8 chicken thighs

3 - 5 chipotles in adobo sauce (chopped)

1 medium yellow onion (rough chop)

10 garlic cloves (minced)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3/4 cup Apple Valley Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter

*optional teaspoon of salt


Mince the garlic, chop the chipotles and rough chop the onion

Combine the minced garlic, rough chopped onion, chopped chipotles, Worcestershire sauce and Apple Valley Granny’s Old Fashion Apple Butter in a dish and mix.

Place chicken thighs in a bag with the marinade. Massage the marinade into chicken thighs until fully covered. Refrigerate for 3 hours, minimum.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a 9x13 dish with foil, then spray with cooking spray. Place chicken thighs (skin up) in dish and cover with marinade.

Bake thighs for 30 - 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F. Let thighs rest for 5 minutes – this will allow the juices to go back into the meat. Enjoy!

Thursday, 12 May 2016 19:29

Apple Valley Grand Reopening

Join us June 10-12 for the unveiling of the newly renovated Apple Valley Country Stores & Café! We will kick the celebration off on Friday, and will continue the festivities through Sunday.

All weekend, you and the family are invited to join us for:

-Live music daily, featuring John Fee on Friday 1-5, and Saturday & Sunday 12-3 
-Cornhole and more fun games
-Outdoor grilling on the deck…$1 hot dogs, $1 sodas, and 50 cent chips
-Deck Sale, with up to 75% off merchandise  
-15% Off everything at the new Dancing Bear Mercantile store
-Free soda with any purchase of $7 or more in the Cafe

The Cafe will also be featuring specials, including a Low Boil on Friday and Beef Brisket on Sunday!

Saturday Events:
-Around lunchtime, the Volunteer Fire Department will bring their truck and teach fire safety! Larry Burton will also join in the fun by drawing Dalmatian art for the kids!

There will also be an exciting $100 Apple Valley Gift Certificate Giveaway!  

We hope to see you all there!

Apple Valley Renovation

Wednesday, 04 May 2016 17:46

Apple Valley Renovations Update

There have been many exciting changes made to the Apple Valley Country Store & Cafe recently. The Cafe’s beautiful new covered outdoor seating area is a perfect addition, just in time for summer, as well as the fully remodeled indoor cafe and kitchen. The Main Store also received some love and attention, which included adding the Larry Burton Art Gallery, and a “Tasting & Shipping” station – anyone can sample our delicious pantry items and then ship them directly home, if needed! Stay up to date on our continued progress, and the announcement of our Grand Reopening by checking our blog or Facebook page!

cafe exterior

cafe seating interior

lb art gallery

taste station gallery

Wednesday, 09 March 2016 19:37

Apple Valley Cafe Announces Renovations

Apple Valley Country Stores & Cafe announces renovations to Apple Valley Cafe, the first investment in Apple Valley in over 20 years. The Grand Reopening of the Apple Valley Cafe is scheduled for late April.
The Apple Valley renovations and state-of-the-art construction are focused on achieving goals of having a much better guest experience. The plans include expanding the cafe and kitchen, complete with new furniture, fixtures, and equipment. There will also be an outdoor seating area under a 22-foot arched roof. The restrooms, which are now only accessible from outside, will be newly renovated and accessible from a walkway inside of the Cafe. In tandem with the Cafe changes, Dancing Bear Lodge will be renovating two cabins on the property.

Monday, 23 March 2015 16:23

New Website for Apple Valley Country Stores & Café

We hope you enjoy browsing our new website for Apple Valley Country Stores & Café. We are Mark and Sharon Oldham, the new owners. We fell in love with the Townsend community in 2014, when we purchased the Dancing Bear Cabins next door. In early 2015, we bought the Apple Valley complex from its founders, long-time local entrepreneurs Pete and Jennifer Maples.

Since 1993, the Maples operated Apple Valley with a focus on providing friendly service and quality products that spoke to experience that defines the charm of country life here in Townsend. For 22 years, they provided a great retail resource for travelers and locals alike.

We have big plans for Apple Valley Country Stores & Café, the same as we do for Dancing Bear. But one thing that won’t change is the essence of what Apple Valley is: a friendly place you’ve come to know and love, a traditional stop on your yearly getaway to the beautiful mountains of Tennessee. We’re a spot along the ride home where you’ll find items that are sure to put a smile on your face. The changes we’re making are intended to make a great place even better -- without compromising the experience you’ve grown accustomed to. When you visit us, we think you’ll agree.

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