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View Full Version : Update -- Pigeon Forge/Gaitlinburg, TN - Just back!!!


MinMouse
03-17-2008, 08:13 PM
Anybody been to this area? Where did you stay and was it a great family trip? We have a WDW trip scheduled for June and are looking for something fun to do in August for a week.

minnie10
03-17-2008, 08:16 PM
I have lots of suggestions but the absolute best if you don't mind the very expensive price is the music road hotel or the music road inn-awesome place for swimming with mini water parks. Runs around 150.00/night during the busy season.

MinMouse
03-17-2008, 08:18 PM
Thanks Minnie! I'd love to get hotel recommendations . . . they all look good online but you never know. We have six in our party so we might be interested in a suite or cabin rental that we could sleep everyone in.

Katlyn
03-17-2008, 09:08 PM
The hubby and I go at least once a year. We usually stay at Cobbly Nob which is a several miles out of Gatlinburg but still convenient. There you would have access to a golf course and I think they have several pools spread around the cabin area. We stay at God's Little Acre but there are many cabins to choose from. www.cobblynob.com. We are going the last week of October and can hardly wait.

cjstarr
03-17-2008, 09:41 PM
I have a SIL that is a district manager in Sevierville so we stayed at one of her hotels. There is a lot to do from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, ie…Dolly Wood, go-cart tracks, music shows and reviews, & shops everywhere. A must see are the Forbidden Cavern’s(out Hwy 411) outside of Sevierville and Cades Cove 7 miles (6 ˝ miles up the mountain & ˝ mile down to the valley) from Townsend. Make sure you have a good camera & camcorder as you will be taking a lot of pictures from both of these places. Also in Cades Cove there is a nice picnic area to have a lunch or cookout at.

Oh here is just one of the hundreds of photos that I have taken at the cove;
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00227-1.jpg

MinMouse
03-17-2008, 09:56 PM
The hubby and I go at least once a year. We usually stay at Cobbly Nob which is a several miles out of Gatlinburg but still convenient. There you would have access to a golf course and I think they have several pools spread around the cabin area. We stay at God's Little Acre but there are many cabins to choose from. www.cobblynob.com. We are going the last week of October and can hardly wait.

I love "God's Little Acre" . . . so of course the one week it's already booked for August is the week we're going! I'm going to look through the rest though. Thanks for the link!

Mindy

vegasnative
03-17-2008, 09:59 PM
Along with Cades Cove there is another motor route that I highly suggest you drive. It is called Roaring Fork, it is stunning, and we actually enjoyed this the best. We saw a baby bear cub climb down a tree and run across the road about 2 cars in front of us. It was amazing!
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm

Muushka
03-17-2008, 10:26 PM
We stayed in Sevierville last Sept. I was STUNNED how hot that place was. I thought we were going to the mountains and it would be cool. Boy was I wrong! No offense to the people who live there, but I was not that fond of it. I wish we had gotten a cabin in the mountains. We stayed at the Fairfield or Wyndham Smokey Mountain resort. Nice place, lots of construction and HOT!

MinMouse
03-17-2008, 10:57 PM
I have a SIL that is a district manager in Sevierville so we stayed at one of her hotels. There is a lot to do from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, ie…Dolly Wood, go-cart tracks, music shows and reviews, & shops everywhere. A must see are the Forbidden Cavern’s(out Hwy 411) outside of Sevierville and Cades Cove 7 miles (6 ˝ miles up the mountain & ˝ mile down to the valley) from Townsend. Make sure you have a good camera & camcorder as you will be taking a lot of pictures from both of these places. Also in Cades Cove there is a nice picnic area to have a lunch or cookout at.

Oh here is just one of the hundreds of photos that I have taken at the cove;
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00227-1.jpg

This is exactly the info I'm looking for. DH wants a relaxing vacation and I want to make sure there is enough to keep the DDs entertained. Your photo alone will have my DH hooked I'm sure. WOW! Thanks for sharing CJStarr

MinMouse
03-17-2008, 10:58 PM
Along with Cades Cove there is another motor route that I highly suggest you drive. It is called Roaring Fork, it is stunning, and we actually enjoyed this the best. We saw a baby bear cub climb down a tree and run across the road about 2 cars in front of us. It was amazing!
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm

Thanks so much! I've added this website to my file of info!

Katlyn
03-17-2008, 10:59 PM
I love "God's Little Acre" . . . so of course the one week it's already booked for August is the week we're going! I'm going to look through the rest though. Thanks for the link!

Mindy



You're welcome. Happy looking

MinMouse
03-17-2008, 11:00 PM
We stayed in Sevierville last Sept. I was STUNNED how hot that place was. I thought we were going to the mountains and it would be cool. Boy was I wrong! No offense to the people who live there, but I was not that fond of it. I wish we had gotten a cabin in the mountains. We stayed at the Fairfield or Wyndham Smokey Mountain resort. Nice place, lots of construction and HOT!


The heat is probably my biggest concern. We've been to WDW in August and found it sweltering. So I'm hoping the mountains will be cooler! Thanks for the input!

Katlyn
03-17-2008, 11:01 PM
Great pic of the deer at Cades Cove. We love that place so much we usually go twice when we are up there. Roaring Fork is also nice

cjstarr
03-17-2008, 11:57 PM
I'm not sure about a relaxing vacation as we where always on the go. Here are a few more pictures to really get your DH going.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00541.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00242.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00280-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00406.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00260.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00249.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/cjstarr/DSC00251.jpg

As you can see the crew had fun!!!:yay:
Still we are looking forward to going to Disney this year :yay: even though I'll miss my trip to the mountains.:sad1:

I'll look forward to seeing some pictures when you guys get back!

beachcomber701
03-18-2008, 07:01 AM
Glad to hear you're coming to the Smokies!! If you need some other cabin sites, I have a bunch that we have stayed with. Like the other poster said, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is fantastic!! We are going down there in two weeks to check out the wildflowers. Cades Cove is a wonderful area inbetween the mtns. where we have seen as many as 200 deer in one trip around the Cove as well as bear, coyotes, red foxes, and wild turkey! Hope you enjoy your trip!! Let me know if you need some more info on where to stay and I'l be happy to help! :goodvibes

Lucky'sMom
03-18-2008, 07:04 AM
We went a couple of years ago, stayed in a cabin and had a fabulous time! Our kids still talk about this trip (even though they go to Disney almost every year). We stayed at Alpine Mountain Village (www.alpinemountainvillage.com). The location was perfect for us. It is right off the main "drag" in Pigeon Forge and very convenient to all the sights. But it still has that "in the woods" feel since it is in a log home community. Things we enjoyed doing: Dollywood, Cade's Cove, Black Bear Jamboree, Comedy Barn, Gatlinburg Acquarium and that sky ride to the top of the mountain (can't remember name). There are cute Christmas shops, fudge shops, outlets, etc. So much to do. I know we'll be back sometime. I highly recommend staying in a log cabin. There are many cabin rentals in the area, and it really adds to the atmosphere of the trip.:goodvibes

mslclark
03-18-2008, 01:44 PM
We visit Gatlinburg/PF at least once a year. The best hotel we've found in Gatlinburg is the Hampton Inn. Location, location, location is very important in Gatlinburg, because you want to be where you can walk to all the shops and restaurants - there is no parking downtown. Most of the hotels in Gatlinburg are older, and they charge higher rates - location, location location again! The Hampton Inn has nice clean rooms, some overlook the river. Great complimentary hot breakfast! Right between TGI Friday's and Texas Roadhouse, and across from Bubba Gump's.

You'll find cheaper rates in Pigeon Forge. It depends on where you want to spend most of your time. I'd say a family would spend more time at PF. You can drive or ride the trolley into Gatlinburg. They're only about 5 miles apart.

In PF, we've gotten a good room at a good rate at the Quality Inn at Dollywood Lane. It's directly across from the Dixie Stampede. In walking distance to many restaurants including Denny's, Pizza Hut, Cracker Barrel, Kristy Kreme. The rooms aren't new, but they are clean. They have a complimentary breakfast, but it's not that great. We've stayed there twice and had no problems with our rooms whatsoever, and the staff is always friendly. The same owners own the Comfort Inn & Suites next door. It's newer and has interior corridors.

We've also stayed at the Park Grove Inn, it's closer to "Music Row" area of PF. This place was pretty nice too - nice, big rooms, clean. Complimentary breakfast was sub par. It's closer to Sevierville, where the best outlets are! There's a Disney outlet there too!

One thing to keep in mind is that Gatlinburg/PF is very busy in the fall, especially weekends. We were there the last weekend in September, and traffic on 441 was a standstill. Also, do some searching and make sure there isn't any car shows going on while you're going, because they will pack out PF and you won't be able to drive or go anywhere. I think Rod Run is the 1st weekend in Sept., not sure about that.

Weather - I've been in May and worn shorts, and I've seen snow! So it could be from one extreme to the other.

There's lots to do there, and lots of ways to spend your money - Dollywood, dinner shows, laser tag, go carts, mini golf, shopping, etc.

We go every May, as DH goes to a conference there every year, so if you have any questions I'll be glad to answer them if I can.

lovetomow
03-18-2008, 01:49 PM
We leave our camper in PF on a seasonal spot each year so I spend most weekends from May - Sept in PF.

Some hotel recommendations from past experience:

Music Road Inn
Music Road Hotel
Christmas Inn
Mainstay Suites
Comfort Inn Apple Valley
Econo Lodge Riverside
Comfort Inn - (One across from Dollywood Lane)
Ramada Limited Suites - Dollywood Lane

MinMouse
03-18-2008, 02:12 PM
We went a couple of years ago, stayed in a cabin and had a fabulous time! Our kids still talk about this trip (even though they go to Disney almost every year). We stayed at Alpine Mountain Village (www.alpinemountainvillage.com). The location was perfect for us. It is right off the main "drag" in Pigeon Forge and very convenient to all the sights. But it still has that "in the woods" feel since it is in a log home community. Things we enjoyed doing: Dollywood, Cade's Cove, Black Bear Jamboree, Comedy Barn, Gatlinburg Acquarium and that sky ride to the top of the mountain (can't remember name). There are cute Christmas shops, fudge shops, outlets, etc. So much to do. I know we'll be back sometime. I highly recommend staying in a log cabin. There are many cabin rentals in the area, and it really adds to the atmosphere of the trip.:goodvibes

Wow! More beautiful cabins to look at. Thanks for the site! Did you stay for a whole week? It's going to be about 10 hours for us to get there (we're in DE right outside Phila, PA). So we'd like to stay the whole week.

MinMouse
03-18-2008, 02:16 PM
One thing to keep in mind is that Gatlinburg/PF is very busy in the fall, especially weekends. We were there the last weekend in September, and traffic on 441 was a standstill. Also, do some searching and make sure there isn't any car shows going on while you're going, because they will pack out PF and you won't be able to drive or go anywhere. I think Rod Run is the 1st weekend in Sept., not sure about that.

Thanks for the heads up. We're planning on going in mid-August but I check for racing events while we're there.

MinMouse
03-18-2008, 02:17 PM
We leave our camper in PF on a seasonal spot each year so I spend most weekends from May - Sept in PF.

Some hotel recommendations from past experience:

Music Road Inn
Music Road Hotel
Christmas Inn
Mainstay Suites
Comfort Inn Apple Valley
Econo Lodge Riverside
Comfort Inn - (One across from Dollywood Lane)
Ramada Limited Suites - Dollywood Lane

Thanks for the hotel recommendations. We're leaning toward renting a cabin since there will definitely be 6 of us and we may have up to 10.

momof1princess
03-18-2008, 02:22 PM
we're going to gatlinburg next month for spring break (no wdw this year :( ) and we rented a cabin for $125.00 a night (it'll sleep 8 if necessary, but there's only 3 of us) from mountainchalets.com. the ppl were REALLY nice and the cabin looks gorgeous. it's called "black bear den". we're looking forward to visiting cades cove and cherokee, nc-especially the museum of the cherokee indian (DH's great, great (great?) grandfather was a cherokee chief). we may or may not do the aquarium, since we've been to the TN aquarium in chattanooga twice. also want to ride the lift up the mountain and maybe ice skate at ober gatlinburg. i'd love to go horseback riding or white water rafting, but i don't think DH will go for those. DD wants to "mine" for gems, lol, she doesn't care what she gets, she just wants to mine for something.

sanibelover
03-18-2008, 02:28 PM
Dissenter here.....Gatlinburg+Sevierville+Pigeon Forge=One Huge Miracle Mile full of go-kart tracks, mini golf, outlet malls, outdated hotels, Ripley's Believe It or Not Attractions, and fast food restaurants. The smokies are beautiful, but everything is so spread out - you end up in the car the whole time. Also the traffic on the main drag is brutal unless you go during the off season. Not one of my favorite vacation spots at all, but as you can see from the responses, plenty of folks love it.

If you will have kids with you, Nascar Speedpark was one of my kids absolute favorite things to do and the Alpine Slide at Ober Gatlinburg was also a hit. We do have family that work at Dollywood, so we got a ton of discounts, but it can be a very expensive vacation if you want to do a lot of the attractions.

We did enjoy hiking, but be prepared to get wet - it rains all the time during the warmer months. Not really the same as FLA where it usually rains once in the afternoon. The clouds and rain come and go all the time. I'm not trying to be a downer, just letting you know that not everyone is a fan.....

I do think if you were there during wildflower season and stuck close to the "natural" attractions, it could be very interesting. I do hope you will like it, and that you have a great vacation if you decide to visit!!!

MinMouse
03-18-2008, 03:42 PM
we're going to gatlinburg next month for spring break (no wdw this year :( ) and we rented a cabin for $125.00 a night (it'll sleep 8 if necessary, but there's only 3 of us) from mountainchalets.com. the ppl were REALLY nice and the cabin looks gorgeous. it's called "black bear den". we're looking forward to visiting cades cove and cherokee, nc-especially the museum of the cherokee indian (DH's great, great (great?) grandfather was a cherokee chief). we may or may not do the aquarium, since we've been to the TN aquarium in chattanooga twice. also want to ride the lift up the mountain and maybe ice skate at ober gatlinburg. i'd love to go horseback riding or white water rafting, but i don't think DH will go for those. DD wants to "mine" for gems, lol, she doesn't care what she gets, she just wants to mine for something.

I'll check out that website next. You all are a wealth of information. I knew I came to the right place. It's just nicer to "know" someone who can refer a good place. I would love to hear your review of the Black Bear Den when you return. Thanks!

mgilmer
03-18-2008, 03:46 PM
My wife and I honeymooned there and have been 2-3 times a year every year since (for 17 years!). We have stayed in hotels, some good and some bad, and mostly in cabins. Our best experience has been with Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg.
http://www.mountainchalets.com/

sharlon
03-18-2008, 03:54 PM
Can't really add much to the previous posts. It is not a spot that appeals to my family. That said, I am taking my girl scout troop the first weekend of April (they voted). With moms and girls, there will be 11 or 12 of us. We will be staying at Governor's Crossing in Sevierville. We got a 3 bedroom / 3 bath condo that sleeps 14 for $229/night. It has an indoor pool/mini waterpark. Might be worth looking at if you want to be in the middle of it all and not be in a hotel.

MinMouse
03-18-2008, 03:56 PM
Dissenter here.....Gatlinburg+Sevierville+Pigeon Forge=One Huge Miracle Mile full of go-kart tracks, mini golf, outlet malls, outdated hotels, Ripley's Believe It or Not Attractions, and fast food restaurants. The smokies are beautiful, but everything is so spread out - you end up in the car the whole time. Also the traffic on the main drag is brutal unless you go during the off season. Not one of my favorite vacation spots at all, but as you can see from the responses, plenty of folks love it.

If you will have kids with you, Nascar Speedpark was one of my kids absolute favorite things to do and the Alpine Slide at Ober Gatlinburg was also a hit. We do have family that work at Dollywood, so we got a ton of discounts, but it can be a very expensive vacation if you want to do a lot of the attractions.

We did enjoy hiking, but be prepared to get wet - it rains all the time during the warmer months. Not really the same as FLA where it usually rains once in the afternoon. The clouds and rain come and go all the time. I'm not trying to be a downer, just letting you know that not everyone is a fan.....

I do think if you were there during wildflower season and stuck close to the "natural" attractions, it could be very interesting. I do hope you will like it, and that you have a great vacation if you decide to visit!!!

I appreciate your input. Would you assume the entire summer is peak season? We're hoping to enjoy the "natural attractions" as we've never taken a "mountain" vacation and staying in a cabin so we have a place to retreat to. I think some of the "miracle mile" will appeal to the girls though and hopefully everyone will be happy.

MinMouse
03-18-2008, 03:58 PM
My wife and I honeymooned there and have been 2-3 times a year every year since (for 17 years!). We have stayed in hotels, some good and some bad, and mostly in cabins. Our best experience has been with Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg.
http://www.mountainchalets.com/

I'm checking out that website as we speak. Any particular cabin you enjoyed most?

tnhillbilly
03-18-2008, 04:10 PM
http://www.sherwoodforestresort.com/

have stayed here, its aobut 5 min off the main drag, but in the mtns, very private, gated and some of the cabins have priveate theater. Have stayed in a two bedroom one, sleeps 6 with the pullout. http://www.sherwoodforestresort.com/cabin.asp?property_id=1501

tinatark
03-18-2008, 08:19 PM
Minmouse, August is the slowest of the summer months (June, July, August) - schools are starting back and not as many people are here (I live in Sevierville).

To the poster who may not go to the Aquarium in Gatlinburg - it is NOTHING like the one in Chattanooga, a little similar to the one in Atlanta.

There are several Ripley's attractions here, but they are all well-run, clean businesses. There are also many locally owned, well operated businesses.

It will be hot in August, but with a drive into the National Park you will usually see a 10+ degree temp. drop.

There is SO much to do - a couple of tricks - both Wonderworks and Nascar Speedpark have all-day passes - you can go early in the day, leave and shop, swim, whatever, then go back. Nascar closes as the crowds dictate, Wonderworks is open until midnight. There is also a free mini-golf place at Nascar. The national park is something else - there are many places you can go for a short hike or picnic - go to the welcome center (just follow the "Spur" - you can't miss it!) and look at the info/maps posted there! Oh! Dollywood always has their "next day free" promotion - if you get there at 3 or later, the next day is free!

mantaz
03-18-2008, 08:53 PM
I have been looking for a place to stay there is June. DH and I got married there 10 years ago this June so we are planning to take DD this year. We stayed at a tiny cabin when we got married. It was at Douglas Lake and was so much fun. DH and I got married on horseback. So we want her to see where it all started. :)

Thanks for all the info on places to stay.

MinMouse
03-18-2008, 09:48 PM
Minmouse, August is the slowest of the summer months (June, July, August) - schools are starting back and not as many people are here (I live in Sevierville).

To the poster who may not go to the Aquarium in Gatlinburg - it is NOTHING like the one in Chattanooga, a little similar to the one in Atlanta.

There are several Ripley's attractions here, but they are all well-run, clean businesses. There are also many locally owned, well operated businesses.

It will be hot in August, but with a drive into the National Park you will usually see a 10+ degree temp. drop.

There is SO much to do - a couple of tricks - both Wonderworks and Nascar Speedpark have all-day passes - you can go early in the day, leave and shop, swim, whatever, then go back. Nascar closes as the crowds dictate, Wonderworks is open until midnight. There is also a free mini-golf place at Nascar. The national park is something else - there are many places you can go for a short hike or picnic - go to the welcome center (just follow the "Spur" - you can't miss it!) and look at the info/maps posted there! Oh! Dollywood always has their "next day free" promotion - if you get there at 3 or later, the next day is free!

Thanks for the "insider info!" We're looking at renting a cabin. We've seen some in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg . . . which location do you think would be best? We're looking forward to relaxing at the cabin but want to be able to have easy access to the national park and the fun amusements that are in the area.

momz
03-18-2008, 10:07 PM
If it is a relaxing vacation you want, then my suggestion would be to continue through the park and stay in Cherokee, NC. I say this because Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge is very very very congested. Lots of traffic. It can take forever to get to any destination. Also, it is the typical "tourist trap". Crap stores and and junk attractions every inch of the way. Your kids (if you have them) will be whining the whole trip, "I want to go there," "I want to see that," etc. And it's all JUNK!!! My family much prefers to spend our time in the park. If it is relaxation, and communing with nature that you are looking for, you will NOT find it in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge.

Lucky'sMom
03-18-2008, 11:02 PM
Minmouse...yes, we stayed for a week. They offer a year-round deal of stay 6 nights and get the 7th free. We stayed in Big Timber...right across from the pool. This was a very relaxing vacation, not as much constant "on the go" as our WDW trips. We went in late June, and did not find the traffic to be that bad. Pigeon Forge is nice because it's the town inbetween Sevierville and Gatlinburg, so it's pretty centrally located. My friend stayed in a cabin out in the mountains near Gatlinburg and ended up regretting it. She wished they had stayed closer to the attractions. They didn't go to half of the things they had planned on, due to commuting times and young children that needed naps, etc.

da-winnie-pooh
03-18-2008, 11:46 PM
My dd just got back tonight from Gatlinburg Falls cabins. She LOVED them. She said the views were gorgeous and it was like a lodge, not like a cabin. They seem to be pretty affordable, too.

Have fun!

mgilmer
03-19-2008, 03:55 PM
I'm checking out that website as we speak. Any particular cabin you enjoyed most?

Well most of the ones we stayed in are couple (two people) units but all their units are top notch. You cannot really go wrong with any of them. They used to be called Stanfil's Rentals. They are really good people.

mom2twinz3
03-19-2008, 05:27 PM
If you are looking to have the kids entertained, I think that either Gatlinburg Falls or Starrcrest resorts have the best cabins. They have game rooms that fully decked out with arcade games and pool tables and air hockey, foosball. You can't go wrong with either resort. StarrCrest is almost right next to Dollywood and Gatlinburg Falls is right off the main drag in Gatlinburg. Both resorts have small pools also and of course have the standard hot tubs on the decks.

Have fun!

Mary

TAEMom
03-19-2008, 05:59 PM
We're leaving this weekend for our first ever trip to Gatlinburg. After doing some research, we rented a cabin at Gatlinburg Falls. (cabinsofthesmokymountains.com) The cabins look amazing on the internet, but who knows?? I'll try to remember to let you know how it was when we return.

MinMouse
03-19-2008, 06:13 PM
Thanks for all the responses. My head is spinning a little bit with the choices. How did you all determine exactly where you wanted to stay --- Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge and what part of each area? There are so many places that look wonderful.

MissouriPrincess
03-19-2008, 06:38 PM
We went to Pigeon Forge/Gatlnburg last June for the first time and loved it. We would like to go back sometime. We have a 10 year old daughter, and she enjoyed it.

We did things probably a little more budget than most. We stayed at a Super 8 the week before "peak season" and it was only $29 a night with a coupon we found locally. The place was newer and clean, and it had continental breakfast, pool, and hot tub. It was fine for a family of three who likes to spend money on other things, if possible.

We did Cades Cove and Roaring Fork. They were both great, but the trail we saw the bear on was Roaring Fork. Both have old cabins along the route and you can purchase little booklets that tell about the people who lived there at the visitor's center. These are under a dollar each.

We did two days at Dollywood. We were there at rope drop both days and left around three each day. It was pretty warm when we left. We have a season pass to Silver Dollar City attractions, so our tickets were free last year. (This year, I believe they only offer half-price.) Be sure to ride the trolley if it works out economically for you. Parking is $7 at Dollywood, but you can ride the trolley for 50 cents a person both ways from the transfer station where you can park for free.

We also did the Splash Country waterpark for a half day. Again, we rode the trolley.

We went to the Ripley's aquarium. We liked it a lot. We rode the trolley from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg so we wouldn't have to find a parking place once we were there. We also walked around Gatlinburg that day. It's fun just to browse up and down the sidewalks.

We spent an afternoon at Ober Gatlinburg. We rode a ski-lift up a mountain. My daughter and husband had never been on a ski-lift. This is also where the apline racer thing is. They also have ice-skating inside a mall.

Our room had a fridge and a microwave, so sometimes we ate sandwiches and snacks in our room. We also grilled out twice--once in a city park near Gatlinburg and once in the picnic area near Cades Cove. We ate at the Old Mill resturant one night and the Great American Steak Buffet two nights. We liked both. We also ate two meals inside Dollywood. We had BBQ both times there.

Sorry if this is long, but we really had a good time. When we were planning the trip, we couldn't find a lot of info. We did stay the first night at a place we had read about, but it was $60 a night for an older room that was not in its best form. We checked out there and found the place we did stay at the next morning. There are lots of cabin rentals in the area. We were the most active in the mornings and evenings. We often went back to the motel in the afternoon to cool off, and this was in June.

Have a great trip! :)

MinMouse
03-19-2008, 06:52 PM
Missouri --- thanks for your trip report. Your itinerary sounds similar to what we'd like to see. We are leaning toward a cabin rental since we'll be traveling with my parents and there will be six of us. That's a good idea to do most of our sightseeing during the early daytime and evening. I hadn't thought of that but that's actually how we do WDW in the warmer months so it makes sense!

MissouriPrincess
03-19-2008, 07:10 PM
You're welcome, MinMouse. It's always fun to get information when planning a trip. We're heading to Colorado this year, and maybe Disney next year.

Have a great trip!

willis37862
03-19-2008, 07:19 PM
We stayed in Sevierville last Sept. I was STUNNED how hot that place was. I thought we were going to the mountains and it would be cool. Boy was I wrong! No offense to the people who live there, but I was not that fond of it. I wish we had gotten a cabin in the mountains. We stayed at the Fairfield or Wyndham Smokey Mountain resort. Nice place, lots of construction and HOT!

That pretty much sums it up. I have lived here 18 years and have no idea why people flock here year after year. No offense to those who like vacationing here , we need the business ;)

The heat is probably my biggest concern. We've been to WDW in August and found it sweltering. So I'm hoping the mountains will be cooler! Thanks for the input!

It will be HOT. Maybe not Florida in August hot but it gets very hot here. Heck it was 70 this morning, though it was a freak thing. It has been in the 60's all week. Like another poster said it is cooler in the mountains, so if you want to do any hiking you get a little relief from the heat.

I appreciate your input. Would you assume the entire summer is peak season? We're hoping to enjoy the "natural attractions" as we've never taken a "mountain" vacation and staying in a cabin so we have a place to retreat to. I think some of the "miracle mile" will appeal to the girls though and hopefully everyone will be happy.

As someone who lives right off the main road into town from the interstate , there isn't much of a slow season anymore. Right now it is the spring break crowds and then comes the summer crowds. The middle to end of August should be lighter but just understand that on the weekends it does get crowded and you might sit in some traffic and wait to eat at some popular restaurants.

I think just like any vacation a little planning goes a long way. Just be prepared and you can have a good time and not be disappointed. :)

tinatark
03-19-2008, 09:17 PM
Min - I would suggest Pigeon Forge - it's in the center of the towns!

About Cherokee - we went a while ago - in the daytime - it was gross - dirty, icky, and old. My opinion. Also went over there in October - with my aunts, they were here for my mother's birthday - got there around 9:30 on a Friday night and everything was closed (except for Harrah's ;) ).

It will be busy, but we live in Sevierville, and our business is in Gatlinburg - we travel between the 2 towns (about 5 miles) 6 days a week - if you plan your days right, you will not be stuck in traffic for hours. If you come in to town on a Friday/Saturday afternoon, you will be stuck in a back up on Hwy. 66. If you leave after check out on Sunday (when everyone else does), you will be in heavy traffic leaving town. Come in earlier on Friday/Saturday, or even on Sunday... leave a couple of hours after checkout on Sunday, or plan your trip for mid-week arrival and departure to avoid some of the crowds. Oh, and everyone shops at Wal Mart Sunday afternoon, after getting into town Fri/Sat... grr, I've had to go there on Sunday a couple of times the past year...

There are also bypass roads, "back roads"... if you have navigation, you can see them, or pm me for info!

cjstarr
03-19-2008, 09:47 PM
MinMouse if you guys are driving as I'm sure you are and you come through Cherokee, as you go up Hwy 441 towards Gatlinburg stop at Clingmans Dome (elv. 6643 ft) it will be right before you get to New Found Gap (on the right) which is the divide between NC and Tn. It is worth the stop and the climb to the over look tower at the top if you can make it. Then stop at New Found Gap and spend a few minutes there with the camera as the view will be breath taking.
Another thing that is good to have if you have a laptop is microsoft Streets & Trip with the GPS unit. It allows you to track your progress on screen.
I never leave home without it!!!;)

And I second tinatark comments about Cherokee, nice to go right on through and keep going.
If you can post your driving route as there are other sights worth seeing. Just need to know if you will be close enough.

Suz D
03-19-2008, 11:28 PM
we're going to gatlinburg next month for spring break (no wdw this year :( ) and we rented a cabin for $125.00 a night (it'll sleep 8 if necessary, but there's only 3 of us) from mountainchalets.com.

We just got back on Friday from our spring break in Gatlinburg. We too rented from mountainchalets.com. Sadly I didn't notice that I had rented a smoking is okay cabin :eek: which was icky, the cabin was older and the carpet needed cleaning and flooring was not great. All that being said, I would definately rent from them again. The people were wonderfully nice, the maintenance people were incredibly prompt (10 minutes one time and an immediate call back with a visit while were were out) one problem with fp one with heat/air), the cabin was outfitted with every kitchen utensil/appliance imaginable from a crockpot to a milkshake maker. Our view was spectacular. If you are a smoker or do not mind a smoking cabin, we really did enjoy "deerfoot ridge".

Also, if you are up for a drive and a bit of an expense, we drove over to Asheville and went to the Biltmore. Fantastic day!

mom2twinz3
03-20-2008, 04:14 PM
Thanks for all the responses. My head is spinning a little bit with the choices. How did you all determine exactly where you wanted to stay --- Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge and what part of each area? There are so many places that look wonderful.


Well, when we stayed at StarrCrest, my sister who lives near Kingsport treated us. She wanted to be close to Dollywood and it really is almost next door. What I liked about that place also was the views of Mt. Leconte. Gorgeous!

We drove through Gatlinburg which is about 5 miles away from Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg is a walking town while P.F. is not and is closer to the GSMNP. The kids were enthralled and begged to stay there next time. We knew we wanted a cabin with a decked out gameroom, comparable to StarrCrest resort, so some research later, I found Gatlinburg Falls.

Pigeon Forge is more like Coastal Hwy in Ocean City MD, or the main drag at Myrtle Beach. Gatlinburg has more of small town charm, and as I said is a walking town. But it also has many of the usual tourist attractions such as mini-golf and the Ripley's attractions. I am looking forward to shopping on the Arts and Crafts Loop which is near Gatlinburg.

I would suggest going to DiscoverTheSmokies.com and also the TripAdvisor forums on both PF and GBurg to help you decide.

Good luck,

Mary

#1hockeymom
03-20-2008, 06:40 PM
The hubby and I go at least once a year. We usually stay at Cobbly Nob which is a several miles out of Gatlinburg but still convenient. There you would have access to a golf course and I think they have several pools spread around the cabin area. We stay at God's Little Acre but there are many cabins to choose from. www.cobblynob.com. We are going the last week of October and can hardly wait.


OMG your post just flooded my mind with memories! Growing up, my Grandparents had their summer home in Cobbly Nob! (they lived in NJ and had a summer home there and a winter home on Hutchison Island, FL). I had forgotten the name of the place, till I read this!

When they lived there the mountain was a gated community, all owned homes. I see they bought them all and now rent.

Here is my grandparents house!
http://www.cobblynob.com/bears_den.htm

Its right down the street from the double decker pool with the slide between the levels (I'm assuming that still exists!)

WOW.. .just wow.. .I wanna go back! :cloud9: Prices are real reasonable, too. I had great memories of those summers! They left, I believe, in 1984 or 85. I was married and didn't go down in 85 so I don't remember.

MinMouse
03-21-2008, 08:05 PM
MinMouse if you guys are driving as I'm sure you are and you come through Cherokee,

Yes, we are driving from Wilmington, DE (just south of Philadelphia, PA). So we won't be coming through Cherokee. So I think our travel will be I95 south through Md, DC, to Route 66 West, to 81 West. It maps out to about 10 hours of driving. At this point we're planning on doing it in one shot (we are very used to long distance driving). But if there is anything notable to see along the way that'd be great to know.

MinMouse
03-21-2008, 08:07 PM
We just got back on Friday from our spring break in Gatlinburg. We too rented from mountainchalets.com. Sadly I didn't notice that I had rented a smoking is okay cabin :eek: which was icky, the cabin was older and the carpet needed cleaning and flooring was not great. All that being said, I would definately rent from them again. The people were wonderfully nice, the maintenance people were incredibly prompt (10 minutes one time and an immediate call back with a visit while were were out) one problem with fp one with heat/air), the cabin was outfitted with every kitchen utensil/appliance imaginable from a crockpot to a milkshake maker. Our view was spectacular. If you are a smoker or do not mind a smoking cabin, we really did enjoy "deerfoot ridge".

Also, if you are up for a drive and a bit of an expense, we drove over to Asheville and went to the Biltmore. Fantastic day!

Thanks for the info. We are all non-smokers so we'll make sure to rent a non-smoking cabin. I can't stand it when we end up with a smoking hotel room so an entire week would be tough. I've seen pics of the Biltmore . . . that must've been awesome! How far was Asheville?

MinMouse
03-21-2008, 08:08 PM
Well, when we stayed at StarrCrest, my sister who lives near Kingsport treated us. She wanted to be close to Dollywood and it really is almost next door. What I liked about that place also was the views of Mt. Leconte. Gorgeous!

We drove through Gatlinburg which is about 5 miles away from Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg is a walking town while P.F. is not and is closer to the GSMNP. The kids were enthralled and begged to stay there next time. We knew we wanted a cabin with a decked out gameroom, comparable to StarrCrest resort, so some research later, I found Gatlinburg Falls.

Pigeon Forge is more like Coastal Hwy in Ocean City MD, or the main drag at Myrtle Beach. Gatlinburg has more of small town charm, and as I said is a walking town. But it also has many of the usual tourist attractions such as mini-golf and the Ripley's attractions. I am looking forward to shopping on the Arts and Crafts Loop which is near Gatlinburg.

I would suggest going to DiscoverTheSmokies.com and also the TripAdvisor forums on both PF and GBurg to help you decide.

Good luck,

Mary

Thanks for the info. I love looking at all the websites everyone's suggested.

MinMouse
03-21-2008, 08:11 PM
Here is my grandparents house!
http://www.cobblynob.com/bears_den.htmWOW.. .just wow.. .I wanna go back! :cloud9: Prices are real reasonable, too. I had great memories of those summers! They left, I believe, in 1984 or 85. I was married and didn't go down in 85 so I don't remember.

Hockeymom --- you should definitely go back with your family. It looks like a great place with an amazing view (and room enough for your entire brood!). That would be really fun.

finz2left
03-21-2008, 08:53 PM
We stayed at Westgate Smoky Mountains Timeshare in a 2 Bedroom unit for 60.00 a night! They were beautiful units, had great kitchens, laundry machines, etc. When we checked in, we told them we'd like to try the indoor water park, and were given free passes!!!

Now, on the day before we left, we did have to sit through a timeshare presentation (free breakfast, and a 90 min hardsell!!) and we simply told them there was no way we were going to buy that day. They called a manager, who dropped the price, and we told him the same thing. Then "Rob" came for the final pitch and a "prepaid vacation" offer, we told him, we never bought without researching, and needed to do so. Period. We left. They saw at least 150 families that day. Read up on Westagate ... hard sell, but beautiful properties.

If you have NO in you, and are sure of it, is was a very inexpensive vacay with a great location, indoor waterpark, beautiful accommodations, and close to Gatlinburg (2 mins by car to the heart of downtown!).

We passed on the shows -- not our thing. We loved several local restaurants, and the Aquarium, hiking, etc.

Corjack
03-21-2008, 09:01 PM
We have been 3 times. We got married there too! Last visit we rented a Chalet and LOVED it! We had 9 people and had a blast!

Tons of stuff to do and great atmosphere!

Great family vaca place! I have AWESOME pictures from there. I don't think my post count is high enough to post them though.

Jackie

Suz D
03-21-2008, 09:09 PM
Thanks for the info. We are all non-smokers so we'll make sure to rent a non-smoking cabin. I can't stand it when we end up with a smoking hotel room so an entire week would be tough. I've seen pics of the Biltmore . . . that must've been awesome! How far was Asheville?

Asheville was about 90 minutes away. The drive is probably 3/4 or more on the interstate. Beautiful drive, but if your kids are prone to motion sickness, dramamine is recommended.

Katlyn
03-21-2008, 09:13 PM
OMG your post just flooded my mind with memories! Growing up, my Grandparents had their summer home in Cobbly Nob! (they lived in NJ and had a summer home there and a winter home on Hutchison Island, FL). I had forgotten the name of the place, till I read this!

When they lived there the mountain was a gated community, all owned homes. I see they bought them all and now rent.

Here is my grandparents house!
http://www.cobblynob.com/bears_den.htm

Its right down the street from the double decker pool with the slide between the levels (I'm assuming that still exists!)

WOW.. .just wow.. .I wanna go back! :cloud9: Prices are real reasonable, too. I had great memories of those summers! They left, I believe, in 1984 or 85. I was married and didn't go down in 85 so I don't remember.


Glad I bring back some good memories. I love the view from that cabin, you should make plans to return fo a visit.

beachcomber701
03-22-2008, 07:48 AM
Biltmore House also has summer evening concerts in case you're interested. August 9th--REO Speedwagon, August 15th--Beach Boys. There are other bands listed on their site. If you're up for a scenic, but longer drive to Asheville, you can get on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Cherokee, NC and drive to Asheville. Some of the most beautiful scenery of the Smokies is from the Parkway.

hinodis
03-22-2008, 12:22 PM
Thanks to this thread....We are going to the Smokies in June!!! I have been there about 20 times and have not been back in 7 years. Thanks for all the great info. And thanks to the Governments refund check that will be funding this.

MinMouse
03-27-2008, 10:09 AM
OP here. . . . just wanted to say THANKS to everyone who gave such great tips for Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge. Since orginally posting my brother's family has decided to join us also. So now it's my parents, bro + 2 kids and the 4 of us. So as of this morning we've rented a cabin in Gatlinburg Falls and we're so excited about our trip! Of course, anymore tips you have about this area is greatly appreciated.

mom2twinz3
03-27-2008, 07:57 PM
Congratulations on making the ressies! I think you made a great choice. The best advice I can give you is to read the two websites I posted before. You can also post questions on both the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge forums on TripAdvisor and they are really friendly there. I know one lady has stayed at a few of the Gatlinburg Falls cabins and she seems to know quite a bit about the resort.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful time!

Mary

ski_mom
04-07-2008, 11:55 AM
We went a couple of years ago, stayed in a cabin and had a fabulous time! Our kids still talk about this trip (even though they go to Disney almost every year). We stayed at Alpine Mountain Village (www.alpinemountainvillage.com). The location was perfect for us. It is right off the main "drag" in Pigeon Forge and very convenient to all the sights. But it still has that "in the woods" feel since it is in a log home community. Things we enjoyed doing: Dollywood, Cade's Cove, Black Bear Jamboree, Comedy Barn, Gatlinburg Acquarium and that sky ride to the top of the mountain (can't remember name). There are cute Christmas shops, fudge shops, outlets, etc. So much to do. I know we'll be back sometime. I highly recommend staying in a log cabin. There are many cabin rentals in the area, and it really adds to the atmosphere of the trip.:goodvibes


After doing some research, I think we are going to be going to this area and staying at the alpine mountain village cabins too. We haven't picked out which cabin yet though. One of my main questions is pool access. I assume that you have to drive to the pool from the cabins?? Do you know is there anywhere online where you can see a layout of the resort as far as being able to pick your cabin location - or do you think it matters? I've emailed them (alpine mountain village) about the map, but thought you might have some great input too!

Thanks!

MinMouse
08-17-2008, 08:45 AM
Thanks to everyone who gave us input for our Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge trip. Nine family members went on the trip -- GP & GM, my DB & his two kids; DH, our 2 DDs and me! We had a beautiful cabin in Gatlinburg Falls that had a wonderful view of the Smokies. We spent lots of time hanging out on our decks there and just enjoying our view. We drove the Roaring Fork Loop and Cades Cove Loop (twice . . . saw bear both times! YEAH!); hiked to Clingman's Dome; DH and I got away one morning and hiked to Laurel Falls too. We also took in some activities the kids really enjoyed: Dollywood, Splash Country, some mini-golf, shopping in Gatlinburg for the girls and Knifeworks for the boys!, and had a great time hanging out together. Thanks for all your tips and advice!