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Blackberry Farm


By Mallorie Mendence

Situated on 4,200 acres nestled into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee and with access to an additional 5,000 acres of private wilderness, Blackberry Farm is an elegant 62-room Relais & Chateaux resort that brings together enjoyment of the beautiful land, and utilizing it to provide every guest an unforgettable experience. Voted the #1 resort in North America for 2011 by Travel & Leisure's readers in the World's Best awards, Blackberry Farm is a luxurious getaway offering world-class accommodations and activities including equestrian sports, fox hunting, shotgun sports, as well as fly fishing. It is the home of a celebrated culinary program headed by acclaimed chefs Joseph Lenn and Josh Feathers, who define the essence of farm-to-table cuisine.

This unique getaway earned its name in 1939, when Mrs. Florida Lasier of Chicago snagged her silk stockings on a wild blackberry bramble while exploring the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. She and her husband later built their country home retreat in the idyllic spot. More than 30 years later, Kreis and Sandy Beall were enthralled by the location and settled in at Blackberry Farm. As a new mother of 4-month-old Sam, Kreis made Blackberry the family's home and opened the beautiful property to the public as a six-room country inn. Sam Beall's love for Blackberry Farm began at an early age, as he ate chocolate mousse, crêpes, and followed his mom around the kitchen while she prepared and served meals and welcomed Blackberry's first guests.

Today as proprietor, Sam Beall continues the family tradition of offering Southern hospitality and service, gourmet cuisine, and cherished experiences to all who set foot on the farm. Blackberry Farm is, to him, not simply a business, but his life. “Blackberry Farm was founded on the idea of creating a home with good friends, family and good food,” he said.  

Just as the property has become know as a food and wine destination, it is quickly becoming a top rated equestrians’ dream vacation location. With horse friendly activities for any level of interest or discipline, Blackberry Farm’s equestrian program offers fox hunting, western trail riding, hunter pace courses, natural horsemanship courses, carriage rides, and driving lessons as well as programs for children and customizable riding lessons.

“We want people to connect with this place through one of our favorite ways – on the back of a horse,” said equestrian program manager Carla Hawkinson, MFH.  “We also want them to connect to the horse and walk away from the experience inspired and interested!”

Lately, the stables have seen very accomplished horsemen and women coming to Blackberry.  “From Grand Prix jumpers to casual equestrians, we have created experiences for them that tailor to their current interest or even a wild fantasy.  Imagine, a rider who has only competed at high level jumping events getting to ride a national level reining horse, or a competitive amateur who lets it all go on the hunt field.  We are providing experiences in a safe and professional environment that are accessible and accompanied by the surrounding experience of a world-class resort.”

“Whether our guests bring their own horses or enjoy ours, it is our goal that the experience at Blackberry Farm defines in every way the term ‘luxury equestrian vacation.’ The Beall family has created an ideal getaway for horse loving couples, families, and friends. The non-riding companion will never feel left out, either. Opportunities for adventure and relaxation abound. Traditions of celebration, toasting, and fine dining, have always been a component of the equestrian passion.  At Blackberry Farm, we treat you well.”

Contact:  Reservations (800) 577-8864; Carla Hawkinson, MFH (865) 273-8545 or email:

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