With few days of respite from the blazing heat this summer, planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains to enjoy the soon blazing colors of fall is a great way to get ready for the cooler days ahead. The intoxicating blend of red, orange and yellow leaves is the perfect backdrop for a fun family hike or a romantic stroll through one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Although the most vibrant colors will appear from mid-October to early November, visitors can soak in the scenery for about seven full weeks, beginning around September 14.
One of our family’s favorite possessions is our family sign. We purchased our first wood sign not long after we married, and in a matter of five years four more little wooden signs hung under ours with the name of each sweet son and darling daughter.
I have always enjoyed the artisan shops in Gatlinburg. The beautiful pottery, jewelry, handmade soap; I could go on and on. But I must confess, from the time I was a teenager, I have found several of the other shops… well, lacking. One of the areas I had found lacking in particular was the jewelry shops.
If you’ve visited Gatlinburg in the summertime, you know how chaotic the downtown Parkway can be. With hundreds of unique stores, shops, and restaurants, thousands of visitors flood the sidewalks and crosswalks as they explore Gatlinburg for surprising deals and great finds. The number of visitors is further complicated by the steady stream of traffic headed through the Parkway, cars full of excited tourists slowing down to scope out their next dinner or shopping destination.
Visitors that come to Gatlinburg often ask themselves – what will I do? After you spend a few days exploring downtown, experiencing the attractions and taking in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you may be craving a bit of routine, a lot fun and maybe a little exercise. The Gatlinburg Community Center is an all-purpose activity center that is open to anyone who wishes to visit. Offering tennis, Frisbee golf, swimming, a skate park, exercise classes and more, this 52,000 square foot facility is a great place to escape the heat and break up your vacation routine. Continue reading
If you are looking for all of the selections of a mall, without any of the same old cookie-cutter stores, you must visit Baskins Square Mall. You will find this cute little mall right in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It is located between traffic lights 6 & 7. Here, this treasure of specialty shops is like a haven from the busy going and coming of the parkway. These restaurants and shops are waiting to feed your longing for eclectic flare. Here are a few of the shops you will find here:
If you’ve visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, chances are that you’ve visited Cades Cove. Drawing in nearly two million visitors per year, the area attracts more guests than any other location in the National Park. The 6800 acre valley is pristine, isolated, and seemingly untouched by humans – a perfect place to get in touch with an undisturbed side of nature. Guests who visit Cades Cove enjoy exploring all that it has to offer; the preserved ancient homesteads, breathtaking mountain views and plentiful wildlife keep visitors coming back for more. An 11-mile, one way loop circles the cove, offering motorists, bicyclists and hikers the opportunity to take in the beautiful sights at their own pace.
There’s no place in the world quite like Gatlinburg when it comes to fun family vacations. While other vacation towns only offer adult entertainment, such as dining and theaters, Gatlinburg is home to a wide array of activities that are kid-friendly and fun for you as well! Bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg offers a variety of exciting outdoor activities, such as whitewater rafting and zip lining. In addition, the area is packed with entertainment and attractions that are fun for the whole family. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, Gatlinburg is guaranteed to leave your family happy, satisfied and ready to plan your next trip!
The word “Free” is always an eye catcher, and I plan to indulge some information on free things to do in Gatlinburg since you were probably drawn here by my clever word choice. With that being said the reality is that nothing is ever really free; however, I know of some virtually free things you and your fellow vacationers can partake in while visiting.
Since Gatlinburg is nestled right in the Great Smoky Mountains it should be obvious that you are sharing this beautiful region with a plethora of animal life. I’ve heard so many families talk about the adults and children alike keeping their eyes peeled for a bear sighting. Visitors may be curious as to where the most likely places are to encounter these animals in safe, controlled environments. While proper safety precautions should always be taken into consideration when approaching the wildlife of the area, there are a few spots, both controlled and open, around the city where bear and other animals can be encountered.