Testimonials from Our Customers
"Smoky Mountain Beauty" May 2017 Tour
C.L. Tours was featured in The Standard Banner Newspaper after their visits to French's Mill, followed by lunch and entertainment at the Piedmont Store.
When C.L. Tours’ motorcoach rolled into Dandridge recently, it carried Mountaineers from the West Virginia panhandle and Buckeyes from Eastern Ohio.
Carol Brown, the tour’s owner and guide, wanted her traveling group to enjoy the best of the Tennessee countryside, and also to introduce them to the flavor of some of the local folks who live and work in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains – the ones who call Jefferson County home.
Brown’s unique tour started with cozy lodging at the award-winning lakeside resort, Mountain Harbor Inn, on beautiful Douglas Lake. She calls this location the peaceful side of the Smokies, and the Inn is her traditional accommodation of choice.
“I like to share my love of travel with people, and I’ve enjoyed and specialized in carefree group travel for the last 19 years,” said Brown.
There were approximately 30 passengers aboard the charter bus, all of them geared up for their Dandridge experience. Tour guide Brown was determined to show them some of the more interesting historical aspects of the town that the first Euro-Americans settled in 1783, in the early State of Franklin.
The first stop on the history journey was French’s Mill, a gristmill built around 1800, and owned and restored by Freeman Lambright, who proudly demonstrated the grinding of corn for the visitors. The travelers really seemed to enjoy the living history presentation and each came away with a sack of freshly ground corn meal as a souvenir of their visit to the renovated mill.
By then it was time for dinner, so they climbed aboard the motorcoach and went a couple miles down the road to dine at the Piedmont General Store on West Dumplin Valley Road. The old store has been in the same location for 116 years, and the “new” proprietor who has owned it for the past 28 years is Jan Reagon. She and her volunteer helpers were ready for anything – even a busload of hungry tourists.
Brown had previously arranged for a trio of musicians to be on hand to pick and play some old hillbilly favorites for the lunch crowd. The guitar pickers were Larry Davis, David Goldman and his wife Carole Lee from Grainger County. They kept the old songs coming while a small army of ladies waited tables, serving the hungry crowd their choice of plate lunches that included either meatloaf or fried chicken.
The store displays some fascinating merchandise that probably dates back to the early 1900’s, such as old sleds, tricycles and farm implements. It is a welcoming and interesting place, where the folks from up north felt right at home, even joining in to sing along to a chorus of everyone’s favorite, “Amazing Grace.”
Several of the guests expressed appreciation for the interesting tour that took them off the beaten path and onto the back roads of Dandridge. Jefferson County is steeped in history, from its French Broad River to the woods where Davy Crockett hunted with his special rifle “Old Betsy.”
Featuring two beautiful lakes and resting on the slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains, Jefferson County is abundant in natural beauty, while it also maintains a rich cultural heritage.
Visit the Photo Gallery for memories of this "Smoky Mountain Beauty" tour.
Amish Country With a Twist VI ~~ Testimonial by Don & Judy Newhouse
Our experience with C.L. Tours continues after the trip. Judy and I can’t stop laughing at the Amish Country Theater video.
We got to see places we had never been to in the past. We learned a lot about the history of the Amish and Mennonite Cultures at the Behalt (Painted walls of history).
We visited the Warther Carvings Museum and enjoyed the ship carvings.
Our favorite experience was with the Amish lady and the wonderful dinner. It felt like an extended family dinner from my childhood when we started the meal with grace, talked and laughed with people who by days end were new friends.
We are hoping to enjoy Carol’s tours in the upcoming year and experiencing new adventures.
Thank you for making this a great trip, Carol !!!!!
-- Don & Judy Newhouse
In August 2015 Paul and I went to Michigan with C.L. Tours. Carol Brown is a wonderful tour director. She takes care of everything you need to make your vacation a wonderfully memorable experience. She had a goody bag in our seat plus her famous “Dishpan Cookies”, along with water and other snacks. Then after a day of travel and activities she makes sure you have a wonderful hotel and delicious place to eat.
While Carol took care of our personal needs, she had the best bus driver in the whole United States. Don was always looking out for our safety and always there to lend a helping hand in any way he could. He even serenaded us and has a beautiful voice.
We traveled to Mackinac Island, visited Castle Farms and toured the City of Mackinaw. We went to Houghton Lake for a tribute to Gordon Lightfoot, performed by Whispers of the North. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the beautiful Grand Hotel.
We went to Thunder Bay where we saw several Elk and had a fantastic dinner. If you have never been to Thunder Bay for the Elk viewing, it is very much worth the time. You go by horse drawn carriages through the woods to a log cabin where we had a wonderful dinner. Plus it is worth it for the ladies to enjoy the powder room.
We have made such wonderful friends travelling with Carol. I believe God brings people into our lives for a reason, I think he put Carol and Don into ours, so she can show us his beautiful creations and art work, and he put Don in our lives so we can sit back and let him do all the driving for us.
If you have never traveled with these two wonderful people, you should at least try one tour, but I can guarantee you will want to do another and another.
As Carol says, “JUST GET ON THE BUS”.
-- Judi Paugh
Just got home from a wonderful fun-filled weekend in Shipshewana, Indiana with C. L. Tours. We went to 3 great shows, ate lots of good food, saw many interesting things. The bus driver was great and very informative, all made for a very good time. Thank you Carol !!!!!!!!
-- Shirley Hockenberry
"Come along for a jolly good time, treats, surprises, lots of fun, and be spoiled from the time you get on the bus until you step off to go home."
-- Ruth Flinn & Bonnie Smith
"We chose C.L. Tours again because our three previous trips with them had been very relaxing, informative, and entertaining. The local guides in each area gave us interesting facts and humorous stories about the area's people, sites, and history. We know that when we travel with C.L. Tours that they have taken care of all the details to make our vacation interesting, relaxing and enjoyable. We are looking forward to our fourth trip soon. We highly recommend traveling with C.L. Tours. We know from our past trips that the itinerary will include sites we want to see and the value is great! "
-- Joanne & Charlie Stout
"I have traveled with Carol and CL Tours on several tours. I have also traveled with other companies but I prefer C.L Tours. Once you travel with Carol it is hard to go back to others. She does a great job. You always have her cell phone number if you are apart and need her and she will have your number to check on you. I have traveled to Maine, Quilt Shows, Shopping, Amish, Plays, Gospel Sings just to name a few. Always a good time. Her cookies and muffins are the best. A nice christian lady and a good clean time. Looking forward to a trip very soon."
-- Diane Welch - Vincent Ohio