TOP FIVE REASONS TO VISIT GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE
The seasons have shifted. I can feel it in the air. The sky is a crisper shade of blue, the sun, not so hot, and the kids are all back in school. Autumn has settled upon us and October is just around the corner. Now is a good time to head up to the mountains, and what better place than that little resort town nestled against the Great Smoky Mountains: Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Here are our top 5 reasons to check out this little Tennessee gem:
- To take a walk in the woods. Sure it’s the new Robert Redford movie from Bill Bryson’s Appalachian Trail Tale, but you don’t have to see the movie to venture into the woods. Yeah, you can walk anywhere, but the town of Gatlinburg is smack up against the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and why just walk anywhere when you can walk in one of the most scenic places in the United States? Start on the Gatlinburg Trail that leads from town to the Sugarlands Visitor Center (1.9 miles). It follows alongside a cool creek too! Oh yeah, then check out that Robert Redford movie and compare notes!
- To soar to new heights. Take the Sky Lift 1,800 feet up Crockett Mountain for the best areal view of Gatlinburg. You can always wait until the sunsets and try at night ride too (or do both!) Gatlinburg Sky Lift is right on the main road through the town at 765 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.
- To hunt for bears. You don’t need to bring any weapons on this hunt; bears abound in the town of Gatlinburg, though most are hand carved by local artisans. If you had your fill of the motionless set, you can always head to Cades Cove for a chance glimpse at the real deal.
- To chill out next to a river. Gatlinburg has several hotels literally hanging over the streams. There is nothing quite as calming as putting your feet outside on the balcony and listening to the babbling brook below.
- To eat pancakes. How can you not? There’s a pancake house on every street corner, or so it seems. Southern Living Magazine touted this side of the Smokies as the “Top Destination for Pancakes.” And you can understand why: nice and fluffy hot cakes with fruity toppings and that whipped cream- who doesn’t love whipped cream? You can not leave Gatlinburg without trying a pancake breakfast- seriously.
Aside from the top 5, Gatlinburg is just a great all around place for family fun, from wandering the main parkway to exploring the side streets, checking out the amusements, trying the homemade fudge and shopping.