Posts Tagged With: visit 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:

Trolley GPS Locator:

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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See the Famous Synchronous Fireflies in Gatlinburg

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Dusk in Gatlinburg in early June: Time to view fireflies!

One of the most unique natural displays that visitors to Gatlinburg can see at the first part of June is the famous spectacle of the synchronous fireflies. While they range from Tennessee up to Pennsylvania, the population here is the largest in the Western Hemisphere and the forests in this area offer a particularly suitable place for them to perform their mating ritual. The males light up with the stronger flashes and fly above the females who sit on the ground and signal back with weaker flashes. The result is an awe inspiring site that leaves people with a peaceful feeling as they witness one of nature’s wonders.

Visitors can see these amazing fireflies in one of two ways; be a registered camper at Elkmont or take the Tan trolley up to the Great Smoky Mountains National park and view the firefly display. The fireflies can be seen at approximately 9:30 pm from around June 6 to June 13. Since so many people want to come and see these unusual creatures cars driving in and out from Elkmont are not allowed after 5 p.m. Visitors need to park their cars at the Sugarland Visitors Center then take the trolley to Elkmont. The last trolley returns to the Visitors Center from Elkmont at 11 p.m.

Visitors are required to buy a Sugarland Visitors Center parking pass in advance due to the fact that the Visitors Center parking lot has limited capacity. People interested in seeing the fireflies can get information on purchasing Day Before Parking Passes here.

Fireflies live an interesting life as it takes them up to two years to reach adulthood. They then live only about 3 weeks during which time the famous lighting mating ritual occurs. It’s not possible to determine exactly when each year the fireflies will display their synchronous mating ritual, but it has varied from mid-May to mid-June. The display advances each night until peak synchronicity is reached, then it gradually dwindles until the mating season is completed. When viewing the fireflies it can take a few moments for them to sync up, then viewers will notice waves of flashes back and forth, lasting around 6 seconds, then 6 second periods of darkness after the synchronization.

People are encouraged to get their parking passes and come out to see the fireflies. About 1,000 people per night come out to see the display. While people are welcome to come, pets are not allowed at the firefly site. There are volunteers and park rangers who can answer questions about the event at the park and there are firefly viewing information stations.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

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

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How to Plan the Perfect Gatlinburg Getaway

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Enjoy serenity during your Gatlinburg getaway.

Most people envision vacations lasting at least a week or two, to give them time to unwind from the day-to-day pressures of life. Did you know that you can decompress and re-connect with loved ones or meet new friends on a three day Gatlinburg getaway? These vacations offer you your choice of an active or relaxing (or both) time away from it all.

Let’s get started brainstorming your perfect Gatlinburg getaway! Follow these can’t miss guidelines and come join us to celebrate spring!

1) Select a cabin that is rustic or one that has all the comforts of home; including wide screen TV and wireless Internet. Gatlinburg cabins offer flexible floor plans too; you can rent a small intimate cabin or super-sized chalet style lodgings that feature soaring ceilings and breathtaking views from second floor wraparound decks. Many of the Gatlinburg cabins are pet friendly, so ask if you can bring your pet along for the weekend.

2) Plan on keeping the car parked most of the time. Gatlinburg offers aerial trams, trolleys, planned transportation to and from many of the cabins and fun hiking trails that allow you to take in everything Gatlinburg has to offer without needing to drive. With so many alternatives to driving a private vehicle, you’ll save time, meet fellow travelers and get to know Gatlinburg much more intimately.

3) Embrace adventure. Never been river tubing before? How about zip lining, or white water rafting? These are just some of the adventures that await you in Gatlinburg. There’s an adventure in Gatlinburg that fits everyone’s style. Even if you imagined your 3 day weekend as nothing more than a relaxing time to sit in a chair and view the scenery, you could challenge yourself to some shopping at Gatlinburg’s seven malls or see local artisans create handmade pottery, candles, soaps, baskets and many other crafts.

4) Eat, drink and be merry. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. There aren’t enough meals in the day for one to try all the popular Gatlinburg restaurants in one weekend. It’s not necessary to ask if Gatlinburg has a particular type of food. The diversity of restaurants and menus fits most every mood and taste. Did you know that Gatlinburg offers some of the best pancakes you’ll ever taste, plus we’ve got your sweet tooth covered with fantastic ice cream, donuts and caramel apples.

If you crave heartier fare there are numerous choices for casual and fine dining. From old country inn dining experiences to mouthwatering barbeque, seafood and great Italian dishes, Gatlinburg cuisine will definitely be one of the highlights of your trip.

5) Be Ready for Over the Top Attractions. In Gatlinburg you’ll never run out of things to do. In every season you can find just the right mix of fun, relaxation and adventure. Here you can try any or all of these activities: Visit amusement parks; see museums that feature famous TV and movie cars and exhibits from world record holders; visit a one-of-a-kind aquarium; play golf; ride the aerial tram; go to the top of the Space Needle (400 ft. in the air); go white water rafting; enjoy horseback riding or just walk a scenic trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s your getaway, but we guarantee it’ll be hard to get bored.

6) And the ultimate Gatlinburg getaway: Elope to Gatlinburg! Dozens of wedding planners offer elopement packages that allow you to plan the ideal 3 day romantic trip: A wedding and honeymoon in Gatlinburg! The best part is since the ceremony will be just for the two of you, you can more easily plan your wedding by phone or email, then meet with your planner when you arrive to finalize the details. Many couples have eloped to the mountains in Gatlinburg and take home unforgettable memories of their special day.

We’ve mapped out so many perfect ways to spend a Gatlinburg 3 day getaway. But wait, did we forget anything? Oh, of course, deals! Be sure to check our site periodically for deals and package announcements that can make your Gatlinburg dream getaway even better!

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Talk to us about your favorite getaway in Gatlinburg! Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Wildlife Encounters in Gatlinburg

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Black bears are a not uncommon site in Gatlinburg.

Wildlife is abundant in Gatlinburg, and Cades Cove, a beautiful 6800 acre valley setting within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of the most popular places to see creatures in their natural habitat. Visitors to Cades Cove can see an array of wild creatures from butterflies to bears. Many people like to pack a picnic and bring the kids along to view the old homesteads on the Loop Road drive around the area. With over 150 camp sites and several nature trails, the area offers great opportunities to photograph all of the natural wonders including dozens of types of birds, ducks, deer, turkeys and more.

Speaking of turkeys, these creatures are some of the most interesting animals you can see in Cades Cove. Now’s a great time to see the male turkeys strutting in all their glory trying to impress the hens. Google Image Search, Flickr and social networks are full of awesome photos people have taken of Cades Cove turkeys, even some walking in the snow! Your best opportunity to see wild turkeys is around dawn. They do fly, but only for short distances. Sometimes you will see them running. They are not the white turkeys that some people see on farms. These turkeys have dark feathers that shine in the sun, and large tails that look like rounded fans.

As you traverse the Great Smoky Mountains National Park be sure to take some time to notice some of Mother Nature’s smallest creatures. Salamanders thrive in the park, giving this area the nickname, “The Salamander Capital Of The World”. Dozens of types of salamanders can be found in the park, including Black-chinned Red Salamanders, Southern Red-backed Salamanders and Longtail Salamanders. Researchers have been studying declines in salamander populations in Eastern North America and have tried to discover if disease, over-collecting for pets, climate issues or other factors have contributed to these changes. It’s safe to say that seeing these intriguing creatures can be an interesting experience.

Spring in Gatlinburg wouldn’t be complete without fish. With over 2,000 miles of streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visitors to this area will be treated to a veritable cornucopia of nearly 60 fish species. Brook trout are native to this area, but have had trouble competing with non-native rainbow trout. The park has been successful at restoring some of the range of native brook trout over the last quarter century. While some people like seeing fish, there are many others who love the sport of fishing. Find out more about trout fishing and Gatlinburg fly fishing vacations here. There are several outfitters in the area that can help you get ready for a great fishing vacation.

Surely black bears are the most popular creature in Gatlinburg. You can see them carrying their cubs, eating berries in the trees, and doing zany things like swinging in hammocks. It is not uncommon to hear visitors tell stories about bears roaming around their campsites and cabins. The nature trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are excellent areas to see bears. The high concentration of bears in the area does require people to exercise some care. While the bears are fun to look at, people need to keep their distance as they are large animals that can cause injuries to humans. One of the most important things visitors can do to ensure that there are no unsafe bear encounters is to not feed the bears. Running from a bear is not advised; but slowly backing away is recommended. If you must prevent a bear from continuing its approach towards you; try and throw items that make a clattering sound and that are not food.

A popular place to see black bears is at Ober Gatlinburg’s Wildlife Encounter. You can observe and learn about bears there, along with birds of prey and a variety of nocturnal creatures like raccoons, possums, skunks and flying squirrels. While these animals live at the wildlife exhibit at Ober Gatlinburg they are representative of many of the creatures you will see in the wild here in the area. The Wildlife Encounter offers people a chance to see these creatures up close and learn more about them and their ways.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Let us know what wildlife you’ve seen in Gatlinburg! Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Honeymoon Adventures: Discover Natural Wonders High Above Gatlinburg

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Zip lining in Gatlinburg – A real thrill!

Some people dream of tropical beaches and romantic sunsets for their honeymoon. Others are adventurous, even a bit mischievous, and require a honeymoon that fits their desire for a challenge. When we say adventure we don’t mean anything you can attempt on terra firma, we’re talking about taking to the sky — Zip lining in Gatlinburg! Your honeymoon can be your first step into a whole new world of adventure! Millions of people around the world enjoy zip lining, and hundreds of them come to Gatlinburg every year to try the dozens of zip lines that provide a unique adrenaline rush!

If you’ve never heard about zip lining, it’s a popular activity for kids and adults. The venues that offer zip lining have cables set up on unique courses through forests and above Gatlinburg landmarks so your travel high in the sky offers you some of the most unique views in the area. Imagine feeling the thrill of flight as you whiz by trees, past mountains and even over the Gatlinburg strip! Zip lining, while challenging and conducted at incredible heights and speeds of up to 50 mph, is quite safe on commercial courses that are constructed by professional zip line installation experts. In the Gatlinburg area you’ll find several zip line tour companies to choose from. The zip line tour firms offer a variety of packages that run from 30-40 minutes up to 3 challenging hours. The fees for zip lining are relatively inexpensive (ranging from about $50 – $150) considering the unusual nature of the activity and length of time you can spend cruising through the trees and ascending and descending on different levels of the course by way of bridges and platforms between the lines. Some of the zip line tour companies offer helmet cams so you can view a recording of your adventure when you’re back on solid earth.

The best part about zip lining is that it offers you a feeling of exhilaration and freedom as you soar above the trees. Some of the zip line courses are open year round and several are even open at night! These night zip courses deliver on their promise of ‘an experience you will never forget’ as they combine the thrill and freedom of a zip line ride with the crisp mountain air! Imagine speeding over the lights of downtown Gatlinburg, or whizzing high above the trees and seeing a Smoky Mountain sunset! Now that’s a truly different way to experience a romantic view!

Zip lining on the commercial courses is very safe, but there are a few precautions one should take before harnessing up. While there are no government regulations that police the industry, organizations such as the Association for Challenge Course Technology set standards for zip line courses. When you are reviewing the local zip line companies ask about these standards and proof that they abide by them. Ask about guide training and certification and the visitor to guide ratio. Most zip line companies will inform you of weight restrictions and ask about your general fitness to gauge your ability as a candidate for a zip line adventure. These questions and viewing some images and video of the course before you visit Gatlinburg can help familiarize you with the venues that you are most interested in.

Surely a zip lining adventure would make most anyone’s list as a memorable honeymoon activity. If you like to share your thrills with friends, you can have even more fun zip lining with a group. Some couples rent large, mansion-sized cabins for themselves and several guests to enjoy a honeymoon vacation. While on your extended honeymoon, why not bring your guests to the zip line course and discover the wild blue yonder above Gatlinburg together? You may even find special promotions, as most zip line tour companies offer package deals to accommodate most any size group.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Talk to us about your honeymoon adventures in Gatlinburg! Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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How to Plan Your Gatlinburg Outdoor Wedding

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Gatlinburg outdoor weddings are glorious!

June is nearly upon us and if you’re looking for the perfect venue for your June wedding, then we heartily recommend an outdoor wedding in Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is beautiful any time of year, but spring in the Smokies is something special. Your wedding day will be even more memorable when you hold the ceremony outdoors. While outdoor weddings are not uncommon, there are so many settings and touches you can add to the ceremony to make it uniquely yours.

One of the more popular outdoor weddings in Gatlinburg is the gazebo wedding. These weddings are designed for people who prefer a small gathering, as they are usually attended by groups of 6-10 guests. The bride and groom ascend a few steps up to the main gazebo floor where the service is performed with Gatlinburg’s natural beauty as the backdrop. Gazebo wedding packages are available from several local wedding planners. It’s a good idea to make inquiries of several planners to see what is included with their packages before making a final decision. For example, there are packages that offer gazebo weddings near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and include ceremony, cake, floral bouquet, music and photography. Each package is different and they range in price from as low as $100 up to several hundred dollars and more. You can ask the wedding planners what special deals or custom wedding packages they offer, as many of them will work with you to create a beautiful gazebo wedding that fits your taste and budget.

Another type of outdoor Gatlinburg wedding that you can select is the garden wedding. Some planners have designed weddings with an English garden theme, where the bridal couple is married under an archway or pergola area that is festooned with flowers. Some of the planners in the area offer acres of landscaped gardens or even waterfalls as romantic backdrops for your ceremony. Depending on the package you choose you can also hold your reception within the garden areas following your wedding. A few of the garden wedding venues offer multiple garden sections with different flowering bushes and trees so you can select one area for your ceremony and other areas to take your wedding photographs.

Some couples rent a romantic cabin in the woods and choose to be married there. After the ceremony and a small reception, their cabin hideaway becomes the couple’s private paradise. They can enjoy the quiet and inspiration of nature that is Gatlinburg in springtime. Some cabins are perfect for an intimate getaway for two. Others are mansion-like with wraparound balconies, walls of windows and room for dozens of guests who could stay over and continue the wedding celebration with a shopping trip in town, boating, hiking or a private party.

After reading all of these inspiring ideas for outdoor weddings, you may have one question…What if it rains on my wedding day? This is a great question and it’s important to be prepared. Ask each planner that you interview what the ‘rain plan’ is. If they don’t have a suitable indoor alternative or a large tent that can be pitched in an emergency, look elsewhere. Also remember that your wedding day will be special regardless of the weather. Many people have been married on rainy days, so ‘wear a smile as your umbrella’ and enjoy yourself!

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Tell us about your wedding day in Gatlinburg! Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Satisfy Your Italian Food Cravings Right Here in Gatlinburg

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Enjoy pizza and other Italian specialties in Gatlinburg!

When you visit Gatlinburg you’ll discover dozens of casual and fine dining restaurants. Even though you’ll likely love the local cuisine, sometimes Italian food just seems right. In Gatlinburg you won’t have to worry that you’ll miss your NY style pizza because some of the best pizza around is made right here. While you can visit the big chain pizza places, what we’re talking about are locally owned and operated restaurants. These delivery, dine in and carry out places are Gatlinburg, through and through.

After a full day skiing or exploring all the shops Gatlinburg has to offer, you’ll surely work up a big appetite. Satisfy your craving for something extra delicious with crispy crust or deep dish pizzas, with as much cheese as you can stand. Gatlinburg pizza places know how to put together a tempting pizza pie, and they can even create vegetarian wonders for people who wish to indulge, but want to do so sensibly.

Enjoy a Variety of Italian Specialties in Gatlinburg

Variety and choice are both front and center when you order pizza in Gatlinburg. The local pizza places offer dozens of toppings and the Italian sandwiches and side dishes they make are perfect for rounding out your meal. Whether you have one or 21 in your party, hand tossed pizza, salad, lasagna, and more will tempt you. You’ll find just about every Italian specialty that you love is available in Gatlinburg, so you won’t have to let your desire for spaghetti, veal parmigiana, eggplant parmesan or garlic rolls go unfulfilled. If you’re in the mood for steak, why not try a steak pizza? Gatlinburg’s local pizza places are proud of their dough that’s made fresh daily and pizzas available in pan, thin crust or hand tossed varieties. Pizza wouldn’t be the same without side orders of peppers and extra sauce to complete the experience and Gatlinburg pizza places cater to your tastes with all of these finishing touches.

Try Specialty Pizzas and Calzones

You won’t want to leave town until you try specialty pizzas and calzones, Gatlinburg style. Some pizza places allow you to build your own calzones and pizza. The ingredients you can add range from green peppers, onions, tomatoes, Italian sausage and many more tempting toppings. Pizza chefs can add multiple types of cheeses, so when you ask for extra cheese, let them know if you mean mozzarella, feta, parmesan, ricotta or provolone. Gatlinburg pizza places know how to create mouthwatering breadsticks too. Get an extra side order of garlic butter and let the dipping begin!

One of the best things about Gatlinburg pizza is that you can get it your way. There are restaurants that sell specialty pies made with chicken, vegetables and several kinds of cheese and there are places where you can stop in fast to get a slice and a drink. Or you can luxuriate in your Gatlinburg hotel and let the pizza come to you, delivered hot and fresh. Before you even come to Gatlinburg you can take to the web and print out menus from several of the pizza places, so you’ll know ahead of time where you’d like to stop. You can start here to find the best pizza restaurants in Gatlinburg.

What’s your favorite Italian dish that you’ve eaten in Gatlinburg? Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Plan Your Corporate Retreat in Gatlinburg

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Bond with your group on fun activities!

If you’re the one tasked with planning your company’s corporate retreat this year, think Gatlinburg. A successful corporate retreat needs to be a mix of work and play to allow bonding and insights to flourish. Gatlinburg offers a year round opportunity to get away from the pressures of the office and rethink your company’s mission and vision.

One of the best lodging choices for a corporate retreat is in a large group cabin in Gatlinburg. These cabins are well-appointed super-sized log homes with multiple bedrooms and massive, centralized great rooms that work well for casual meeting spaces. In spring, summer and fall the second story outdoor decks that many of these cabins offer provide opportunities for colleagues to sit together surrounded by the grandeur of the Smokies.

While all group cabin amenities are different many of them offer these features and more that can make your corporate retreat perfect:

  • Widescreen TVs
  • Stereo systems
  • Fireplaces
  • Fully appointed kitchens
  • Hot tubs
  • Private bathrooms for each bedroom
  • Catered meals
  • Arranged transportation
  • Wireless Internet access

You won’t have to worry that the group cabins won’t have room for your entire party. There are a number of very large cabins for rent; some have up to a 36 person capacity. Most of the cabins in the Gatlinburg area offer very comfortable, and often luxurious accommodations. It is a good idea to write up a list of ‘must-haves’ when planning your retreat. That way you can ask a few questions when arranging the rental. One common question that some renters ask is: ‘Is the cabin handicap accessible?’ Another important question is: ‘How far is the cabin from downtown Gatlinburg?’ Some people also want to know if pets are allowed. These and other questions can be asked ahead of time to allow for better trip planning.

Rental rates will vary throughout the year. Most business trip planning experts believe that 3 days is the optimal timeframe for a corporate retreat. If colleagues know they will be staying overnight they will have more incentive to relax and ‘buy in’ to the theme of the trip. Some companies plan new websites on corporate retreats. Others discuss rolling out new services or upcoming acquisitions. Regardless of the theme of your corporate retreat, Gatlinburg cabins offer the beauty and privacy you need to get the job done.

After a long day of discussing your company’s future while at the retreat, it will be time to enjoy a great dinner. Gatlinburg is home to some of the finest restaurants in the Southeast. Try some hickory grilled steaks, barbeque, Mexican, fresh mountain trout, lasagna or seafood. Gatlinburg offers sports bars, Friday and Saturday night dancing, and private reception rooms for your group.

Come soon for your corporate retreat and enjoy Smoky Mountain Springfest that runs through June 2, 2013. See beautiful flowers and enjoy the feeling of renewal in the air that’s spring in Gatlinburg.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Have some corporate retreat tips to share? Tell us about them in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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Cades Cove Bird Watching Fun

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Cades Cove beckons with history and natural beauty.

There are so many things to do in Gatlinburg not the least of which is enjoying all the natural beauty. Wildlife is abundant in the area, especially in Cades Cove within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you enjoy bird watching you’ll love Cades Cove because this immense valley surrounded by mountains offers opportunities to see a diversity of wildlife, including dozens of bird species.

Visitors often sight wild turkeys in the Cades Cove area. There are a number of nature trails in Cades Cove, not counting the 11 mile Loop Road. Later in the spring (beginning in May) the Loop Road is closed to cars on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10: 00 am. People love to bike and hike the loop road during these quieter times. In April there are multiple hiking opportunities in Cades Cove, from the easier Cades Cove Nature Trail to the more challenging Abrams Fall Trail and some of the longer trails that go to Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top. You could also take your car around the Loop Road and use one of the stop offs along the side of the road to get out and observe wildlife. Wherever you roam in Cades Cove bring your camera and log book because you’ll want to record your adventures!

In addition to wild turkeys, some of the larger birds you may see at Cades Cove include Great Blue Herons and Green Herons. Ducks inhabit the Cades Cove area in abundance, and you may see Wood Ducks, American Black Ducks, mallards, Gadwalls and Ring-Necked Ducks. As you make your way through the over 6800 acres that is Cades Cove, you’ll also have the opportunity to see Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks near the many pools and streams.

See our Smoky Mountain Birds Pinterest board for more examples of birds you may see on your visit to Gatlinburg.

Throughout the valley that is Cades Cove as you walk, bike or drive watch for black vultures along with Golden Eagles and American Kestrels. Cades Cove also makes a wonderful day trip to see the historical buildings around every bend of the Loop Road, and the bird watching is a spectacular bonus as you immerse yourself in the history of the area.

It’s a great time to see birds in the Gatlinburg area as they search for nesting spots to raise their young. Imagine picnicking at Cades Cove and seeing a wild turkey strutting by! Start planning your camping trip as Cades Cove has a large campground with over 159 sites that’s open year round. Be sure to stop at the Cades Cove Visitors Center which is located half way up the Loop Road to get more information that can help you get the most out of your trip.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now. You can also see our Cades Cove Pinterest board for more ideas.

Have you been to Cades Cove? Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

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