Whether it be a birthday, anniversary, or some other special event, the Great Smoky Mountains are an amazing place to celebrate. Timothy and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary in the Smoky Mountains and it was wonderful. We found a fantastic condo on VRBO, lucked out with gorgeous weather, and were able to relaaaax. If you’re spending some time in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area…
Unplug and Take a Hike
Spend some time in nature and away from the distractions of technology. Gatlinburg has many places to hike at varying levels of difficulty. Whether you just want to spend a couple hours or all day exploring the Smokies, there are many trails to choose from! If you are looking to spend a couple hours on the trail, we recommend that you check out Grotto Falls. Grotto Falls is rated moderated in difficulty and is approximately 3 miles roundtrip. At the end of the trail, you are rewarded with a beautiful water fall. On our drive up to the parking area, we passed a baby bear climbing up a tree!
Be A Kid Again
If you are looking for amazing views and a day of fun, plan to visit Ober Gatlinburg. Ober Gatlinburg has something for everyone. In order to get to Ober Gatlinburg, you can either drive or ride the aerial tramway up the mountain for spectacular views ($13 per person). Timothy and I rode the aerial tramway and then ate lunch at Seasons of Ober which has stunning views of the mountains and great food. After lunch, we walked around the amusement park, popped in some of the shops, and rode the scenic chairlift to the top of Mt. Harrison ($7 per person). The views at the top of the chairlift were gorgeous and we enjoyed the band that was playing as well. Have I mentioned that there are great views?!
If you’re looking to laugh, check out the Comedy Barn which boasts of clean comedy for the whole family. I admit, I went into this one skeptically but was won over and ended up laughing… a lot. The Comedy Barn is a variety show with many different comedic acts such as stand up comedians, juggling, live country music, and more. There is a lot of crowd participation in the show which resulted in Timothy being pulled up on stage and me laughing really, really hard. They say laughter is the best medicine, so go laugh together and have a good time!
Enjoy New Dining Experiences
We always love getting to eat at new places while on vacation. Timothy and I enjoyed several fantastic restaurants during our trip like the Applewood Farmhouse Grill, The Old Mill Restaurant, and the Timberwood Grill. Each of these restaurants are in great locations so we were able to walk around and check out the surrounding area after dinner each night. The Applewood Farmhouse Grill is at the Apple Barn which has shops, an ice cream parlor and more. We came home with lots of yummy apple confections such as donuts, fried apple pies, apple butter, etc. The Old Mill is also a perfect area to walk around, take pictures, and check out the shops while you wait for your table or after your meal. There are demonstrations you can watch in many of the shops such as candy making, pottery making, and more. Consider yourself warned that the portions here are seriously ginormous. You can easily split a meal and order an extra set of sides. Each meal comes with corn fritters, corn chowder, and biscuits in addition your meal. The Timberwood Grill is located inside The Island which has shopping and entertainment galore. [For more information on The Island, check out my previous post.]
I hope this helps you plan your Great Smoky Mountains getaway! Take some time to unplug, laugh together, enjoy amazing food, and most importantly, spend quality time together!
Money Saving Tip: There are coupon books everywhere in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Pick up a couple and take advantage of being able to save a few dollars throughout your trip. For example, we were able to get discounted Comedy Barn Tickets, Aerial Tramway tickets for Ober Gatlinburg, and discounts at several stores.