Celebrate Freedom!

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Summertime is here in the Great Smoky Mountains! We start off the month with the Nation’s First Independence Day Parade. It has been named by National Geographic Traveler Magazine as a “Top Ten Parade to see in the US”. The Parade begins at midnight on July 4th, 2017. Firefighters, First Responders and Law Enforcement Officers who came to our aid during the Gatlinburg Wildfires of last year will be this years Grand Marshals at the event. Several marching units and bands from across the country will also be featured in the parade. The parade begins at traffic light #1A on East Parkway and turns south onto Parkway at traffic light #3, traveling downtown to traffic light #10 at Ski Mountain Road.

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Activities on July 4, 2017 include our River Raft Regatta, held every year on the Little Pigeon River in Downtown Gatlinburg. Registration beings at Noon at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road. Anything float able can be entered into the contest, and is categorized by Trash (not hand-made) or Treasure (hand-made). The event is free to the public and starts at Noon. There will be awards at the end of the event, which ends at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

fireworks250x.jpgFireworks begin at 10:00 pm on the fourth and can best be view from Traffic Lights #3 and #5. It was last approximately 20 minutes. Leading up to the event we will have the 129th Army Band putting on a performance at 6:00 pm on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.

 

Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge will also join in on the Fourth of July celebrations. thompson-square.jpgThey will be hosting a free festival with food, activities, live music and fireworks. The vendors and Kids’ Carnival will begin at noon. Music begins at 1:30 pm with the final performance, Thompson Square, at 8:30 pm. Following the close of the events from the day will be a Fireworks Showcase starting at 9:45 pm. Free parking is available at the Teaster Lane Municipal Parking Lot with a shuttle service available for the event.

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and LOGO with textRentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

 

Spring Into The Smokies

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The First Day of Spring is here! Springtime is one of the prettiest times to visit the Great Smoky Mountains. The greenery is boasting it’s color and the warmer weather is approaching. Flowers all around are starting to pop up and bloom. Animals are also returning to their active states and can be spotted all throughout the Park.

Our 67th Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage will be held on April 11-15, 2017. This five-day workshop is held annually to help spread knowledge of the regions wildflowers, wildlife, history and much more. With programs held indoor and outdoor, rain or shine, there is more than enough to keep you busy! To register for this event visit the Online Registration.

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The Annual Smoky Mountain Trout tournament will be taking place April 1-2 this year. It is open to locals and tourists of all ages and is the largest trout tournament in the Smokies. Fish over 20 miles of stocked streams! There will be over $10,000 in cash and prizes! For more information or to register, visit online or stop by Smoky Mountain Angler in Gatlinburg to apply in person.

 

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Dollywood reopened on March 18, 2017 and is kicking off with the famous Festival Of Nations! This Festival will showcase several different cultures by featuring music, dance, food and art from each one. The Invaders Steel Orchestra is a world renowned band of performers carrying on traditions from over 75 years ago. They are also coming out with two new rides for the 2017 season.
Drop Dropline_DollywoodLine is a 200-foot tall free fall ride, taking guests 20 stories high to enjoy a spectacular view of the park before the free fall. Whistle Punk Chaser is a new junior coaster that will be opening Summer 2017.

 

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentalslocated at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

 

 

 

Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland

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Don’t let the winter months scare you from going outside, there is still so much to be seen. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is brimming with beauty, even in the colder months. Several hikes will give you luxurious views of snowy mountains, icy falls and even traces of wildlife!snowycreek_ig

Alum Cave Bluffs is a 5 mile, round trip hike that sits off of Newfound Gap Road. The trail has recently been restored for better access to hikers. During the winter months, the drips from the Bluff turn into icicles, so watch out! If you continue from the Bluffs up another 2.5 miles, you’ll reach the summit of Mt. LeConte and run into some amazing views. This is a difficult hike, especially in the snow so don’t forget to come prepared for anything.

Another Local favorite is Porters Creek Trail. This kid-friendly, 2 mile hike leads into what used to be a small farmstead. You will see several buildings and other structures still standing from the early 1900s. Follow the trail left up to Fern Branch Falls for a magnificent view of the 60-foot frozen waterfall. laurel250xv

Laurel Falls is a paved, relatively easy trail, but one of the most traveled in the area. The trail is kid-friendly, although it does have a few steep drop offs along the way. In the winter, the Falls will ice over providing you with the perfect winter snapshot.

Our favorite winter hike would have to be Rainbow Falls. This 5.5 mile hike is rated as moderate to difficult, climbing a total of 1,700 feet. This trail sends you right through Bear Country so always keep an eye out for wildlife, even though they usually hibernate through winter. The 80-foot Falls usually boasts a beautiful rainbow, hence the name, although in the winter months it will freeze, creating a gorgeous hourglass shaped ice sculpture! You really have to see this one for yourself!

Remember that preparation is key for hiking, especially in the winter. Some guidelines to ensuring your safety include carrying a map of the area, informing another person(s) where you are going and when you plan to return, researching terrain or trail conditions and staying up to date on weather and weather alerts. Don’t forget to bring key items such as water, food, a flashlight, trekking poles for stability, an emergency blanket and other items you may need in case any unforeseen issues arise. Always dress in layers and wear adequate shoes or boots. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times and always practice Leave No Trace principles.

 

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

Stay Warm – Come On In!

Planning your vacation this Winter? Look no further than the Great Smoky Mountains! There are a slew of indoor activities in the area. Whether you’re here with family or on a couples retreat, we have something for you!

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As you drive into Sevier County, you’ll see the crazy large upside-down house known as Wonderworks! This 35,000 square ft. house is jam packed with FUN for the whole family! Inside you’ll find over a hundred hands on exhibits for all ages, with six different “Wonder Zones” to explore. They mix education with entertainment for an experience you’re family won’t forget. Don’t miss the glow in the dark indoor ropes course, sure to bring out the child side in you. If you want to get your adrenaline going, try out the Rock Climbing wall or the Xtreme 360 Bicycle attraction. They even have a bubble lab- where you can blow bubbles bigger than a person! After touring the museum, head over to The Wonders of Magic Show with Terry Evanswood.

The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a true favorite with two levels of sea-sational entertainment. The Penguin Playhouse lets you view the wonderful life of a penguin. They even have a crawl through tunnel for the kids to get an up close and personal look! You can touch a jellyfish or a horseshoe crab in the Discovery Zone. If you would rather stay at bay, take a ride on the 340 ft. glidepath through the tunnel for an experience that is one of a kind. You truly feel like you’re a part of the ocean surrounded by sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and more!

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Lose yourself in a world beyond at MagiquestMaqiquest.jpgThis role-playing game lets you interact with other players as you work your way through quests and other adventures. Use real magic wands to battle your way through and solve the game’s mysteries. Once you complete all three Rune Quests, you can then become a Master Magi.

The Hollywood Wax Museum is located in Pigeon Forge and is the only one in the country that is entirely devoted to celebrity figures. This picture perfect attraction allows you to immerse yourself into Hollywood with lifelike statues of the most famous people of show-biz. Photo-ops are sure to impress your friends with amazing folks such as Charlie Chaplain, Marilyn Monroe, Brad Pitt and more. Check out the other attractions they offer with an all access pass – Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors, Castle of Chaos and Outbreak Dread the Undead.

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We want to welcome Alcatraz East Crime Museum as the newest addition alcatraz-banner-cropto attractions in the Smokies. This  unique museum has artifacts straight from Alcatraz itself, but that’s not all! It’s divided into five different categories: History of Crime, Crime Scene Investigation, The Consequence of Crime, Crime Fighting and Pop Culture. They boast over 500 artifacts and 28 different areas with interactive exhibits.

 

LOGO with textThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

A Smoky Mountain Winter

 

Winterfest is in full effect here in the winterfest lights.jpgGreat Smoky Mountains. Everywhere you turn you are filled with the joy of the holidays, lights throughout the city and holiday decor on every corner will definitely put you in the mood!

Take the Trolley Ride of Lights to sit back, relax and enjoy all the lights in the comfort of a Gatlinburg Trolley. The journey takes you all around town to view the one of a kind displays put out by the city. The new LED lighting provides a bright blast of new and old scenes that portray what Winter means to us, showing off native wildlife to the Great Smoky Mountains as well as holiday themed scenes and some classics from the last 23 years.

 

dollywood-chapelDollywood has all the classic shows going on through their own celebration, Smoky Mountain Christmas. Featuring shows including It’s A Wonderful Life, O’ Holy Night, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and more, you’re sure to get in the spirit of Christmas! Stop by Santa Land with the kids for crafts, huge toys and of course a visit with Santa and meet Rudolph and his Friends too! The Parade Of Many Colors closes the night with a spectacular show of lights, floats, characters and more.
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Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is a Christmas light show unlike one you’ve ever seen before. It is the largest drive-through, fully computerized, LED light and music show of its kind! You just pull up and tune your radio station to the one provided and start your drive through a magical wonderland of moving lights that are synced to the music. After your tour, stop by Santa’s Workshop for several attractions including a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, crafts, Christmas movies and of course pictures with Santa! They are located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium.

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For over thirty years The Christmas Place has give us the opportunity to enjoy Christmas all year long and is now the South’s largest Christmas shopping village. With over 60 themed Christmas Trees, there is definitely something for everyone! They have everything you may need for Christmas, including decorations, presents, collection items and many others! You can even personalize an ornament for each member of the family. Now that would be a Christmas tradition you wouldn’t forget!

 

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

Let it Snow!

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We are happy to say that Ober Gatlinburg is up and running! Ride the famous Aerial Tram from Downtown Gatlinburg up 2.1 miles to the Ski Resort and Amusement Park as a great way to kick off your day. The views are astonishing! Once at the top, there are a variety of activities for all members of the family. They feature an indoor ice skating rink, arcade, carousel and wildlife encounters that are perfect for anyone not wanting to brave the elements.

They have a outdoor Alpine Slide and a Ski Mountain Coaster for family friendly outdoor activities. Ober has also opened up Snow tubing, which has been a huge hit for anyone ages 3 and older. It’s just like sledding but you don’t have to walk back up,  Ober has a “magic carpet” that takes care of that! If you have little ones, they also offer a Cubbies Snow Zone for the kids to play. Entry is free with an area/lift ticket.

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The slopes will resume regular operating hours following the start of the 2016/2017 season. Ticket prices vary on amount of days and equipment rental. The resort starting blowing snow last week and already has a base of over 15″ on most of their runs. Of course, you’ll have to check the forecast daily. And with 10 different trails and 7 different lifts, you’re sure to find one to suit your needs.

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

Smoky Mountain Thanksgiving

 

The Great Smoky Mountains are a place for families to come together and remember what life is all about. There are many things for us to be thankful for this season, and with Thanksgiving nearing we thought we could share what we are most thankful for!

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1. We are thankful for the Great Smoky Mountains! Being surrounded by these majestic mountains day in and day out is such a blessing. If you’re walking through or driving, you’re sure not to miss just how beautiful they are. We are SO glad we get to enjoy them year round! US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svg.png

2. We are thankful for the National Park Service! This year, the NPS turned 100 years old! Without their aid and effort, the Smokies might not have made the Number One spot on the Most Visited National Park List. They strive to preserve our natural beauty and work hard to ensure that it stays that way and we are so very grateful.

 

3. We are thankful for the Seasons! We can not believe how much our surroundings change throughout the year. We were fortunate enough this Spring to walk through the wildflowers and spot a few salamanders! Summer was a hot one, but it made for lazy lake days and pleasant walks through the shade trees. Fall is still here and the colors are bountiful!

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4. We are thankful for all of the Attractions! There is no shortage of things to do in the Smokies. The area has everything you can think of! Tanger Outlet is the perfect spot to catch a bargain. Dollywood offers a family fun approach with shows and high flying coasters. We have go-karts, ferris wheels, mini golf, and more!

5. We are thankful for all of our visitors! Without all of our wonderful guests, the area would not be what it is today. It makes us SO happy that SO many people share our love of the Great Smokies! With over 10 million visitors to our Mountains, there’s no surprise in the amount of joy that is shared each year.

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6. We are thankful for our firefighters! With the drought we have had recently, the area is full of wildfires. Our firefighters have been working so hard to put out these natural and man made fires to their best ability, to help make sure that our land (and air quality!) is preserved.

 

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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.