The leaves are Fall-ing!


October is here and the weather is boasting it’s beauty! The leaves are shedding their green hues for a richer color palette of yellows, oranges, and reds making for a picture perfect view. This year the leaves are still in the process of changing at different altitudes. If you would like to see the current view, you can head over to the Webcams on the Smoky Mountain National Park site.

Ready to let your head fall where it may? Look no further than ERA! They offer affordable cabins near the Smoky Mountains. A few of the ones they offer with a view are:


Almost Heaven – This 2 bedroom, 2 bath cabin is located minutes from the National Park. Spacious log cabin with all of the amenities. You can enjoy the fall color from your hot tub or porch –no hiking necessary!


At Trail’s End – This beautiful 2-level log cabin, withAtTrailsEnd_edit.jpg
spectacular winter mountain views, will sleep up to 6 people and offers recreation for the whole family including a fully equipped gameroom, Jacuzzi, hot tub and picnic tables…located just minutes from the Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts District.


Chipmunk Haven – This is a cute, private log cabin with a view, a rare find! Chipmunk Haven has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, an outdoor hot tub, an indoor whirlpool tub, and is located just 3 miles from the downtown Parkway in Gatlinburg.


On The Rocks– This adorable two level log cabin is equipped with a wood-burning fireplace, an outdoor hot tub and has a mountain views! With a two bedrooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms, there is no better place to spend your vacation or family weekend getaway! Conveniently located close to Downtown Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Winfield Heights – From a spa-like couples getaway to a family-fun vacation, the cabins of Winfield Heights offer you and yours deluxe accommodations and amenities–in-room whirlpools, outdoor hot tubs, pool tables & fireplaces. Enjoy both a mountain view AND a downtown city view!



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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Will You Be Our Valentine?


It’s no surprise that Gatlinburg was named the “Wedding Capital of the South” according to Destination Wedding Mag. Gatlinburg is teeming with romance around every corner, making it the perfect place to spend your Valentine’s Day Weekend! If you’re looking to settle down and spend a relaxing weekend inside with your sweetheart, or get out there and have an adventure, look no further!


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ERA In The Smokies has many cabins to enjoy a romantic weekend in. If you’re looking for a heart shaped jacuzzi and wood burning fireplace, Cub Path is perfect for two! Cozy Chipmunk Haven is a great escape for couples looking to get away from the world. Adventure lovers will appreciate the awesome views from the hot tub of Southern Comfort.


Plan your Valentine’s Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. These are the local favorites for a couple’s night out.

  • Bistro 109
  • 3 Jimmy’s Restaurant
  • Cherokee Grill
  • The Peddler
  • Greenbrier Restaurant
  • Alamo Steakhouse
  • Melting Pot


Itching for an adventure? A whimsical hike through the Smokies would be a perfect getaway. Visit our list of day hikes in the area to see which one would best fit your preferences. If you prefer to drive, head over to Cades Cove to see the beauty from inside your car. Early birds should catch the splendid sunrise at Newfound Gap. Don’t forget to pack a lunch to enjoy a picnic in the woods! Be mindful and don’t forget to practice the Leave No Trace guidelines.


If the outdoors aren’t your style, why not treat yourself to a nice massage or spa day. All About You Salon & Spa is running several specials for this weekend. Even featuring one All About Him! If you want to stay in for the weekend, try out Gatlinburg Mobile Massage, where they come to you!

holding hands sxcMarried couples who want a little something special should end the weekend with a renewal of your vows. Gatlinburg is home to several Churches and Chapels who offer more than just marriage services. Rev. Captain Jimmy C. Maples will come to you! He offers in cabin weddings and vow renewals and more. Bring back the romance with a ceremony of celebration for your anniversary or even ‘just because’!



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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.





Motorcycle Trails!


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Gatlinburg, TN has attracted many visitors traveling by motorcycle over the years. With it’s winding roads and gorgeous mountain views, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderful place to have fun riding motorcycles and take in the beauty of the mountains. Throughout the many different motorcycles trails there are quaint mountain tours offering culture and history to visitors. Stop in each town and have a meal and discover what the natives have to offer. The trails range from moderate in difficulty to strenuous in difficulty for all levels of experienced drivers. Have fun and remember to always put safety first when riding!

Here is a complied list of great motorcycle trail in the Smokies:

  1. Gatlinburg, TN tour NC, TN- Approximately 225 miles round trip. Travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway heading West and onto Gatlinburg, TN. Abrp terrific road with abundant scenery. Time permitting, drive onto Pigeon Forge, TN and then return home after lunch.
  2. Cherohala Skyway tour NC, TN- Approximately 320 miles round trip. Truly a road in the sky! Typically less traffic than the Blue Ridge Parkway and much more isolated. Arrive in Tellico Plains, TN and have lunch along the river. Return home on the same road with a totally different view of the scenery.
  3. Cherokee/Casino tour NC- Approximately 180 miles round trip. Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway over to Cherokee and learn about the Indian heritage in the area. If you are a gambler, Harrah’s Casino offers an abundance of gambling diversions to take your money.
  4. biltmorefront3Biltmore Estate tour NC- Approximately 65 miles round trip. Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway into Asheville and then to the Biltmore Estate, “America’s Castle”. Spend as much time as you like exploring the Estate and Gardens and have lunch while you are there.
  5. Oconee Forest/ Highlands tour NC, SC and GA- Approximately 150 miles round trip. Travel through a canopied forest and up a back road to highlandsHighlands. This is one of the more spectacular curvy mountain roads around. Have lunch in the quaint mountain village of Highlands and experience some great shopping afterwards and then head home.
  6. Deals Gap tour NC, TN- Approximately 200 miles round trip. Travel to Bryson City and beyond to Deals Gap and the “Tail of the Dragon”, 318 turns in 11 miles. This is the longest trail in the Smokies, but possibly the most rewarding.tail of the dragon
  7. Hot Springs tour NC- Approximately 160 miles round trip. Travel scenic mountain roads to North Carolina’s only natural hot water springs/baths. Be careful, the springs really relax you.
  8. The Newport Trail tour TN- Enjoy scenery of mountain streams, rivers, mountain coves and valleys, town of Newport, TN and the river gorge.
  9. The Dandridge/ Douglas Lake Trail tour TN- Enjoy scenery of mountain streams, river gorge, mountain coves, mountain lake, historic town of Dandridge, TN, Douglas dam and bypass around Pigeon Forge, TN.
  10. The Waynesville/ Cherokee Trail tour NC, TN- Enjoy scenery of mountain streams, river-cut canyon through the Great Smoky Mountains, quaint mountain resort towns and the Cherokee Indian National Reservation. A final ride over the high range of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a grand finale for this scenic and entertaining trail.
  11. The Maggie Valley/ Blue Ridge Parkway Trail tour NC, TN- Enjoy scenery of mountain streams, river-cut canyon through the Great Smoky Mountains, a quaint mountain resort town with regional amusement park combined with spectacular views at roadside overlooks, picnic areas and quiet trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway for one of the most popular motorcycle trails for locals and visitors alike.

Stay at an authentic mountain cabin with ERA In The Smokies and travel to all of the fun motorcycle trails!

Tax-FREE Weekend in Tennessee!


Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 2, 2013 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, 2013, Tennessee will allow a tax-free holiday for going back to school. However, any one can make a purchase tax-free; you do not have to prove you are a student or buying for a student. The only items that will be tax-free are clothing, school supplies and computers.

Clothing ($100 or less per item) examples of tax-free clothing items include:

  • Belts
  • Capsclothes
  • Coats
  • Dresses
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Hosiery
  • Jacketssneakers
  • Jeans
  • Neckties
  • Pants
  • Scarves
  • School Uniforms
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Socksschool-uniform
  • Sneakers
  • Underwear

Tax exempt clothing items do NOT include accessories such as jewelry, bags or sports or recreational equipment like baseball gloves. When customers put clothing items on layaway during the tax-free holiday period, they will also be tax exempt when final payment and delivery is made after the exemption period.

School Supplies ($100 or less per item) examples:

  • Bindersbackpack
  • Bookbags/backpacks
  • Calculators
  • Chalk
  • Crayons
  • Eraserscalculator
  • Folders
  • Glue
  • Lunch boxes
  • Notebooks
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Pencilspaintbrushes
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Clay and Glazes
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sketch and drawing pads
  • Watercolors

Specifically excluded items include instructional material, including reference books and school computer supplies (compact discs, printers and printer ink).

Computers ($1,500 or less)

Computers with a purchase price of $1,500 or less, not for use of trade or business, are exempt from tax. Additionally, there is no requirement that purchases be made only for

The following items are NOT exempt from tax:

  • Computer parts, such as monitors, keyboards, speakers and scanners when not sold in conjunction with a computer set
  • Individually purchased software or other software not part of a preloaded software package on the initial purchase of a computer
  • Storage media, such as compact discs and USB flash drives
  • Handheld electronic devices
  • Personal digital assistants (PDAs) and electronic readers (i.e. Kindle, Nook, etc.)
  • Video game consoles
  • Computer printers and supplies for printers, such as paper and ink

Places to shop during the tax-free weekend in Gatlinburg include the Mountain Mall, the Village shops and the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). The great things about shopping in Gatlinburg is that all the shops are within walking distance from one another or you can catch the Gatlinburg Free Parkway trolley.noc

Great places to shop in Pigeon Forge include the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, the Pigeon Forge Belz Outlet Mall, the Tanger Outlet Mall and the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlets- The Red Roof Mall.

Some places to shop during the tax-exempt weekend in Sevierville are the Five Oaks Mall with well known clothing stores, TJ Maxx, Belk, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Staples, and Lee and Levi stores.tanger-five-oaks

There are multiple places to shop for back to school in Gatlinburg and surrounding areas near luxury cabin rentals, such as ERA In The Smokies cabin rentals, so make a last minute vacation and save on back-to-school items!

Gatlinburg Ranked among Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home

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Gatlinburg, TN is now one of the most popular places to buy a vacation home. According to 24/7 Wall Street, the popular vacation spot is the ninth on the list of the top ten places in the U.S. to purchase a home. The beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park draws many of the visitors to the area. Guests fall in love with Gatlinburg’s friendly customer service, attractions, and majesty of the mountains and end up coming back to purchase a home that they can come to every year. There are many vacation rental programs in Gatlinburg that you can list your property on while you are not visiting. At most of these programs you may stay as much as you want in your vacation home and when you are not planning on staying, they will rent it for you! ERA In The Smokies is an exceptional program to list your property on. They offer unlimited stay for their owners, are open seven days a week, have emergency after hour services, exceptionally friendly customer service, many years of experience and alliances with local businesses for repairs, service and retail. ERA In The Smokies is also a full service real estate company. The real estate office is located in the same office as the faction rentals so purchasing and listing your home on their rental program is a fast and convenient process. You can rest assured knowing ERA In The Smokies’ desire and strength to be on the forefront of advertising and marketing will aide in getting your cabin rented frequently. Location, location, location. ERA In The Smokies’ rental and real estate office location is a major component in their rental success, located on the main parkway coming into Gatlinburg 100 yards from traffic light #1, it is easy and often that visitors pull into the first cabin rental business they see. era office

Of the ten cities on 24/7 Wall Street’s top places to buy a vacation home list, Gatlinburg boasts the least expensive median home price. Other cities on the list in order are:

  1. Ocean City, New Jersey- median asking price $525,000
  2. North Wildwood, New Jersey- median asking price $289,000
  3. Kissimmee, Florida- median asking price $298,800
  4. Ocean City, Md0 median asking price $275,000
  5. Marco Island, Florida- median asking price $499,000
  6. Big Bear Lake, California- median asking price $335,000
  7. Lake Arrowhead, California- median asking price $399,000
  8. Panama City Beach, Florida- median asking price $294,245
  9. Gatlinburg, Tennessee- median asking price $179,600
  10. Cherry Grove Beach, South Carolina- median asking price $219,900

Gatlinburg’s affordability also brings many visitors to the area. Travelers can enjoy the great outdoors, walk the strip downtown, go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit Cooters in Gatlinburg for free, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a day in Cades Cove and many other day activities.With over 100 places to enjoy a great meal and countless activities to partake in, Gatlinburg, TN is a great place to buy a vacation home. Buying a vacation home and listing it as a rental with ERA In The Smokies is a good way to plan for your finances, fun, family and the future.


Every June, a unique phenomenon occurs in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Synchronous Fireflies! This year, make plans to take part in this magical event held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from June 6, 2013- June 13, 2013

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Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, are actually beetles! They take from one to two years to mature from larvae to adult and live as adults for only about 21 days. The light is produced by chemicals and enzymes in their abdomens and is called “bio-luminescence”.

There are at least 19 different species of fireflies in the Park, but only one provides a stunning light show every year in mid-June for about 2 weeks. The Synchronous Firefly (Photinus carolinus) is the only species in North America whose individuals have the ability to flash in unison. The only other place in the world you can see this unique display is Southeast Asia.

Learn about the fireflies' flash pattern!  Why Do They Flash?

Fireflies emit light to attract a mate. In most species of firefly, both males and females are capable of flashing. Each species has its own “flash-code” to help males find females of the their same species with which to mate. The males fly and flash while the usually stationary females respond with a flash. Most species produce a greenish-yellow light, but one species produces a bluish light. How and why these fireflies are able to flash synchronously is a more complicated question. Several researchers have studied these beetles in search of an answer. UConn researcher Andrew Moiseff has been trying to Unravel the Mystery of the Fireflies’ Flash for years. No one knows for sure why they flash together, but it is likely related to competition among males.

Viewing the Light Show!


There are lots of places to view the light show in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park. According to Discover Life in America, these fireflies are found in every watershed in the park. The best places to view them are at the edges of moist wooded areas. The display starts at full dark, usually around 9:30 and lasts until about midnight.

One of the best places to see light show is at Elkmont Campground. From late May to early June, the road to Elkmont will be closed after 5 p.m., but you can park at Sugarlands Visitor Center and take a Trolley to Elkmont for $1 roundtrip. Contact the Park for more information: 1-865-436-1200.

Fire Fly Etiquetteflashlight

  • Please use your flashlight as little as possible and cover it with blue or red cellophane -this light is not as bright and won’t disrupt the show for others.
  • Do not catch the fireflies; just like all other wildlife in the park, they are protected!
  • Stay on the trail.
  • Take your trash with you out of the Park.

Hope you are able to visit us in the Smokies this June and experience this natural wonder firsthand! Remember, this event is a sell out each year, so be sure to  book your Gatlinburg cabin with ERA in the Smokies!