One of the most popular places in the south to visit is the Gatlinburg Tennessee area. Here, there’s something for everyone, regardless of age. For nature lovers, there are magnificent mountainous views at every angle, and for the more adventurous, there are numerous hiking trails, many that lead to gorgeous waterfalls. Early morning, or late evening jaunts into Smoky Mountains National Park will likely result in wildlife sightings, including black bears. Be sure to look up, down and all around –black bears are often found up in the trees walking around, or just taking a snooze in the branches.
For those wanting a little bit different scene, there’s shopping at numerous artisan stores. Shops range from commercial goods at discounted prices, to numerous outlet malls and shops, and just about every handmade wood, glass, paper and fiber craft you can imagine. If you’re a shopper, be prepare for bumper to bumper traffic and paying for parking, but once you find your parking spot, you’re good for the day. You can walk from one end of the town to the other and back and still not see every shop. This trek of stores extends throughout Pigeon Forge, and strewn amongst the crafters are games and activities galore.
This is a town that is great to visit in any season, but fall is the optimal time with gorgeous views of bright colors, festivals, flea markets and cooler temperatures. This can also be a more pricey season to travel in the area, so if you’re not sold on being there during full fall foliage, to get the best deal, visit at the beginning or end of the season. Particularly, look for specials offered the last weekend in September, or the first weekend in October. These weekends are usually slow business-wise, so it’s easy to find a package deal. Signing up for emails from Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce (http://www.gatlinburg.com/chamber/ ) will provide you with a list of upcoming activities as well as offers on accommodations. Be sure to order a coupon book as well. These are free and offer discounts on food, products and activities. You can also look for pamphlets and flyers throughout the area when you arrive. Many restaurants and other area business have racks full of these discount offers.
Below are some of my favorite businesses and activities in the Gatlinburg area: