Springtime Fun in the Smokies

visit Gatlinburg

Try hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

So many visitors come to Gatlinburg in the fall to thrill to the fiery foliage displays. While that scenery is hard to beat, Gatlinburg in the springtime offers just as many awesome sights. We decided to put together a fun mini-guide that blends natural wonders, activities and dining recommendations so you can enjoy a wide selection of Gatlinburg spring attractions.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: Did you know that one of the most loved foods served in Gatlinburg is pancakes? Our city offers a number of pancake specific restaurants that consistently get rave reviews online. Some of the restaurants’ websites offer handy printable menus. Try not to let your mouth water as you scan these menus that boast photos of stacks of pancakes flanked by sausage and bacon, and topped with hot, homemade syrup. Whether you order apple, blackberry, strawberry or blueberry pancakes, be sure to get some side orders of country ham and biscuits and gravy. Now that’s good eating!

A fun and easy hike:

Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

This paved path is easy for young and old alike. It’s great for parents with young children or people who wish to take a level walk while viewing the scenery. The 0.5-mile loop is wheelchair accessible; in fact it is the only accessible trail in the park. The remains of historic homesteads dot the trail, as do some small streams and a waterfall. You’ll find some informational signs that will acquaint you with the sights. Deer are frequently seen here. Visitors like this trail because it allows them to enjoy a peaceful walk year round without hiking up any hills.

Ride red, yellow, purple, green, blue, pink and tan: These are the colors of the Gatlinburg trolley routes. You’ll find that the trolleys provide a fun and easy way to get around town. You can even ride out to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the tan trolley. Fares vary from 50 cents to two dollars and some trolleys are seasonal so be sure to check the trolley route map and schedule: http://www.gatlinburgtrolley.org/doc/2013-Gatlinburg-Trolley-Map.pdf

Find a peaceful haven: Gatlinburg is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Visitors can rent rustic or luxurious cabins from which to commune with nature and just relax away from the pressures of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you are looking for a simple cabin to use as a base for your Gatlinburg adventures, or you want to rent a mansion-like chalet with every amenity (even wireless Internet), you’ll find the perfect lodgings awaiting you. It’s recommended that you plan several months in advance and it’s a good idea to make up a list of ‘must haves’ before you contact Gatlinburg cabin rental companies. Why wait until the peak of summer? Perhaps you can break away for a long weekend soon…

Up, up and away: Mt. LeConte hikes let you get a whole new perspective on Gatlinburg. Travel 6,600 feet up and see the valley below as you take in some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the area. The trails leading to the Mt. LeConte summit can take 3-5 hours to complete. People of all ages have enjoyed these challenging hikes. It’s said that the Bullhead Trail offers the most seclusion. May through October are the best months to climb. You can stay at the famous LeConte Lodge but it fills up months in advance so it pays to book your stay there early.

Step out into the night: Gatlinburg nightlife awaits you after a fun day exploring around town. Downtown Gatlinburg is aglow after dark. Comedy acts, live music, karaoke, and wine and beer bars are just some of the nightly entertainment choices. Stop in to some of the restaurants and sample shrimp, trout, rotisserie chicken and tempting hickory smoked barbecue.

Why not try some micro-brewed beer, southern fried catfish or filet mignon? And after you’ve eaten your fill it’s time to work off those calories with a visit to some of the area’s country dance clubs. You can also try some arcade action, see a theater show or try a little night time mini-golfing.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

What’s your favorite springtime activity in Gatlinburg? Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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