Spend some time in Gatlinburg, or stay there on the strip if you can. The Sky Lift is incredible, especially at night. It's worth the $12 bucks, trust me. Do this instead of Ober Gatlinburg's tram. Try to do it after dark though. The Brass Lantern was our favorite restaurant there. Not too expensive and all the food was really good. Log Cabin Pancake House was great for breakfast too.
One of the best drives through the park is right in the middle of Gatlinburg. Historic Nature Trail Dr. at traffic light #8. It's a quick 6-7 mile drive through the edge of the park along a winding, mountainside road with lots of points of interest and places to stop and take short trail hikes if you want. You end up right back in Gatlinburg at the end.
The drive to Newfound Gap and down to Cherokee, NC has some of the best vistas of the park and Cherokee has a Harrah's casino. If you don't have time to go all the way to Cherokee at least drive to Newfound Gap at the state line for the awesome views.
Hope you have a great time in the mountains. I can't wait to go back.
The drive Mag was referring to is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Take that drive either early in the morning or a little before dusk for the best opportunity to see wildlife. On one visit we were about the only folks on the trail and a bear walked out right in front of our car. We followed it quite a way down the mountain.
If you like thrills then there is an alpine slide at the Ober Gatlinburg "amusement park." This is NOT an amusement park, but that is what they call it. To be fair, there are a few "amusements".
I have heard of Zorb before, and seen it on TV. Looks fun, but tring to stick with family type attractions tho.
That motor trail sounds cool too, my girlfriend might freak out if a bear comes close to the car, but it'll be kind of funny tho, might be worth going just to see her reaction. lol
Another Good One is Cove Mountain. You take the same trail you go on for Laural Falls, however after arriving at the Waterfall you go on another 1 1/2 Miles to the mountaintop, where there's an old Fire Tower you can climb to see a wonderful view of the Cades Cove Valley. On the way back down you'll get stares from all of those who stopped at the Falls! (Where did YOU come From?) That's what they wonder as you approach the falls from the Opposite Direction they came from. There will be 50 people at the Falls but you'll be the only one at the mountaintop! ;)
Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next flight!
The Gatlingburg skylift is also awesome! Great views!
Check out the Mysterious Manion in Gatlinburg, especially at night. It's one of the best!
The Ripley's Aquarium is a MUST DO! Words can't really describe it. There is a TON of stuff to keep you busy between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. If you like go karts you will find one every 5 seconds. :) The Nascar Speedpark is kick*** plus they have a kiddy coaster if you are into credits. ;)
You will find just about every type of restaurant imaginable between the two towns. I can't even begin to start recommending one. I would suggest going for something local and staying away from the typical chains. I mean, you are on vacation! :) Most of the local places (especially the BBQ and pancake houses) are cheap and generous! You will find plenty of buffets as well. ;)
I have never seen any of the dinner shows (Dixie Stampede, etc.) but I hear they are great if you are into that.
I would really suggest stopping by one of the many tourism centers off the exit to get a better idea on what to see, or you will find yourself overwhelmed.
Have fun! Say hi to Thunderhead for me!
*** Edited 7/27/2007 9:10:57 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
I was told by a friend of my mom that I can't leave the area with out stopping at a pancake house. I plan on stopping at one on the way out on tuesday.
Of cousre I'll say hi to Thunderhead, hopefully I'll get a few rides on it. :)
BTW, I will have a ton of pics and video when I return.. ;) *** Edited 7/27/2007 3:01:59 PM UTC by shaggszgn***
The Ober Tram is awesome. (when we went, the 12.00 fee gave you unlimited rides for 2days. We must've rode it 15 times.)
You'll have a blast!
Have a safe trip.
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If you still have the choice, I'd recommend staying in Gatlinburg vs Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg seems more serene to me and it is certainly more beautiful.
BTW, I will try to have a full trip report done by the weekend, I also have a ton of videos and pictures, PM me if you want to see any of them. *** Edited 8/1/2007 1:55:18 AM UTC by shaggszgn***
At home with the Rampage
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