Tuesday, October 04, 2011

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY: PARKWAY TO SMOKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

At each Parkway entrance a directional sign indicates 'north' or 'south.' North, toward the north end of the Parkway, leads to Shenandoah National Park.  South, toward the south end of the Parkway, leads to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Outstanding scenery & recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most popular units of the National Park System.  "America's Favorite Drive" winds its way 469 miles through mountain meadows and past endless vistas.  You will enjoy the picturesque farmsteads and historic structures, which complement spectacular views of distant mountains and neighboring valleys.

Building the Parkway through mountainous terrain was a monumental labor.  Authorized in the 1930s as a Depression-era public works project, it was the nation's first & longest rural parkway.  The Blue Ridge Parkway connects the Shenandoah Naitonal Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. 



Feel free to visit the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg during your trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It's just a short trip away & your family will appreciate the options of attractions, cabin rental lodging, and great restaurants.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Great Restaurants in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg



We recommend 5 restaurants to try when you come to the Smoky Mountains.  In Pigeon Forge, we recommend Bullfish Grill.  At Bullfish Grill, we specialize in our namesake. Bullfish proudly serves aged Grand Champion Angus Beef. Seafood is delivered daily, offering you the freshest selections available.
At Bullfish Grill, we want all elements of your meal to be excellent. Thats why we carry only the finest wines, lagers and ales to compliment our fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks. Enjoy yourself with the perfect beverage to bring out the flavor of your meal.  Enjoy yourself and eat hearty. No bull, just great food.

Remember to try on the many fine restaurants in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, when visiting the Smoky Mountains. Of course, you can always grill out a great meal with your family at your mountain cabin. However, sometimes it is nice to go out & share a great meal with family & friends.

I also recommend Chop House, Calhoun's, & the Apple Barn.  In Gatlinburg, the Cherokee Grill is one of my favorite restaurants. Make sure to get a steak or pork chop.  The ambience and location is another reason to give this fine restaurant a try with your date or family!  You'll be sure to walk away feeling good about your dining experience!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family Reunions in the Smoky Mountains are a great way to get together and share past, present, & future moments!  You can do catering in your own mountain cabin, go to a fantastic local restaurant, or do an outdoor picnic.  We recommend Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge for a large family picnic. There is lots of room for kids to play.  Adults can take photos, view the Little Pigeon River, or go shopping near the Old Mill.  Here are some details:

Patriot Park
The park is a large open space ideal for festivals. A walking trail lined with flagpoles featuring flags from all 50 states surrounds the park, which also features an historic missile, a large model of the Liberty Bell, and in the winter, Winterfest displays. Adjacent to Patriot Park is the historic Old Mill built in 1830. A pavillion with 14 picnic tables and four electrical outlets may be reserved by calling 865-429-7373. A large gazebo overlooking the Little Pigeon River may also be reserved, however a liability release form must be obtained and filed with the Pigeon Forge Department of Parks and Recreation. Call 865-429-7373 for details.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Events in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge



Autumn in the Smokies has always been a special place to visit for families across the World.  If you haven't been to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park during the Fall, I highly recommend taking in the amazing displays of color.  You will be awed by the fantastic assortments of leaf change, as well as mountain viewsGatlinburg & Pigeon Forge serve as great hosts to this amazing seasonal change.  You can book a cabin rental for your family or friends.  Enjoy a day of hiking, a grilled-out meal, or college football game on your cabin's tube. 

September features several impressive car shows such as Shades of the Past Rod Run XXIX at Dollywood & the Grand Fall Rod Run.  October features the peak of Autumn color, Gatlinburg's Craftsmen Fair, & the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival. November features the Winterfest Magic Festival & Chili Cook-off, Festival of Trees, and the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Thanksgiving in the Smokies is an amazing tradition for families throughout the United States that look to visit Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  Families select vacation cabin rentals to host their traditional Thanksgiving meal.  No matter what month you choose to visit the Smoky Mountains this Fall, you'll definitely create the memories of a lifetime!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

AUTUMN IN THE SMOKIES (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

The notion that peak color season in Great Smoky Mountains National Park happens in mid-October is a misconception. The marvelous colors of autumn actually light up the Smokies for seven weeks or more as the peak elevations move down the mountainsides from the highest elevations to the foothills.

Autumn in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a special time when a glorious leaf season of several weeks is enjoyed by visitors as fall colors travel down the mountainsides from the highest elevations to the foothills. The kaleidoscope of fall colors in the Smoky Mountains is magnificent and varied because of the amazing diversity of trees. Some 100 species of native trees live in the Smokies, the vast majority of which are deciduous. The timing of fall color change depends upon so many variables that the exact dates of "peak" season are impossible to predict in advance.

In the Smoky Mountains, autumn color displays above 4,000 feet start as early as mid-September with the turning of yellow birch, American beech, mountain maple, hobblebush, and pin cherry, clearly visible from such vantage points as Clingmans Dome Road.

The fall color display usually reaches peak at middle and lower elevations between mid-October and early November. This is the park’s most spectacular display as it includes such colorful trees as sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple, and the hickories. For more information about fall colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fallcolor.htm





When visiting Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you should consider reserving a vacation cabin rental in the mountains. You can take in the amazing mountain views, autumn colors, and grill out outdoors to top it off!  The Smokies offer both low (flat land) rentals and higher elevation, mountain rentals.  Make sure to book your family's cabin early, as the Fall is an extremely popular time to visit the Smoky Mountains.

*Some Information credited to Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce