Want to get away from the hustle-bustle yet still have easy access to fun-filled family attractions? Rent a cabin or chalet in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. Most rentals are conveniently located just minutes from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg... yet all offer soul-soothing peace and privacy amid stunning mountain scenery. Even if you're staying within city limits, you'll feel as if you're in a whole other world.
The Smoky Mountains are a top destination for family vacations! That's because the area is overflowing with incredible, kid-friendly things to do. To help guarantee you have the best vacation with your children, we've come up with 5 of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains for kids.
When you plan your family vacation to the Smoky Mountains, you look for exciting things to do together that will create long-lasting memories. There are so many amazing experiences you can share with each other that will make your vacation even more special. To help guarantee you have an incredible time, we've come up with 3 can't-miss Smoky Mountain attractions for your family vacation.
It's home to the largest old-growth forest east of the Mississippi... the densest Black Bear population in the Eastern U.S…. and the widest variety of salamanders outside of the tropics.
Pigeon Forge is one of the top places to vacation with your family. There are countless things to do in the area that everyone in the family will enjoy. To make your family vacation more affordable, take advantage of the coupons available for some of the best attractions around! Here are the 6 must-have Pigeon Forge coupons for the top family-friendly attractions:
Ready to see the mountains in a thrilling new way? Ride the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.
If you've ever visited the Smoky Mountains National Park, you know all about the beautiful scenery. But even veteran visitors may not be fully aware of all the fascinating lore surrounding this world-famous park. Here are 10 fun facts that may surprise (and delight) you.
When you think of Smoky Mountain cabins, you might envision small, rustic homes with cozy fireplaces, sitting atop out-of-the-way mountain peaks. Yes, some are just like that. However, there's also a large variety of other rental options – from small secluded cabins to large luxury cabins, chalets, and lodges. Choosing the one you like best can be an exciting process.
Looking for something different to do in the Great Smoky Mountains? We've got you covered! Along with all the famed attractions you already know and love, the Pigeon Forge area hosts a wide range of fun-filled adventures sure to please your entire family.
The new year is the traditional time for recharging your batteries. And there's no better place to destress and refresh than the breathtaking Smoky Mountains. Especially from January through May, when the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area hosts an array of events and festivals, culminating in Wilderness Wildlife Week. (More about that in a bit.)
Each year, thousands and thousands of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains make overnight rental cabins their accommodations of choice. It's not hard to understand why. Cabins offer a lot of advantages for the traveler, including a wide range of sizes to accommodate small or large groups, economic efficiency, a home-like atmosphere, privacy and seclusion, and amenities that you usually don't find in the typical hotel or motel.
Pigeon Forge is famous for its spectacular live entertainment. But not all shows are appropriate for families with small children. Here are seven fun shows everyone can appreciate, from tots to teens to parents and grandparents.
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a fabulous time in the Smokies. Here are a few cool ways you and your family can enjoy the mountains this November... without straining your budget.
Between hiking, zip lining, shopping, and all of the other fun activities in the Great Smoky Mountains, you're going to work up quite an appetite. Fortunately, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have hundreds of amazing restaurants to explore. Food choices in the Smokies run the gamut from traditional southern barbecue to international cuisine and vegetarian-friendly eateries. Whatever sounds good, we've got it.
Encompassing 816 square miles and occupying parts of two states, Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers a lot of territory – typically way more than most folks can take on in a lifetime, much less a single visit. As a result, visitors (more than 9 million annually) tend to focus on the more popular destinations within the park – sites like Cades Cove or Clingmans Dome or the visitor centers located on either side of the park (one for TN, one for NC).
There are so many astonishing new Sevierville and Pigeon Forge attractions opening this year - you may have a hard time deciding where to start. From shopping and brain games to heart-pounding adventures, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge are the places to be this summer and fall.
There's so much to enjoy in the Great Smoky Mountains during a summer vacation, but Dollywood theme park is always a family favorite. This year Dollywood is better than ever with tasty new restaurants, exciting new rides, and new high-tech shows. Dollywood also has a new mission for 2017: keeping families together while they enjoy the park. You'll see evidence of the shift all during your visit.
If you've always wanted a bird's eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains, ziplining is the way to go. Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge has seven amazing lines that take you on a two-hour, jaw-dropping canopy tour.
Are you headed to the Smokies this summer? You're in for a treat! Exciting new attractions let you discover the saga of Dolly Parton's family before she was born, spot sharks through a glass-bottom boat at the aquarium, go snow tubing in summertime, and more. Here are some of the newest Smoky Mountain attractions that await you.
The perfect long weekend: Good food, beautiful scenery, and good music followed by late Southern breakfasts, and maybe even a hike or a little shopping to burn off the biscuits. If that sounds like your idea of fun, make plans to be part of the festivities at Bloomin' Barbeque & Bluegrass on Friday, May 19th and Saturday, May 20th in beautiful Sevierville, Tennessee. Each year nearly 37,000 people converge in this historic valley for two days of music, food, crafts and fun. Sevierville is nestled at the foot of the majestic Great Smoky Mountains and offers stunning views with a hometown feel. Last year the Southeast Tourism Society voted this family-friendly event Festival of the Year, and additions to this year's events promise even more enjoyment.
If you're headed to the Great Smoky Mountains to cool off this summer, you won't want to miss the new shows and attractions at Dollywood and Splash Country, and in Pigeon Forge. Dollywood's new mission is to help families experience the park together instead of splitting up. This new concept has led to three exciting rides and novel shows.
If your idea of heaven is beautiful scenery and plenty of peace and quiet, renting a cabin in Pigeon Forge is for you. Cabins come in all sizes, and each has its own unique personality. There is an abundance of cabin rental agencies, so before choosing your mountain home, it's a good idea to do a little homework.
Rainy or snowy vacation days can give you time to relax and enjoy some of the best Smoky Mountain indoor activities. For regular visitors, some indoor attractions are among their favorite ways to have fun in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, Tennessee. Here are a few ways to spend a rainy or snowy day in the Great Smoky Mountains:
In late November 2016, residents and friends of the Great Smoky Mountains could only watch helplessly as wildfires swept through Gatlinburg and threatened Pigeon Forge. In the end, 14 lives were lost, and many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. In true mountain spirit, however, locals and volunteers immediately started working together to begin cleanup and rebuilding as soon as the fires were out and the evacuation order was lifted.
If you're planning a Tennessee getaway, a Smoky Mountain cabin is the perfect accommodation. Cabin rentals in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville are near all the best attractions and have everything you need to relax and enjoy your vacation. From cozy one-bedrooms to expansive chalets with enough room for the whole extended family, Smoky Mountain cabins come in every size. Because each cabin is different, you'll feel like you've got your very own mountain home.
No matter what time of year you visit, there's always something happening in the Great Smoky Mountains. Every season brings its own special highlights, whether it's skiing Ober Gatlinburg in winter, outdoor food and music festivals in the spring and summer, or taking in the vibrant colors in fall. To help you plan your 2017 vacation, here's a year's worth of things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains.
If you're dreaming of a truly magical holiday experience this year, a Smoky Mountain Christmas or Thanksgiving is just what you're looking for. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the Smokies come alive with family-friendly holiday events and a festive atmosphere. If it's your first trip to the Smokies, you're sure to fall in love with the natural beauty and friendly people.
Whether you prefer to sleep in a tent under the stars, snuggled up in a cozy cabin, or tucked in at a luxurious resort, the Great Smoky Mountains have plenty of lodging options to suit every taste. Deluxe resorts tempt visitors with personalized service, indoor-outdoor pools, and gourmet restaurants, while remote campsites offer a peaceful way to disappear from the grid for a few days. Looking for something in the middle? Smoky Mountain cabin rentals have all the solitude you need with the modern amenities and comforts you want.
The Smoky Mountains' fall colors are one of the greatest natural spectacles in North America. Every September and October, as deciduous trees shed their leaves, the Smokies come alive with vibrant red, yellow, orange, and purple.
From entertaining shows and breathtaking rides to interactive games to test your skills, Pigeon Forge has something fun for the whole family.
Few hiking experiences compare with the Great Smoky Mountains. As a hiker, you'll be treated to scenic views, wildlife, waterfalls, diverse plant life, pristine forests, and historical sites such as the remains of settler villages. The Smokies have a variety of options for all levels of hikers. You can enjoy an easy morning or afternoon trek, a day excursion that takes you in a convenient loop, or overnight backpacking trips that are truly an adventure.
Whether you saw the motion picture or have simply heard the saga, when you hear the name Titanic, several images pop to mind. The luxury. The grandeur. The iceberg. The faithful musicians devoted to standing their posts on the deck till the very end as the "unsinkable" ocean liner was swallowed up by the sea.
The Great Smoky Mountains have the two ingredients necessary for waterfalls: plenty of rain, from 85 inches to over 8 feet some years, and elevation gradient. Water trickles down the mountains and builds rushing rivers that drop up to a mile off the mountain face. Hiking the Smokies to see stunning waterfalls is one of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's most breathtaking activities. Here are some of the most popular waterfalls you'll find.
There's a lot of entertainment options to choose from in the Smokies, but if you're trying to narrow down your choices, you'll find one of the most exciting live shows in the country right in the heart of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner & Show delivers on all counts, from delicious, satisfying food to live entertainment presented on a large scale.
Nature lovers know that spring in the Smokies is one of the most wonderful times of the year. This year it's even better, with Wilderness Wildlife Week taking place May 18 to 27 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This popular annual event offers educational and entertaining programs for all ages and interests, and - best of all - it's free. You may remember that Wilderness Wildlife Week used to be in January. Happily, organizers decided to move the festival to May to take advantage of better weather for outdoor activities. That means this year's event has an expanded roster of outdoor programs and hikes.
One of the most thrilling experiences of a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wildlife sighting. The park is among the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the United States, and is home to 65 species of animals, including bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, chipmunks, wild boars, woodchucks, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, opossums and more. A good field guide will help you determine the natural habitats of the animals you most want to see, and will help you identify animals and birds you've never seen before.
Besides beautiful scenery, delicious Southern food and exciting wildlife, the Smoky Mountains have plenty of other kinds of entertainment in store for you, including some newly added attractions. Pigeon Forge ranges from thrilling magical theater and high-flying trampoline jumps to mind-bending escape-room puzzles. These new attractions are perfect for rainy days and group activities, too.
Stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and absolute tranquility make hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains an unforgettable experience. You can hike the Smokies year-round, with each season offering its own surprises, delights, and adventures. Whether you're looking for an easy, fun hike for the whole family or one that will challenge your skills and endurance, the Smokies have something for everyone.
Pigeon Forge is not only a beautiful place to be in winter months, it's also a lot of fun. If it's snowy or cold outside, don't worry - there are lots of excellent activities to keep you and your entire family well entertained. Here are our top 3 Pigeon Forge attractions for snowy days:
Fall colors in the Smokies are legendary. With more than 100 species of deciduous trees, the mountains put on quite a show as the green pigments in tree leaves change to a riot of colors. Watch for the brilliant yellows and oranges of alder, hickory, ash, maple, poplar, aspen, birch, black cherry, sycamore, cottonwood and sassafras, while reds, purples, and oranges burst from maple, oak, sweetgum, dogwood, cherry and persimmon trees. It's nature's version of a fireworks finale, and you won't want to miss it.
If you're visiting Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, there's nothing like renting a Smoky Mountain cabin to make your vacation complete. Hotel rooms can be nice, but they can also be small, expensive, boring, and can cramp your style. Here are our top 10 reasons why renting a Smoky Mountain cabin is better than checking into a hotel:
In the 1800s, Pigeon Forge was a small mountain community named for an iron forge located in the industrial complex on the Little Pigeon River. A mill in the complex harnessed the power of the river to grind grain for local farmers, power weaving looms that produced cloth for Civil War soldiers, and created electricity for the small town up until 1935.
There's nothing more fun than getting a great deal on the things you like to do most. Many vacationers search for all-inclusive deals at Smoky Mountain resorts and find there aren't any. But never fear! Several Smoky Mountain luxury and golf resorts offer package vacation deals. While not all-inclusive, they do feature lodging and activities that can enhance your fun and save you a lot of money.
If you're craving the kind of peace and quiet that seems to have existed only in the previous century, camping in the tranquil Smoky Mountains Backcountry may be exactly what you're looking for. Here, backpackers can wander more than 800 miles of trails that lead past breathtaking mountain vistas, quiet old-growth forest and clear, cold, rushing rivers and waterfalls. You'll see wildlife you've never seen before and may go days without seeing another human or hearing a cell phone ring. The Backcountry is not your average camping adventure, so it's important to know a few things before you go.
A cabin in the mountains. That stack of magazines you've been meaning to read. A fridge full of your favorite snacks. Bird songs. Sunsets. Quiet. If you're planning a weekend getaway or a summer vacation, it's likely those wonderful things are on your list of must-haves. If you're looking into Smoky Mountain cabin rentals, you can add a lot more, too!
On April 15, 1912, the world witnessed one of the worst maritime disasters to ever occur. 1,517 people lost their lives when Titanic, the largest luxury liner of her time, sank in the frigid North Atlantic.
Have you always dreamed of being a cowboy or cowgirl? Are you living the western life, but need a range to call your own? Giving closet wranglers and hardcore buckaroos a place to embrace the Wild West is what the annual Saddle Up! event in Pigeon Forge is all about. February 18–22, 2015, marks the 15th anniversary of Saddle Up! - which means the coordinators of the festival have some special guests lined up.
Smoky Mountain vacations are best known for fresh air, stunning scenery and exciting outdoor activities. You may believe that bad weather would lead to bored children (and adults!) spending hours trapped in a hotel room with nothing to do. You would be wrong.
They wait for it all spring and summer. As the warm temperatures begin to cool, the anticipation can be seen and felt. Their feet get antsy and strange cravings overtake them to put on down-filled clothing and compression wear. They are the hardcore ski enthusiasts of the world.
When the holidays roll around, it's time for you and your closest friends to set your sights on a little retail therapy and girl time! With no kids, no guys, and no responsibilities, there's no end to the fun you can plan for your girls' getaway.
Any trip with family or friends to Tennessee has to include the incredible sights of the Smoky Mountains, but you need not climb every peak to get amazing views. The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a top local attraction that transports you more than 400 feet high for a truly panoramic glimpse of the mountain ranges and the towns surrounding them.
Summer is over and the chill of fall (along with another school year) is settling in before the impending holiday rush. You deserve a break prior to the hectic Christmas season and shopping in the Smokies is just the ticket.
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Whether you're craving a quick road trip or a full week off, the point of a vacation is to leave stress and aggravation behind. However, many people unintentionally drag these along with them on their trip. What fun is that? In order to ensure a truly relaxing Smoky Mountain vacation, there are four primary steps you'll want to take.
You've planned this trip for months, or maybe even for years. The whole family is looking forward to enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery this country has to offer. Of course, while you're in the Great Smoky Mountains, you won't want to miss out on seeing some of the many attractions. Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and other must-see destinations are definitely on your list.
You've snuggled under them on cold winter evenings at Grandma's house, lovingly tucked them around a sleeping baby, and spent hours piecing fabric together for a special gift. Large and small, modern or traditional, quilts have certainly earned their place in our history and in our hearts.
If you haven't seen the video taken last week of a black bear roaming the streets of downtown Gatlinburg, it's really quite a site. View the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaMJNYIq0Yo&feature=youtu.be
With the wonderfully mild weather we've been having in the Smokies lately and with mid-week visitation dropping off a little now that schools are back in session, this is a great time to consider visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you've never been but have always wondered what there is to do in the park, here's a quick list of some of the more popular activities. And with very few exceptions, they're all free.
Vacation time was meant to be playtime, which means that when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, you should try to take the work out of what should otherwise be a fun experience. We know that there is certainly some responsibility involved in safely traveling to and around the Smokies, but don't forget to take a childlike approach to having fun. In other words, allow yourself to play in the Smokies!
Sevierville and Pigeon Forge may be known for their outlet malls and antique shops, but we're here to tell you that there are plenty of Gatlinburg shopping opportunities out there as well.
Did you know that this weekend, August 2 through 4, is the Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday? That means you won't have to pay the state's nine-percent-plus sales tax on clothing items that cost $100 or less, school supplies that cost $100 or less and computers that cost $1,500 or less. This is an ideal situation for parents who are doing their back-to-school shopping or anyone looking for a little savings on any of those items.
Tourism in the Smokies dates back to the 1930s and 1940s, when visitors started coming to the new Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From there, Gatlinburg became a tourism destination thanks to its crafts and its proximity to the park. By the 1970s and 1980s, Pigeon Forge was developing as a tourist stop thanks to the 1982 World's Fair and the opening of Dollywood in 1986.
Some Gatlinburg attractions are open all year long, but sometimes, there are special events in the city that are so notable that they take on attraction status. One such event is the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, which has been celebrating the region's deep, rich arts and crafts heritage since the early decades of the 1900s.
Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in all of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This 11-mile auto loop takes visitors on a tour of a once tight-knit community that existed before the creation of the national park. Today, many of the cove's homesteads, churches and other structures have been preserved to show park visitors today what life was like in rural East Tennessee in the 1800s.
If you're looking for a great way to celebrate the 4th of July in Tennessee, Gatlinburg should be on your short list of destinations to visit. There are several Independence Day activities scheduled in the city this week that promise to add a little boom to your Smoky Mountains vacation.
When it comes to choosing a place to stay in the Smokies, accommodations like hotels, motels, condos and cabins are usually the first options to pop into mind. However, when was the last time you considered staying in a bed and breakfast inn? They offer many advantages such as homey, comfortable bedrooms, expertly prepared morning meals, scenic and isolated settings, and a personalized level of service that you often won't find in more commercial ventures.
Now that we're into the thick of the summer season, more and more visitors are finding time to play golf in the Smokies. Whether you're a beginning golfer or a seasoned veteran of the links, it's a great time to get back into the swing of the game at any of the many scenic and challenging courses in the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community of Gatlinburg has been a must-see site in the Smokies for decades. This historic eight-mile loop-consisting primarily of Glades Rd. and Buckhorn Rd.-is home to more than 120 working artists and craftsmen. You can visit their shops, studios and galleries, watching the artists at work and take home a unique creation or two.
If you've ever visited the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, chances are you stayed in or visited one of the three main cities in Sevier County – Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Visitors often ask locals about the origins of these three city names, so this week, Smoky Mountain vacation info offers up a mini history lesson about how each city got its name.
Now that it's starting to finally warm up here in the Smokies, travelers' thoughts are turning more and more to fun outdoor activities. But maybe you're planning your first trip to the area and have no idea what to choose from all the attractions out there. Or maybe you've been coming here your whole life and are looking for some ideas on something new you can try out with the family. This week, to get you started on the right track, we present the top five outdoor activities as ranked by reviewers on tripadvisor.com:
It seems that any time you visit a vacation destination, at one point or another, parking becomes a concern. Especially in urban locations, parking is at a premium and can present a real challenge.
It won't be long until the days will be warm enough for you to slip on a bathing suit and hit your favorite water park in the Smokies. Visitors to the area have two main choices when it comes to water park fun-Dollywood's Splash Country and Wilderness At The Smokies Resort. And whether you've ever been to either location or not, both have new activities to offer their guests for 2013.
If you're looking for a fun hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your next visit, consider exploring Porters Creek Trail. Located in the Greenbrier section of the park, this hike is not too strenuous and features wildflowers, historic homesteads and even a waterfall.
Did you know that in 2012 Great Smoky Mountains National Park reported visitation of some 9.6 million people? That once again makes our own backyard the most visited national park in the country. Second place? The Grand Canyon, with a paltry 4.5 million.
Decades ago, the classic rock band Journey sang, “Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'…” Today that song might aptly describe the new attraction that's dominating the skyline in East Tennessee-Pigeon Forge, to be precise.
What's a sure sign that spring has arrived? The first appearance of the robin? Warm, sunny days? Nope. In the Smokies, it's opening day at Dollywood that lets everyone know that a new season of fun and travel is upon us. The Pigeon Forge theme park kicks off its 2013 season with the opening of its annual Festival of Nations celebration, which runs through April 22.
Even if the calendar doesn't officially acknowledge it yet, spring is here, for all intents and purposes. The days are warming up, and folks are starting to make plans to head back to the Great Smoky Mountains this spring and summer. Just to prime the pump, here are just a few suggestions for different ways you and your family can play in the Smokies this year.
Sure, most golf courses have year-round play, and we know that some of you die-hard duffers take every opportunity you can get to hit the links. But truth be told, spring and summer are the seasons you live for. When the grass is green, the sun is shining and the air is warm. And if you haven't looked at the calendar lately, you should probably know that it's almost time to play golf in the Smokies again. Here's a quick overview of three area courses.
Whether your next trip to the Smokies involves staying in a hotel, motel, condo or Tennessee rental cabin, we hope that you find time to make an excursion into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, you can make your travels safe and avoid unnecessary headaches by following these five suggestions from the National Park Service.
We've already looked more in-depth at what lies in store for shoppers in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. This week, we'll peek a little closer into what's going on in Sevierville that keeps vacationers swiping the plastic.
Last week, we offered an overview of where the best shopping could be found in Gatlinburg. This week, we’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of Pigeon Forge shopping opportunities-or shoppertunities as they’re sometimes called around here.
Shopping is one of the main reasons that visitors cite as to what draws them to the Great Smoky Mountains. Naturally, the mountains are usually the top reason, but shopping usually runs as a top contender, right next to attractions, theaters and restaurants.
Usually, we only think about seafood when we travel to the beach, but if you're headed to the Great Smoky Mountains, here's a heads-up that you're in for some great ocean flavors as well-even if you are hundreds of miles from the nearest shoreline. Our Smoky Mountain vacation guide would like to suggest a couple of fun restaurants you might want to put on your short list:
Sometimes poor old Sevierville isn't the first place in the Smokies you think about when it comes to attractions. But if you breeze on through on your way to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, you'll be missing out on some cool and fun places to see. Here are a few Sevierville attractions you don't want to miss:
If you have been a regular visitor to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the past or perhaps are planning to make your first trip in the near future, chances are you’re a lover of the great outdoors. And if that’s the case, we highly recommend participating in the 23rd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge, January 12 through 19.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a quick look at five Gatlinburg attractions that everyone should put on their vacation itinerary at one point or another. This week, we’ll be looking at five Pigeon Forge attractions that rank near the top of the scale. Of course, there are so many great attractions in Pigeon Forge that it’s really hard to single out just five, but this will at least get you started narrowing down the vast selection.
What’s the old saying? "So much to do, so little time to do it." That expression is usually very fitting when it comes to planning vacation activities. There are so many choices and only so much time (and money) available to squeeze them in. This week, we’ll offer a few recommendations for prioritizing Gatlinburg attractions. Of course, the town is packed with great attractions, but here are a few you should consider shuffling to the top of your list.
Designed by three-time Masters and British Open winner Gary Player, Bent Creek Golf Course-located in the Cobbly Nob area of the Great Smoky Mountains-blends in seamlessly with the majestic landscape in which it is situated. Since 1972, Bent Creek has been a Gatlinburg area golf destination thanks to a front nine that's nestled in a mountain valley and a back nine that provides challenging mountain play. The course can appear deceptively simple at first blush, but most who take it on find it to be all they can handle.
Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee have no shortage of options when it comes to vacation lodgings. There are literally hundreds of choices in hotels and motels, cabins and chalets and even condominiums. However, one type of accommodations that often gets overlooked is the bed and breakfast inn. The Smokies area has some of the finest bed and breakfasts in Tennessee, so here are a few reasons that a B&B might be a good selection for your next trip here:
This public golf course in Seymour, Tennessee, is an affordable, convenient option for anyone wanting to play golf in the Smoky Mountains. The 18-hole course has been around since the early 1960s, and its moderately challenging layout features water hazards but no sand bunkers. The four tee positions make the course 6,060 yards at its longest with a part of 70, a rating of 67.3 and a slope rating of 121. The signature hole, number eight, is a 647-yard, par-5 with a dogleg-right fairway and an approach that requires a shot over two bodies of water. The water hazards come into play on seven other holes, including 11, 12, 13 and 14. The fairways are Bermuda and the greens are bent grass.
For many people, autumn is a favorite time of year. The air is crisp and pure, and even though most of the leaves have fallen for the season, there are still plenty of reasons to head outdoors for some fun and physical activity. Here are a few suggestions to consider when making travel plans to the Smokies this season.
Designed and built in the early 1970s, this 18-hole course and its accompanying resort amenities are a scenic destination for anyone looking to relax playing golf in the Smokies. Located 40 miles east of Knoxville on a Douglas Lake peninsula, the par-71, 6,700-yard course itself provides golfers with a test of their skills and patience, yet it also gives them the opportunity to score well on each hole. The landscape consists of Bermuda fairways, large bent grass greens and four tee positions on each hole to accommodate any handicap. Rolling hills, challenging bunkers, lakes and streams all come together to challenge golfers while at the same time providing captivating scenery.
Any time of year is a great time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, but there’s something about autumn that’s just a little special. Here are five things you must do if you visit the Smokies this fall:
If you’re considering vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s easy to find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes time to booking your accommodations. This area literally has hundreds and hundreds of choices in hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, condos, chalets and cabins.
Don't let the name fool you; you won't find it in Gatlinburg. You'll actually find this golf course in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Can't explain that one, but we can tell you that the 18-hole course is an oasis in the middle of the city's tourism bustle. The layout consists of challenging, beautifully maintained holes and occupies a section of rolling woodlands that also treats its golfers to great views of the Great Smoky Mountains. In fact, Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course underwent a half-million-dollar renovation in 2007, which involved rebuilding greens and reworking the fairways. The result: a rating as Tennessee's Best Muny Course in the August 2009 issue of Golf Digest and a challenge to a golfer's skills that is also easy on the eyes.
A wedding is a special life event. Sure, you could get married in your hometown, but don’t rule out a Smoky Mountain destination wedding. Think about it. You could get married in the Smokies, honeymoon in the Smokies, and all of your family and friends could come along for the trip and have fun too. Although for the sake of privacy, you might want to consider honeymoon accommodations that are separate from everyone else’s.
Since 1965, this municipal golf course in Blount County, Tennessee, has been home to 27 holes of challenging, scenic play on the peaceful side of the Smokies. Measuring a total of 9,525 yards, the 27 holes are divided into three nine-hole courses-white, red and orange. The sloping grade of the holes takes advantage of the foothills' rolling terrain, and the Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens help make the course an emerald jewel against the backdrop of the mountains. The presence of water hazards and sand bunkers adds to the challenge level.
When you think of Pigeon Forge attractions, what are the first places to come to mind? It would be natural for you to first think of places like Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country as well as some of the big-name attractions like the Titanic Museum Attraction or WonderWorks. Also, the city’s many music and variety theaters are also considered attractions that wind up on many a tourist’s vacation to-do list.
This golf course in Townsend, Tennessee, offers challenging golf action and breathtaking mountain scenery and is just a short drive from Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The course is known for its narrow fairways and blind shots, which make it a true test, but golfers are rewarded with outstanding views of the nearby Great Smoky Mountains. The Laurel Valley Country Club course measures 5,753 yards from the longest tees, and 70 is par for the course, which has a rating of 68.6 and a slope rating of 120. The course was designed by Edmund B. Ault, ASGCA and opened to the public in 1989.
Each summer, Dollywood incorporates a special package of live performances and attractions that is specially geared toward children and teens. This year’s KidsFest runs June 22 through July 29 and gives children an entertainment alternative to the more grownup-friendly music shows for which Dollywood is better known. Many of the activities are also targeted toward younger kids, adding another entertainment option for those who may be too small to ride many of Dollywood’s rides. This year’s highlights include:
The 6th Annual Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales events kicks off June 15 and runs through August 11. Anyone planning to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee during that time frame should make plans to soak up plenty of free Appalachian entertainment and culture.
Patriot Hills Golf Club in Jefferson City, Tennessee, is actually the sister club to nearby Dandridge Golf & Country Club, giving players yet another choice of scenic golf courses near the Great Smoky Mountains. Generally, the course was designed to be a little more challenging than the Dandridge course. Yardage ranges from 4,974 to 6,710 depending on your choice of four tee placements. The par-72, Jerry Hodge-designed course combines Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens and gives players scenic views of English Mountain and the major peaks of the Smokies beyond. The course rating is 72.4, and the slope rating is 126.
We’re getting to the point where we probably won’t see daytime highs lower than the 70s until next fall. That’s generally good news, except on those hot, humid, insufferable days when all you want is to find a place to cool off. Here are some suggestions for the best ways to do that, whether your speed is wet-and-wild or wet-and-mild.
It’s kind of interesting that for a couple of weeks every summer, one of the biggest Gatlinburg attractions isn’t a ride, a show or a museum. For a couple of weeks in early to mid-June, the biggest attraction is the appearance of the synchronous fireflies in the Elkmont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Looking for something a little different in the way of Smoky Mountain entertainment this weekend? Then put on your raincoats, open up your umbrella and get ready for a messy good time when the legendary comedian Gallagher returns to The Grand Majestic Theater in Pigeon Forge on Sunday, May 27.
River Islands Golf Club, located near Sevierville, Tennessee, has been named one of Golf Digest's top ten Tennessee courses on multiple occasions. Generally, it is considered one of the more scenic golf courses in the Smokies. Built in 1991, this 18-hole, Arthur Hill-designed course ranges from 6,300 to 7,001 yards, depending on your choice of tees. With well-manicured Zoysia fairways and a links-style layout that borders the scenic French Broad River, the course is as much a feast for the eyes as it is a challenge to a golfer's skills. In fact, several small islands in the middle of the channel (hence the course's name) actually come into play on holes 3 through 16 and on 15 and 16. The signature hole, number 3, is a 195-yard par 3 requiring a precision shot from an elevated tee to an island green. Overall, the fairways are open and rolling, while the greens are moderately sloped and elevated.
It may not have the outlet malls, but Gatlinburg is still a rich mine to be explored when it comes to retail opportunities in the Smokies.
Any seasoned Smoky Mountain visitor knows that as the weather improves and Memorial Day and summer approach, traffic starts to get a little heavier in the cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. On some weekends, especially when there’s a car show in town or some other holiday-related event, the going can get very slow, sometimes turning what should be a pleasant family outing into a contentious test of nerves and patience.
This municipal golf course in Sevierville, Tennessee was opened by the city for public use in 1994 and until recently was known as Eagles Landing Golf Club. The course benefits from its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains, which provide majestic scenery for golfers.
While staying in one of our Gatlinburg chalets will give you handy access to a ton of Smoky Mountain fun and exploration, don’t forget that there are some other great destinations nearby that you can work in as a quick daytrip. One of the most popular is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, just a short hop from Gatlinburg via Interstate 40.
You should consider it a crime if you visit the Great Smoky Mountains this spring or summer and don’t actually go into the Great Smoky Mountains. You’d be surprised how many folks see the sights in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville but don’t go anywhere near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Don’t let yourself and your family become one of “those people.”
If you’re going to be in the market for Gatlinburg chalet rentals this summer, or even accommodations in Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, there are several questions you may want to consider asking the prospective cabin-rental companies you talk to. This week, we’re going to wrap up this series of rental Q&A with some miscellaneous questions that might not have fallen into any of the previous categories.
Located in Dandridge, Tennessee-the state's second-oldest community-this golf course in the Smokies is one of the first built in the area and has since developed a reputation for providing an enjoyable golf experience for golfers of all experience levels. The original 18 holes work their way through valleys, hills and woodlands, and an additional nine holes were added in 1991. The Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens are a lush complement to the accompanying scenery, which includes the distant Great Smoky Mountains and nearby Douglas Lake. All 18-whole combinations are par 72 and range in distance from 4,900 yards to 6,100 yards.
If you’re going to be in the market for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee lodging this summer, or even accommodations in Gatlinburg or Sevierville, there are several questions you may want to consider asking the prospective cabin-rental companies you talk to. This week, we’re going to look at issues you’ll want to ask about concerning paying for your lodging.
If you’re going to be in the market for a Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville rental cabin this summer, there are several questions you may want to consider asking the prospective cabin-rental companies you talk to. Taking the time to do your homework on the front end could save you time and trouble in the long run and make your stay an awesome experience you’ll want to repeat every year. This week, we’re going to look at issues you’ll want to ask about concerning the interior of your cabin.
March 15, 2012 – PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., - The Smoky Mountain Opry in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will open the area's largest musical variety show on March 23, with a nationally renowned singers, dancers, illusionists, comedians, jugglers, and musicians. “This theater has undergone a whole metamorphosis and The Smoky Mountain Opry is now 'Simply the Best' musical variety show in town,” said David Fee, president of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment and theater co-owner. “With a multi-million dollar upgrade the Opry features the best of everything – fantastic lights and lasers, lavish sets and costumes, incredible music, a live band and lots of talent. This show includes everything – even the magical appearance of a 23 ton stealth fighter jet onstage,” Fee said. “We'll provide our audiences with a musical experience that's first class. We think our audiences deserve the best and this show has it all!”
If you’re going to be in the market for Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg lodging this summer, there is a number of questions you may want to consider asking the prospective cabin-rental companies you talk to. Taking the time to do your homework on the front end could save you time and trouble in the long run and make your stay an awesome experience you’ll want to repeat every year. This week, we’re going to share a few miscellaneous questions you might want to ask concerning the exterior of your rental property.
Are you going to be in the market for some Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, TN lodging this summer? If so, we’re continuing our series of posts related to questions you should be asking prospective cabin-rental companies. Taking the time to do your homework on the front end could save you a lot of headaches in the long run and make your stay an awesome experience you’ll want to repeat every year. This week, we’re going to show you that you should spend a little extra time just on the issue of the outdoor hot tubs. It’s such a popular feature in most cabins, yet it can also be a source of potential problems if not addressed on the front end.
Are you going to be in the market for Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg cabin rentals this summer? If so, we’re continuing our series of posts related to questions you should be asking prospective cabin-rental companies. Taking the time to do your homework on the front end could save you a lot of headaches in the long run and make your stay an awesome experience you’ll want to repeat every year. This week, we’ll look issues pertaining to the location of your prospective cabin.
If you’re heading to the mountains on vacation this spring or summer, remember that there are a lot of cabins in Tennessee from which to choose. Price and location should always be factors, of course, but there are also several questions that you might want to ask the property management company or owner before signing on the dotted line. This week, we’ll look at issues pertaining to the immediate environment surrounding your cabin.
This Knoxville golf course is a city-run, public facility located in northeast Knox County, only a half-hour drive from Sevierville, Tennessee. Designed by Ault, Clark and Associates, the course features Bermuda tees and fairways, bent grass greens and a 63 strategically placed bunkers. The par-72, 7,035-yard course was once voted the best public course in East Tennessee. Amenities at Three Ridges Golf Course include PGA instruction, a driving range, putting green and chipping area, pro shop, dining facility with food and beverage service, an outdoor pavilion and both cart and club rentals.
Of the millions of people who visit Pigeon Forge and the Smokies each year, the vast majority of them drive their own vehicles. That’s a lot of automobile traffic. However, if you’d like to save yourself the hassle of driving and getting caught in a snarl, there are plenty of other ways to get to your favorite vacay spot and to get around once you’ve arrived.
Most of last week’s rockslide mess has been cleaned up on I-40, although not far after crossing the border from North Carolina into Tennessee, there is still one westbound lane closed, which could slow things down a bit if you’re traveling to the Smokies.
Valentine’s Day is coming up in just a couple of weeks. Have you made plans yet? If not, it’s not too late to book the weekend just before February 14 or even the weekend after, if that’s what your schedule allows. Or if you have vacation time coming, consider spending a whole week in the Smokies. The traffic is lighter, the crowds are smaller, and this is one of the least expensive times of the year to purchase overnight accommodations.
Fortunately, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open all year, but for those who plan to visit in winter, you might need to keep a few things in mind, whether you’re planning to hit the hiking trails, camp or just do some general sightseeing.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like making multiple decisions. For example, if you’re planning a night out on the town during your Smokies vacation, you may not feel like wading through all the local dining options (especially if you have picky eaters in the family) and also finding a show that everyone wants to see. With many area theaters, however, they make things simple for you by offering shows that include dinner as part of the evening’s entertainment.
Those looking for a Knoxville golf course in the Great Smoky Mountains region might consider Willow Creek Golf Club, located in West Knox County. The club's 18-hole championship course is open to the public and features Bermuda tees, fairways and roughs with bent grass greens. Measuring 6,959 yards from the longest tees, the course is a par-72, with a course rating of 73.5 and a slope rating of 124. Designed by Bill Oliphant and opened in 1988, the course also provides golf lessons and clinics, a full-service bar and grill, and a pro shop offering everything from merchandise to club repair.
Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort has gotten off to a rather slow start this winter. Unseasonably warm temperatures have resulted in no white stuff on the slopes and have made it impossible to make manufactured snow. The result has been closed trails and sad snowbirds.
Why go all the way to New York City to say farewell to 2011 when you can have just as much fun right here in the Great Smoky Mountains? If you’re wanting to be here for New Year’s Eve but just aren’t sure where to go or what to do on the big night, we’ve got several suggestions for fun and family-friendly celebrations that will help you ring in 2012 the right way.
If you’re staying in our area this week, our Smokies travel guide has some recommendations for places you can go out with the family for Christmas dinner this Sunday:
Usually, you have to travel from your Smoky Mountain accommodations to the points of interest on your vacation itinerary. In one case, however, all you have to do is take a short walk from your hotel room to get to one of the most popular new Sevierville, Tennessee attractions.
This week, we’ll take an overview look at all the activities and special events taking place in Sevierville, Tennessee, this Winterfest season. Hopefully, we’ll plant a few seeds when it comes to ideas for holiday travel in the Great Smoky Mountains.
This week, we’ll take an overview look at all the activities and special events taking place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, this Winterfest season. Hopefully, we’ll plant a few seeds when it comes to ideas for holiday travel in the Great Smoky Mountains.
This week, we’ll take an overview look at all the activities and special events taking place in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this Winterfest season. Hopefully, we’ll plant a few seeds when it comes to ideas for holiday travel in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Winterfest is underway, which means that each city in the area, as well as many of the individual Smoky Mountain attractions in town, host their own respective special events. In Pigeon Forge, for example, visitors might want to look into a new holiday celebration called ChristmasFest at the Smoky Mountain Opry.
Just because fall is here and winter is nipping at its heels doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy the many family attractions in the area. Pigeon Forge attractions that are worth trying this season include Dollywood, whose Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration lasts through the end of the year. Most of the area’s music theaters are in town as well, offering special holiday-themed shows to round out their entertainment seasons.
Beginning next week, the communities of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg will be getting their respective Winterfest celebrations underway, with kickoff festivities scheduled for a different city on a different night. Part of each town’s kickoff will be the lighting of its various Winterfest light displays, which are a colorful, twinkling way of welcoming all the folks who come to visit the Smokies during Winterfest.
As we head into the final week leading up to Halloween, we thought we’d pass along some ideas for celebrating the holidays in the Smokies and making sure that you have a spook-tacular time during your visit.
Once again, as it does every year, Christmas seems to be sneaking up on us. It will be here before we know it, which means it's definitely not too early to chip away at that holiday shopping list. While you're visiting the Smokies, why not have fun and be productive at the same time? We recommend that you go ahead and make a reservation at one of our Smoky Mountain rental cabins and review our list of suggested places to go hunting for this year's Christmas treasures.
The biggest color show in the Smokies doesn’t take place on New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July or even at Christmas. In fact, this show is so big, it can’t be squeezed into just one day. It takes weeks to reveal itself, a time during which millions of people revel in its glory and gain a deep appreciation for the spectacle of nature’s beauty.
This weekend, area visitors will have another chance to experience a unique event that showcases the culture and heritage of Appalachia. Robert Tino’s annual Smoky Mountain Homecoming event runs Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and gives guests a chance to see, hear and taste some of the things that give this region of the country its own special flavor and character.
If you’re a fan of Americana music, consider getting in tune with a plucky event that’s coming to town later this week. The 12th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival takes place September 15 through 17 (Thursday through Saturday) at the Dumplin Valley Farm RV Park in Kodak, TN, which is just off Tennessee Hwy. 66 near Interstate 40.
It’s one of the great annual traditions in Sevier County that’s always a sure sign that summer is over and autumn is on its way. The Sevier County Fair is currently under way this week and will continue through this Saturday the 10th. The fair always provides a week full of food, rides, games and exhibits, all presented in the safe, clean, family-friendly atmosphere of the Sevier County Fairgrounds on the banks of the Little Pigeon River.
Now that autumn is knocking on the door, we’re getting into prime fishing here in the Great Smoky Mountains. Trout is the catch of choice around these parts, and if you’re in search of trout, one of the most popular fishing destinations is the Little River in Townsend, Tennessee.
Although the county’s largest city was one of the last to start making the most out of the Smoky Mountains tourism trend during the last 30 years, Sevierville has made up for a lot of that lost time by offering its fair share of attractions. Places like Smoky Mountain Palace Theatre, Deer Farm Petting Zoo, Forbidden Caverns, the Tennessee Museum of Aviation and Tennessee Smokies baseball are all great choices for interactive family fun.
Last week, we took an in-depth look at what makes Gatlinburg special for travelers, and this week, it's time to turn our attention to the tourist town of Pigeon Forge.
For the next few weeks, we’ll give you a brief overview of each of the three main cities that make up Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. Today, we’ll focus on Gatlinburg, which is adjacent to the northern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wedged into a narrow mountain valley, Gatlinburg existed as a remote mountain community until the formation of the park in the 1930s.
There will be lots of picking and grinning going on this weekend in Tennessee-Pigeon Forge, in particular—when the annual StringTime in the Smokies music festival gets underway. The event, which celebrates the many varieties of Americana music, takes place Friday and Saturday, August 5 and 6, in the Old Mill Square and Patriot Park areas.
At the Smokies’ newest entertainment venue, having fun will be easier than falling off a log. Lumberjack Feud Dinner & Show, which premiers August 26 in a brand-new $11 million arena on the Pigeon Forge Parkway, will be unlike any other show in town. Starring a cast of professional entertainers and ESPN lumberjack athletes, Lumberjack Feud will tell the story of the rise and fall of the timber industry in the Smokies and how the creation of the national park paved the way for tourism in the area.
Have you heard about Pigeon Forge’s newest attraction? Located at the Walden Landing development, it’s called TOMB, a pyramid-themed adventure that lets families and groups team up to battle the curse of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. The storyline has visitors getting “trapped” in the relics of an archaeological site, and mummies, daddies and kids must work together to overcome a series of ingenious challenges designed to thwart their escape. The interactive experience is designed to last about 45 minutes and along the way features dazzling special effects and excitement for all ages.
If you plan to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee this summer, there’s one name you may want to keep an eye out for. It won’t be hard to find, because you’ll see it pop up almost everywhere you go in town. The name? Ripley. As in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, one of the most popular aquariums in the country.
Most folks who head into Great Smoky Mountains National Park more or less create their own experience, whether it’s choosing their favorite hiking trail or campground or just taking a scenic drive through the more scenic roads and motor tours.
No matter what you’ve got in mind for your Smoky Mountains adventure, there’s little getting around the fact that you’ll need some decent accommodations for your stay, whether it’s a simple overnighter or an extended weeklong throwdown. Hotels and motels have some advantages, but pound for pound, nothing beats a cabin rental.
You don’t need us to tell you that it’s a tad warm out there already, and it’s not even officially summer yet. And while a lot of Smoky Mountain vacationers make Dollywood a regular part of their summer routine, you might want to consider making Dollywood’s Splash Country a priority instead.
I’m sure that when you think of the Ski Mountain area of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, your first thoughts are probably of wintertime snow skiing, snowboarding and ice skating at the Ober Gatlinburg resort. But even in the heat of summer, there’s still plenty of fun up in them thar hills.
If you’ve ever been to Great Smoky Mountains National Park before, chances are you’ve visited, or at least heard of, Cades Cove, a preserved 19th century community that thrived in the mountains prior to the formation of the national park. Today, an 11-mile loop road takes visitors through this idyllic, storybook landscape, which is filled with mountain views, serene valleys, hiking trails and historic structures. Indeed, there’s something for everyone.
It’s finally getting warm enough to really take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities of springtime. One of the popular activities around East Tennessee is enjoying the region’s network of TVA lakes and waterways. If you’re in Sevier County on vacation, the most convenient site is Douglas Lake, which is accessible just a few miles off of Tenn. Hwy. 66 between Interstate 40 and downtown Sevierville, Tennessee.
In addition to its attractions and music theaters, Pigeon Forge is well known for its shopping opportunities, or “shoppertunities” as they’re sometimes called around here. In fact, Pigeon Forge got in early on the outlet mall shopping craze and is home to more outlet malls than any other city in the area.
Whether you're on spring break this week or maybe just headed to the Smokies this weekend for a little R&R, there's a good chance that you plan to make shopping part of your travel plans. This week, we'll focus on just one of the many ways you can put those plans into action-the shopping opportunities that await in Gatlinburg, TN.
At Smoky Mountain Vacation Info, we've got lots of information to help you get the most out of your visit to the area. Much of what you'll find is located in the communities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, but let's not overlook one special area that got East Tennessee tourism launched more than 70 years ago-Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you’re planning to get married this summer, this would be a good time to get a jump on reserving the best wedding location or wedding chapel for you. Chapels often stay booked months in advance, so don’t limit yourself to last-minute decisions when you arrive in a few months.
If you decide to visit Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this weekend, you may want to check out what has become one of the city’s most popular annual events. The 11th Annual Saddle Up! Festival runs February 24 through 27, closing out Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest celebration with a variety of cowboy-themed activities and shows.
Located on “the peaceful side of the Smokies,” Townsend, Tennessee, is as known for what it doesn’t have as it is for what it does offer. Far-removed from the hustle and bustle of the more heavily visited tourist areas, Townsend is a mountain oasis of beauty and tranquility, and you should make it one of yours stops the next time you visit the Smoky Mountains.
Most visitors who head to the Great Smoky Mountains tend to gravitate toward one of Sevier County’s main three cities—Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. But there’s another great place to focus on when you’re in the Smokies, and if you’re not familiar with it already, here’s a quick primer.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, first made its way onto the map as a tourist destination thanks to its proximity to the mountains. In fact, the south end of town leads directly into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It also became well known decades ago for being a wellspring of authentic arts and crafts, featuring works that were hand-made by local artisans.
Pigeon Forge alone has more family-attraction fun than you could fit into several years’ worth of vacations. But we’re sure that next time you’re in town, you’ll be willing to give it your best show.
For decades, Sevierville, TN, was the often-overlooked stepchild of Smoky Mountain tourism. Gatlinburg had been a tourist destination since the 1930s and ‘40s, and since the World’s Fair of 1982, Pigeon Forge had been coming on strong. But in the last 20 years, Sevierville has made up for a lot of lost time and joined the ranks of its fellow Sevier County cities as a destination in its own right.
Every town in the Smokies has its own unique offerings that make it worthwhile to visit. This week, we’ll take a closer look at Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which lies just north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, the town’s proximity to the park—as well as its early reputation for being a source of authentic arts and crafts—is what led to Gatlinburg becoming a tourism destination as early as the 1930s and 1940s.
Without a doubt, every town in the Smokies has its own unique offerings that make it worthwhile to visit. This week, we'll take a closer look at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, which lies halfway between Sevierville and Gatlinburg when traveling toward Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
We’re creatures of habit. Which means that we often wind up staying in the same lodging venues whenever we visit a particular destination. “We’ve always stayed in that hotel. It’s a tradition,” might be your rationale. We also have a tendency to it in the same types of accommodations. Those who stay in cabins in one vacation spot often seek out similar lodgings in other markets, and those who prefer condos tend to stick with condos wherever they go.
In case you haven’t heard, one of our homegrown attractions has received quite an honor this week. Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge received the 2010 Applause Award during a ceremony at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando on November 16. The Applause Award, which is considered the most prestigious award in the industry, is given to the park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have “inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development,” according to the official criteria.
It’s one of the most visited sites in the nation’s most visited national park. Cades Cove embodies all the best that Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer in terms of beauty and historical value. A journey down the 11-mile, one-way road that loops its way around the cove should be added to your list of things to do when visiting the Smokies.
When you’re planning any vacation, it sometimes seems like a daunting task because there are so many unanswered questions. Where will we stay? What will we do? How do we get there? How much will things cost? And that’s just scratching the surface. Wouldn’t it be simple if you could get all the information you need about traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains in one handy resource?
Some people call it “Fireworks In The Smokies!” Some people just simply call it “Leaves are Changing!” And others call it, “Look at All The Cars!” Whatever you call it, it is bringing people to The Great Smoky Mountains by the thousands and for great reason. The beauty of Fall Leaves in The Great Smoky Mountains is breathtaking indeed.
Looking for ways to have fun in the Great Smoky Mountains? You certainly don’t have to look very far. In Pigeon Forge alone, there are literally dozens and dozens of ways to create cherished memories, whether you’re traveling with a group, on a family vacation or just making a romantic getaway with your sweetheart. The trick isn’t in finding an area attraction but in narrowing down your choices!
When planning a trip to the Smokies, you have literally hundreds of options at your disposal when it comes to picking a place to stay. Whether it’s Sevierville bed and breakfast inns, Pigeon Forge rental cabins or Gatlinburg ski chalets, there’s a wide range of choices. The process might seem a little daunting at first, but you can easily narrow down your choices by considering factors such as who is going to be making this trip, what activities you have planned and even your budget.
One of the first decisions anyone makes when planning to visit Sevier County is picking the best travel dates. Naturally, summer is peak season since that’s when the kids are on summer vacation, and October is essentially a second peak season in the Smokies, because that’s when the mountain foliage makes its transition from the green of summer to the earth tones of fall.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to go back to the simpler life? Perhaps a visit back to Main Street in the 1950's? Well, come and see what the new attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is all about. This unique shopping experience is patterned after some lovely small towns in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. The nostalgia is great with a collection of shops you won't necessarily find just anywhere. You can spend hours at Walden's Landing shopping, dining, playing Putt-Putt, or just resting on the park bench eating your favorite ice-cream cone!
In the Smoky Mountains, hayrides are as much a part of fall as pumpkins, arts and crafts, and the changing of the leaves. An autumn tradition for centuries, countless kids and adults look forward with great anticipation to the coming of fall so they can participate in this time-honored activity. Why? Because hayrides are more than just sitting atop dried grass while you're pulled along a dusty, dirt road. Like a country version of a New York City carriage ride through Central Park, hayrides offer a time to snuggle close, enjoy the outdoor scenery, chat and have some fun.
Did you know that Pigeon Forge, Tennessee was established back in 1830? You will be thrown right back into that time as you visit the historical sites of The Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge. As you walk through The Old Mill Square you will want to tour the water-powered grist mill that continues to work since the early 1800's. The Old Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the most photographed historical sites in country.
Do you ever wish you could breathe underwater? Have you ever wanted to explore the murky depths of the ocean or to spy on aquatic life activity in ponds and rivers? Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies lets you do just that! This world-class attraction sprawls in the middle of scenic Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and features over 10,000 swimming creatures, from fresh water to salt water. Visitors to this open-year-round aquarium will find the spacious layout and tranquil ambiance the perfect place to visit after a few busy hours of shopping downtown.
Have you ever discovered one of those little-known towns that's just full of surprises? You know… charming, interesting, but maybe not as well known as some others? That's the kind of place you remember and visit again and again. While you may be acquainted with the Great Smoky Mountains, you may not be aware of a little gem tucked away near the Smoky Mountains known as Sevierville, Tennessee.
Considered one of East Tennessee's oldest towns, Dandridge, TN is only a 23-minute drive from action packed Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and only a 35-minute drive to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. If New England type towns are what you seek, then the quaint little town of Dandridge is your mountain town pick. With the awesome surrounding natural beauty of Douglas Lake and the magnificent scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains, this is a required stop for any tourist coming to East Tennessee.
The people of Gatlinburg are so excited about the 4th of July that they don't waste a single minute to celebrate. On July 3rd, when the clock strikes midnight, Gatlinburg kicks off its Midnight Independence Day Parade. For over 30 years the Smoky Mountains have had the first 4th of July parade in the country and this year the tradition stands firm.
The cheerful sound of the birds singing in the trees. The peacefulness of a flowing stream. The breathtaking sights of the mountains and the wildlife that makes their home there. Do you find enjoyment in the sights and sounds of nature? If so, camping in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is something you have to try. With over 1,000 developed campsites as well as numerous primitive sites along the mountains trails, you're bound to find one that pleases you. Just take a look at what they have to offer.
One of the most famous artists in America has set up shop in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee. Jim Gray is listed in Who's Who In American Art, a member of the American Society of Maine Artists, and is a member of the Salmagundi Club of New York City just to name a few. He has been featured in many publications, including NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, SOUTHERN LIVING, AMERICAN ARTIST, SOUTHWEST ART, NORTH LIGHT, PACE, SEA HISTORY, PRINTS and OCEANS. Jim Gray's Gallery is an event you will not want to pass up while visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.
Event planners worldwide must answer several questions during their coordination process regardless of the nature of the event. Can the facility accommodate our needs for meeting and exhibition space? Is lodging and good food available on-site or nearby? Are there recreational activities nearby? And lastly, is the location easy to reach? Sevierville Events Center answers "yes" to all these questions and more.
Discovering one of the most scenic drives and breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains would be to make your plans to visit Wears Valley. Located just off traffic light #3 in Pigeon Forge, it is also called route 321, for travelers coming in from Townsend, Tennessee. The beautiful valley was named after Colonel Samuel Wear, who moved to the area in the late 1700's. Not only will you desire to see all the scenery and sights, but also you will want to stay in one of the many beautiful mountain rental cabins secluded in the valley. For some of the best cabins, checkout Volunteer Cabin Rentals or Hidden Mountain Resorts. Both have many cabins with lots of amenities for an enjoyable stay.
There's nothing more fun when the weather heats up than to spend the day playing in the water. Everyone - from toddlers to seniors - enjoy cooling off as they splash around, and the Smoky Mountains have plenty of opportunities for you to do just that. There are water parks to visit as well as rivers to tube. If you're the more adventurous type, canoes, kayaks and rafts are there to whoosh you through rapids of many different levels. Just look at all that awaits you!
Breathtaking views of majestic mountains, seasonal festivals and activities, and numerous species of plants and wildlife. These are just a few of the reasons the Great Smoky Mountains are so wildly popular. While visiting the Smoky Mountains, however, make sure to allow time to explore the amazing sights of nearby cities. Lookout Mountain is only 90 minutes from Gatlinburg in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There you'll find historic caverns, intriguing rock formations and railway cars that seem to reach the sky.
One of the south's lesser-known treasures is nestled in the hills adjacent to a popular village. What is it? The largest group of independent artists and craftsmen showing their skills. The Glades Arts and Crafts community is comprised of an eight-mile country road loop where over one hundred artists and craftsmen parade their trades. You'll find a wide variety of art galleries, pottery barns, active workshops, independent artist showrooms, basket-making studios, and many more authentic local artisans.
When people think of Dollywood they come to think primarily of rides at an amusement park, but Dollywood is much more than fun-loving rides; it is The E-Pod of the South with Exploration, Entertainment, and Education.
Longing for a romantic getaway for just the two of you, but not sure where to go? With so many options, the decision can be a daunting one. Why not get a little help from the experts? Southern Living repeatedly includes the Smoky Mountains as one of their top romantic getaway spots. Take a look at some of the reasons Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville top the list and you'll soon understand why.
Part of the fun of traveling is experiencing local cuisine. It's amazing to discover how dishes have an entirely different flavor from region to region. Your curious side won't be disappointed when you visit some of the creative restaurants found in the Smoky Mountains.
Wintertime in the Smokies looks just like a picture postcard with the beautiful combination of crisp, white snow and majestic mountains. During this time of year there's a chill in the air and a number of exciting ways to enjoy the winter wonderland. Sometimes, though, freezing fingers and toes bring a longing for warmer weather and fun in the sun. Now you can break out your bathing suit and enjoy the best of summer in the middle of winter when you visit the indoor water park at The Resort at Governor's Crossing. Located in Pigeon Forge, there are over 50,000 gallons of water that make up this aqua adventure including slides, water sports, hot tubs and saunas.
One of the thrills of golfing is being able to play on courses all across the country as you travel. Much like scuba diving or snow skiing, golf enthusiasts love to tell the tales of the courses they've conquered. Don't forget to pack your clubs when you visit the Smoky Mountains. The awe-inspiring scenery and expert design of Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course are sure to be a high point of your stay.
You can see mountains for miles, as ridge after ridge of forest bridges the interstate boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world renowned for its 520,000 acres of diverse plant and animal life, its preservation of the Southern Appalachian mountain culture, and the ever-changing beauty of its timeless mountains. With more than ten million people visiting annually, this is America's most visited national park.
While on your vacation in Pigeon Forge Tennessee, make sure you visit Country Tonite Theatre. This upbeat show has won numerous awards, including “International Country Music Show of the Year.” Visitors of all ages will be intrigued by the full-scale multi-million dollar theatre and the superbly talented cast who provides a little of something for everyone.
Dolly Parton is Sevier County's favorite daughter. Her life began deep in the Smoky Mountains and her humble beginnings didn't stop her from the climb to stardom that she has today. Many of her best songs echo of the hardships and love she has for this area. Dolly Parton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Nashville Star Walk. She has 25 songs that reached number one on the Billboard country charts, with 110 charted singles and 41 Top 10 albums, which is an achievement to be very proud of. This talented entertainer has also gone on to star on the silver screen in movies such as; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Straight Talk, Steel Magnolias, Nine to Five and Rhinestone. In 1999, Dolly Parton was given the highest of honors and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Yet all this success hasn't taken the small-town girl out of the talented singer. Every year, Dolly Parton returns to the city of her birth to grand marshal the DollyWood Parade that celebrates the season opening of her theme parks; DollyWood and DollyWood Splash Country.
One of the most exciting dinner shows in the country is right in the middle of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We all want good food and good entertainment when we are on vacation, and Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner & Show surely delivers! You'll be whisked gently back in time when you are greeted by beautiful southern belles at the front door.This action-packed, all ages show actually begins 50 minutes before dinner is served, so be sure to come early! You won't want to miss the Carriage Room Opening Act. These talented entertainers will be sure to get your toes tapping. There is no extra cost for this memorable experience, so go ahead and snack on peanuts or popcorn from the concession stand. Don't forget a cold drink in a boot-shaped mug. A boot-shaped mug? A great souvenir cup for the kids!.
When Fee/Henrick wanted to see clean family comedy in the family place of Pigeon Forge Tennessee, they decided to make it BIG and Tremendously Funny for All!
One of the most historical train rides with some of the best scenic views in the United States is a short 90 minute drive from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad owns and operates the line from Dillsboro to Andrews in North Carolina.
As the chilly winter wind sweeps across your face the holidays tickle your senses, calling you to join in all the upcoming fun. Hot chocolate with marshmallows, warm, toasty fires, gatherings with friends and family, and more are just around the corner. Memories of lights and decorations as well as feasts and gift giving fill your thoughts and you become anxious for all a traditional holiday season has to offer. The Smoky Mountains deliver four months of unforgettable, fun-filled sights and events for you and your family to enjoy (starting right now!) in one of its most popular festivals: Winterfest.
Mention the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and visions of majestic mountains come to mind. These mountains are filled with incredible color, crystal clear waterfalls, and mountain peaks that seem to reach the sky. Simply put, there's more beauty than you can possibly imagine. So how does a bird's eye view of those magnificent mountains sound? Believe it or not it's possible, and you don't even have to strap on a jet pack! Just grab your camera and head to Gatlinburg's Space Needle for a view you'll never forget.
If you're an animal lover then the Smoky Mountains is the place for you. Sure might expect to find bears, elk and owls that live in the wilderness, but did you know you'll also find prehistoric dinosaurs? And animals from the rainforest. Bet you can't imagine sea creatures in the mountains! It's true. You'll find all of these fascinating creatures and many more when you visit the Smokies.
High atop Ski Mountain overlooking Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is Ober Gatlinburg: the winter vacation destination within a day's drive of over 50 percent of the United States population. At Ober Gatlinburg you can find resort-style skiing with friendly certified instructors. All of the ski instructors at this Gatlinburg Attraction are trained regarding modern equipment and techniques. Visitors will feel confident knowing the ski school is a member of both the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the Swiss Ski School organization.
Most of us have a favorite Christmas memory. For some, it's decorating the tree with elaborate ornaments, tinsel and a star on top. For some it's the heartwarming smell of evergreen or cinnamon. Others might reflect on hopeful visits with Santa Claus himself or watching elated little ones open gifts on Christmas morning. Everyone is sure to look forward to the comforting tastes and smells of homemade Christmas dinners. The best memory, however, is probably one of spending time with loved ones and sharing family traditions that make memories for years to come. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy the Christmas season anytime you wanted? With a visit to The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, you can do just that.
The Smoky Mountains is a great place to visit any time of year, but when Old Man Winter covers it in a blanket of white it looks simply stunning. Not only is it a beautiful place to see, but it also offers tons of wintertime adventure. If you're the outdoorsy type, make plans to go skiing and hiking in the Smokies this winter. It just doesn't get much better than this!
Up, Up, and Away! Safer than a hot air balloon, feel as if you are flying when you board the famous Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. Experience some glorious views of The Great Smoky Mountains as you travel from the base to the top of Ski Mountain: views of birds and clouds, above beautiful trees and resort chalets, and even a scenic view of Gatlinburg, TN nestled in the valley below. There are actually two tramway that operate simultaneously with a maximum capacity of 120 people on each car. The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is open year-round, carrying rides to the popular destination Ober Gatlinburg, with activities for every season. The ski offers several slopes from beginner to advanced, and generates snowfall regularly in the absence of natural precipitation.
February is a month filled with excitement as the Smoky Mountains remember the days of the cowboy. Relive the era of the Wild West with folktales and stories as well as western music, poetry, dancing, yodeling and much more. Pull out your boots and ten-gallon hat and take a peek at what you and your family can enjoy during February.