Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Events in Gatlinburg, Events in Pigeon Forge, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

Flying Through the Trees

Man zip lining through the woodsThis past week I was given the opportunity to visit, the #1 zipline and canopy tour company in the Smokies, Climbworks Canopy Tours. It was a very exhilarating and adrenaline filled afternoon. It was also very educational. The guides were very knowledgeable about the ecosystem and the effect that a canopy tour can have on the trees. From the very beginning of the 2 1/2 hour tour, I encountered some of the most incredible views of The Smokies that I have ever seen.

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Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains

The Colors of Spring

Yellow and red cars at a car showThe colors of spring, in Pigeon Forge, TN, can be quite dramatic. There is ,of course, all of the blooming flowers, plants and, trees. But, on the weekend of April 19th there is The Spring Rod Run which, brings every size, shape and, color of vehicle imaginable. If the engine roars and the tires squeal, then, you can find it here.

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Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Events in Gatlinburg, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

2013 Wilderness Wildlife Week

Coming to Pigeon Forge, the week of January 7-14, is the 23rd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week.  This is a very informative event full of exhibits, guided hikes, workshops and even some bus tours. This is a great opportunity for the novice hiker or the most experienced to learn more about every aspect of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Events in Gatlinburg, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

Some Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Restaurants Open Christmas Day

If You and Your family are going to be staying in The Smokies over Christmas and would like to eat out, Your options will be limited on Christmas Day and Evening. You will definitely want to make plans ahead of time. Lots of our area restaurants choose to close for Christmas Day and Night but, there are a few that will be open. Calhoun’s Restaurants will be open and taking call ahead seating about 2 weeks prior to Christmas. Calhoun’s Smoky Mountain Brewery will also be open but, will be 1st come 1st serve. The Cherokee Grill will also be open for dinner Christmas night. Call ahead that day will be available. For more options check with The Gatlinburg Dept. of Tourism or Pigeon Forge Info Center. Of course you can always cook a full meal in the fully equipped kitchen of your Smoky Mountain Cabin.

Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Events in Gatlinburg, Family reunions in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

Snow Tubing Open in Gatlinburg Now!!!

Yes, here in Gatlinburg, Tn we have snow tubing in mid November. It’s not yet even Thanksgiving Day and Ober Gatlinburg, along with a little help from mother nature, has its tubing runs all ready to go.

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Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Events in Gatlinburg, Family reunions in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains

The 37th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

As a 40 year old Gatlinburg native, this parade is special to me. I can remember as a small child standing on the sidewalk of my hometown watching what I thought to be the most wondrous and dazzling display. I remember the firetrucks slowly moving their way along the Parkway of Downtown Gatlinburg with the fireman throwing out hand fulls of candy left and right. The late 70’s era Christmas decor and lights hanging from all of the buildings and light poles. My sisters coming down the street twirling their batons the best that they could. Then at the end of the parade came the most exciting sight that a 6 year old boy could imagine, Santa Claus on his Sleigh with all of his elves. A couple of years later I was fortunate enough to be a participant in this parade for the 1st time when my youth league football team was ask if we would like to ride on one of the firetrucks in the parade. Would we? Of course we did. Riding on a firetruck in a parade with Santa Claus, what else could thrill an 8 year old boy more. Well 30 years later the parade has grown and become more than just a small town parade. With over 1 dozen marching bands from different states to large helium balloons and Millions of dollars of upgrades in Christmas lighting and decorations. This has become a yearly tradition for families from all around. My little girl turned 5 this summer and this will be the 1st of many Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parades that I will enjoy with my daughter. Why not come and join us? The parade is on Friday, Dec. 7th at 7:30 pm.

Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Events in Gatlinburg, Family reunions in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

Coming Soon: Intense Fall Colors

Of all the different reasons there are to visit the The Smokies throughout the year, there is one that stands out among all others, fall foliage season. Every species of tree that grows from Northern Georgia to Maine grows somewhere here in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That makes for a very diverse and vibrant foliage season. Bright yellow, orange, red, purple and, some lingering green colorings make for one of natures most spectacular shows. Book your Gatlinburg, TN or Pigeon Forge, TN cabin soon. With this show coming soon cabins are going quick.

Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Family reunions in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

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.

Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, 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.