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“Nothing is so beautiful as Spring,” English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote in the poem “Spring.” In the Great Smoky Mountains, spring comes with much joy as flowers bloom, the sun shines and outdoor dining restaurant experience becomes an option again.

Here are 7 of our favorite spots to enjoy outdoor dining with incredible mountain views.

1. Clifftop and The Bar at the Top of the World

Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg with 70 forested acres of fun and relaxation, Anakeesta is a mountain playground for all ages, and Cliff Top Grill & Bar is at the top of it all where seating is available indoors or on the outdoor deck for the outdoor dining restaurant experience.

At The Clifftop Bar in Black Bear Village, visitors take in the incredible scenery with sweeping views of Mt. LeConte, have a beer or a cocktail – try Karen’s Sweet Tea, and maybe snack such as the southern favorite Fried Green Tomatoes or a ½ pound char-grilled Smoky Mountain burger or BBQ Pork Mac & Cheese Bowl – yum! Check out the rest of the modern American cuisine menu.

The Bar At The Top Of The World

Enjoy a drink in the spacious bar area adjacent to the Smokehouse restaurant where you’ll experience one-of-a-kind, outdoor dining restaurant setting.  The views of the Great Smoky Mountains surround you as our bar serves your choice of liquor, specialty cocktails, wine, and beer.

To get to Anakeesta at 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg., buy tickets online, then take the scenic open chairlift or the enclosed Chondola from Gatlinburg up the mountain to Anakeesta – you can’t drive yourself.

For more, see our blog post on Anakeesta.

2. The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe’

The Old Mill Pottery House Café serves freshly made sandwiches, salads, and hearty entrees on dishes created by the potters next door.

Lunch specials daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Pottery House Cafe’s menu items are made from scratch with quality local ingredients, in the spirit of Appalachia. Its famous breads are baked on-site daily, with grains straight from the mill. Have a slice of sourdough or onion-rye with the Baker’s Garden Salad.

3341 Old Mill Street, Pigeon Forge

3. Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill

Known for its steaks and seafood Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill offers a beautiful dining experience in Gatlinburg with outdoor seating in a grassy courtyard. Meander around the grounds, featuring a koi pond, a 150-foot lit tree, and water falling from the roof. Then, enjoy fried mushrooms, premium ribeye, a loaded baked potato, and dessert by large picture windows framing the great outdoors.

Crystelle Creek is under new ownership with a new menu , a remodeled bar and a newly remodeled private dining and event hosting room. The restaurant no longer accepts reservations.

1654 East Parkway in Gatlinburg.

4. Outdoor Dining Restaurant steakhouse

Howard’s Restaurant  is another steakhouse, that has been a local favorite since 1946. located across from Ober Mountain’s Aerial Tram Station in Gatlinburg, Howard’s serves up catfish bites, steaks, salmon, fresh trout, burgers and more in a gorgeous setting next to a flowing creek.

Sit outside on the patio with trees, flowers, and tables with umbrellas. What an incredible way to spend a day relaxing in the Smokies.

Find Howard’s at 976 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

5. Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina

Enjoy tableside guacamole, fresh made margaritas, a five-pound burrito authentic Tex-Mex while taking in the views of the Smokies at Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina rooftop bar in Gatlinburg.

735 Parkway #1 in Gatlinburg.

Outdoor Dining Restaurants at The Island

The Island in Pigeon Forge offers a variety of outdoor dining and fun. The Island has restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, or snacks. Or all of those if you spend the day there.

For more about The Island, check out our blog post on family-friendly fun.

The Island is located at 131 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge.

Among the restaurants are Timberwood Grill, where visitors can sit down outside for a taste of the mountains with “unique approaches to traditional favorites.” Tables with umbrellas keep the cool on hot days.

Open for lunch and dinner, Timberwood Grill offers a mac & cheeseburger, Gunpowder Ribeye and Strawberry Chicken Salad among its favorites. There’s also a Big Sky Black & Bleu Salad with fresh farmers’ market greens, steak tips and bleu cheese. The Lumberjack Stack is a triple decker sandwich stacked tall with honey ham, American cheese, oven-roasted turkey breast, Swiss cheese, and thick-cut bacon. There also are Rocky Top Pork Nachos and Baby Back Ribs.

Outdoor Dining Restaurant Continues

Another outdoor dining restaurant favorite at The Island is Mellow Mushroom, offering salads and build your-own pizzas that include gluten-free crust, no cheese or dairy-free cheese. There’s also creamy hummus drizzled with olive oil, then topped with paprika and fresh basil. Served with your choice of lightly toasted pita wedges or carrots and celery to keep things light.

While Mellow Mushroom is a chain, Gatlinburg’s restaurant brings in local inspiration with the striking two-story restaurant reflecting the local geography and culture that lies within the Smokey Mountain region. “The bar, which offers Dude’s Daiquiris, is dubbed the ‘Moonshine Lounge’ as a nod to the mountains’ past exploits. Colorful paintings are seen throughout the space along with vintage ads painted on the walls. The upstairs dining area has a wall made up of glass garage doors that can be opened to let in the refreshing mountain air.

6. 5 O’Clock Somewhere

Margaritaville restaurant at The Island has a large exterior deck that overlooks Little Pigeon River, where visitors enjoy good food and live music at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar that also has an oversized fire pit.

In addition to the obvious margarita menu, Margaritaville also offers local favorites with an island flair such as Caribbean jerk wings, Volcano Nachos, fish tacos served with a habanero cream sauce, Cajun shrimp and grits and crispy coconut shrimp. There’s a burger and sandwich menu too – check out the Cuban sandwich!

7. Wild Plum Tea Room

You can sip wild plum tea, bite into a baked salmon burger, or eat a dessert sampler while sitting outside in the fresh mountain air. Pets are allowed on the screened porch or open deck as well. Only lunch is served on specific days, so reservations are recommended.

Quaint and homey, The Wild Plum Tea Room, is a lunch-only restaurant open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and reservations you’ll want to secure your table with a reservation. Sip wild plum tea, bite into a baked salmon burger, or eat a dessert sampler while sitting outside in the fresh mountain air. Bring your pets with you on the screened porch or open deck as well.

Inspired by Austrian-style tea houses, the restaurant has fresh homemade lunch menu offerings with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. All menu offerings are homemade and made fresh daily from fresh ingredients.

Lunch is served on fine China fit for a Gatlinburg romantic meal in a cabin set in the woods. The menu selection may include daily chef specials, soups, salads, specialty sandwiches, desserts, vegetarian, vegan and allergy-accommodated meals.

Find Wild Plum Tea Room at 555 Buckhorn Road, Gatlinburg, tucked into the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. Check out The Arts & Crafts Community, located 3 miles outside of Gatlinburg on Glades Road with more than 100 shops in the 8-mile loop. You can drive there or get there by Trolley (take the yellow route).

Book a cabin!

Of course, you can always eat outside at your very own cabin!  American Patriot Getaways offers plenty of cabins with incredible outdoor entertaining spaces! Many of our cabins also offer charcoal or gas grills and outside seating to enjoy a meal out on a deck.  Maybe even check out our cabins with incredible mountain views to really inspire you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors while you dine in style.

Check out all of our cabins on our website, or give our friendly Reservations team a call at 800-204-5169.  They’d love to help you find the perfect fit for your next Smokies vacation.

Already booked your stay? Let American Patriot Getaways help with these useful guides that include insider tips to help you plan the perfect Smoky Mountain vacation. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

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