Dreaming of Travel: Deer Lick Falls

Published on March 03, 2022 - Updated on March 03, 2022

Tiny home community, The Retreat at Deer Lick Falls, is the perfect mountain getaway for the entire family.

This unique development, located between Nashville and Chattanooga in the tiny mountain town of Monteagle, Tennesee, is a dreamy spot to unplug, immerse yourself in nature, and dial it back to the simple things.

Your kids will love it — think s'mores every night, an outdoor playground, and the freedom to run around all day — and you'll like feeling at one with nature while still being nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and other amenities. And because Monteagle has a higher elevation in the mountains, the town offers respite from Tennessee's summer heat, although it would also make for a cozy getaway in the winter.

Here's what you need to know

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There are lots of tiny homes you can rent at The Retreat at Deer Lick Falls, and each is unique in its own way. The size of the homes varies, but many can accommodate up to four or six people. And these aren't shabby rentals, either; they are clean, well-outfitted units with Wifi, heating and air conditioning, and kitchens stocked with all the appliances and cookware you need.

For instance, The Bird's Nest rental has a maximum occupancy of six people and includes a master bedroom with one queen bed, a loft with two twin beds, a sleeper sofa in the living room, and one full bathroom. It has a fireplace, towels, shampoo and basic soaps, a blender, coffee maker, and basic paper goods like paper towels and toilet paper.

Prices vary greatly depending on the home and the time of year. According to the rental website, it would cost about $530 to rent The Bird's Nest for a three-night stay in June 2022, including all fees and taxes.

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For activities, you have direct access to hiking trails on-site, and you can hike to Deer Lick Falls, one of Tennessee's largest waterfalls. The hike to the falls is a steep, short hike that takes you straight down to the falls and straight back up on the way out. There are handrails to help you along the way.

The Retreat at Deer Lick Falls also has a playground, community pavilions, and fire pits on the property.

A big perk of staying at The Retreat at Deer Lick Falls is that you're just a short 10-minute drive to the town of Monteagle and a 15-minute drive to the beautiful university town of Sewanee. Both towns are worth exploring and popping into for lunch or dinner. (See dining recommendations below)

My advice is to visit The Retreat at Deer Lick Falls with friends or extended family. Since everyone can rent their own tiny home, you have privacy while still being able to spend time together.

Before you book, just beware that more tiny homes are being built on the property, so there may be construction noise during the day.

Also, if you're looking for access to water, the developer of The Retreat at Deer Lick Falls built a similar property in nearby Tracy City on a 95-acre lake. Called The Retreat at Water's Edge, it similarly includes access to hiking trails and a playground, in addition to bike and kayak stations and access to the lake. We plan to visit this summer!

Learn more about The Retreat at Deer Lick Falls and browse rentals here. Read about The Retreat at Water's Edge here.

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Where to dine nearby

Hank's Corner Grille (Tracy City): This family-friendly restaurant is frequented by outdoor enthusiasts often on their way to or from a hike. The menu includes burgers, salads, wings, and more.

High Point Mansion (Monteagle): This high-end restaurant is located within a mansion allegedly financed by Al Capone, so it's worth a visit for the history alone.

Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant (Monteagle): Casual Mexican fare in Monteagle.

Mountain Goat Market (Monteagle): Eclectic market with sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and an espresso bar.

The Blue Chair Cafe & Tavern (Sewanee): A Sewanee favorite for casual food a community hang.

Have you ever been to Deer Lick Falls? Let us know what you thought! Or even better, tag us in your photos on Instagram @gethappyly!

Explore our blog for more Dreaming of Travel inspiration such as Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Chattanooga, Tennessee! Or take a few moments to prepare with Five Healthy Homemade Snacks for On the Go to fuel your next adventure!! 

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Thoughtfully captured by:
Lizzy Alfs
Lizzy is a Michigan transplant living in the always bustling Nashville, Tenn. After graduating from the University of Michigan, she spent a decade working as a business journalist in Ann Arbor, Mich. and then Music City. She recently transitioned her journalism career to freelance writing so she could stay home with her two little boys, Milo and Jude. Lizzy grew up in the summers on a lake in beautiful Northern Michigan and she spent the winters making the most of the state's endless snow and slush. She lives by the motto "There's no such thing as bad weather" and you'll find her outside rain or shine. These days, Lizzy and the boys like to adventure around Nashville, looking for toddler-friendly hikes, parks and swimming holes.
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