The Bernhardt Family spent the Thanksgiving Holiday is with Angela’s grandparents (Nana and Poppop Spear) in Newport, Tennessee. The small town about 45 minutes east of Gatlinburg and is where Angela and her brother, Michael, spent many childhood years on summer vacation. Nana and Poppop have owned several properties around this little town, over the years, and it was a blessing to take Francesca and Daniel to visit with friends and family while taking a stroll down memory lane.
A must do if your ever in the area, is visiting Briarwood Safari in Bybee, Tennessee. We had a blast on this four-mile safari. Francesca loves animals of all kinds, especially Zebras, so finding out about this gem was the highlight of our time in Tennessee. We arrived at the park and opted to take our vehicle through the safari ($17 for adults, $12 for children, children under 2 are free) instead of riding in a large safari wagon ($24 for adult, $17 for children). We purchased a bucket of feed for $3, a must if you want the full experience. The gate attendant with his thick Tennessee accent explained the rules: stay in your car, stay on the path, give the animals the right of way, and don’t roll up the windows if the animal’s head is in your car…pretty basic rules. We also were instructed on how to feed the animals and which ones to watch out for like the Zebras because they nip and are aggressive. We didn’t know it until we arrived but you are allowed to drive through the park as many times as you like once you pay the enter fee, had we known this we would have come much earlier in the day. We could have spent all day there and Francesca would have been ecstatic and completely occupied, always a bonus when travel with a toddler.
Briarwood Safari is home to a variety of animals such as Zebras, Water Buffalo, Elk, Deer, Ostriches, Llama, Ram, Yak, Black Bison, White Bison, Goats, Alpaca, Swans, Donkey, Emu, Peacocks, Tortoise, Muntjac and much more. Many of these animals are allowed to roam free and will approach the vehicles driving through to be fed. They will even allow you to pet them. Our favorites were the Zebras, Yak and the White Bison, its not everyday you get the opportunity to get up close and personal with these types of animals. We would recommend arriving at Briarwood early in the day (for hours check website http://www.briarwoodsafari.org ), snacks for the family, buy a bucket or two of feed (you can always re-up if you run out) and enjoy a full day of laughing and fun as you circle through the park until your heart’s content.
*This attraction is FDA (that is Francesca, Daniel & Angela) approved!!