Things to do in Gatlinburg- For Kids!

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When vacationing in Gatlinburg, many visitors look for something fun to do with their kids. There are a range of activities to participate in from hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to riding bumper cars in downtown Gatlinburg. There are many cheap or free things to do in Gatlinburg also if you are on a budget. At the Nantahala Outdoor Center right before the National Park in downtown Gatlinburg, kids can climb the rock wall while you shop for new camping gear.Climbing_with_NOC_(001) The NOC is a great place for the whole family. There are several Ripley’s attractions throughout downtown Gatlinburg  including Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies with an interactive kids area, live mermaid diving shows and a specially designed kid friendly penguin exhibit, Davy penguinsCrockett mini golf, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze and Candy store, Ripley’s Moving Theater, Ripley’s Fun Zone, and the famous Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. Ober Gatlinburg also has a lot to offer not only in the winter months, but in the summer months as well. Ride the Aerial Tramway from downtown Gatlinburg up to Ober Gatlinburg and enjoy the best views of the Great Smoky Mountains. After you get to the top, visit the Wildlife Encounter where you can see Bears. While on your visit to Ober Gatlinburg spend a few hours Ice Skating, ride the Alpine Slide, the Scenic Chairlift, the Blue Cyclone Rapids water slide and Ober’s Lightin’ Raft Ride and alpine slideShoot-the-Chute. There is also a fun-filled Amaze’n Maze and a Kiddie Land and Rides for children.

Gatlinburg also offers Zip-lining, Whitewater Rafting, hiking, biking, horseback riding and fishing noc raftingspots. You may book zip-lining and white water rafting trips through the NOC in downtown Gatlinburg as well as rent bicycles for the day and get information about where to go fishing. The Sugarlands Visitors Center is also a great place to take your children for free where the whole family can learn about the history of the park and go through the wildlife museum inside the Visitors Center. Get information about the Junior Ranger program and the activities that your children may participate in for free. Cades Cove is also an excellent place to take your family in the park. Take a ranger led hayride through Cades Cove for $14.00 per person.


Mynatt Park, one of Gatlinburg’s City parks, is near downtown Gatlinburg. Take the family to the park for a picnic lunch, to play in the river, play on the jungle gym, or even play a fun game of tennis or basketball. All kids live candy, so while downtown visit any of the local Candy stores where the candy is made on site. Watch Saltwater Taffy being made at Ole Smoky’s Candy Kitchen.


Stay with ERA In The Smokies and easily access all that Gatlinburg has to offer for the entire family!

Ten Cheap or FREE things to do in Gatlinburg-2013

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1. Driving Trails- Enjoy nature and view wildlife on these driving trails: Trail of the Dragon, Balsam Mountain Road, Cades Cove Loop Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Upper Tremont Road, Newfound Gap Road and the Cataloochee Valley.


2. 8 mile driving loop around the Arts and Crafts Community- With more than 120 working artisans this loop is the nations largest organization of independent artisans.

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3. Historic Structures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park– There are over 90 structures preserved or rehabilitated in the park. You can see them in Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Oconaluftee and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

4. Free Wine Tasting- Try locally made wines at these wineries: Smoky Mountain Winery, Sugar-lands Cellars, Ole Smoky Winery and Moonshine Distillery

5. Sugar-lands Visitor Center- Pick up maps and see exhibits of Mountain life and culture as well as all of the different species of animals that can be found here in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

6. Outdoor Activities- Bicycling, Camping, Fishing, Hiking and Picnicking. There are many places in the park to enjoy multiple activities such as the Chimmeys Picnic area, the Greenbrier Picnic area, the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area and Cades Cove.biking

Seasonal Events:

7. Winterfest– This event brings the opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, share ideas and compete against other posts and crews and have fun.

8.Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival– Beginning in September, the people of Gatlinburg celebrate the Autumn colors by decorating and entertaining guests and start out with the Fall Craftsman’s Fair.

9. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop– Celebrate the New Year at Gatlinburg’s 26th annual Ball Drop and Fireworks Show around the intersection of the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg and the Historic Nature Trail at the Base of the Space Needle late Tuesday night, December 31, 2013.

10. Gatlinburg Festival of Lights Christmas Parade- Celebrate the Christmas season at Gatlinburg’s 38th annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade at 7:30 p.m. on Friday December 7, 2013. There will be over 100 parade entries, helium balloons and marching bands from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama. gatlinburgchristmasparade

Gatlinburg Adventures Zip, Zorb & More!

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesSummer is a great time to enjoy all the adventure the Smokies has to offer!

Go Ziplining!Ziplines
Just imagine… gliding through the shady emerald tree tops, the cool wind brushing across your face, and of course, luscious, verdant views all around! Ziplining has become quite a big deal around here. There are places, right off the main Parkway, where you can enjoy easy access, and still experience the thrill off the wind whipping across your face. If you want to enjoy ziplining in the lush green forest canopy, there are places that offer this as well! Check out our related post Zipline Fever.

Enjoy the Thrill of Rafting!Rafting and Tubing
As an East Tennessee kid, rafting and tubing were an integral part of my childhood! A week of summer camp wasn’t complete without at least one or the other, if not both! If you love thrill and adventure, look no further than a day of white water rafting! You will be an irreplaceable member of your rafting team, as you learn to paddle together according to your guide’s instructions! Experience the thrill of making it through those roaring rapids, and in the intensity, don’t forget to look at the gorgeous creation around you! If you are more interested in viewing the creation and less interested in thrill and adventure, perhaps tubing is for you! Enjoy a lovely afternoon floating down a calmer section of a creek or small river as you gaze at the beautiful surroundings! Either way, don’t forget the sunscreen! There are tons of places around here that can provide these aquatic adventures for you! See our related posts for more info Let’s Get Wet.

Try Indoor SkydivingIndoor Skydiving
This vertical wind tunnel that allows you to experience the freedom of human flight and is located at traffic light #5 in Pigeon Forge. As a flyer, participants attend a 20-minute training class, receive a suit, helmet & other safety equipment. Following a short review of the basics, a group of 5 flyers enters the wind tunnel with their instructor. Almost anyone can fly as long as you weigh at least 40 lbs. Watch this video for a preview of kids in flight. Link to pricing & coupons.

Bungee Jumping!Bungee Jumping
I remember when I was on vacation with my family in Pigeon Forge as a kid, sitting at an ice cream shop, eating our ice cream, and watching people bungee jumping down the road. It certainly is a thrill! And it’s an institution of Pigeon Forge. You can enjoy both bungee jumping and the SkyFlyer, meant to give the sensation of sky diving, at The Track. While you’re there, the slightly less adventurous members of your group can enjoy mini golf, bumper boats, and of course, the Wild Woody Go Kart Track, as well as a few others!

Rock Wall ClimbingRopes Courses and Climbing
If you are looking for challenging, professional level rock climbing, especially on real rocks, we may have to plan a day trip. But if you are fairly new to climbing, or perhaps would enjoy an easy day, just for the fun of it, we have several options to choose from! The closest place to climb some real rocks is near Townsend, a place called Look Rock. It is said to provide some great views from an observation tower that is also there. There are two rock walls that I’ve heard about. WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge has one that’s fun for adults and children alike, not too difficult. The Nantahala Outdoor Center in Gatlinburg also has one that boasts different routes for all ages and skill levels! WonderWorks also has an indoor ropes course, and Dollywood has an outdoor one. The elements in each are fairly similar to each other, but I would say Dollywood’s course has a little more variety. Also, Dollywood’s course, Adventure Mountain, has 3 distinct “trails” (and a 4th trail for the little bitties!) which you go through, and each “trail” has 3 different tracks you can choose from and switch between at each element. The WonderWorks course is a web of varying elements which you travel through in any order you choose. Both are quite enjoyable and come with general admission to the larger attraction they are in- great deal!

ZORBZorb– The only ZORB™ location in the United States is located in the Smoky Mountain area. ZORB™ is the sport of rolling down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball and according to their website, “where New Zealand, once again leads the world in stupid things to do while you’re on a vacation.” See the video(follow the link if your browser does not display) below:

YES, that’s a person in the middle of this big ZORB™ ball! The ZORB™ ride is just a totally bizarre and fun adventure experience where you’d be protected by a massive cushion of air whilst sphering down a hill.

Throw in a bucket of water, hop inside the inflated ZORB™ ball, run, tumble, flip or slide inside it, doesn’t sound fun enough yet? Take up to 2 of your mates with you inside the ZORB™!

Visit Forbidden Caverns!Explore the Caves Under the Smokies
Why not go spelunking?! (I just like to use that word!) Or at least take a guided tour of the caves under the Smokies. “Tennessee is home to the most caves in the United States, with over 8,350 caves registered to date. Forbidden Caverns, located in Sevierville, Tennessee is one of America’s most spectacular caverns. Visitors are provided with an entertaining and educational tour past sparkling formations, towering natural chimneys, numerous grottos and a crystal clear stream. Special lighting effects, a stereophonic sound presentation and well-trained tour guides combine to make this a most enjoyable experience. The trails are well-lighted, with handrails at all necessary points.”
“Carved over tens of thousands of years in one of the earth’s oldest mountain chains, Tuckaleechee Caverns at Townsend, Tenn., are known as the ‘Greatest Site Under the Smokies’. Estimated to be between 20 and 30 million years old, the Caverns are rich in history and lore in recent years as well.”

Try Riding ATVs!ATV (and other off-road) Adventures
If you want to stay closer to the Smokies and/or don’t have your own ATV to ride, check out the ATV rides available with Bluff Mountain Adventures! They provide the ATV, safety equipment, and a guided tour. Ride types range from introductory to challenging, from 5 to 20 miles, and from $37.95 to $177.95 (plus tax and insurance). They have great reviews, so check them out! If you have your own ATV, dirt bike, Jeep, etc., and would like to enjoy a great OHV area, try Coal Creek, about 1.5 hours away from here. It would be a great day trip! “The Coal Creek OHV Area is 72,000 acres of off-road fun, located in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. Hundreds of off-roaders can be found every weekend enjoying our trails. The trails are open to everyone and just about any type of vehicle. ATV’s, motorcycles, mountain bikes, Jeeps, buggies, trucks all enjoy some of the best off-roading in the country.”

Enjoy a Haunted Tour of Gatlinburg!Haunted Tours
There are a few haunted houses in Gatlinburg. “Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is a multi-million dollar haunted house featuring live actors, animatronics and bone chilling special effects.” “Experience the terror and horror of a classic, turn of the century, truly haunted house at Mysterious Mansion. Walk into a chilling haunted house with secret passageways, a damp, dark dungeon, spooks, creaks, creeps and plenty of things that go bump in the night. There’s an army of ghosts, and grisly creatures awaiting your arrival, all designed with fright in mind. Ghastly. Grisly. Grim. They can not describe the horror that awaits you at the ultimate scare in town – Mysterious Mansion. Don’t dare miss it! And, what ever you do, don’t go there alone!” For something a little more serious try the Haunted Ghost Tour of Gatlinburg. While haunted houses may be frightful, the ghost stories you’ll hear on this tour have a much larger measure of truth in them. Hear the actual ghost stories of the Smokies as you walk around town and view the places where the stories are said to have taken place. Learn a little about the history of Gatlinburg as well. And take your camera! Your guide will instruct you to take pictures at certain key locations, and you may be surprised by what you find when you look back at your pictures afterward!

After an exhausting day of grand adventures snuggle down in your own cabin to rest up for another exciting day in the Smokies!

ERA In The Smokies Realty and RentalsThis 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.

Gatlinburg 4th of July parade & festivities 2012

Subscribe to A Day In The Smokies!People love to come to the Smokies to celebrate Independence Day! Parades, concerts, fireworks, cookouts, hiking, water activities, and more compel people to return for the excitement year after year! Take your pick, or do your best to join in every celebration!

Midnight Parade4th of July Midnight Parade- Gatlinburg

The first Independence Day parade in the nation marks its 37th year with a happy birthday wish for the United States of America on July 4, 2012, in the foothills of the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

For the 37th consecutive year, Gatlinburg kicks off America’s celebration with the nation’s first parade, which leads off in the opening moment of the holiday at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, to the cheers of close to 100,000 spectators. Members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard, plus vintage military vehicles, local area public safety agencies, and lots more will appear in the parade.

Check out the parade route early to choose your best observation spot as some of the tens of thousands of spectators will start placing their folding chairs along the route as early as 7 a.m. on July 3.

“This will be one of the most patriotic and colorful midnight parades that the City of Gatlinburg has ever produced,” said Special Events Manager George Hawkins, who organized the first Gatlinburg 4th of July parade in 1976 in celebration of America’s Bicentennial. “We are very excited about the entire weekend of events, which will include a two-day festival highlighting our armed services.”

All this and much more will be featured in the parade! For more information about the 37th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade, please call 800-56-VISIT (568-4748).

4th of July River Raft Regatta- Gatlinburg
If you don’t stay up too late for the parade, or perhaps if you just stay up all night, you can take your kids (or the young at heart) to join in the festivities at the river raft regatta. Kids may register to enter anything floatable in the regatta thats registration will begin at 10 am at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road beneath the chair lift. Actual Regatta is expected to start at noon, with registration beginning at ten a.m . “There will be prizes for the top three places in these divisions: Hand-made Decorated, Floatable Object (no creativity), Small Entry (pill bottle sized), Oldest Entry, Youngest Entry, Judges Choice (or most unique), Ripley’s Believe It or Not Entry. Trophies will be supplied by the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.” During registration there will also be tons of games available on the lawn. Come on down!

“Stand Here” Fireworks Finale- Gatlinburg
You’ll probably need a nap in the afternoon, but make sure you wake up in time to see the fireworks finale which takes place at ten p.m. This has been designated a Top 20 event by Southeast Tourism Society! The best way, in my opinion, to enjoy the parade is from the comfort of your own cabin. Granted, there is something to be said for the excitement of being down on the street. However, I prefer the more comfortable, laid back atmosphere of a cabin with a view of downtown. Share drinks and h’ordeuvres (snacks!) with that special someone or maybe a small group of friends as you relax and enjoy the fireworks from the decks of your own Smoky Mountain cabin! ERA in the Smokies  has cabin rentals available with a perfect view of the fireworks. Call and reserve soon before they’re gone!

John AndersonPatriot Festival- Pigeon Forge
Celebrate America’s independence during the annual Patriot Festival in Pigeon Forge on July 4th at Patriot Park! Festivities will begin at noon and end at 10:00 pm. Come enjoy a day filled with food, games, entertainment, fireworks and plenty of fun for the entire family.

This day of entertainment will be capped off by a spectacular fireworks display, set against a beautiful Smoky Mountain backdrop. Parking will be at the Municipal Parking lot on Teaster Lane, where Pigeon Forge Trolleys will shuttle visitors to and from Patriot Park

This year’s featured entertainers include country artist John Anderson, whose hits include “Swingin’” and “I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal,” and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members The Lovin’ Spoonful, famous for tunes like “Summer In The City” and “Nashville Cats.” The Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival lineup also includes country newcomer Chris Janson!

Parking, trolleys and admission to Patriot Festival are all free! So grab your blankets, lawn chairs and sunscreen and join the celebration. No umbrellas, please. For more information about Patriot Festival, call the Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events at (865) 429-7350.

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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.

A Walk on the North Side through Gatlinburg, TN

If you plan on visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee, make sure to attend an event called Walk on the North Side. This small mountain village provides a great opportunity for you to get out of your car and walk. Enjoy the beautiful atmosphere while strolling through Gatlinburg. There are numerous shops and eateries that are only footsteps away.

When planning your trip, consider staying in a Gatlinburg cabin. This quaint town is the perfect place for a relaxing trip. The Walk on the North Side occurs on the fourth weekend of every month. Make sure to plan your trip accordingly. This event features unique shopping, live entertainment and skill demonstrations. Along with that, the event also hosts children’s activities.

Gatlinburg plans special events throughout the Parkway. For example, there may be wine tastings and artist demonstrations. If you enjoy walking, Gatlinburg is the place to be on the fourth weekend of every month. It’s a picturesque town that has plenty of activities.

Call ERA in the Smokies today to reserve your Gatlinburg Cabin so that you too can take part in the Gatlinburg Walk on the North Side activities!

13th Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament

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Select a Gatlinburg CabinScheduling vacations so that everyone gets to live their very own Smoky Mountain dream always seems complicated–which defeats the purpose of vacation in the first place, right? You would rather be fishing…Someone wants to shop…The kids want to ride the chair lift…And, everyone always wants to eat. How do you keep everyone close enough together to share meals and check in but still get to go fishing? Gatlinburg is the answer to your vacation dilemma, of course.

Fisherman Nets a Brook Trout!And, we Gatlinburg folk take our trout fishing very seriously. The city of Gatlinburg even runs its own trout farm and stocks anywhere from 35,000 to 45,000 fish ranging from 8-14 inches long in Gatlinburg streams annually. You can fish a stream right in the middle of Downtown Gatlinburg only steps from shopping, dining and amusements. Or, you can rent a downtown water-side cabin that is within walking distance of a trolley stop–or even a cabin on the water a short drive from town. Problem solved.

Water's Edge has a great fishin' hole right behind the chalet!Of course, there are lots of things you should know about fishing in Gatlinburg. The city stocks the streams every Thursday; therefore, there is no fishing inside the city limits of Gatlinburg on Thursdays. There are creel limits and designated children’s streams. And, you’ll need a license or two. You’ll need a state fishing license which you can buy online as well as a Gatlinburg City Fishing License (1-day or 3-day) if you plan on fishing in town. You can buy the city license at Gatlinburg City Hall (on Hwy 321), the Visitor Center on the Spur (Hwy 441) and at a handful of convenience and hardware stores in town.

During Winter, artificial bait is required.

In addition to licensing, other regulations require that you only use a single hand-held rod with a single hook. During the winter months, only artificial bait can be used and all fish must be released.

As always, make sure you are aware of all the rules and regulations…and then come on down…the fish are always bitin’.

April 7-8 — Join us for the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament!
“Don’t miss out on the fun and excitement of the 13th Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament! Fun for all – adults, children, tourists and locals. Over 10,000 trout will be stocked in over 20 miles of streams prior to this 2-day event! Over $10,000 in cash & prizes! Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of the largest trout tournament in the Smokies!” 
Don’t forget to register!

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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.

Ditch Your Car: Gatlinburg Edition

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesSo many people want to be close to town when they come to Gatlinburg! You can enjoy a whole vacation of entertainment, shopping, and sights just by visiting all the attractions and shops along the main parkway and just off of it! And if you want to hit the National Park, the Arts & Crafts District, Dollywood, or Pigeon Forge, just take advantage of our network of trolleys!

View a Trolley Map!We have a couple of chalets in Gatlinburg with the perfect location. At just 2.5 blocks from a main road (321, or East Parkway) and a trolley stop, they are just far enough off the main road to have a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere, and just close enough to walk out to the trolley stop or take the mile walk into town! Heightening the tranquility is a quietly bubbling stream, perfect for fishing (it’s stocked!) or just relaxing out on the patio or porch.

River's Edge Chalet

River's Edge

Dream's Inn

Dream's Inn

River’s Edge is a two bedroom chalet with comfortable, homey decor, outdoor hot tub, indoor jetted tub, and gas fireplace. Dream’s Inn is a beautiful chalet right next door, also a two bedroom, a little more refined decor, gorgeous indoor whirlpool tub overlooking the creek, gas fireplace, and spacious master suite! Both offer a quiet oasis of tranquility and are just a short walk and/or trolley ride from all Gatlinburg has to offer!

Ditch Your Car!You could drive your car here, and then have the luxury of ditching it, or hopping in if you want to go somewhere a bit farther. You could also catch a flight in to the Knoxville airport, take a taxi to Gatlinburg, and then enjoy the adventure of leaving your car behind altogether! For more ideas on air and taxi travel, see our previous Ditch Your Car article.

Here are just some of the shops and attractions within two miles of these chalets!

Within A Mile:


Rafting In The SmokiesRafting in the Smokies– “Rafting in the Smokies continues to set the rafting standard in East Tennessee. Feel the excitement as one of Rafting in the Smokies’ certified guides demonstrate their passion for whitewater by escorting you down the Upper Pigeon Whitewater Trip and Lower Pigeon Float Trip. Our knowledgeable river guides don’t just love whitewater… they live it!”
Sweet Fanny AdamsSweet Fanny Adams Theater– “Hilarious comedy shows at Gatlinburg’s top entertainment attraction. Only alternative to country shows in the east Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains area. Fun for the entire family!”
Ripley's Aquarium of the SmokiesRipley’s Aquarium– “Ripley’s® Aquarium of the Smokies is literally teaming with life – our 10,000 exotic sea creatures comprise more than 350 individual species. There are more fish in this aquarium than there are people living in the entire town of Gatlinburg. Although Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is hundreds of miles from the ocean, the scenic beauty and the abundance of water all around make the town of Gatlinburg a “natural” location for a world-class aquarium, America’s most fun aquarium.”
Honorable Mentions: The Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum, Hillbilly Golf, Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf


Alamo SteakhouseAlamo Steakhouse– “The Alamo Steakhouse Restaurant in the Smokies is the perfect dinner setting, for anything from an intimate dinner for two to a big family dinner, including private seating to accommodate reunions, wedding parties, anniversary celebrations and more. Our restaurant booths are tucked away to assure privacy, and our dining areas provide ample room for all to enjoy.”
Ogle's Brick OvenOgle’s Brick Oven– This little place is great! I stopped in here with my family when they were in from out of town. It doesn’t look extremely impressive at first glance, although it does have a nice atmosphere. But the food is GREAT! They have traditional items that you always look for, including great pizza. But they also offer several choices that are a little more unique, and extremely delicious!

Photos of Mountain Lodge Restaurant, Gatlinburg

This photo of Mountain Lodge Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Mountain Lodge Restaurant– This is one of those places where “all the locals go!” Famous for breakfast, and delicious for lunch as well, this little gem is something you won’t want to miss. It is a Sunday breakfast tradition for one of the realtors in our office, and has received rave reviews from locals and tourists alike on Trip Advisor. Come see for yourself!
Honorable Mentions: Hard Rock Cafe, Greenbrier Restaurant, No Way Jose’s, Whole Earth Grocery


Mountain MallMountain Mall– “The Gatlinburg Mountain Mall, Gatlinburg’s premier indoor shopping experience, is unlike any other shopping mall. Nestled in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, TN at Traffic Light #6 across from Ripley’s Aquarium, the Gatlinburg Mountain Mall features a vast variety of shops each with a unique theme.”
Ken Jenkins PhotographyBeneath the Smoke– “Ken’s galleries, Beneath the Smoke and Heaven’s Eyes, are located at the west entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he has been exposed to the 12 million visitors that enter the park since 1986. Ken Jenkins is a nationally known natural history photographer, writer, lecturer, and outdoor adventurer. For more than 30 years his photographs and articles have appeared in publications from National Geographic to Southern Living.”
Sevier County Custom ChoppersSevier County Custom Choppers– “Sevier County Custom Choppers specializes in motorcycle mechanic services, parts and engine rebuilds. We are all long time dedicated bikers, and it shows in everything we do. We have thoughtfully worked out motorcycle roadside assistance for bikers in the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and gladly pick up bikes for mechanical service works and paint and body work anywhere in the five county area surrounding the Tennessee Smokies.”

Within 2 Miles:

Listed below are just some of our favorites. Anything on the main Parkway in Gatlinburg is within two miles of these lovely chalets. So if you are thinking, “I wonder if such-and-such is within 2 miles…” If it’s on or just off the main Parkway, the answer is “Yes!”


Ripley's Believe It Or NotRipley’s Believe It Or Not– “Visit the strangest place in Gatlinburg! Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has been proudly freaking out families for over 90 years. There’s always something undiscovered at Ripley’s! Over 500 astonishing and unusual artifacts collected from the far-corners of the world. All guaranteed real and mind boggling. Join us for your challenge to simply… Believe It or Not!”
Ober Gatlinburg Spring and Summer ActivitiesOber Gatlinburg– If you are coming in the winter, Ober Gatlinburg is one of the obvious winter activities, providing a venue for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and more! As I’m writing this, though, its Spring, and you may not know that Ober Gatlinburg is a year round attraction! This time of year you can still enjoy the aerial tramway, alpine slide, ice skating, wildlife encounters, scenic chairlift, Amaze’N Maze, a carousel, chair swing ride, Blue Cyclone Rapids waterslide (in the summer), Kiddie Land & Rides, mini golf, arcade, and raft & shoot rides. Come enjoy the Spring and Summer side of Ober! 
Ole Smoky Moonshine DistilleryOle Smoky Moonshine Distillery– “Our families were among the early settlers of the Smoky Mountains – they came to the Smokies through Virginia and North Carolina. They honed the art of whiskey making in order to survive during tough economic times. Most families from this area share a history of a family member making, running or selling whiskey. This is a local family business. Our whiskey is born in the fertile soil of East Tennessee farms where our corn is raised and then transported to our family’s mill to be ground for Tennessee’s original moonshine. At the distillery, you can see the grains converted into the clear corn liquor this part of the country is famous for.” 
Honorable Mentions: Space Needle, Fannie Farkle’s, Cosmic Comet Arcade, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure


The Pancake PantryPancake Pantry– “Since 1960 when the Pancake Pantry became Tennessee’s first pancake house, visitors to Gatlinburg have made dining with us a tradition. What keeps them coming back? It’s the real butter, the honest-to-goodness fresh whipped cream and everything made from scratch. And it’s also the warm atmosphere of century-old brick, rich oak and rustic copper.”
Best ItalianBest Italian– The name says it all, eh? Open for lunch and dinner, we at ERA In the Smokies are partial to the offerings at Best Italian. Located between traffic lights #8 and #10, Best Italian is open for both lunch and dinner, and is known for their community involvement. In 2010 (as well as one or two other years!), they catered the dinner for the 12th Annual ERA for MDA Golf Benefit & Auction. Thanks guys…and save some Tenderloin Tips Marsala for me.
Smoky Mountain BrewerySmoky Mountain Brewery– “Described as a cross between a ski lodge and a Bavarian beer hall, the Smoky Mountain Brewery features an enclosed deck overlooking Calhoun’s Village with the Smoky Mountains in the background. Popular with hikers, skiers and snowboarders, the Brewery is a great place to take a break from any activity in the Smokies. Great food, micro brewed beer, TV’s and nightly entertainment make this one of Gatlinburg’s favorite places to eat and entertain.”
Honorable Mentions: Howards Restaurant, Calhouns, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Brass Lantern Restaurant


NOC's Great Outpost NOC’s Great Outpost– “NOC’s Great Outpost combines Gatlinburg’s colorful, exciting atmosphere with the Smoky Mountains’ aura of splendor and adventure. At this must-see retail attraction, we’ll provide the gear and guidance you need to maximize your Smoky Mountain vacation.Visit us for the region’s largest selection of top outdoor gear and apparel, National Park souvenirs and local arts and crafts.”
Aunt Mahalia's CandiesAunt Mahalia’s Candies– “Situated in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, we’ve been cooking up Old Fashioned Goodness For Over 50 Years! Some of our heavenly candies include Fudge, Chocolate, Crunchy Brittle, Fluffy Divinity, Heavenly Fudge, Homemade Assortment, Pecan Logs, Pecan Nests, Pecan Puffs, Stick Candy, Sugar Free, and Taffy Logs. Fine chocolate, select pecans…Only the freshest, finest ingredients have been going into Aunt Mahalia’s Candies since 1939.”
The Donut FriarDonut Friar– This little place is a must-visit! The owner is great, and even brings free donuts by the office a couple times a year! The donuts are to die for, and you can see by the enormity of fabulous reviews that this is one place you can’t afford to miss.
Honorable Mention: The Hayloft Comfort Footwear

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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.