I’ve never heard of anyone leaving Gatlinburg because they ran out of things to do, after years of living in the Smokies, I still haven’t done it all. But, after our first post about Gatlinburg’s Most Unique Attractions, I’ve received a lot of emails regarding whether or not I would recommend this or that attraction. In that spirit, here is Part 2 of Gatlinburg’s Most Unique Attractions:
1. White Water Rafting. Don’t be afraid, really. If my 9 year old and 4 of his friends from the Boys & Girls Club can make it down the river with just one guide in the boat…you can do it too. Come prepared to get wet, though. We love Smoky Mountain Outdoors. They are great water guides plus they support the ERA for MDA Golf Benefit and the Gatlinburg Boys & Girls Club. Smoky Mountain Outdoors run 8 person Self-Bailing Riken Rafts. These are 6 chamber boats with inflated floors so that no bailing is required. Falling out is a very rare occurrence due to the design of the Riken Pioneers. Each boat consists of 1 guide & 6 or 7 passengers. You’ll be assured a safe & enjoyable ride in these boats. The fun & excitement of white water rafting in North Carolina is available to everyone. We are equipped to accommodate persons with most any type of physical impairment. Call 1-800-771-RAFT to make your reservation today!
2. Spa Day. Many people come to the Smokies to hike and fish, but don’t forget to pamper yourself while you are here as well. I recommend About You Salon & Day Spa. Discover the benefits of therapeutic massage, bodywork, facials and just plain pampering yourself. The Spa experience at About You Salon & Day Spa in Gatlinburg is both refreshing and health-enhancing! Take a moment for yourself and spend some time immersed in their unique calming atmosphere. Mention that you were recommended by ERA In The Smokies to take advantage of Weekday Specials: Monday-$10 off a Ladies Haircut w/Shampoo (Tesa cuts my hair), Tuesday- 1/2 off Spa Manicure with Spa Pedicure, Wednesday – 15% off any Spa Service, Thursday – Free Hair Cut with any Chemical Service. For an appointment, call (865) 436-6601.
3. Wax Museum. Admittedly, wax museums aren’t for everyone. I know some of you find them creepy. But, if you think getting your picture taken with the cast of the original Star Trek or Elvis AND James Dean or many others offsets the creepy-factor, then check out Hollywood Wax Museum. There are ENDLESS photo opportunities– Click Here for a small sample of pictures you could add to your scrapbook. You can purchase tickets at Hollywood Wax Museum (located between traffic lights #8 and #10 in Downtown Gatlinburg) or print Online Tickets that are reasonably priced. My family had a blast!
4. Snow Skiing. Everyone assumes that the crowds flock to Gatlinburg to ski in the winter. So, people are always surprised that peak season in Gatlinburg is actually July and October. Winter is a wonderful time of year to visit Gatlinburg. Winter is always mild by northern standards, and snowy by southern standards. What better way to spend your winter vacation or just your weekend getaway than skiing? Slopes usually open by mid-December and often stay open through mid-March. Ober Gatlinburg offers 8 ski trails serviced by two quad and one double chairlift which keeps you out of lift lines and on the slopes. When temperatures drop, their snow making equipment blankets 100% of our slopes. Slopes are maintained with the latest in snow-grooming equipment to provide a smoother, more consistent surface creating enjoyable skiing conditions. If skiing isn’t for you, you can always try your luck with the newest addition — snow tubing…Or, if all else fails you can always dress like a snow bunny and look fabulous sipping coffee by the fire!
5. Hummer Tours. Okay, I admit it…this one isn’t the greenest attraction, but a Hummer tour is greener and cheaper than buying or renting one of your own. Open 365 days a year, Off Road Voyages uses 11 passenger Hummers with stadium seating for you to enjoy spectacular views, water crossings, waterfalls, 2 foot deep mud holes, 15 foot vertical drops and up to 30 degree side slopes. For a real adventure, try it in the snow or rain! To watch an introductory video created by Off Road Voyages, Click Here! To make your reservations, call 1-866-99-VOYAGES. This is a truly unique way to see the Smokies!
6. Haunted Ghost Tour. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, taking a ghost tour of Gatlinburg will be a memorable part of your vacation. Take a leisurely stroll and search along the shadowy streets and alleys of Gatlinburg, to hear stories of the unexplained and strange. Hear about a number of haunted hotels and buildings in the downtown area, about a gruesome murder committed at a very famous hotel & the young girl and security guard who still haunt it. Listen to the tale of a young man who made a foolish mistake and continues to pay for it to this very day. Tour a cemetery that was built in 1830-a most frightful place indeed! Tours run 7 days per week March through October. Buy tickets online.
7. Greenbrier Restaurant. Speaking of haunted outings, the legend of Greenbrier Restaurant is known throughout the Smokies. The ghost of Lydia is said to still roam the old Greenbrier Lodge. Her spirit is often seen on the stairs of the second floor landing. Guests who eat there claim to see her small, sad figure wandering around. Others claim to feel her chilling presence. These days, Greenbrier Restaurant is better known for their cuisine. Hidden away on a hillside above Gatlinburg, the historic log cabin, built in 1939, offers a relaxed atmosphere for an unforgettable dining experience. As you look out at the woodland view through floor to ceiling windows, take the time to relax and enjoy tasty appetizers, succulent prime rib, mountain trout and other specialties. Call (865) 436-6318 to make a reservation or click here for a full menu!
8. The Elvis Museum. We admit, it isn’t Graceland. However, the Elvis Museum in Pigeon Forge proudly boasts the largest privately held collection of Elvis memorabilia IN THE WORLD. The collection began in 1971 when a chance meeting at a Las Vegas post-performance party ended with Elvis giving away the very belt he was wearing. After Elvis passed away, Mike L. Moon opened the first Elvis museum outside the gates of Graceland in 1979. Exhibits now include everything from jewelry to limousines. Buy tickets online or call 1-866-68-ELVIS.
9. Smoky Mountain Angler. I promise it isn’t just a bait shop. We love to fish, and I am always telling folks about the wonder of trout fishing in the Smokies. I frequently get replies such as, “I don’t know where to fish” or “I don’t want to haul my fishin’ poles on vacation.” Well, problem solved. Smoky Mountain Angler has a full line of tackle, bait, clothing and accessories as well as experienced guides that can help you find the perfect fishin’ hole. Plus, they even rent equipment if you are a first timer or just didn’t want to pack your pole.
10. Cirque de Chine. Vegas has wedding chapels and Cirque de soleil; Gatlinburg has wedding chapels and Cirque de Chine. Chinese acrobats delight and amaze. Excitement, danger, color, costumes, and music added together create over two hours of memories to last forever. It very well may be the most outstanding production west of New York and east of Las Vegas. Buy tickets online or call 1-800-226-2933.
To see the original “Unique Gatlinburg Attractions — Part 1” Click Here!
This blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.