Many Ways to Relax While in The Smokies

While on vacation in The Smokies there are numerous ways to relax and forget about the everyday grind that you have left behind at home. For the outdoorsman there are miles of streams and rivers to be fished, in and outside of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are hundreds of miles of maintained trails to explore the park. The streams and rivers are also great for cooling off on a hot day.

Not the outdoorsy type? Then try a day of shopping in Sevier Co. Between Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and, Sevierville there are more name brand outlet shops than any other area in the nation. After a day of shopping how about an afternoon at the spa. Gatlinburg boasts East TN’s #1 rated spa, as voted on by our local NBC affiliate viewers. About You Salon & Spa offers a variaty of wraps, facials, massages and, more. Call them at (865) 436-6601 to set up your services.

Then, of couse, there is just hanging out with family at your luxury log cabin rental. Shoot a game of pool, play some air hockey or, just relax in your private hot tub while soaking in your view of The Smokies. How ever you decide to spend your time while you visit just make sure to leave the stress at home and let The Smokies take over.

Best deal of the year at Dollywood

This week from today through August 10th, you can get the most bang for your buck at Dollywood. They have temporarily extended their hours of operation from 10am – 10pm. This in conjunction with their yearly special where you buy your ticket after 3pm one day and the same ticket is valid all day the next day means that for the price of one admission you can spend a total of 19 hrs, inside the park, in 2 days. That makes this the perfect week to get away one last time with the kids before school starts back. We have cabins available now close to Dollywood. So, come on and see us this week for some R&R in one of our luxury cabins and let the kids enjoy all the rides and entertainment at Dollywood. After 19 hrs of fun at Dollywood you will then definitely be ready for an evening soak in your cabin’s private hot tub.

FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!

   Yes, it is that time of year again. The University of Tennessee Vols football team kicks of the 2012 season Friday August 31st against the Wolf pack of NC State in Atlanta, GA. If you can’t getaway to Atlanta to watch the game in person then come to the mountains of Tennessee and rent a luxury cabin in Gatlinburg,TN or Pigeon Forge, TN with a theatre room or large flat screens through out the home. This is the perfect way to enjoy the game with friends and family. You might also enjoy playing a game of pool or air hockey while watching the game. Make your reservations soon, kickoff is just 31 days away and that is also Labor Day Weekend so, make your reservations now. Stay the whole weekend and enjoy the largest Labor Day fireworks display in the nation, BOOMSDAY Sept. 2, 2012. This incredible display takes place in Knoxville, TN less than a 1 hr drive from the majority of our homes.

Ok, back to football. Georgia State Panther fans ya’ll come on up. After hosting Tennessee & NC State in Atlanta the weekend before, you get to come up from Atlanta to play the TN Vols on Sept. 8. Great weekend to come to the mountains for some R&R. Along with the football game in Knoxville, there will be The Shades of the Past car show in Pigeon Forge, TN. Lots of really beautiful antique cars to see. Should be some great weather for hiking and exploring in the national park, also.

Now, Sept. 15, the Florida Gators come to Knoxville. Come on Gainesville, get away from the flat lands and come visit the mountains. This game is nationally televised so, even if you can’t get tickets it would be a great time for you to leave the Florida heat behind and come cool of in The Great Smoky Mountains. You can also usually find some gator meat to eat at some of our local resteraunts that weekend:)

The final home game in September will see the Zips of Akron, lead by their head coach Terry Bowden, coming in to Neyland Stadium. Akron fans, if you have never been to a football game in Neyland Stadium, hear is your chance to experience one of the greatest college football experiences in the nation. No matter the outcome of any of these games, at the end of the day we all come away happy because, there is nothing like sitting in your private hot tub on the deck of your luxury cabin and soaking in the views of The Great Smoky Mountains.

Restaurants and Goodies of The Smokies

Whether you are looking for a steak and lobster dinner or a freshly made caramel covered apple, both of these and just about everything in between can be found in Gatlinburg, TN and Pigeon Forge, TN. Most everyone has heard of the beauty of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park but, not everyone may realize just how diverse the culinary selection in the area is. We have the traditional like The Peddler Steak House where, the steak peddler will bring out the Ribeye and New York Strip and cut it to the thickness of your choosing. While waiting on your steak to be prepared you can fill up a chilled plate from one of the best salad bars in the area or sit back and enjoy your view of the Little Pigeon River while you have a sip of wine from their extensive wine list.

Then there are pancakes, pancakes and, more pancakes. There must be 50 different pancake restaurants from exit 407 off of I-40 to the entrance to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Lots of these restaurants are very good but there is one that started the whole pancake craze. The Pancake Pantry on the parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. On any given morning you can see a line, stretched around the corner, full of people who are more than happy to wait on their table. They don’t just do pancakes either. They have waffles, crepes,omelets and, more. I have lived here 39 yrs and have never walked out of this restaurant disappointed. They also have a great lunch menu.

If you like BBQ well, there is lots of that to choose from here also. Calhoun’s which, originated on the Tennessee River in Knoxville,TN just across the street from Neyland Stadium in the early 80’s, has become a small local chain. With locations now in Gatlinburg, TN, Pigeon Forge, TN and Knoxvile, TN. Must try their ribs or fried catfish. There is also another small local chain called Bennett’s BBQ. Their pulled pork and beef brisket are both incredible.

Of course there is country cooking. The Old Mill Restaurant, in Pigeon Forge, TN, is a traditional favorite. If you don’t mind a little drive, you can try some of the best fried chicken in the south. Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant is just a 20 minute drive from Gatlinburg, TN. Carver’s Is located on a hilltop in the middle of an apple orchard. They have all around great country cooking.

There is also, a huge amount of fresh made candies, fudge, and pastries available for anyone with a sweet tooth. The Donut Fryer located in The Village, in Gatlinburg, TN, has been open and family operated for over 30 yrs. On a daily basis they are in the store before the sun comes up baking fresh donuts, pastries, cinnamon bread and, more. At the Smoky Mountain Candy Kitchen, located just around the corner from The Donut Fryer, at the entrance to the village, you can see fresh taffy, fudge, hard candies  and, more being made daily. Oh, and don’t forget a fresh made caramel covered apple or candied apple. There are many more places to find fresh candies and all kind of sweets throughout Gatlinburg, TN and Pigeon Forge, TN.

    Then definatly after a day of sampling some of these wonderful culinary treats, you will be very relaxed sitting in your rocking chair and enjoying a beautiful Smoky Mountain sunset from the deck of Your Gatlinburg, TN or Pigeon Forge, TN log cabin.

Ramsey Cascades water fall in the Smoky Mountains.
Read More

Water Falls and Swimming Holes of the Smokies

Summertime is a great time to visit the waterfalls and swimming holes of the Smokies. On average, June, July, and August have highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s. These warm and humid conditions make it the perfect time to put on your swimsuit and take a dip in the pristine waters of the Smokies! There are numerous areas inside the national park to spend the day cooling off in the 65-degree waters. That’s right, 65 degrees! On a day when the temperature is 90 and the humidity level is 90%, you won’t want to get out of the water. Check out a few of the most popular waterfalls and swimming holes in the Smokies:

Read more

Arts & Crafts of Gatlinburg andThe Great Smokies

As most seasoned Gatlinburg visitors know, the 37th Annual Gatlinburg Craftmen’s Fair is coming from July 20-29. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to attend this event it should definitely try to check it out. There are over 200 artisans from across the nation that set up booths to display and sell just about any kind of hand crafted merchandise that one can imagine. In addition to the annual Craftmen’s Fair, Gatlinburg is also home to North America’s largest group of independent artisan’s. Along a 5 mile loop, from HWY 321 to Glades Rd to Buckhorn Rd you will find all kinds of authentic Appalachian arts and crafts being created in studios and workshops. There are also show rooms and shops to browse. Gatlinburg, Tn is also home to The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. This is the oldest craft school in Tennessee. Artisans from around the world come here for classes in painting, glass blowing, photography and, more. Arrowmont also has 5 galleries to browse with art from local, national and, international artists. Then in the City of Gatlinburg it’s self there are numerous galleries and shops to browse. So, no matter what time of year you decide to visit Gatlinburg, you can always find lots of original works of Art and Craftmen’s. And as always soak in the beauty of  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the deck of your Gatlinburg rental cabin.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN PIGEON FORGE (FALL/AUTUMN 2011)

1. Dollywood
2. Titanic Museum
3. Wonderworks
4.  Ziplines
5.  Horseback Riding
6.  Outlet Shopping
7.  Walking along the Pigeon River

8.  Staying in a Log cabin rental
9.  Attending Auto Show
10. Celebrate Thanksgiving with the Family

AUTUMN IN THE SMOKIES (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

The notion that peak color season in Great Smoky Mountains National Park happens in mid-October is a misconception. The marvelous colors of autumn actually light up the Smokies for seven weeks or more as the peak elevations move down the mountainsides from the highest elevations to the foothills.Autumn in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a special time when a glorious leaf season of several weeks is enjoyed by visitors as fall colors travel down the mountainsides from the highest elevations to the foothills. The kaleidoscope of fall colors in the Smoky Mountains is magnificent and varied because of the amazing diversity of trees. Some 100 species of native trees live in the Smokies, the vast majority of which are deciduous. The timing of fall color change depends upon so many variables that the exact dates of “peak” season are impossible to predict in advance.

In the Smoky Mountains, autumn color displays above 4,000 feet start as early as mid-September with the turning of yellow birch, American beech, mountain maple, hobblebush, and pin cherry, clearly visible from such vantage points as Clingmans Dome Road.

The fall color display usually reaches peak at middle and lower elevations between mid-October and early November. This is the park’s most spectacular display as it includes such colorful trees as sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple, and the hickories. For more information about fall colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fallcolor.htm

When visiting Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you should consider reserving a vacation cabin rental in the mountains. You can take in the amazing mountain views, autumn colors, and grill out outdoors to top it off!  The Smokies offer both low (flat land) rentals and higher elevation, mountain rentals.  Make sure to book your family’s cabin early, as the Fall is an extremely popular time to visit the Smoky Mountains.

*Some Information credited to Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce

Should I Stay or Getaway? (Gatlinburg Family Vacations)

USA Today/Gallup poll recently found that more than 6 out of 10 Americans say it’s important that they get away from home this year, even if it means finding ways around high gas prices, airfares and hotel rooms to do it.  The poll indicated that Americans are prepared to pay more to get away this summer.
While some people find themselves too busy or putting off vacations, also known as “Vacation Procrastination,” this helps energy recharge and decreases stress levels of your routine life.  There are new ways to plan for vacations like doing a reverse vacation.  A reverse vacation is trying the opposite strategy of how you would normally plan or spend a vacation.  If you normally do a beach trip, why not try the mountains (ie Smoky Mountains) this year.  If you normally do a Summer vacation, why not try a winter trip to celebrate the holidays or take in the winter sports.
You may think about doing a Stay-cation, but will this help you fully release all the stress that has built up through the Season or allow the family to have the fun they deserve?  We recommend taking a weekend getaway or taking advantage of last minute specials, if you are trying to curb your financial expenses for this year’s vacation.  Furthermore, by choosing accommodations like vacation homes (ie cabin rentals or condos), you can curb “dining out” expenses by cooking your own meals at your vacation rental home.  These are all ideas to enjoy a unique vacation, while still keeping your travel budget-friendly.  Keep in mind the destination, also, when considering the most budget-friendly spots (ie Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg).

Most Popular Family Vacation Activities 2011 (Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, TN)

People only have the luxury of taking a family vacation once or twice a year, if at all, because of their busy work schedules, kids’ school, and other at-home activities.  So when they do get to visit a travel destination, it is important to outline some fun activities for the entire family to participate in and experience.  There are some dynamic new places in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg that are sure to entertain kids and adults, alike.  Let’s take a look at some of the more popular activities to engage in during a Smoky Mountain Vacation.

Ziplining:
Ziplines are popular in Europe, South America, Hawaii, and several exotic locations.  Now ziplines have become the new “in” thing to do in the Smoky Mountains.  After you’ve tried it once, you’ll see why.  Ziplines are great for family reunions, romantic dates, and teenage groups.  Looking for a bigger thrill? Super ziplines – 800-feet long and 100-feet high – are ready to rock your world.  Ride one of these and you can truly say you’ve conquered the fiercest ziplines in Tennessee.  From newlyweds to retired couples and friends to families, we get them all.  If you’re in or around Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, book your zipline canopy tour today. You’ll be talking about this unique, breathtaking adventure for years to come! Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville now have the top ziplines on the entire East Coast, so be sure to experience this exhilirating natural ride when visiting the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.
Titanic Pigeon Forge:  Each and every day, Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tn. provides a gateway to 1912, where First Class Maids and a variety of Officers and crew members bring the stories of the fabled ship and its fascinating passengers to life by retelling their stories in vivid, dramatic detail.  The priceless artifacts throughout the museum shed additional light on the lives of those passengers and crew members when guests see the actual belongings of those on board and artifacts that sailed on Titanic’s maiden voyage.  Titanic has taken Pigeon Forge by storm as the #1 Museum in the Smoky Mountains.  It’s towering “Titanic Ship” facade is sure to get your attention as you drive up towards the Mountains Southbound on the Parkway.  You will be gravitated towards the family fun that awaits you at Titanic!

Dollywood/Splash Country:  Dollywood has long been Tennessee’s #1 attraction.  However, what people don’t realize is that Dollywood has one of the top waterparks in the South in Splash Country.  Also, there are new amazing rides to enjoy at Dollywood including Adventure Mountain, Barnstormer, Skyzip, and Dollywood’s Adventure Theater.  Splash Country also offers many water rides in Pigeon Forge including Wild River Falls, The Butterfly, and Big Bear Plunge.

Gatlinburg Log Cabin Rentals & Pigeon Forge Log Cabin Rentals:  The Smoky Mountains have the most diverse inventory of log cabin vacation rentals in the United States.  Honeymooners, families, and large groups can take advantage of the beautiful mountains by reserving a mountain cabin rental in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg cabin rentals feature views of the mountains, rivers, and downtown Gatlinburg.  Pigeon Forge cabin rentals offer luxury amenities and lodging near Dollywood, outlet shopping, and the Pigeon River.  Your family will have a tremendous vacation in the Smokies where you can enjoy all the comforts of home, while taking in the beauty of this remarkable gateway to the #1 visited National Park in the Country (Great Smoky Mountains National Park).