A February 2004 trip
to Knoxville by tamtbell
Quote: This was the second stop on our 30-day journey across the United States. Since we were arriving after 2pm, we didn't expect to be able to do much more than relax and finally take a break from driving.
Hotel | "Residence Inn Knoxville Cedar Bluff"
When we had first walked up to the front lobby I had noticed the loud roar of vehicles driving by on Interstate 40. Of course one of my first thoughts was please let us not be able to hear that from our room, and so I asked to please be put as far away as possible from that traffic. I was assured that, yes, we were on the side furthest away from the traffic.
Upon bringing our bags into our room I discovered that you could hear the traffic, just not that bad.
Soon after settling down and taking a small break from the road we decided to head out to Outback Steakhouse, which we had noticed on our way to the hotel. This restaurant is approximately a five minute drive or around a 15 minute walk and seems to suddenly get very busy at approximately 5:30 pm, so if you can, go early to get a better seat. If you are not in the mood to head out to one of the many other restaurants located nearby, this Residence Inn does serve a light complimentary dinner as well as beer, wine or soda on the weeknights. In the mornings a very nice complimentary breakfast is also served which usually consists of things like waffles, sausages, bagels, toast, and muffins. There is also usually a large selection of juices, as well as coffee, tea and milk.
Being a long time Marriott Honored Guest reward program member as well as a Marriott Hotel Specialist as a Travel Agent I have stayed at numerous Residence Inns as they are usually affordable as well as comfortable. This Residence Inn was no exception as our room had the usual, small, fully-stocked kitchen, sitting area, queen size bed, and average sized bathroom. This hotel is also similar due to the fact that you rarely hear anything from other guests in other rooms or in the hallways. Normally the rate per night for many Residence Inns is anywhere between $75.00 to $125.00; however I took advantage of my Hotel Specialist qualification and paid a rate of $45.00 a night.
This hotel was everything we needed for our stop in Knoxville. It was comfortable, the staff was very nice, and in fact they even called us ahead of time on our cellular phone to inquire if we needed anything special in our room. It was close to several really good restaurants and of course the complimentary breakfast just topped it off. For more information on this hotel follow the link provided:
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 1, 2004
Residence Inn by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff
215 LANGLEY PLACE
Knoxville, Tennessee 37922
Attraction | "Countryside Winery & Vineyards"
The winery itself is very small but extremely charming, and it strongly resembles an old-fashioned barn. We browsed through the selection of wine glass charms and do-it-yourself home brewery beer kits, at which point we were greeted by the wife of the owner. After introducing ourselves and talking a bit about the different regions we have been to in the United States that produce wine, we were surprised to hear that Tennessee actually has many vineyards and wineries throughout.
After a few more minutes of conversation we sampled a few of the wines. Of course we started with a few dry reds, one of which was a Merlot that was surprisingly fruity with a very crisp finish. We were advised that the grapes for this bottle are brought in from a Washington Vineyard as Countryside Vineyard did not grow Merlot grapes. As we tasted a few of the different varieties such as the Semi-Dry Vidal and the Chambourcin, we discovered that Countryside Winery is actually only 13-years-old and the Vineyard is 17-years-old, which we both thought was surprisingly young for a winery. The wines for sell at this winery are very reasonably priced, ranging from $7 to $11.
This winery is open from Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm and on a weekday it was pretty empty, so we had the chance to get to learn more about this winery and vineyard as well as the owners. The owner’s wife was very friendly and more than happy to share information with us about Tennessee vineyards as a whole, which I found both informative as well as educational.
For more information regarding this winery and vineyard see this website.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2004
Countryside Winery & Vineyards
658 Henry Harr Road