A Mother’s Day for the Books: 10 Unique Ideas

You can always get her a gift for Mother’s Day. This year, why not give her an experience? A relaxing stay in one of our Smoky Mountain rentals is something she’ll remember for a lifetime, and while you’re in town this May, check out these 10 ideas for unique Smoky Mountain fun:

  1. A day on the Arts & Crafts Trail. Not all trails in the Smoky Mountains take you through the woods. In Gatlinburg, you’ll find the historic 8-mile loop known, designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. Featuring the largest group of independent artisans in North America, this craft trail will be the highlight of her Smoky Mountain getaway as you check out handmade jewelry, ceramics, baskets, quilts, pottery, and so much more.
  2. Tea time at the Wild Plum. While you’re in the Arts & Crafts district, make a stop for lunch at the Wild Plum Tea Room on Buckhorn Road. Open 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, this Austrian-style tea house features a fresh, homemade lunch menu with seafood specials, sandwiches, chicken salad, soups, salads, and more. And don’t forget to order her a glass of their Wild Plum Tea!
  3. A day at Pigeon Forge’s The Island. With so many things to do, The Island in Pigeon Forge is your one-stop attraction this Mother’s Day for good food and fun. We recommend taking her to Paul Deen’s Family Kitchen for a down-home Southern meal the way her own mama used to make it, and then letting her shop at the more than 35 retail and specialty shops onsite. Close out the day with a memorable ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, which overlooks the city and The Island’s spectacular show fountain.
  4. Fudge tasting at Ober Gatlinburg. Don’t let the ski lift fool you—Ober Gatlinburg is so much more than a snow & ski resort! This May, instead of the hitting the slopes, hit the The Fudge Shop for a sweet treat that’s also a Smoky Mountain staple. Or take her shopping on the mountain for some unique Smoky Mountain souvenirs. Ober Gatlinburg also features an aerial tramway, year-round ice skating, and a scenic chairlift. Plan your visit around the activities you know she’ll love!
  5. Bird watching in the national park. She may not be a hiker or a cycler, but that’s okay. There are so many ways to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains, including an afternoon of bird watching. Pack a picnic, find a perfect spot in the national park, and spend the day searching for the more than 200 different species that call these mountains home.
  6. A stroll through Parrot Mountain. If she likes flowers, tropical birds, and Thomas Kinkade, or if she’s always wanted to visit a stone-walled garden in Ireland, then she’ll love Parrot Mountain & Gardens in Pigeon Forge! This tropical oasis in the Smoky Mountains is truly unique, offering a secret garden with Toucans and Magpies, an English-style cottage gift shop, and a deli-style lunch spot that overlooks the Smokies. You can even purchase a newly hatched parrot from their nursery—now that’s a Mother’s Day gift you won’t find anywhere else!
  7. Shopping at Gatlinburg’s The Village. So if she’s like many moms, she loves to shop. And if she loves to shop, you have to bring her to The Village in Gatlinburg! This unique collection of shops can be found on the Parkway and was designed to look like a European village. With brick pathways and beautiful landscaping, The Village is as pretty to look at as it is fun to explore. Check out over 25 shops and small eateries, including The Donut Friar, Alewine Pottery, and Pepper Place.
  8. A ride on a hot air balloon. You can hike to the top of a mountain. You can travel to Clingmans Dome. But these views won’t hold a candle to what you’ll find at Smoky Mountain Balloon Adventures out of Dandridge, Tennessee! Your mom will love this unforgettable way of seeing the Smokies. Ask about their sunrise or sunset flights, and be sure to set aside at least 3 hours for entire ballooning experience.
  9. A Wild West Supper at Waldens Creek. If you plan your hot air balloon ride for the morning, then you’ll have plenty of time for a Wild West Supper Show that night. So head to Waldens Creek Stables in Sevierville for a finger-lickin’ good time! Your mom will love the menu—good ole BBQ pulled pork, cowboy baked beans, buttery corn, homestyle green beans, chips, and bonfire roasted marshmallows. And everyone will love the best cowboy show in town!
  10. A night out at the Smoky Mountain Opry. We know, we know, cowboy shows aren’t for everyone. No worries —the Smokies are home to plenty of other options, including the area’s largest and most attended musical variety show at the Smoky Mountain Opry! With everything from Big Band Swing to today’s top country hits, this show features some of the area’s most talented singers, dancers, comedians, and musicians for a night of Pigeon Forge fun she’ll never forget!

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