Once a fertile hunting ground for the Cherokee Indians, the Cades Cove valley was settled by Europeans in the early 1800s when John Oliver and his wife established a homestead there. Now the most popular destination in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove serves as an open-air museum with numerous well-maintained pioneer structures that offer a look at 19th-century Appalachian life.
The John Oliver Cabin, constructed in 1822-1823 by the Cove's original couple, still stands, as does the Elijah Oliver Place, a homestead built by their son in 1866. Other historic buildings of note along the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road include the Becky Cable House and neighboring John Cable Grist Mill, as well as the Dan Lawson Place and the Carter-Shields Cabin.
Historic churches in Cades Cove, including the Primitive Baptist Church, which was built in 1887, and the Cades Cove Methodist Church constructed in 1902, are charming locations for destination weddings in the Smoky Mountains.