The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of The Smokies

Trip Start Aug 01, 2013
Trip End Aug 06, 2013

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Where I stayed
Roaring Fork Motel & Cottages Gatlinburg
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
Smokey Mountains
Chairlift up the mountain

Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wanna take a trip to the Smokies? Wanna see a bear? What about 7 Ripley's Believe It Or Not museums that look completely different yet vastly the same? Then Gatlinburg, TN is the place for you! It's a charming old city with a lot of history and in some cases can be very touristy. I stayed there for 1 1/2 days on a road trip with one of my best friends and it was great. Driving into the city was a true test of patience and shock, however. We took the route of passing through Pigeon Forge in order to get to Gatlinburg. Boy, was that something. Pigeon Forge is a tourist trap just waiting to prey on its next victim. That probably was me. It was me. Hopefully, if you ever make the trip through there you don't have a strong urge to use the restroom because the traffic is literally bumper to bumper.
On the bright side, there's a lot of things to do down there like mini golfing, Dollywood, amusement park rides, arcades, you name it. It's definitely a great place for kids and their parents who have their wallets burning a hole in their pockets. 

If you make it to Gatlin- I mean when you make it to Gatlinburg, you'll find that it's pretty much the same as Pigeon Forge. It thrives off of its tourist attractions like mini golfing, souvenir stores, moonshine kiosks, and many Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museums. Whoever built them must be betting that you're a huge fan of the museum and will give anything to support Ripley and his believe it or not museum and have a little fun at the same time. I have to say, I think the museum is a lot of fun and exciting! I've only been to one of them so far, but hey, I'll spend the $17.99 entrance fee per museum to find out what makes them each so exciting and different. 

Other than that, downtown Gatlinburg is such a fun place to grab a drink (moonshine for the adventurous ones) or a bite to eat. If you have children, they will be occupied with all of the fun attractions that Gatlinburg has to offer. I think one of my favorite things that I did there was take a chairlift ride up the side of the mountain. I believe it was only $12 to make the round trip. Or I guess $6 if you never want to return to civilization. Once you get to the top, the view is incredible! You will see so many mountains that you feel like you got your dose of good mountain seeing. I promise, it's worth it! The chairlift ride is pretty short though so you might not think it's worth the $12 if you are on a tight budget. 

 Other than the chairlift, I went hiking in the Smokey mountains to a bluff that took about 3 hours! It's a great trail with a lot of variety. You get to walk through forest, caves, waterfalls, and the view at the top of the bluff is incredible! the only downside is realizing that you have to climb back down the mountain. If you're lucky and the weather is right, you'll be able to see bears. The Smokey Mountain National Park itself offers so many other different types of trails so you would like to hike on a trail that's different from the normal or want to go longer than 3 hours, it's all there waiting for you! Just be sure if you're going to take on such a task, that you stay safe, wear proper shoes, and drink lots of water! Be weary of the temptation to drink water from creeks, waterfalls, or streams. It looks clean but there are most likely micro-organisms living within it that can make you sick. Yes, I have had some of the water. No, I did not get sick because I got lucky but please don't do what I did! Safety is important!

After we conquered the Smokies we decided to drive up to the top of one of the mountains. The name escapes me but it was a blast. It took about 20 min- 30 min to make it to the top and the view is breathtaking. This is probably where you would like to take your Kodak Moment picture. You can also climb to the top of this roofless tower where you officially are 11,000-12,000 feet off the ground and clouds are literally passing through you. It is such a cool sight! 

After this, we embarked on a 7 hour drive to Nashville.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I didn't really touch on food because we stuck to the fast food lifestyle BUT  I do know that if you are a vegan/vegetarian good luck! There are no restaurants that serve that type of food so be sure to bring snacks! 



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