At first, my reaction to hearing that this area was going to be our vacation spot was somewhat of a negative one, but it seems that those feelings are what made for such a grand vacation.
I had no intentions of having fun, but once we pulled into the area my eyes began to light up.
Everywhere in Pigeon Forge there is something to do. The area is actual a famous tourist area, so it contained activities for all ages which is good for family fun.
There are numerous miniature golf courses with unique designs beyond your wildest dreams, and there are custom arcades on every street.
For the bit older teens, there are plenty of go carts and adrenaline activities such as bungee-jumping, or the more famous, zip-line.
Yet, the fun doesn’t stop there. For adults, there are hundreds of world famous shows in the area that span all sorts of genres.
They have The Comedy Barn, and for the music lovers there’s the classic Memories, which includes covers of famous musicians over the years.
Next, there are amazing restaurants all over the place. We stopped and ate at Huck Finn’s where I got to try alligator poppers that were made with real alligator!
I think that most amazing part of our trip, however, is where we stayed. We had reservations at the newly opened Wilderness hotel. What makes this hotel so special is that inside, it has a water park. It’s not just one or two slides either it’s a full out family fun area.
All of these things combined made for a unique experience that I have never found anywhere else. I was so surprised that such an unheard of area could be so much fun. I would recommend this experience to anyone, especially someone looking for good Tennessee vacation spots.
The "Tail of the Dragon" is a highway that motorcycle rides love because there are 318 curves in an 11 mile stretch. This is in North Carolina but it is only about 20 minutes from Townsend. If you don't feel your Smoky Mountain experience isn't complete without going to Gatlinburg, it's just a drive over the mountain and you can spend the day then come back to Townsend that evening. Townsend is very beautiful all year round and a nice place to enjoy the mountains without having to deal with the crowds.
It was only a five hour drive, but it seemed like a whole different world. We rented a three story “cabin” high up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, between the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Outside of every level of the cabin was a huge porch that faced the valley, with expansive tree-filled views. The million-dollar view of the mountain was breathtaking, you could see for miles.
And the way that all of the homes on the mountain were arranged, they were fairly well hidden from view, so there was a definite feel of privacy. The place we rented was full of amenities, such as a full kitchen, a hot tub on the main deck, and a game room with a pool table.
There was also a pool with a fountain and plenty of space to lie out and get some sun. When we first arrived, we stopped and bought groceries to stock the kitchen.
We planned on going down into the cities a couple of days of the week, but mostly we were going to stay in the cabin. Each night, the adults would enjoy some cocktails out on the porch, watching the sun set on the mountain.
It was incredibly relaxing, and quite a beautiful way to spend the evening with my wife. Some evenings went on quite late into the morning, playing pool and sitting by the bar. Some of the mornings brought “reminders” of the previous evening’s cocktails!
This is where the hot tub out on the patio was a life-saver. After a big breakfast, a Bloody Mary drank while stretched out in the soothing hot tub, watching the sun come up over the mountain, was the proper way to begin the day. Then after making the day’s plans, a late-morning nap by the pool was needed most days.
This was an easy habit to fall into, for sure! We did enjoy some time away from the cabin, too.
My father-in-law, a huge fan of BBQ ribs, had several spots planned for us to go for dinner. As for the kids, they enjoyed the typical tourist-trappings of the area, and enjoyed themselves immensely.
The women found shops to peruse, and the men lingered in the hunting and fishing stores. Everybody found something to look at, and talk about. Gatlinburg is a top Tennessee vacation spots. This was easily one of the most relaxing weeks I’ve had in years.