Gatlinburg TN Area Information

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ten Activities For Teens

When preparing for your family outing to the Smoky Mountains, you may be stuck as to what activities there are in the area for your teenagers to enjoy. Teens are notorious for their picky tastes and too-hard-to-please attitudes, so you may be sweating over this issue. Never fear though – Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg TN abound with sites for the whole family, and that includes your adolescents! Here are ten teen friendly areas in the region:

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum – This museum is the one that spawned the popular TV show, so you can be sure that it will be packed with exhibits that range from interesting, to informative, to just plain weird. This spot is sure to get your teenager actively engaged.

Gatlinburg Space Needle – It would be hard not to get excited about a nearly 400-foot ride strait up, culminating in a panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains. If for some reason that's not enough, though, this site also offers laser tag, an arcade, and many more amusement park-like activities.

Rafting In The Smokies – This experience-optional, professionally guided rafting experience will feel more like a full-blown adventure every minute. This company sets the standard for rafting in the East Tennessee area, and letting them guide you down the rapids will ensure that everyone in your family has a fine time.

Smoky Mountain Riding Stables – Yet another perfect activity for your teen! A horseback ride up the mountain trails of the region is sure to instill an appreciation for the Smoky Mountains into your family!

Zip Gatlinburg – Enjoy this unique Gatlinburg attraction. Imagine soaring over the Smokies and Gatlinburg TN.

Nascar SpeedPark – A full-throttle family activity! This attraction offers not only go-cart action, but also sports a climbing wall, bumper boats, mini-golf, and other family-oriented rides. This is perfect for your thrill-seeking teens!

Scenic Helicopter Tours – A breath-taking tour of the Smoky Mountain area from the skies above. This will ensure that your teen will have seen the area in a whole new light.

Off Road Voyages – Take a ride through the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg TN like never before.

The Track – The combined excitement of go-carts, a bungee jumping tower, the sky flyer, and much more make this a one-stop shop for any thrill-seeking family.

Ripley's Aquarium – This is a site unlike any other in the area, offering not just a large collection of marine life, but also many exhibits that focus on the running of the aquarium itself. Your teen is sure to be spellbound by how much there is to see (just don't tell them that it's educational as well)!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Winter Tunes and Tales

If you'll be in Gatlinburg any weekend between November 27 and December 20 you're in for a treat. For eight nights you will be greeted by elves from the Land of Elfdom. On Friday and Saturdays approximately 20 characters from the Land of Elfdom take to the streets to entertain those who are walking along the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg TN.

This event is a part of the Gatlinburg Tunes and Tales annual event. DeWayne Kirchner has created these characters for all to enjoy for the Winter Tunes and Tales festival. The elves all hale from different towns located in the Land of Elfdom. If you get the chance to see these characters downtown you'll be entertained by there unique stories, dances, songs, etc. that tell of life in their towns. You'll hear stories of Cinnamon City, Jolly Town, Gum Drop Lake and other fairytale lands. You'll meet characters such as Jilly Bean, the Mayor Wally Nutt, Holly Berry and others who have exciting stories to share.

Gather around to hear their stories, share the songs and perform dances for you. Young children will love these characters! Their stories are unique and you won't find them anywhere other than Gatlinburg. The performances are free so enjoy this event brought to you by the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Attractions for Kids

Picture the scenario: you're planning your long-awaited vacation to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. You've finished the packing, made arrangements for the pets, ensured that everything around the house is in order, when suddenly it dawns on you – what are the kids going to do?! While vacations are generally escapes from the stressors and agitations of everyday life, accommodating your children, particularly those young kids ten and under, can be a trying task on its own. Because of this, it always helps to gain some insight into some kid-friendly sites in the area. Below are just a few of the locations in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area that can ensure entertainment (some of which can even be educational) for your little ones.

The Gatlinburg Space Needle – Features a 400 foot glass elevator ride, laser tag, an arcade, and more

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Aquarium – Over 10,000 creatures from 350 different individual species, along with many other activities

The Christmas Place – A Christmas village filled with all the wonders of the season

Dixie Stampede – A dinner and show combination featuring a four-course meal with live animals and a light show

Gatlinburg Sky Lift – The number one scenic overlook of the area

The Comedy Barn Theater – A comedy variety show that has something for all age groups

Hillbilly Golf – A non-strenuous mini-golf course that is perfect for younger children

Dollywood – The famous family friendly, downhome amusement park

These are just a few of the many locations in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area that can provide ample entertainment for younger children. As for how to escape and get some time for yourself. . .well, that's a task for another article.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gatlinburg Candy

One of the guiding principles of a good vacation is to treat yourself every once in a while (or more, if the desire strikes you). So, after a long day of exploring the various sights and sounds of Gatlinburg, you might be wondering where to go to reward yourself for time well spent. If your belly is growling and your sweet tooth is calling, then you should definitely shift your focus to one of the city's many candy and sweets shops. These are especially nice locations for you to take your younger children to, and it will help them remember your family vacation for a long time to come. Also, the fact that many of the stores in the area feature homemade treats will ensure that you are getting an authentic taste of Gatlinburg!

To start your sweet shop excursion, you might try Aunt Mahalia's Candies, the oldest candy store in the area. For over fifty years (since 1939 to be exact) this location has been providing chocolate, taffy, fudge, various pecan-based candies, crunchy brittle, fruit jellies, and other assorted treats to its patrons. The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen is another well-known and much-loved candy store of the city. Here you can get taffy, caramel apples, hand-dipped chocolate, and more made right before your eyes! This will definitely be a sight to remember for you and your family.

Looking for a specific kind of treat? Then you should turn to one of Gatlinburg's specialty sweet shops. If fudge is your sweet tooth's weakness of choice, then it is definitely recommended to check The Fudgery. This location revolutionized the fudge-making process back in 1980, and the Gatlinburg store is ready to treat you with the fruits of the shop's labor. If you're a popcorn fan, then how about exploring the Karmelkorn Shoppe for a wide variety of gourmet popcorn types?

Whether you're enjoying one of these fine treats yourself or just looking for something your children will love, let one of Gatlinburg's fine candy shops be your one-stop shop for pleasure. After all, part of the fun of a vacation is treating yourself, right? These shops can certainly help you achieve that goal!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cabin Description

In the vacation or travel industry, all owners understand the same terms. Sometimes, through no fault of their own, guests get lost in the vacation cabin rental lingo. And in all fairness, there can be reasonable confusion between private and secluded, or wooded view and mountain view, and maybe even maybe Jacuzzi Tub and Hot Tub. This can be especially true for the Gatlinburg TN industry.

The reason for some many terms is to help distinguish between so many different cabins. If a rental company manages 100 properties it can be very difficult to separate cabins for marketing purposes. Thus, the advent of many separate terms.

These terms can be somewhat tricky from company to company depending on their definitions. So at all cost, remember question are your friend. As for Cabins For You, the definitions for a few terms are going to be listed below.
  1. Private vs Secluded - No, not all cabins can easily fall into either of these categories. Obviously, if a cabin is in a resort it is not going to be either. With that said, we label cabins "private" because guests should feel comfortable on the decks of cabins. This does not mean that cabins are not next door or around, this just means that the owner might have added a few extras to insure privacy. This can be done easily through landscaping or lattice walls. "Secluded" cabins can attain this label because of a few things. From the deck you will not be able to see other cabins, the cabin is not physically near any cabins, or both. Very few cabins will fall totally within in the "secluded" category.
  2. Wooded View or Mountain View - "Mountain view" cabins are typically cabins that have unobstructed, long range mountain views. This does not mean that "wooded view" cabins have no mountain view. Rather, it might be obstructed by trees/shubbery or only visible during winter months.
  3. Internet vs Wireless - All wireless connections are internet connections, but not all internet connections are wireless. For a cabin to be wireless, it must state specifically that it is wireless.
  4. Jacuzzi Tub vs Hot Tub - For the most part, hot tubs are located outside on the deck and Jacuzzi Tubs are in the cabin. A popular place for Jacuzzi Tubs is the master bedrooms. All hot tubs are outside unless specifically stated on the cabin page.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dog Friendly Ideas

The "pet friendly" industry has greatly increased across Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Tennessee. This is partly because cabin owners are trying to monetize their income but it is mainly because dog owners are demanding the option to bring their pets. With the increase of furry visitors comes the increase of activities that allow pets.

With that said, most dog owners are not aware of dog friendly activities in Gatlinburg TN. Listed below are several activities in Gatlinburg that are dog friendly.
  1. Downtown Gatlinburg - Almost everyone who visits Gatlinburg makes one or two trips to the Parkway to enjoy strolling along the sidewalks and window shopping. Most individuals are probably aware of this, but dogs are allowed to enjoy this activity with their owners. Some stores might let dogs inside, but most probably don't allow dogs. However, they can still enjoy some nice fresh air and a walk on the Parkway.
  2. Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Despite the 800 miles of hiking trails in the National Park, dogs are only allowed on two trails. The first trail is the Gatlinburg Trail. The Gatlinburg Trail starts at the edge of town and follows to the Sugarland Visitor Center. This trail follows a stream which creates a great playground for dogs who love the water. The next trail is the Oconaluftee River Trail. This trail goes from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to just outside of Cherokee NC. Please keep in mind that your dog must be on a lease and well behaved. Also, make sure you clean up after them.
  3. Gatlinburg Sky Lift - I have never experienced this and not sure how it would work out if I did, but I hear that the Gatlinburg Sky Lift offers dogs a ride to the top of the mountain with their owners.

Like anything else you do with your pets, please follow all rules and regulations regarding pets. Observe leash laws and clean up after your furry buddies.