When you are in Gatlinburg, if you look behind Reagan Terrace on the hill you will see what looks like a fort. It is called Fort Fun. Up on that hill there are 2 putt-putt golf courses. Both are lots of fun to play.
Go into the arcade at the entrance to the courses and tell them you want to purchase the unlimited golf package. For $12.95 for each person in your group you will have unlimited access to the two courses during your stay in Gatlinburg.
This is a very nice 1 hour drive through the mountains that should be done by a vacationers to Gatlinburg. Grutto Falls is just off the road and along the trip you will see old houses that have been vacated since the N.P. came in years ago. Take a left a redlight #8 and follow go stait and in a mile you are in the N.P. for a nices drive. Be avare the the TRAIL IS NOT OPEN IN THE WINTER.
It is a real ghostwon located six miles from Gatlinburg in the Smokey's. The people were forced out of the town in the 1980's and is really neet to see. If you are there in June you can see Fireflies in unison and it is absolutely stunning.
If it were not for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg would most likely be a small, isolated, mountain community. The only industry here is tourism, catering to the needs and desires of 10 million visitors a year who come to America's most visited National Park.
Admittedly, one reason the Smokies is so popular is because it is within a day's drive to half the population of the United States. But that alone doesn't draw visitors. The 500,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains, equally divided between Tennessee and North Carolina, comprise some of the highest and wildest peaks in the eastern United States. They also happen to be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. The Smokies is a place of lush greeness, with more varieties of flowering plants and trees than in all of Western Europe. It is also the home to Whitetail Deer, Elk, Red Wolves, Wild Boar, River Otter, Black Bear and numerous other species of wildlife.
More than 850 miles of hiking trails wind through the mountains, and there are even more miles of fishable streams. Those who explore here discover hidden waterfalls, restored pioneer farmsteads, and beautiful mountain vistas in abundance. To learn more about the Smokies see our Great Smoky Mountains National Park tips under North Carolina.
Most people coming into Gatlinburg, forget about the outspoken beauty of the National Park. One day is not even enough time to explore this picturesque environment. From Cades Cove to numerous hiking trails, the beauty of this park is unparrelled in the East. Take some time with your family or loved ones and explore this bountiful arena. It is truly a breathtaking experience.
OK, so this may not me an unheard of trip but I’m going to include it. I had a great time driving for a while on the B.R. P. in 2003 and I plan on doing t again in late September of 2004.The drive is beautiful. This is not a route to take if you plan on driving fast. This is a leisure drive toping out at 45. Believe me you won’t want to go any faster as you will want to get out of your car every now and then and take in the views. This time I will stop and make some hikes along the ways as well. I will try and post more info when I return from my trip. OH, take a drive to Cherokee, NC first and get yourself a bag of BOILED PEANUTS. You gotta try ‘em.
I was not aware of how much there was too see on this drive. This one way loop is a great place to see some restored houses of early Smoky Mountain Settlers and hikes to water falls. Be sure to hike to Grotto Falls. It's a fairly short hike and you can make there and back to the parking area in an hour. The neat thing about Grotto Falls is you can walk behind the falls. Be sure to take a camera with you as this is a wonderful waterfall to worth remembering in your photo album.
One of the houses along the way states on a sign in front that it was painted "All Three" colors "Sears" offered to sell at the time. How lucky we are to have the choices we have today.
Drove to Cataloochee area of the Smoky Mountain Ntl park one morning. The road is very windy, narrow, and treacherous. The elk were sent to the area several years ago. There are pamphlets available that say the elk only are out a lot during the early morning or evening. Of course we were there around noon and so didn't see a one. The trip out of the Cataloochee area by way of going towards Cosby Tenn was even more treacherous. We entered the Cataloochee area by way of the Maggie Valley area. This would have been a shorter way out also.
When in Gatlinburg, take a day to drive over the Smoky Mountains National Parkway, a 33-mile trip, into Cherokee, N. Carolina to visit the Harrah's Cherokee Casino. Allow about one hour for the 33 mile trip because the speed limit is 35 MPH and the roads are constantly winding and going through high elevations. Enjoy the mountain scenery through the park on your way to the fun of the casino. The casino is operated by the Cherokee indians and proceeds benefit needy Cherokee families. There are no live gaming tables, but thousands of excellent video gaming machines with various games, including video slot machines and keno. Parking is free and a free shuttle bus will take you right to the door. Enjoy!
We tried to drive to the area of the Smokies where the elk have been released, but it was a very windy road. The kids got bored, so I gave up. But my mom who went with us enjoyed the scenery.
Here she is with my kids (of course being a boy, my son had to make a dumb face for the camera) *sigh*
We just spent our first Holiday at Gatlinburg and although it was very busy, it was worth it because they had a really great New Years Eve Party. The Space Needle had a big Ball Drop at Midnight with wonderful fireworks. It was really beautiful and we were able to watch it from our balcony at the Ramada Inn Four Seasons. It is really a good idea to stay in a downtown location if visiting at a busy time of year. Any other time I would suggest a cabin in the mountains. It slows down there after New Years and you have the place to yourself.
If you are intrested in building a Log Home one day you should stay in a cabin while you are there. Then you should go to Hertiage Log Homes in Sevierville Tn to tour a home. The Home they have there is a large log home. You can buy a dream book that will show you the different homes that they have. You can also pick your own floor plan and they will be able to draw up the plans for you. I know I can never afford one this size however they have log home plans to meet everyones needs.
I had lots of fun checking out the time on the sundial they have inside the River Bend vegetable garden. The reading was quite accurate!
Hopkins House was built in 1880. It is very well preserved by the people who live in it. We drove by the house on our way to Cataloochee Valley.
Between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is the National Forest. They have a museum and a little documentry on the area.