Posts Tagged With: things to do in gatlinburg

Pet Friendly Accommodations Make a Gatlinburg Vacation Extra Special

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Stay in an awesome cabin like this with your pet!

You look forward for months to your vacation and there’s so much to do to get ready. If you are a pet owner, one of the tasks that may need to be taken care of before you leave is deciding who will take care of your pet. Some people have friends or relatives stop by to feed the animal, and others take their dog, cat, bird or other pet to a boarding facility. In either case someone other than the pet owner cares for the pet and this can cause stress for both the owner and the animal. Changing routine is something that not only animals worry over; it also causes anxiety for people. Instead of worrying about how your pet is doing when you are away, why not take Fido or Kitty or Tweety with you? In the last few years more travelers have taken vacations with their pets, and many people wouldn’t dream of leaving their beloved companions behind.

A range of accommodations from hotels, cabins to luxury chalets allows you to choose the most comfortable and convenient lodgings for you and your pets. Many of the pet friendly lodgings offer 5 star amenities to keep you and your entire party comfortable. You can even stay in cabins and hotels that offer all the comforts of home; including flat screen TVs and wireless Internet, fully equipped kitchens, satellite TV, stereo systems and Jacuzzi tubs.

Imagine these perfect vacation scenes: Losing yourself in the beauty of the Smokies as you luxuriate in a hot tub overlooking breathtaking mountain scenery. Walking your dog on a nature trail and feeling yourself relaxing in the clean country air. Playing with your cat inside your hotel room as he or she explores all the new nooks and crannies that are perfect for a game of pounce!

It’s important to make a few inquiries of some of the local cabins and hotels before you decide on accommodations for your trip. Here are a few questions you can ask to help plan for your pet’s stay with you:

  • Some hotels and cabins have limited availability – Ask about it and book well in advance.
  • Ask what kind of pets the hotel allows and if there are size limitations.
  • See what amenities are included (such as dog crates).
  • Ask about fees that need to be paid to accommodate your pets.

Thankfully there are many pet friendly cabins and hotels in the Gatlinburg area. Some of the cabins in Gatlinburg offer expansive living areas with two and even three levels, including wrap around porches at some of the larger cabins. Evenings sitting on the porch with your dog or cat at your side would certainly be preferable to worrying if they are adjusting to you being away.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Let us know if you brought your pet with you to Gatlinburg! Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Ride the Free Trolley to See the Best of Gatlinburg

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Ride the free trolley to dozens of attractions!

We mentioned in a previous post that the great trolley system Gatlinburg provides makes residents’ and visitors’ travel so pleasant around the city. Starting June 14 a Free Trolley will be available to make travelling around the city even more fun.

Who doesn’t like anything free? In this case a free trolley ride can be the gateway to so many Gatlinburg sightseeing, shopping, dining and outdoor activities. It’s easy to remember when the Free Trolley runs using this simple formula:

Summer Fun=Free Trolley

June 14, 2013 – August 18, 2013

People can ride the length of the Parkway on the Free Trolley. The trolley will offer 40 stops along this route and run from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. The shuttle service will extend from traffic light #1 at the north end of town to light #10 at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

In addition to the Free Trolley visitors are encouraged to try the other trolley routes. Using the trolley system is one of the easiest ways to get around town. From the Arts & Crafts Community to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visitors can enjoy a quick ride to dozens of activities while sitting back and letting our friendly trolley drivers take care of the driving. So park the car and hop aboard a trolley to make your day more fun and stress-free. Here is the trolley map and GPS locator so you’ll always know where the trolleys are:

Trolley Map and Rates:

http://www.gatlinburgtrolley.org/doc/2013-Gatlinburg-Trolley-Map.pdf

Trolley GPS Locator:

http://gatlinburg.otvia.com/

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Have you ridden trolleys in Gatlinburg? Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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The Best Waterfalls in Gatlinburg

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Visit Rainbow Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

People all over America love waterfalls. The fascination that comes with the rushing water never ceases to delight visitors. Gatlinburg is home to some of the most beloved waterfalls in this country. While waterfalls make the perfect setting for lovers, anyone who prizes a pristine view of nature will enjoy a trip to these top three Gatlinburg waterfalls.

Grotto Falls

This month is a great month to visit Grotto Falls to see the wildflowers. The unique feature of this falls is the ability to walk behind it. In this area see old growth hemlock forests. Be careful for slippery rocks in the falls vicinity. The hike in takes about 2-3 hours and can be accessed from the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. You’ll cross several small streams and walk uphill a good part of the way. Your reward will be the grand sight of the falls that offers many photo taking opportunities.

This makes a fun hike for families and picnickers. The trail can be a bit muddy with roots and rocks so be sure to wear appropriate hiking shoes. Watch for salamanders on the trail and even a bear or two in the trees! Getting here early in the day is advised so you can find parking before you trek up to the falls.

Abrams Falls

The beauty of these falls hides danger…the deep pools surrounding the falls harbor strong currents so swimming here is prohibited. The round trip hike to the falls is 5 miles and of moderate difficulty. Begin your hike at the Abrams Falls Trail in Cades Cove. You’ll travel over diverse territory, uphill and downhill and encounter many rocks and tree roots along the way. Parents report that strollers don’t make it on this trail and some people feel it may be too challenging for younger children.

While these falls are not very high (about 20 feet) the immense volume of water that rushes over them is the main attraction. People hiking here report that the roaring sound of the water and the sight of the cascading falls is one of the most beautiful sights in the Gatlinburg area.

Many visitors agree that while the hike may be a bit arduous the sight of the falls makes it worth the effort. Bring some water and food and wear hiking boots to protect your feet.

Laurel Falls

Those who like a paved trail will enjoy the route to Laurel Falls. One of only 4 paved trails in the park, the way rewards hikers with the sight of a fantastic 80 foot high falls. While the pavement is easier to travel over than some other trails it can be uneven and rough and might pose some issues for strollers and wheelchairs. Pets and bicycles are prohibited and it’s advised that you bring water with you. The 2.6 mile hike to and from the falls is not difficult, coming in at around two hours for most hikers. If you want to go for a longer hike there are a few nearby trails as well. Families say that kids 6 and up most often enjoy this trip.

Go early in the morning and enjoy the area as it can get a bit crowded later in the day. Watch for bears and don’t litter or leave food around where it can tempt bears. Bears are wild animals and you should discourage them from approaching you. Children should be supervised at all times. Some parents report that carrying smaller kids in backpack carriers may be preferable than using a stroller.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Tell us about your waterfall hike adventures! Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Winter Shopping Fun in Gatlinburg

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Shopping in Gatlinburg is fun year round.

What visit to Gatlinburg would be complete without a full day or even two, shopping the wondrous local artisan and outlet mall stores in this area? From malls, galleries, arts and crafts to specialty stores, shopping in Gatlinburg is fun year round. Here we will mention a few stops on the shopping scene. Remember that there are dozens more, and they are all special in their own way. To find out more, please take a look at the shopping guide available on Gatlinburg.com.

Shop ‘til You Drop – Gatlinburg Style

If it’s rainy or cold when you arrive in Gatlinburg, never fear, the shopping is moving full steam ahead in the climate controlled Mountain Mall. Friday and Saturday year round they are open from 10 am – 10 pm for your shopping pleasure. Check ahead for other days as their schedule does vary by time of year. Their stores offer something for everyone across their six levels; including galleries, specialty gifts, home furnishings, food, tea, tobacconists, pet fashions, CDs, records, personalized embroidered items and much more. If you would like to give one of your shopping buddies a gift, they have a special going on right now where you can get 5% off a mall gift certificate ($20 increments) that can be used at any of the mall merchants.

Not into Skiing? Try Ober Gatlinburg for Shopping

Ober Gatlinburg definitely is the place to play in the winter months. If you aren’t into skiing or snow tubing, you can enjoy it for the restaurants and shops, which provide so many opportunities to see gorgeous scenery while you are either eating or browsing the many specialty items for sale. A fun place to shop is the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway Mall. Located at 1001 Parkway, this stop is a must. You can take the tram up to the top of the mountain and get off to find a number of shops and eateries that offer specialties like homemade fudge, hand painted crafts, Native American pottery, souvenirs and more. You can roam their six stores and have fun shopping indoors if the weather is brisk outside. Ober Gatlinburg is also home to a year round Christmas shop.

Want Quaint and Unique? You’ll Find it in Gatlinburg

Wind up your shopping excursion with a visit to The Village, which is located just off the main street in Gatlinburg. With over 27 shops to choose from, you could actually spend an entire day here. The distinctive European village theme is the area’s main draw, but once inside, the buildings’ architecture, upscale atmosphere, landscaping and the beautiful fountain delight visitors. Shoppers will find shoe stores, olive oil stores, coffee shops, and a favorite shop, the Donut Friar.  The Donut Friar is talked about by almost everyone who stops at The Village, and is a fun place to savor a delicious donut or sweet treat. Take a moment to view the Thomas Kinkade art gallery, too. This pedestrian mall is a great place to enjoy a fun and quaint shopping experience year round.

These are just a few of the fun places you can shop and people watch in Gatlinburg. Be sure to download our shopping guide to find out about many more special shopping experiences.

Where is your favorite place to shop in Gatlinburg? Let us know in the comments section, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales Returns For Seventh Season

Back by popular demand, Gatlinburg’s seventh annual presentation of Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales begins in downtown Gatlinburg on June 15, 2012 and will run through August 11. Tunes & Tales is a summer-long street performance event featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and artisans portraying characters from time periods as far back as 1800.

This popular eight-week event truly highlights one of Gatlinburg’s greatest assets – the walkability of the community – and provides guests with an interactive, educational and entertaining experience the whole family can enjoy.

The collection of personalities and performers arrive nightly at 6 p.m. in the center of town. Visitors witness a magical transformation of sidewalk to stage as the characters disperse along the downtown Parkway for an evening of entertainment and storytelling until 11 p.m. As many as 12 nightly acts perform throughout the evening.

Trios, duos, single acts and clogging groups will perform seven nights a week for the duration of the summer. The mountain style of music is featured all season from the beginnings of the pure Appalachian sounds of Rattlesnake Holler, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys and Hammer & Strings to the traditional bluegrass music from Hurricane Ridge, Flicker Tail Holler and the Holloway Sisters.

Visitors will also be able to learn how instruments like the mountain and lap dulcimers and gourd banjo are made by local craftsmen like Denton Bragg and Mark Edelman. They will also enjoy the talents of the Back Porch Cloggers demonstrating old time clogging and even teaching folks some fun moves and steps.

Characters including Miss Nan the School Marm and Quiltin’ Annie often teach the young and old alike their old time ways. Zeno, the Gatlinburg Bear, the official ambassador of Gatlinburg, loves to welcome everyone to Gatlinburg with his signature bear hugs, and visitors will be entertained with songs and stories by such personalities as Ol’ Rowdy, Whitlin’ Joe, and Earl and Pearl each relating stories of the Great Smoky Mountains, its people and history and even sing a little song about them. Check Engine joins the lineup for 2012.

“Our intent is to take what we feel is one of Gatlinburg’s greatest assets – the walkability of the community – and provide something that is fun and somewhat different than what most places are doing,” Special Events Manager George Hawkins noted.

Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales is an official activity of the City’s Department of Tourism. For more information on this and other special events, visit, http://www.gatlinburg.com/events

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