"Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time." - Katrina Mayer
Spending time in nature is not only grounding, but healing. This was certainly the best vacation of my life. If you've never visited the Great Smoky Mountains, I'm going to give you the details so you can experience this amazing location.
Where To Stay
Located a short drive from downtown Gatlinburg, we stayed at a resort with all the comforts of home. The villa (I refer to it as a luxury cabin) had all the comforts of home including laundry in the unit, full kitchen, and central AC. There is a grocery store located down the road which worked out great because I prefer to prepare my breakfast and lunch. The resort kept us entertained after our long morning / afternoon hikes. You can look forward to pools, hot tubs, mini golf, gas fire pit, and activity center. The activity director had a schedule of craft projects, guided hikes , yoga classes, games, and other family fun. I booked through VRBO.
Mountain Loft Resort
110 Mountain Loft Drive
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Visiting the National Park
Keep in mind the trail heads tend to be a little congested and parking can be tricky. Don't let this deter you. We didn't have any issues. Download the app All Trails. You can read reviews of the trails and determine what works best for you. Hint: You can use this app to find trails close to home that you never knew existed.
Be sure to take a drive on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. A baby black bear ran right in front of the jeep.
A Night On The Town
We found amazing German fare at the Wild Bear Tavern. I highly recommend this place! You must try the mashed potatoes.
4236 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
If you are looking for shops, restaurants, and other family amusements, make your way to The Island in Pigeon Forge. You will also find Margaritaville. I can't review the restaurant because I'll never wait two hours for a table.
We didn't make it there this time, but we did pay a visit to Dollywood in the past. If you like amusement parks it a must visit at least once. I really appreciate the hospitality. They encourage you to stay hydrated and will provide a free cup of water at any vendor stand.
Downtown Gatlinburg features your shops, restaurants, and family friendly amusements. We typically dine at the Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina. While you wait for your table check out Jonathan's "The Bear Necessities" to pick up some thoughtful gifts. You can park in one of many lots for $15.
Rules Of The Road
Enjoy the journey, my friend.