In Cosby, we like to tout that we are the Gatlinburg equivalent of Wears Valley on the other side of the Smokies. We both share the “quiet side of the Smokies” mantle unofficially and offer a less commercial alternative for Smoky Mountain visitors wanting to experience solitude at it’s finest.
The tradeoff is that with one exception, we don’t have any major attractions to show off in Cosby. That one exception is Carver’s Orchards on Cosby Highway here. Carver’s is one of the most famous apple farms in Tennessee (or perhaps the American Southeast itself) and it is open for the general public to come in and see why it got to be so famous.
Carver’s Orchard does not have a website (at least not currently) so we rely on Smokymountains.com to provide indepth information on them:
“Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant is the quintessential fall family activity. Before you head over to Carver’s, a bit of perspective is important. This is a small, family run business that has a general store with snack bar, orchards, and restaurant.You can experience one or all of these offerings. From the main road, you can’t miss the flashing lights and pink signs leading your vehicle to this place.
From the moment you drive up, you will recognize that Carver’s is first and foremost an orchard. Everything from the lush green landscape to the plain wooden buildings, makes this place feel like the working orchard it is. In fact, the Applehouse Restaurant is so neatly fitted into the existing country store and landscape that is hard to imagine it hasn’t always been part of the property.
The entire business started out as an apple orchard in 1942 when Kyle Carver began hand-grafting and planting apple trees in a former cornfield. Today, more than 40,000 trees and 126 varieties of apples grace 75 acres in Cosby (20 minutes outside of Gatlinurg). The setting, which is rolling orchards with the majestic Smoky Mountains behind them, is perfect for Instagram-worthy photos. The orchard store also features all kinds of canned goods – from relish to jam – as well as Appalachian specialties like apple butter, candies, lye soap, and fried pies. They also have a great assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, ready to take home. Don’t miss the store’s snack bar that is tucked in the back, right corner. Even if you aren’t eating at the restaurant, you can snag a homemade apple pie for only $2 here. In the center of the store, you can expect to find a seasonal selection of local fruits and vegetables. On the day we visited, we found fresh okra, green beans, jalapeños, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, peaches, watermelons, roasted peanuts and fried peanuts. Since local farmers supply the fresh fruits and vegetables, the selection is constantly changing based on local supply.
[The] Applehouse Restaurant is known for its old-school Southern cooking and apple-related dishes. Fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, catfish, and all things apple-related are what they’re famous for – and for good reason. The restaurant has spent decades perfecting truly Southern dishes, refining them. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a person to stop in for dinner and decide to return the next morning for breakfast.
There are a couple of things you can expect upon entering the restaurant. The first is to be greeted by friendly staff. Second, once seated, you will be brought a basket of apple fritters served with apple butter and a round of fresh apple cider. Nibble away on those fritters as you decide what else you would like to eat.”
Carver’s Orchards can be found at:
3460 Cosby Hwy
Cosby, TN 37722
Phone: (423) 487-2710