Summer is over and the chill of fall (along with another school year) is settling in before the impending holiday rush. You deserve a break prior to the hectic Christmas season and shopping in the Smokies is just the ticket.
Whether you're craving a quick road trip or a full week off, the point of a vacation is to leave stress and aggravation behind. However, many people unintentionally drag these along with them on their trip. What fun is that? In order to ensure a truly relaxing Smoky Mountain vacation, there are four primary steps you'll want to take.
You've planned this trip for months, or maybe even for years. The whole family is looking forward to enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery this country has to offer. Of course, while you're in the Great Smoky Mountains, you won't want to miss out on seeing some of the many attractions. Dolly Parton's Stampede, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and other must-see destinations are definitely on your list.
You've snuggled under them on cold winter evenings at Grandma's house, lovingly tucked them around a sleeping baby, and spent hours piecing fabric together for a special gift. Large and small, modern or traditional, quilts have certainly earned their place in our history and in our hearts.
Tourism in the Smokies dates back to the 1930s and 1940s, when visitors started coming to the new Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From there, Gatlinburg became a tourism destination thanks to its crafts and its proximity to the park. By the 1970s and 1980s, Pigeon Forge was developing as a tourist stop thanks to the 1982 World's Fair and the opening of Dollywood in 1986.
Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in all of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This 11-mile auto loop takes visitors on a tour of a once tight-knit community that existed before the creation of the national park. Today, many of the cove's homesteads, churches and other structures have been preserved to show park visitors today what life was like in rural East Tennessee in the 1800s.
When it comes to choosing a place to stay in the Smokies, accommodations like hotels, motels, condos and cabins are usually the first options to pop into mind. However, when was the last time you considered staying in a bed and breakfast inn? They offer many advantages such as homey, comfortable bedrooms, expertly prepared morning meals, scenic and isolated settings, and a personalized level of service that you often won't find in more commercial ventures.
The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community of Gatlinburg has been a must-see site in the Smokies for decades. This historic eight-mile loop-consisting primarily of Glades Rd. and Buckhorn Rd.-is home to more than 120 working artists and craftsmen. You can visit their shops, studios and galleries, watching the artists at work and take home a unique creation or two.
It seems that any time you visit a vacation destination, at one point or another, parking becomes a concern. Especially in urban locations, parking is at a premium and can present a real challenge.
If you're looking for a fun hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your next visit, consider exploring Porters Creek Trail. Located in the Greenbrier section of the park, this hike is not too strenuous and features wildflowers, historic homesteads and even a waterfall.