Ladies, what is one of the things you look forward to most in the year? Hmm, we’re placing our bet on getting together with your girlfriends. After all, it’s always nice to grab lunch, catch up, and feel that sisterly love. But sometimes, it’s just not that easy. Some friends live in different cities or states, and others never seem to have the time in between raising a family, working overtime, or bonding with their partner. And as much as you love your family and the men in your life, sometimes you just need girl time, ya know?
If you’re dying to get away with the girls, plan a memorable weekend trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, boast wineries, fun attractions, shops galore, and cabin rentals with great amenities to fill your weekend with all the things girls love. Need help planning? Consider this your vacation guide to a wonderful girls’ getaway!
guest submitted photo from our 2012 photo contest
Wineries & Restaurants
If you and the girls want to grab a drink or a few bottles of wine in town, there are plenty of really nice places to try. Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Winery on Cherry Street is East Tennessee’s oldest producer of premium wines, and they’re open daily for free wine tasting. If you’re looking for something a bit more stout, the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery — most visited in the country — offers free tours, $5 tastings, and moonshine for sale.
Rocky Top Wine Trail
Want more freebies? Hit up all 5 wineries along the Rocky Top Wine Trail! Free tastings are offered at every location, and free tours are available at 3 wine cellars. Start your journey by getting a passport at your first location, then travel to the rest, sipping wine and collecting stamps along the way.
Once you have 3 stamps, a free wine glass is yours, and when you have all 5 stamps, you’ll receive another free gift! Best of all, you can split up the trail across your girls’ weekend, so you can enjoy wine tasting with your besties every day of the trip.
- Hillside Winery | 229 Collier Dr, Sevierville, TN
- Apple Barn Winery | 220 Apple Valley Rd, Sevierville, TN
- Apple Barn Cider House | 226 Apple Valley Rd, Sevierville, TN
- Mountain Valley Winery | 2174 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN
- Mill Bridge Winery | 3331 South River Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN
GNO at Ole Red
Perhaps you’re looking for a classic girls’ night out. In that case, pay a visit to Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Gatlinburg — a happening place with a 2-story bar, a live performance stage, a dance floor, and an outside terrace! It’s the perfect place for you and your gals to shake your tail feathers, try new cocktails, and sing into the night.
Their dishes are inspired by classic Southern staples and range from smoked wings to a “Nacho” Average Vegan Burger. Plus, order a specialty drink, and they’ll serve it in a take-home glass or Mason jar. Successfully livening up nightlife in the Smokies with music, drinks, and great food, Ole Red is a must-visit on your GNO!
With so many exciting wineries, bars, and distilleries to try, fuel will be the first thing on your mind. Enjoy a breakfast of champions at The Old Mill Restaurant or stop by one of the many pancake houses in the area. For lunch, chow down on country-fried pork at Mama’s Farmhouse or a Philly steak sandwich at Cherokee Grill. And kick off your midday with margaritas and Mexican food with riverside seating at No Way Jose’s Cantina in Gatlinburg!
What’s on the menu for dinner? How about a dinner show with acrobatics, music, comedy, and a hearty meal? From Dolly Parton’s Stampede to the Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show, this is southern dining at its best! For a nice sitdown dinner together, The Peddler Steakhouse, Timberwood Grill, or the Smoky Mountain Trout House are great options.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
One of the easiest and most fun things you can plan for during your girls’ weekend getaway is a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This national park — recognized as the most visited national park in the U.S. — is completely FREE to all visitors and has dozens of activities to help you relax and unwind.
When the weather is nice, roll down the windows and enjoy a pleasant afternoon drive in Cades Cove. It’s one of the most popular roads in the area and features 11 miles of mountain views, historic sites, and Smoky Mountain wildlife.
Drive the entire loop, or get out for short, daytime hikes at different points to visit the John Oliver Cabin, the Elijah Oliver Homestead, or the John Cable Grist Mill, a few of the historic 19th-century sites found in the cove. This area of the national park also contains riding stables, and guided bus tours are offered through Heritage Tours.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the 800+ miles of hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous in the national park. No matter how long your hike, be sure to bring bottled water and a few snacks to stay hydrated and keep your energy up. Want to catch a glimpse of wildlife? Lace-up your hiking boots for the early morning or evening hours when animals prefer to forage and roam.
You can also join A Walk in the Woods for a guided hike and tour, taking you through ancient Smoky Mountain forests to cascading waterfalls and even down hidden trails.
Other Outdoor Activities
If hiking doesn’t sound relaxing during your Smoky Mountain stay, why not try fishing or birdwatching, or wildlife viewing instead? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also a great place for an afternoon picnic beside a cool mountain stream. You can relax by the water and spend time with the people you love. Who knows, maybe a lazy afternoon with nothing to do and nowhere to be is exactly the rejuvenating experience you and your girlfriends need most?
Fun Attractions in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge
Laughing for hours on end, chatting about new work opportunities, reminiscing about the past…with your gal pals around, boredom is always at bay. Keep the party going on your girls’ weekend in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with fun attractions in town. From roller coasters and indoor skydiving to a botanical garden and an award-winning aquarium, there’s something for every lady in your group!
An aerial adventure park filled with Smoky Mountain charm, Anakeesta is a top choice for your girls’ weekend in Gatlinburg. Ride the Chondola or Ridge Rambler to the tippy top of Anakeesta Mountain and shop around Firefly Village for sweets, souvenirs, and good eats. The park also features plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained for the whole day.
- Treetop Skywalk — stroll 40-60 feet above the forest floor.
- Duel Zipline Adventure — race your best gal pal to the other end.
- Vista Gardens — explore the senses in this experiential garden.
- AnaVista Tower — enjoy 360 mountain views after 78 steps to the observation platform.
- Rail Runner — zoom to the bottom of the mountain aboard this mountain coaster.
Filled to the brim with fun rides, Southern music, local crafts, and events throughout the year, Dollywood (another Dolly Parton attraction) is a popular theme park for all ages in Pigeon Forge. Bring your girlfriends to zoom on roller coasters, watch live performances, check out the many country chic shops, view an eagle enclosure, snack on fried treats and homemade candies, explore mini-museums, ride the Dollywood Express, and grab matching souvenirs. It’s an awesome park to play, laugh, and spend time together all day.
Flyaway Indoor Skydiving
Be ready for action at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving — where the power to fly isn’t just a fantasy. With the safety of a wind tunnel, you’ll show gravity who’s boss! It’s a fun way to spend time with your gal pals in Pigeon Forge and conquer flight while you’re at it. And for a bird’s-eye view of the landscape, go for the real thing at Skydive Smoky Mountains or sit back and relax on a scenic helicopter tour.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
A favorite place to visit in Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies houses over 10,000 exotic sea creatures, features multiple levels of viewing opportunities and offers many ways to interact with the animals. Play with penguins, splash with rays, see sharks from a glass-bottom boat, and pet moon jellies and horseshoe crabs.
This is the perfect place for your group of girls to spend a few quiet hours talking and browsing. Want a sneak peek of Penguin Playhouse? Check out the live penguin cam between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
The Escape Game
Challenge your girlfriends to beat the clock at The Escape Game. You’ll need to work together and put your friendships to the test to claim victory over any of the 5 rooms. Carefully designed to keep you engaged and entertained, these heart-pumping games must be complete within 60 minutes to win.
- Prison Break — figure out a way to escape from behind bars.
- The Heist — solve an art thief mystery before you’re put in the slammer.
- Mission: Mars — fix your spaceship and return to earth before it’s too late.
- Gold Rush — find Clyde’s gold before the mob does.
- Classified — stop an international threat just in time.
What’s it like to escape prison? See for yourself!
Titanic Museum Attraction
At the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum Attraction, you and your girls can experience being a Titanic passenger, touch an iceberg, and get photographed on the iconic staircase. You can see what it’s like to stand on a sloping deck, sit in a lifeboat from that time period, feel 28-degree water, and send an SOS signal. There are also 400+ artifacts along a self-guided tour.
Amidst all the downtown attractions awaits a shopper’s paradise, perfect for your girls’ trip in the Smokies. Spend a little time — or a lot — in the local shops for top-notch goods and high-quality services. No matter what their interests, your girlfriends can definitely find some shops to suit their tastes in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
While you can shop until you drop at classic stores in outlet malls, like the Pigeon Forge Factory and Tanger in Sevierville, you certainly won’t want to miss out on a ton of great boutique and specialty shops along the Parkways. Whether your gal pals love the great outdoors, antiques, pottery, art, or designer brands, together you’ll be able to fill an entire day checking out what these cities have to offer.
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
Find one-of-a-kind items in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community — the largest group of independent artisans in the nation. It’s located around a historic 8-mile loop designated the Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail, just a few miles from downtown Gatlinburg.
Be sure to pop in a few of the crafty community shops (some listed below) for a chance to watch local artisans at work and buy your favorite pieces to take home! There are also tempting eateries and sweet shops to keep you going while you shop with your best friends.
- Alewine Pottery
- Firefly Glass Studio
- Good Natured Gifts
- Holly & Willow Pet Barn
- Lorelei Candles
- Misty Mountain Soap Company
- Ownby’s Woodcrafts
- Ogle’s Broom Shop
- Into the West Leather
- Licklog Hollow Baskets
- Smoky Mountain Dulcimers
- Sparky’s Glassblowing
- Jim Gray Gallery
- Dinwoodie Metal Sculptors
- Holloway’s Country Home
- Fox & Parrot Tavern
- Gatlinburg Grind Coffee & Bakery
Group retail therapy is more than achieved when you stroll and browse 40+ experiential retail stores of all sorts at The Island in Pigeon Forge. With so much variety, there are shops for almost every taste in your group of girlfriends.
Find homemade candies, wine samples, fresh cookies, clothes, accessories, home decor, magic tricks, health items, pop culture merch, monogrammed goods, cigars, classic Smoky Mountain souvenirs, and oh-so-much more. Heck, they even have an entire store dedicated to gourmet popcorn!
Plus, there are rides, games, live music, a fountain sitting area, events throughout the year, and scrumptious eateries to make the most of a full day at The Island together.
If atmosphere is what you’re after, then The Village Shops is the perfect place to window shop, pick up a few souvenirs, walk around, and sip coffee in a European setting in the mountains. There are 27 charming stores and eateries at The Village that each offer something unique.
Grab hiking gear, cooking spices and oils, homemade candles and soaps, fine shoes, cooky socks, Celtic goods, hand-thrown pottery, local honey, wall clocks, Russian dolls, tumblers, moccasins, herbal teas, Christian items, puzzles, personalized trinkets, paintings…and that’s just the start!
Not to mention, you’ll find fresh donuts to go with gourmet coffee, hand-dipped ice cream from the old-fashioned soda shop, and a beautiful fountain in the center of the complex to make your time here with your gals even more pleasant.
There’s no need to plan for an extravagant adventure to have a good time during your weekend getaway with the girls. In fact, when you stay in a Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg cabin rental with Cabins for YOU, there are multiple ways to relax and have a great time without even leaving the cabin.
Start off your girlfriends’ getaway by driving up to a picturesque chalet in the peaceful Smoky Mountains. For dinner, order delivery or prep and serve a homemade meal in the full kitchen, complete with coffee and dessert. Unwind in the outdoor hot tub with your besties for a while before watching a romantic comedy, drama, or thriller on the projector screen in the home theater. Afterward, host a PJ party with wine, treats, manicures, pedicures, and gossip in the cozy living space.
When everyone says goodnight, head to your private suite for a spa bath in the jetted tub — add a rose or lavender bath bomb for a touch of luxury. As sweet scents fill the air and soft instrumental melodies play, focus on the dancing candlelight and let your mind drift into a realm of complete relaxation. Before heading to the king-size bed, drink a cup of hot herbal tea with a romance novel by the warm fireplace.
Amenities with Cabins for YOU
Most of our cabins come with a favorite amenity that is sure to help you unwind: an outdoor hot tub! Our cabins also come with the comforts of home like high-speed Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs, dining room tables, and full-size kitchens. Other amenities that come with our Smoky Mountain cabins include game tables (like pool, air hockey, and foosball), indoor jetted tubs, private indoor pools, and home theaters. We also offer a mix of budget-friendly, pet-friendly, luxury, and large group cabin rentals.
- Private indoor pool (some with spa areas and waterfalls)
- Outdoor hot tub
- Indoor jetted tubs
- Community pool access (indoors and outdoors)
- Theater room
- Rec room with games
- Gas/wood burning/electric fireplaces
- Big-screen TVs
- TV in every bedroom
- King/queen beds
- High-speed Wi-Fi
- Washer and dryer
- Rocking chairs
- Porch swing
- Charcoal/gas grill
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Mountain, river, wooded, or city views
Gift Baskets & Cabin Extras
Cabins for YOU has a variety of gift baskets and thoughtful gifts available to preorder for your girls’ weekend in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. When you book the weekend for you and your best girlfriends, your mom and sister, or you and your daughters, opt for in-cabin add-ons to make the girls’ getaway extra special. These little extras go a long way in showing how much you care. We even have gift certificates for future stays if you want to surprise them for a birthday, holiday, or just because!
- Java Time Basket — for your coffee-loving girlfriend
- Spirit of the Smokies Basket — filled with cultural items and treats
- Just for Her Basket — bathtime goodies galore!
- Wildflower Bouquet — a sweet gesture to any woman in your life
- In-cabin Chef — to prepare a multi-course meal for your group
You deserve a chance to relax and rejuvenate with your best gal pals, whether that’s with family members or a group of friends. Take the opportunity to make girls’ weekend happen by calling Cabins for YOU at 1.800.684.7865 and planning your memorable getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains today!