Monday, February 28, 2011

Waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains Outside of Gatlinburg

You may come stay in a luxury cabin rental in the Smokies.  Each day in Gatlinburg, you will want to try to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor landscape here with your family or friends.  The Smokies are the largest mountain mass East of the Rockies.  Sixteen of its peaks are more than 6,000 feet high.  The higher slopes get as much as 100+ inches of rain each year in the Smokies.  Some of the Great Walks or hikes through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park have beautiful waterfalls to experience.  We will cover a few for you to consider and research for your vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Mingo Falls offers one of the most stunning cascades in the region.  It can be reached after a short, quick walk in the Smokies.  It has another smaller falls, plus about 100 feet of exciting white-water creek as well.  Long, delicate ribbons of water trickle down the ledge of 100 foot high Mingo Falls, one of the tallest cascades in the Smokies.

Lynn Camp Prong Falls offers some of the most impressive collection of falls in the Park.  The creekside trail leading up to the Falls, the Middle Prong Trail, was once the bed of a railroad built to haul lumber.  It's not one falls but many and it must be seen not from the bench opposite the falls farthest upstream but from the bottom of the falls farthest downstream.  All three falls flow into a deep pool in the ledge that's foaming with white water, like a huge natural jacuzzi. 

Laurel Falls can be reached by walking a paved 2.5 mile trail just 3 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center.  On your way to the falls, you'll see a picture window view of the Smoky Mountains.  You can actually view the falls, both upper and lower simultaneously, from across the creek.  It is a tremendous sight!

Friday, February 25, 2011

SPRING BREAK IN MARCH (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

 March is an eventful time to come to the Smoky Mountains.  Not only does the Great Smoky Mountains National Park start to blossom, but many people get to enjoy Spring Break.  Early in the month, you can still enjoy Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort.  Later in the month, you can enjoy the warmer weather including outdoor activities.  These outdoor activities include horseback riding, rafting, shopping, tubing, sightseeing, zip-lining, and hiking!  You can also visit the Arts & Crafts Community for Easter.  Admission to the Arts and Crafts show is free. Stroll through to see the unique, handmade displays and demonstrations. Discover beautiful items like jewelry, pottery, leather goods, candy, quilts, ceramics, and so much more. 

With so much to do and see, you'll be happy to pick the mountains over an over-congested, expensive beach trip.  Why chance going to the Beach on a cold weekend, when you can take advantage of the beauty of the Smoky Mountains no matter the weather?!  The luxury cabin rentals awaiting you in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge are amazing, entertaining, and relaxing.  Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals offers vacation cabins in Gatlinburg and vacation cabin rentals near Dollywood.  These cabin rentals will have hot tubs, gas or park-style grills, full kitchens, and pool tables.  Get a premium cabin rental with sauna, home theater, indoor private pool, multicade arcade games, seclusion, or breath-taking views!  You'll have the best Spring Break ever in March.  Come see us in the Smoky Mountains!  We'll have your vacation cabin rental waiting for your family or friends.

SpringFest - March 11 - June 6
SpringFest is a popular Smoky Mountain festival that encompasses the whole county including Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Springfest activities: special events, craft shows, decorating competitions and much more.
Gatlinburg Screenfest - March 25-27
The Annual Gatlinburg film festival features independent films and filmmakers from all over the country.
For more information visit

Thursday, February 24, 2011


  1. Relax & Communicate -- When you decide to getaway, choose a log cabin rental with amenities that will enable you to relax, make conversation, and allow for some romance.  These amenities might include a fireplace, jacuzzi for bubble baths, and outdoor hot tubs
  2. Enjoy the sight-seeing -- The Smoky Mountains are extremely beautiful.  You can take in the mountain peaks, waterfalls, & wild flowers throughout the National Park.
  3. Fine Dining -- Try the Peddler on the River, Cherokee Grill, or The Lodge at Buckberry Creek.  These restaurants are fantastic and will help create the romantic mood for the entire evening.
  4. Find adventure -- Go hiking, river rafting, or zip-lining here in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.  The excitement will help you get your mind off anything holding back the relationship or causing stress in your life back home.  Allow this escape to refresh you & your relationship.
  5. Let her go shopping -- Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, & Gatlinburg have great shopping.  The Five Oaks in Sevierville, the Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg, as well as the Tanger outlets have great inventory & discounts for everyone.
  6. Enjoy a Good Breakfast together -- Sometimes people don't have a chance to start the day together with a good meal, so take the time during your vacation to go to Pancake Pantry or the Old Mill for breakfast.
  7. Have a Picnic -- Cabin rentals usually have an outdoor grill.  Use this to your advantage & take in the outdoors for a BBQ.  You'll enjoy it!
  8. Take a walk together -- whether you are on a trail or private road near your log cabin rental, on the Parkway, or hiking on a Smoky Mountain trail, you should enjoy the peacefulness together.  There's nothing better than Spring or Fall in the Smoky Mountains. Enjoy the Scenery.
  9. Go to a Show -- The local Music Theaters are entertaining.  The music, dancing, & comedy at some of the local Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge theaters are amazing!  Pick one or two out on your vacation & go check them out!
  10. Get a Massage -- There are in-cabin massages available.  You can schedule them directly or consult with your rental company to get a massage scheduled.  This will help you relax and get the vacation started off right!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


  1. Driver's License/ ID -- This could get you in trouble with a police office or disallow the fun nightlife
  2. Camera --Don't you want proof of your fun & memories?  Well, at least, most of them!
  3. Sunglasses -- It's never cool to squint
  4. Cell Phone including Charger -- This is good to have for emergency use, calling for information, & staying in touch with those you left behind
  5. Credit Cards/ Travellers Cheques -- A cash only approach could get you in trouble, especially if you tend to burn through it or lose it
  6. Sunscreen -- It's important to use this when hiking, swimming, or just walking the town.  It's very important to apply during the Summer heat!
  7. Good Shoes -- You should have the proper shoes for any activities.  Flip Flops will not get you through an entire vacation.  If you are hiking the mountains, walking the City, or checking out a trendy hotspot, you will want to wear the proper shoes
  8. Kid's Gear -- Remember to bring the kids' necessities.  That is more often than not, more important than the adults' Stuff & will make for a happier vacation getaway
  9. Medical items -- prescriptions, band-aids, pain relievers, bug repellent
  10. Auto/ Health Insurance Card
These items are important whether you are going to Dollywood or Disney World, New York or Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountains or the Carribean!  When you are well prepared for a romantic getaway or family vacation, you will feel better about the future of your trip and relieve much stress from the start.  So, make your list, check it twice, and have fun on your vacation.  It will be so nice!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee: A Memorable Destination

Come to the Smoky Mountains for the most scenic, engaging landscape in the Eastern United States.  The activities, both natural and commercialized, are limitless for your family's vacation.  The Smokies are the core subject of many poems, books, and country songs that have entertained people throughout the years.  The Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge towns have been helping create memories for couples and families for over half a century.  Come see what it is all about this Season!

FOR a change in your attitude and altitude, the Tennessee and North Carolina Smoky Mountains can't be beat. Travel in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina is a favorite vacation destination on the east coast of the United States. Three quarters of the population of the USA is within a day's drive of the Great Smoky Mountains, created in 1934 and dedicated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.

THE Smoky Mountains are surrounded by several small towns in East Tennessee and North Carolina that provide accommodations, attractions and dining for mountain travelers. The most visited towns include Gatlinburg TN, Pigeon Forge TN, Townsend TN, Sevierville TN, and Cherokee NC, Bryson City, Cherokee, and Asheville, North Carolina. Tourism is prevalent in these surrounding areas.  Through out these villages you can find numerous lodging establishments and many fun activities to do. Outdoor activities offered include zip-lining, horseback ridging, fishing, white water rafting, hiking, and biking.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Indoor Swimming Pool Cabins in the Smoky Mountains (Near Dollywood or Gatlinburg, TN)

In-cabin private indoor swimming pools are very popular right now for family vacations, special birthday celebrations, and anniversaries/honeymoons!  These log cabins have private indoor pools that are professionally maintained & heated for guests looking for privacy, exclusivity, & convenient access.  These log cabins already have full kitchens, laundry facilities, recreational games, gas or park-style grills, and fabulous views!  Reserve your own special cabin rental with swimming pool this season.  Your family or group of friends will love their experience here in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  Here are some of the cabin rentals that Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals offers with private pools:

Splash Mansion -- Beautiful, private five bedroom log home with amazing views of the Smokies.  This cabin rental has one of the BEST VIEWS IN ALL OF GATLINBURG!  This Gatlinburg cabin has premium king beds, large game room, kids' rock climbing wall, oversized hot tub, indoor swimming pool, & so much more! Book your family reunion here today.

Skinny Dippin' -- This log cabin has a wraparound porch just walking distance to the Parkway or Little Pigeon River.  You are less than 2 miles to Dollywood & could walk to the trolley easily.  The game room features multiple games & wifi internet access.  Enjoy the indoor pool, hot tub, & gas grill here in Pigeon Forge.  The location is so convenient for family vacations or romantic getaways!

Gone Swimming -- This vacation cabin rental is extremely popular because of its game room with bunk beds, air hockey, foosball, & pool table!  You can supervise the kids in the indoor pool from the living room windows too!  This log cabin with indoor pool has a custom built kitchen & small creek behind the cabin for visual pleasure!

Cool Waters -- This cabin rental has outdoor pool access, plus a small indoor splash pool.  The curb appeal of this home is amazing, just 1 mile up from the Gatlinburg Visitor Center.  This Chalet Village log home has sauna, jacuzzi, & pool table for entertainment purposes!  It's like a Resort just minutes from Downtown Gatlinburg.  A perfect getaway cabin rental in the Smokies!

Book any of these cabins while availability exists.  Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals is the premier leader in swimming pool cabins here in the Smoky Mountains.  Your kids or spouse will be very excited to hear you booked a wonderful cabin rental with indoor private pool and fun games, to boot!  The excellent locations of our cabin rentals also make these desirable vacation homes.  The next time you want to make a big Splash in the Smokies, check out these featured cabin rentals at Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Investment Properties in the Smokies (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

 Buying a cabin in Pigeon Forge or buying a cabin in Gatlinburg is a dynamic investment for any real estate investor.  Still, you should have a professional real estate consultant or Realtor help you find the real estate property that is right for you & your financial goals.  Some investors are looking short-term (6-24 months), while others plan on using their rental home in the Smokies and may look at it as a long-term investment.  With low mortgage rates & motivated Sellers, this Buyer's market is a terrific time for any family looking to buy their dream vacation home in the Smoky Mountains.

There are small "honeymooner" or one bedroom cabins for sale or large eight bedrooms for group stays available on the real estate market currently in Smoky Mountain, Tennessee.  There are no shortage of options, but the investor should pin-point what property is right for them.  They will want to evaluate the age, location, community, views, privacy, structural integrity, built-in rental demand, and potential return on investment before putting in an offer to purchase a mountain cabin rental here in the Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg area.

The small bedroom cabin rentals seem to do the most volume, while the large cabins do the most gross rental income.  This rental market is continuously changing, but tourists demand for amenity packages, mountain views, accessibility to the Parkway, and curb appeal is a consistent requirement.  Your Realtor can help you find the right cabin rental to purchase, negotiate a preferrable price, and help you with the closing process.  It is also important to help you find a rental cabin company in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge that can help you maximize your rental income, find quality housekeeping & maintenance, provide you with proper monthly documentation, and make recommendations that may improve your rentability of your property.  Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals has been a leader in cabin rental management & rental performance for cabin owners throughout the Smokies for nearly ten years now.  Let Mighty Peaks Realty & Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals help you with any questions you may have about real estate in Gatlinburg, real estate in Pigeon Forge, and real estate in the Smoky Mountains.  You can reach them at the office seven days a week at 866-286-8284 toll free.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Luxury Cabin Rentals in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

 Have you ever stayed in a luxury cabin rental in the Smoky Mountains, which includes Sevierville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge (Tennessee)?  With family reunions, holiday gatherings, & special events, the Smoky Mountains is an amazing destination to stay with your group of friends or family.  The luxury cabin rentals come standard with full kitchen, hot tub, pool table, gas or park-style grill, TV/DVD, and pool access.  Most luxury vacation rentals in the Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge area now come with Wi-Fi internet access.

The exclusive amenities now being offered in log cabins are home theaters, private indoor swimming pools, multicade arcade games, plasma or LCD Televisions, kids' rock climbing walls, business centers, wet bars, saunas, and many more elite amenities.  The cost of these log cabin rentals is much more price-friendly than hotel accommodations of equal calibur, plus you get added space and privacy.  I usually recommend finding a luxury cabin rental in a fantastic resort setting like Alpine Mountain Village, Smoky Mountain Village, Bear Creek Crossing, Oldham Creek Springs, Brookstone Village, Condo Villas, Sherwood Forest, Settler's Ridge, or Birds Creek.  They all have their own character, amenity package, & distinct locations.

Did you know when staying in a luxury cabin rental, Aunt Bug's Cabin Rental company can usually help set up any type of preferred service including grocery delivery, floral arrangement delivery, in-cabin wedding services, in-cabin body massage, in-cabin catering, and any other possible guest request?  Luxury cabin rentals are built and managed to give guests in the Smoky Mountains the very best in available amenities, services, and comfort!  So the next time, you would like to try a Sauna, cabin rental with swimming pool, Home Theater, or multi-game rec room, call Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals.  We will set up your romantic getaway, corporate retreat, or family vacation with the best luxury cabin rentals available in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville.  Lodging in the Smoky Mountains has been made more comfortable & affordable with our luxury cabin rentals!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Great Smoky Mountain National Park -- Facts & Figures

In honor of Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2009 (a rededication ceremony is scheduled for September 2, 2009, at Newfound Gap), below are 75 interesting facts about Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
  • Established in 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest national park East of the Rocky Mountains.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses approximately 244,000 acres in Tennessee and 276,000 acres in North Carolina for a total of 520,000 acres or more than 800 square miles.
  • With approximately 9-10 million visitors annually, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also the most visited national park in the United States.
  • In contrast, Grand Canyons National Park receives less than 5 million visitors annually.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few major national parks that charge no admission fee.
  • A 32-mile stretch of road through Great Smoky Mountains National Park that connects Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to Cherokee, North Carolina, Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) features scenic overlooks, picnic areas, mountain streams, and the Sugarlands and Oconaluftee visitor centers.
  • Designated an International Biosphere Reserve, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to 4,000 plant species, 140 tree species and an estimated 1,600 black bears.
  • Other animals that inhabit Great Smoky Mountains National Park include the Eastern cottontail rabbit, red wolf, groundhog, red fox, coyote, bobcat, river otter, white-tailed deer and wild boar.
  • A 70-mile stretch of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail winds through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • In addition to the Appalachian Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park features more than 850 miles of hiking trails.
  • Some of the most popular hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountain National Park include Abrams Falls Trail (5 miles round trip), Alum Cave Trail (11 miles round trip), Andrews Bald Trail (3.6 miles round trip), Boulevard Trail (16 miles round trip), Chasteen Creek Falls Trail (4 miles round trip), Chimney Tops Trail (4 miles round trip), Grotto Falls Trail (3 miles round trip), Hen Wallow Falls Trail (4 miles round trip), Indian Creek Falls Trail (2 miles round trip), Laurel Falls Trail (2.5 miles round trip), Ramsey Cascades Trail (8 miles round trip) and Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail (3,000-foot loop).
  • Cades Cove – a 4,000-acre scenic valley that boasts preserved pioneer homesteads, a campground and hiking trails – is the most visited area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Animals that call Cades Cove home include black bears, deer, foxes, wild turkey and raccoons. Dawn and dusk are the best times to catch a glimpse of wildlife in Cades Cove.
  • Near the Abrams Falls parking area in Cades Cove, visitors can view a typical Smoky Mountain homestead, complete with a barn, smokehouse, blacksmith shop and corncrib.
  • Horseback riding is available at Cades Cove Riding Stables. Cades Cove also offers hayrides during evenings from May through October.
  • At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains, followed by Mount Guyot (6,621 feet) and Mount LeConte (6,593 feet).
  • Clingmans Dome is also the third highest mountain East of the Mississippi behind Mount Craig (6,647 feet) and Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet).
  • A short but (steep!), 0.5-mile hike along a paved walkway takes visitors up to Clingmans Dome’s 54-foot-tall observation tower for spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • The Appalachian Trail crosses Clingmans Dome, marking the highest point along its 2,178-mile journey from Georgia to Maine.
  • Clingmans Dome was named in honor of North Carolina Senator Thomas Lanier Clingman, who helped measure it in 1858.
  • A total of 16 mountains within Great Smoky Mountains National Park reach elevations higher than 6,000 feet.
  • The Rockefeller Memorial along Newfound Gap Road marks the spot where President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park on September 2, 1940.

  • "There are trees here that stood before our forefathers ever came to this continent; there are brooks that still run as clear as on the day the first pioneer cupped his hand and drank from them. In this Park, we shall conserve these trees, the pine, the red-bud, the dogwood, the azalea, the rhododendron, the trout and the thrush for the happiness of the American people."
    - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • More than 13,000 members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians live in the 56,000-acre Qualla Boundary, the Eastern gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
  • Fishing is permitted in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which features more than 2,115 miles of streams and rivers (a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required).
  • It takes a 5.5-mile hike to reach the rustic LeConte Lodge on Mount LeConte (reservations are usually made up to a year in advance!).
  • The LeConte Lodge, which was built in 1926, has no electricity, telephones or running water.
  • Other than LeConte Lodge, there are no rental cabins, motels or hotels within Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Five hiking trails lead to Mount LeConte: Boulevard Trail (16 miles round trip), Alum Cave Trail (11 miles round trip), Rainbow Falls Trail (13.4 mile round trip), Trillium Gap Trail (13.4 miles round trip) and Bull Head Trail (14.4 miles round trip).
  • The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the “Salamander Capital of the World” since approximately 30 species of salamander can be found here.
  • Nestled along the Southwestern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 480-foot-tall Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States.
  • Known as the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies,” Townsend, Tennessee, serves as a low-key entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is home to several attractions, including Little River Railroad Museum and Tuckaleechee Caverns.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to approximately 1,500 species of wildflowers – more than any other national park in the United States.
  • Often called the “Crown Jewels of the Appalachian Mountains,” the Smokies were also referred to as the “ Land of Blue Mist” by the Cherokees.
  • Once a thriving farm community, the remote Cataloochee Valley section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to abundant wildlife, including deer, wild turkeys, black bear, elk and red wolves, as well as historic structures, campsites and numerous hiking trails, including the popular, 7-mile Boogerman Loop Trail.
  • John D. Rockefeller, Jr. contributed $5 million for the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the United States government added $2 million and private citizens from both Tennessee and North Carolina pitched in to assemble land for the park, piece by piece.
  • Throughout the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps, Works Progress Administration and other federal organizations created trails and fire watchtowers, and made other infrastructure improvements to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
  • The AAA magazine, Going Places, published its 2009 list of the “Top 10 U.S. National Parks,” which includes Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park holds an annual “Music of the Mountains” festival each March , in partnership with the City of Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains Association.
  • In 1983, Great Smoky Mountains National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Elk were released in Cataloochee Valley in 2001 as part of an experimental program to reintroduce them to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Approximately 550 miles of the hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open to horses.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park features five drive-in horse camps: Anthony Creek, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom and Towstring.
  • Picnic areas are located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Big Creek, Chimney Tops, Cades Cove, Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, Heintooga, Look Rock, Metcalf Bottoms and Twin Creeks.
  • Waterfalls that can be viewed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park include Abrams Falls, Grotto Falls, Hen Wallow Falls, Indian Creek/Toms Branch Falls, Juney Whank Falls, Laurel Falls, Mingo Falls, Mouse Creek Falls, Rainbow Falls and Ramsey Cascades, among others.
  • In 2008, Backpacker Magazine listed Abrams Falls Trail as one of "America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes." (Never climb on waterfalls!)
  • One of the most popular hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park leads to 80-foot Laurel Falls.
  • At 100 feet in height, Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Before the early 1800s, Cades Cove was part of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee referred to the valley as Tsiyahi or "place of the river otter."
  • Elevations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park range from 875 feet to 6,643 feet (Clingmans Dome).
  • More than 384 miles of road wind their way through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Dogs are allowed on only two trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Gatlinburg Trail and Oconaluftee River Trail.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park features 10 developed campgrounds: Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Elkmont, Look Rock and Smokemont.
  • From June through October, Great Smoky Mountains National Park hosts guided hikes, history demonstrations, campfires and other ranger-led programs.
  • The one-way, 6-mile-long Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail winds it way through forests and passes by overlooks, streams and waterfallsGreat Smoky Mountains National Park is home to two species of venomous snakes: the northern copperhead and timber rattlesnake.
  • Wildflower viewing? Generally, look for Spring Wildflowers in April, Flame Azalea in April and May, Mountain Laurel in May and June, Rhododendrons in June and fall foliage in October.
  • A free permit is required for all backcountry camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Permits are available at Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Sugarlands Visitor Center and other locations throughout the park.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies within a day's drive of two-thirds of the nation's population.
  • The Great Smoky Mountains were formed approximately 200-300 million years ago, making them among the oldest mountains in the world.
  • A total of 78 historic structures can be found throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Cades Cove, Elkmont, Cataloochee, Hazel Creek, Greenbrier, The Sugarlands, Noah Ogle Place, Roaring Fork, Little Greenbrier and Oconaluftee.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cabins for Romantic Getaways or Family Vacations in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge

Whether I'm visiting a cabin rental for real estate purposes, rental management purposes, or on behalf of guests, I always feel rejuvenated & happy to be in a beautiful log cabin in the Smoky Mountains.  There's nothing like staying in accommodations that appease all of your resort needs, while taking in our beautiful outdoors here in the Smokies.

For families, I often recommend cabin rentals that offer entertainment like Home Theaters, Arcade games, or recreational games.  The most popular games right now are pool tables, foosball, and air hockey.  It seems that home theaters have taken off because of people's infatuation with American Cinema, and the opportunity to experience a movie with family.  Log cabin rentals with indoor swimming pools or outdoor swimming pools near Dollywood or near Gatlinburg are also popular for family vacations in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  These resort settings are the great places to have fun & enjoy yourself!

For newlyweds or married couples, I recommend cabin rentals that are designed for romantic purposes.  These cabin rentals tend to be more secluded or private.  These chalets or cabin rentals also offer premium King beds, jacuzzis, and hot tubs.  A beautiful view or total seclusion by woodlands are a wonderful way to experience a romantic getaway!  Did you know there are grocery delivery services, in-room massages, and ministers that will even marry you in the cabin of your choice?  Gatlinburg was second to only Las Vegas, as the top honeymoon destination in the United States for sometime.  Many wedding chapels exist in the Smokies, so contact your cabin rental company if you have questions.

Whether it is for a romantic getaway or family vacation, there are many activities across the board that can fill your vacation schedule.  These activities include hiking, sight-seeing, outlet shopping, golf, horseback riding, zip-lines, river rafting, skiing, ice skating, and so much more!  So when you have a special occasion or just want to getaway for relaxation, consider a Smoky Mountain cabin today for your ultimate vacation! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 Quick Activities to Recommend for Kids (Gatlinburg, TN)

  1. Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
  2. Horseback Riding with the Family
  3. Water Rides at Splash Country
  4. Breakfast or Brunch at the Apple Barn
  5. River Rafting in Hartford, TN
  6. Mountain Cabin Rentals with the Family
  7. Tubing or Snowboarding at Ober Ski Resort
  8. Check out the Titanic Museum
  9. See Tennessee Shindig or Black Bear Jamboree Theaters
  10. See Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Monday, February 14, 2011

University of Tennessee - History (Knoxville, TN)

Blount College, the University of Tennessee’s forerunner, was established in Knoxville in 1794, two years before Tennessee became a state. Located near the center of Knoxville’s present business district, Blount College was nonsectarian in character, which was unusual for an institution of higher education in that day. The university has remained nondenominational and is said to be the oldest such institution west of the Appalachian Divide.

From the outset, Blount College was all-male, as were most colleges at the time. The restriction was ended in 1892 when the first women students were admitted. The University of Tennessee thereafter was fully coeducational.
In 1807 the state legislature changed the name to East Tennessee College, and in 1826 the present site at Knoxville, the 40-acre tract known as “The Hill,” was acquired. The college’s name changed again in 1840 – to East Tennessee University.

The Civil War forced the institution to close, and its buildings were used as a hospital for Confederate troops and later occupied by Union troops.
East Tennessee University reopened after the war, and in 1869 the state legislature selected the university as the state’s federal land-grant institution, under terms of the Morrill Act passed by Congress in 1862. This enabled the university to broaden its offerings by adding agricultural and engineering courses to its curriculum, as well as military science, which the Morrill Act required.

Today's enrollment is just over 27,000 students including under-graduate and graduate.  The next time you want to visit the University with your children or possibly take in a SEC athletic event, feel free to book a cabin rental in the Smokies.  Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are less than one hour away from Campus in Knoxville.  Knoxville has plenty to offer on "The Strip", down Kingston Pike, throughout Turkey Creek, and down on the River.  Make it a weekend event and take in the Smoky Mountains.  It will be a memory your family will cherish and appreciate.  We'll see you in Volunteer Land!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

I was surprised to hear the original land, including buyout of all property owners & commercial businesses that were bought out, cost the government just $12 million dollars to account for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.   With ten to twelve million visitors per year, we could acquire that in a year just by charging each visitor one dollar.  However, it is important to say that the attendance to the Park is free to all travellers.  Did you know the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited National Park in the nation?

The park was chartered by the United States Congress in 1934 and officially dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. It encompasses 814 square miles, making it one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States. The main park entrances are located along U.S. Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road) at the towns of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Cherokee, North Carolina.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moonshine, Nascar, & East Tennessee (Thunder Road, Smoky Mountains)

Tennessee has a very elaborate, colorful history with simple, but artistic people.  From the Thunder Road of Prohibition, spawned the Sport of Nascar.  The TVA & the creation of the Great Smoky Mountatin National Park brought commerce and business that has given jobs to thousands.  Whether it's music, arts, or crafts, Tennesseans have contributed as some of the most talented, artistic people in the nation.

Historically, Prohibition in the 1920s outlawed the manufacture and sale of liquor, giving a new value to the homemade Appalachian liquor known as moonshine. Daredevil drivers eluded federal marshals under the cover of darkness to “run the shine from the hollers to the speakeasies” on the treacherous mountain route known as “Thunder Road.” The shine runners became local celebrities, holding public races that eventually grew into today’s NASCAR.

In 1927, a talent scout from the Victor Talking Machine Company came to Tennessee and held the Bristol Recording Sessions, recognized as the birth of country music. These sessions and others discovered Jimmie Rogers, The Carter Family, and The Stoneman Family.
The Great Depression of the 1930s brought about federal projects in East Tennessee that transformed the region economically, but also forced over 45,000 people from their homes. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) sought to address flood control, power generation and outdoor recreation with the creation of massive dams and reservoirs that required the relocation of people, homes and cemeteries. Watauga, Douglas, Cherokee and South Holston are all projects on Sunny Side created by the TVA. The creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934 had the same effect, with over 1,000 families removed from their land to create what is now America’s most popular national park, a national treasure that draws 10 million visitors a year.

Today, East Tennessee is home to some of the state’s most engaging and most visited amusement, shopping and entertainment attractions, and the area is still known for its Appalachian crafts communities. Tennessee’s first city, Jonesborough, is now the Storytelling Capital of the World, hosting an annual fall festival that draws huge crowds to hear the best storytelling in the nation. Music is very much alive and well on the Sunny Side Trail, where dozens of local music venues promote and preserve the Appalachian and early country music sound. The legacy of the moonshiners lives on at the world’s fastest half mile NASCAR track at Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway, and the gorgeous hills and rivers create some of the country’s favorite national, state, and city parks and recreation areas.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Swimming Pool Cabins & Wonderworks -- A vacation package to remember in Pigeon Forge!

From its outside to its innermost reaches, WonderWorks will intrigue you, excite you and inspire you. Billed as “An Amusement Park for the Mind,” WonderWorks in Tennessee is perhaps the most educational family attraction in Pigeon Forge, if not the most unusual. As soon as you set eyes on WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, TN, your imagination will start working overtime as you wonder why the three-story, 82-foot-tall building is turned upside down. Its exterior hints at the mysteries and the challenges that lie inside.
Young and old alike will appreciate WonderWorks’ hands-on activities, interactive exhibits and demonstrations. WonderWorks Pigeon Forge include an inversion tunnel, an anti-gravity chamber, a replica of the Mercury space capsule, a hurricane hole with 65-mph winds and a re-creation of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake that lets you experience the effects of a 5.3 magnitude earthquake. There are more than 150 interactive exhibits at WonderWorks in Tennessee, including the Bubble Room, where you can wrap yourself inside a large bubble.
WonderWorks also offers laser tag, a video game arcade and the Wonders of Magic Show.

When coming to the Smokies with friends and family, I recommend choosing a log cabin rental like Skinny Dippin or Splash Mansion in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  These luxury cabin rentals have full kitchens, hot tubs, gamerooms, & private indoor swimming pools.  Your families will have the memories of a lifetime!  These vacation cabin rentals are like a resort all by themselves, so reserve a vacation rental today for your family getaway!

When you come to Pigeon Forge, I recommend you check out WonderWorks.  It's a special place for young kids & adults alike.  You'll find something new to interact with or observe around every corner.  Terry's Magic Show is great too! I promise you'll enjoy yourself.  Pigeon Forge's #1 indoor interactive attraction. An amusement park for the mind, featuring over 100 interactive exhibits to spark the imagination. Fun for the whole family to experience. Plan to stay for the nightly Wonders of Magic Show starring Terry Evanswood.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Dandridge & the Douglas Dam near Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

When visiting the Smoky Mountains, people always ask where the nearest lake might be to do boating and water sports.  The answer is Douglas Lake.  This area also features a historic district, fine restaurants, a hydroelectric dam, several marinas, and the Summertime playground of locals & tourists alike.  When visiting Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Sevierville, I recommend taking a ride to Douglas Lake for a meal, boating, or wave runner ride.  The beauty of the lake and surrounding mountains is a grand sight for people looking to do something different than the Parkway, the Smoky Mountain National Park, or Dollywood.

Located 32 miles above the mouth of French Broad River, this hydroelectric dam was built by TVA in world-record time in the 1940s to meet emergency energy demands during World War II.  The project required the purchase of 33,160 acres of land and the relocation of 525 families and 32 cemeteries before the area was flooded, creating Douglas Lake.  As the citizens of Dandridge faced the scheduled flooding of their town, they appealed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, pointing out that the town was the only place in the U.S. named for the country's First Lady -- Martha Dandridge Washington.  Mrs. Roosevelt made certain that a saddle dam was built to protect downtown Dandridge, and the town was spared.

Dandridge is one of the oldest towns in the state.  During the western expansion of the late 1700s, the fertile valleys, fresh water and abundant game of this area brought permanent settlers in 1783.  In less than a decade, the settlement grew large enough for William Blount, Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio River, to carve out a new county named Jefferson in honor of the Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson.  Today, downtown Dandridge is a National historic District featuring the 1845 courthouse & four original taverns on the district's walking tour.  The town has the unusual backdrop of the Dandridge Dike, constructed in 1942 to save the downtown area from the waters of Douglas Lake when TVA constructed a dam across the French Broad River.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Why Reserve a Smoky Mountain Vacation Cabin Rental?

With nearly 12 million visitors per year to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, tourists have to make a decision where to stay during their vacation in the Smoky Mountains.  There are many options for accommodations, when visiting Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  There are condos, villas, hotel rooms, chalets, cabin rentals, and campgrounds.  Travellers need to consider what is going to be most valuable, popular, and convenient for their family or friends when selecting accommodations.

Time and time again, vacation rental homes seem to win out as the most cost-efficient and popular amongst tourists.  In the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, log cabin rentals and chalets make up the majority of vacation rental homes for rent to the general public.  Gatlinburg cabins and Gatlinburg chalets feature full kitchens, hot tubs, fireplaces, outdoor decks, grills, and usually a picturesque mountain view!  Pigeon Forge cabins and Pigeon Forge chalets tend to offer the same things while being in proximity to Dollywood, music theaters, the Titanic Museum, and Splash Country.  Vacationers appreciate the privacy, amenity packages, pricing, views, and settings of the vacation rental cabins.  Due to the decreased space, limited decor, and lack of private amenities, first-time vacation home renters tend to eliminate hotel rooms from their future plans when cabin rentals or chalet rentals are available to them in the Smoky Mountains.

 The next time, you visit the Smoky Mountains, consider renting a cabin rental, chalet, or mountain villa for your family vacation to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  You'll have an enjoyable experience and memorable stay in the Mountains!  Most cabin rentals offer jacuzzis, sauna, hot tubs, pool tables, wi-fi internet access, creekside or mountain views, and King Premium beds.  Wake up to beautiful mountain views while you sip your morning coffee.  Enjoy soaking in the hot tub or jacuzzi with a loved one.  Play pool, air hockey, or foosball with friends.  Vacation homes, mountain cabin rentals, and mountain chalet rentals are great accommodations for birthday celebrations, family reunions, holidays, and other special occasions.


Friday, February 04, 2011

The History of Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Great Smoky Mountains)

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Nestled in the valley of the Little Pigeon River's West Fork and surrounded on three sides by the majestic National Park, Gatlinburg has evolved from a rural hamlet to a thriving gateway community.
Settled in the early 1800s, it was first named White Oak Flats for the abundant native white oak trees covering the landscape. It is believed a middle-aged widow, Martha Jane Huskey Ogle, was the first official settler here. She came with her family to start a new life in what her late-husband described as a "Land of Paradise" in East Tennessee.

In 1854, Radford C. Gatlin arrived in White Oak Flats and opened the village's second general store. Controversy soon surrounded him and was eventually banished from the community. However, the city still bears his name.

As a self-sustaining community, Gatlinburg changed little in the first one hundred years. When the Civil War erupted, some locals joined the Union, others the Confederacy. But, in general, the mountain people tried to remain neutral. Although only one Civil War skirmish was fought in Gatlinburg, countless raids were made by both sides to gather vital resources needed to sustain the war effort. As with much of the South, deprivation and hardship persisted long after the war.

Great Smoky Mountains History

With the formation of the Smoky Mountain national park, tourism boosted the area's economy. Many of the displaced mountain families moved into town, either developing new enterprises or taking jobs in new hotels, restaurants and service facilities to meet the needs of the burgeoning tourist industry. Progress slowed considerably during World War II. But, by war's end, tourists returned with a vengeance and the sleepy little village of Gatlinburg expanded to meet the demands. Incorporated in 1945, it has since developed into a four-season resort and convention Mecca.

The Radford Gatlin Story

Originally called White Oak Flats, there are many stories as to how Gatlinburg got its name, all involving a controversial figure who settled here in 1854. Radford C. Gatlin opened the town's second general store and when the post office was established in his store, in 1856, the town name changed to Gatlinburg. He was flamboyant and, as a preacher, established his own "Gatlinite" Baptist Church. He was a democrat in a republican community, and was eventually banished from the area.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (The 2011 Season)

Did you know the #1 Visited Amusement Park in Tennessee is Dollywood?  Dollywood has something for every family! You can experience the wonderful waterslides of Splash Country, try the rollercoasters, or listen to the fabulous entertainers that come from all over the World to sing & dance.  When visiting the Smoky Mountains, we recommend trying Dollywood at least one day.  Usually if you purchase a ticket after 3pm, they give you a return visit the next day for FREE.  The Park opens March 26th, 2011.  Cabin rentals are available near Dollywood, so give Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals a call for your Spring or Summer visit.

At the Dollywood theme park there is something for everyone to enjoy! Through late March to early January, Dollywood offers thrilling rides and award-winning entertainment.

Here you’ll discover great rides including the roller coasters Thunderhead™ and Mystery Mine®. Enjoy the best in country, bluegrass, classic rock ‘n’ roll and Southern gospel music with more than 30 performances daily.  Don’t miss Sha-Kon-O-Hey!, a musical celebration of the people, spirit and heritage of the Great Smoky Mountains.

At the Dollywood amusement park, many restaurants serve an array of delicious Southern cuisine. Plus four of the South’s largest festivals are thrown within Dollywood! The Festival of Nations begins the spring season, while the summertime is a KidsFest. In the fall there is a National Southern Gospel Harvest Celebration to partake in. The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a Smoky Mountain Christmas.  Spend your Seasonal getaway or holidays with Top Cabin Rentals in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!  They've got 150 different cabin rentals to accommodate your family during their vacation.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Winter Quotes from Gatlinburg, Tennessee (The Great Smoky Mountains)

 When you imagine the raw tenacity & endurance that 19th Century settlers had while surviving some harsh winters in the mountains, you give credit to their human spirit.  There is amazing beauty to winter storms, and their aftermath.  While driving through Cades Cove, you can see the cabins of a time long ago before rollercoasters, unwelcome billboards, timeshare peddlers, and golden arched burger joints have laid stake to our East Tennessee community.  This was a time when family bonded for warmth and distraction, fires endured for food preparation and pre-bedtime stories, and families prayed for a short winter.  Short winters meant the food rations would last and pneumonia would stave off.  Sometimes, its the new batch of log cabins that cluster these Smoky Mountains that can bring families together and let the experience the beauty of winter.  Its these experiences and memories that allow folks to respect Winter, while anticipating Spring.

Quotes that depict Winter & all that it bring us each year:

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours."  ~Robert Byrne

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.  ~Ruth Stout

"When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters.
~B. Cybrill

Every winter,
When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into a vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay -
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses.
~Charles Kingsley

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination.  ~Terri Guillemets

Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.
~Minna Thomas Antrim

Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories.  ~From the movie An Affair to Remember

Of winter's lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer's secret
Deep down within its heart.
~Charles G. Stater

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home.  ~Edith Sitwell

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Valentine's Day Celebration in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Tennessee has a variety of scenic backdrops, fun things to do, & romantic getaway spots to offer to the lovers on valentine day. Go ahead and check out the best of the ways in which you can be with your lover and celebrate your love in Tennessee with style and passion.

Celebrating valentine day can't be complete without the inclusion of the valentine gift basket full of cookies, valentine cookies and chocolates and the best of the local gourmets packed in one basket and decorated with the best of the flowers from the local florists.  Giving bouquets of lovely romantic flowers and roses to your lover is also facilitated by the local florists.  Contact your rental cabin company for preferred florists in the Smokies.
 A quiet night out with your lover in some mountaintop cabin or mountain chalet is the right idea if you love silence and solitude. The mountain or ridgetop resorts in the best of the tourist destinations offers the most favorable of the weekend package deals meant exclusively for lovers to enjoy.

The other methods of enjoying your valentine weekend with your lover are going for rafting to the big pigeon river or go for a horse ride with your lover to the smoking mountain hills. You can even go carting at the thunder mountain theme park inside Dollywood, and can experience the punch of thrill and joy in unison. You can enjoy your weekend stay at Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals, LLC that offers you numerous weekend facilities.   Their cabins have private indoor swimming pools, saunas, jacuzzis, and hot tubs for your romantic getaway.  On your drive to Gatlinburg, you can enjoy the wonder scenic beauty and experience the best of sight seeing facilities.

You can also go out to the best of the local restaurants where you get the best of the local cuisine prepared exclusively for this occasion.  You can also enjoy the best of the local restaurants at Bullfish Restaurant, Lil Toyko, or Cherokee Grill which also gives you a fine dining experience with a serene ambience, as well as a candle light dinner with your beloved. A visit to the Acorn Cabin Rentals is a must while in Tennessee to enjoy the company of your loved one.  You'll share the communications, memories, and emotional bliss that you may have been starving for in your everyday routines.  While you are here, you can make sure to visit Dollywood Theme Park, Tennessee Shindig, and also the Smoky Mountain National Park if hiking is one of your passions. The idea of romantic valentine parties by the water falls or the romantic camps along the national parks makes the occasion of valentine day in Tennessee a more memorable experience.

On Valentine's day the world over spreads the message of love for the lovers and friends in unison, but just like every other nation even Tennessee has some special activities & places to visit to contribute to the valentine jubilations.  We hope your Valentine's Day Getaway with your loved ones is a special time this year in 2011!  Come to the Smoky Mountains to capture loving memories that will last a lifetime.