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.






GATLINBURG: Smoky Mountain Weddings

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Have a Smoky Mountain Wedding!

Romance is always in the air in Gatlinburg. And, love has no price…but weddings sure do. According to CNN Money.com, in 2008 the average price for a wedding rang in at $21,814. (That’s down from $27,490 in 2007.)  According to The Wedding Report, a Tucson, Ariz.-based research firm, the average amount couples are spending on a wedding is expected to drop in tandem with the economy, decreasing at least 10% in 2009.

Gatlinburg is known as the United States’ second most popular  place to get married as of 2008 (behind Las Vegas) with approximately 42,000 weddings each year. It might surprise you to know that we are only 3rd in the world behind Las Vegas and Istanbul.  We want to help you have the destination wedding of your dreams without the stress and the huge price tag.  Here are some of our best wedding tips and suggestions:

Have a beautiful wedding in Gatlinburg!1.  On Top of Old Smoky.  Why Gatlinburg?  Because of the Great Smoky Mountains, of course.  There are too many beautiful wedding locations to mention.  One of our favorites is a section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park known as Greenbrier.  In spring, the Greenbrier area of the park is renowned for its wildflowers. The drive to the Ramsey Cascades trail provides good wildflower viewing, and the Porters Creek Trail makes a good wildflower walk.  Displays of wildflowers can be seen along the first 1.5 miles of trail. Wildflowers generally start in March and peak in mid to late April.  This is a great option for a handful of your closest friends and family.  Call Smoky Mountain Weddings for an officiate for your ceremony–simple, private and affordable.

Don't forget the Photography for your Smoky Mountain Wedding!2.  Capture the Memories.  Don’t forget to capture your Smoky Mountain Wedding memories with pictures of your beautiful day.  Everlasting Memories offers photography as a part of their all-inclusive wedding packages or wedding photography as a stand alone service the wedding that you plan on your own.  Regardless of which route you take to the altar, don’t forget the beautiful photography for your day.

Stay in Gatlinburg for your Destination Wedding!3. Beautiful Wedding Chapels. Whether you are looking for a rustic log-cabin wedding or a breath taking Victorian Chapel, Gatlinburg has the perfect place for your wedding.  Victorian Gardens is one of Gatlinburg’s premier wedding chapels and is styled after a local historic church and sits on a hillside not far from the center of Gatlinburg.  Feel free to call one of their experienced wedding coordinators; they are well informed to provide full service-from ceremony to receptions or limousines.

Buy a dress during your stay in Gatlinburg!4. Dress the Part.  Can’t imagine hauling that ballgown-style wedding dress to Gatlinburg from home?  Why not get a dress while you’re here.  Fantasy Bridal & Formal Wear is located on the main parkway in downtown Gatlinburg and offers parking right next door to their boutique.  They carry over 2000 gowns of the latest styles from sizes 0 to 82. Capes are available for sale or rental. Veils, Tiaras, Bras, Slips, Shoes and Jewelry are available FREE to use with your gown rental.  They also have over 800 tuxedos in stock for immediate rental.

Hard Rock is one of our favorite places to dine in the Smokies!5. Unconvential Weddings.  Want a Rock ‘ n’ Roll wedding?  Try the Hard Rock Cafe.  That’s right–Gatlinburg is home to the world’s only Hard Rock Cafe with a wedding chapel! They profess before one and all, their true intention henceforth to walk the road of life as your rockin’ destination for great tunes, times and a weddings.   For more ideas on how to spend your Rock ‘n’ Roll honeymoon, check out Gatlinburg Rocks.

Have a stress-free reception for your Gatlinburg wedding!6. Stress Free Receptions.  For stress free receptions, you have your choice of several options.  For a more traditional experience for 10 to 100, you can choose an all-inclusive wedding package with one of Gatlinburg’s wedding chapels.  For a more casual experience for a smaller group, we invite you to think about having dinner out at a restaurant like Bear Creek Grill where they offer a great everyday menu as well as a special wedding package menu.

Try a cabin at Winfield Heights7. A Bed for Every Head.  One of the challenges of destination weddings is finding group accomodations for everyone that feel like home but are still affordable.  Cabin rental is a great option for wedding parties.  You can rent cabins–like the cabins of Anne’s Road or Winfield Heights–that are within walking distance of each other.  Close, but not too close.  The price per person is often less than a hotel, and you have all the comforts of home like a living room and kitchen plus bonuses like game rooms and hot tubs.  To take best advantage of Price Discounts, avoid planning your wedding during peak season.

Spend your honeymoon in Gatlinburg!8. Wedding Gifts.  How do you get the perfect gift for a destination bride?  You have lots of options.  Gift certificates for dining at wonderful places like Greenbrier Restaurant or Bear Creek Grill are always great options.  Is your favorite bride and groom the adventurous type?  Why not treat them to an exciting Zorb experience or Zipline thrill.  And, you can send them the gift from their registry to their home.  Wedding gift etiquette dictates says it is perfectly acceptable to send a gift directly to the bride or groom’s home several weeks prior to the wedding and up to 6 months after the wedding.

Spend Your Honeymoon in Gatlinburg8.  Your Love Nest.  A log cabin honeymoon is special indeed.   Decide what you want first.  Do you want a mountain view, city view, or wooded view?  Are you looking for an outdoor hot tub and and indoor whirlpool tub?  Would you like to have a pool table, swimming pool access or the latest in electronics?  Gatlinburg has an option for almost everyone.  On a budget, make sure you check out the off-season specials.

Pamper yourself in Gatlinburg!9. Take Care of Yourself.  Take the time to pamper yourself before and after the wedding.  About You Salon offers special bridal treatment for you and your wedding party.  From hair and makeup to spa treatments.  About You Salon offers you an opportunity to look and feel your best on your special day.  After the wedding, In Cabin Services will bring rest and relaxation to you–from relaxation spa and massage packages to steak dinners and gift baskets.  Check out their romantic packages.

Gatlinburg has something for everyone!10. Special Treats.  Are you still looking for that special treat to make your honeymoon memorable?  Everyone is looking for a little something different.  Take time to indulge yourself in the beauty of the Smokies and experiences that can become family traditions in the years to come.  Here are some suggestions:  take a private tour, take in a show, do a little shopping, get a bird’s eye view, or take a dinner cruise.

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.

Gatlinburg Adventures: Horseback Riding!

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Howdy, Partner!

Howdy, Partner!  Lookin’ for a new way to experience the Great Smoky Mountains?  How about from the back of your trusty steed? Don’t bring your horse on vacation with you?  Never fear…there’s plenty excitement and adventure in horseback riding in the Gatlinburg area for the entire family no matter your horseback riding skills, even if you’ve never ridden.  Have the complete Gatlinburg horseback experience with a full day ride, dinner & a campfire show, enjoy watching others performing daredevil horseback stunts, or take a leisurely turn on the carousel…Gatlinburg’s got it all.

Smoky Mountain Riding Stables near downtown Gatlinburg!1.  Smoky Mountain Stables.  A good horse beneath you. A blue sky above. Just the creaking of saddle leather and the smell of fresh air. That’s the beauty of a visit to Smoky Mountain Riding Stables. Enjoy a peaceful view of the Great Smoky Mountains on the back of a well trained horse. Their trails inside the National Park await you with an experienced guide that just might lead you into a flock of wild turkeys, a herd of wild deer or even black bear climbing a tree. Whether you are a novice, or an experienced rider, you are guaranteed a great horseback ride with Smoky Mountain Riding Stables. Warning!…This Ain’t No Cow Pasture Ride! It’s on Mountain Trails, the terrain is not flat!

Contact us for Tickets!2. Dixie Stampede.  No, you can’t be a guest star in the show, but if you love the idea of riding horses but don’t really want to actually ride…maybe Dixie Stampede is for you.  Enjoy a breath-taking show where the performers are mostly on horse-back, through in a couple of steer, a lot of singing and dancing, and a great 4-course meal…and you’ve got a great night at Dixie Stampede.  Get up close and personal with many of the horses before and after shows at the stables that ring the building.  Contact us for tickets.  It is a fun-filled, action-packed extravaganza that everyone should experience!

Enjoy your Horseback Riding Vacation!3. Walden Creek Stables. Horseback riding on over 500 acres with 100 horses and 50 riding cowboys keeps the action going seven days a week, including Christmas Day!  There’s plenty excitement an adventure for the entire family no matter your horseback riding skills, even if you’ve never ridden.  From their Valley Hill Ride to the Mountain Adventure Ride, you’ll find a horseback riding trail best suited to your sense of adventure.   On scheduled Wild West Show nights, riders enjoy hay rides, cowboy shootouts, horseback trick riding, live entertainment, lots of vittles and drink.   Walden Creek Riding Stables is not just another place to ride horses but a western spun adventure!  So whatcha waitin’ fer? Have some old fashioned clean family fun and take back memories to last a life time!

Carousel inside the Flying Horse Grill!4. Flying Horse Grill.  Still haven’t found the perfect horseback riding experience?  Try a phenomenal meal and a ride on a custom crafted 30-seat Venetian carousel crafted 30 seat Venetian carousel. Flying Horse Grill offers an innovative selection of American comfort foods and signature dishes freshly prepared in-house using the finest ingredients available. Favorites include hand-cut USDA choice steaks, fresh seafood, barbequed baby back ribs, freshly baked pot pies, colossal prime beef burgers, specialty salads, pasta, signature sandwiches and more. Check out the full lunch, dinner, or kids’ menu! Whatever the occasion, the Flying Horse Grill will be a dining event you will not soon forget.

Saddle Up!5. Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa.  If you are looking for the best scenic views, an escape from the usual tourist traps, a family outing the kids won’t forget, a group or reunion activity, or just a chance to savor the majestic beauty of the Smoky Mountains, Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa is the place to go. Travel back in time and experience the Smokies as the early settlers did 200 years ago as they crossed the mountains on horseback seeing these mountains and valleys for the very first time.

Rent Your own Log Cabin!6. Horse N Around.  After a long day in the saddle, come home to your very own bunkhouse like Horse N Around. This 1 bedroom, 2 bath log cabin is located only 2 miles from downtown Gatlinburg and is very convenient to Pigeon Forge and the Smokies! Enjoy the wooded views from the rocking chairs on the deck or from the loft. Great for a romantic getaway or family vacation!  Close to Downtown Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & the National Park.  You know how I love a theme…Enjoy the plow harness mirror, hanging saddles, horseshoe towel racks, and equine art that make this the perfect cabin for your horsey vacation!

Where will you lay your head "At Trail's End?"7. National Park on Horseback.  Guided horseback rides are available at four concession horseback riding stables in the park from mid-March through late November. Rides on scenic park trails are offered lasting from 45 minutes to several hours. All rides proceed at a walking pace. Rates are from $20-$25 per hour. Weight limits and age restrictions may apply. Please contact the stable you are interested in for additional information: Cades Cove, Smokemont (near Cherokee), Smoky Mountains (see #1 above), Sugarlands (call 865-436-3535). About 550 miles of the park’s hiking trails are open to horses. Horses are restricted to trails specifically designated for horse use.

Find a Jungle-themed cabin!8. Deer Farm Petting Zoo & Riding Stable.  Escape from the sounds of the city on horseback.  Enjoy a guided ride on 8′ to 10′ wide, shady trails without age limits.  Do you have younger children that you want to take horseback riding but need additional activities too?  Take them to Deer  Farm Exotic Petting Zoo & Horseback Riding Stables. You can pet critters from kangaroo to peacocks and zebras.  Need another reason to visit?  Deer Farm also supports wildlife rehabilitation through donations.

Rent a Romantic Honeymoon Cabin after your Horseback Wedding!9. Horseback Wedding.  Gatlinburg is a popular place to get hitched, and now you can get hitched on horseback at Douglas Lakeview Stables. For less that $300, you can pay for the minister, the horseback ceremony, a honeymoon trail ride, and a basic photo package.  Not getting married or renewing your vows?  Take a simple horseback ride along the shores of Lake Douglas.  Contact them in advance to schedule your moonlight or sunset ride too!

Thanks to Michigan State University Museum for this photo.

Thanks to Michigan State University Museum for this photo.

10. Spinnin’ a Yarn.  Okay, I know you well enough by now to know that some of you have no plans to actually go horseback riding…you would just a soon leave the smell, and the bugs and saddle soreness to others.  But you still have BIG plans to entertain your friends with stories from the trail, wildlife encounters and other fantastic yarns.  If you want them to believe you, make sure you do your homework. The Great Smoky Mountains Association sells Exploring the Smokies.  This expertly written guidebook to the National Park will give you a “leg up” when spinning your yarn.  And if it helps ease your guilt, remember that the proceeds from your purchase go to support the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


ERA In The Smokies Realty & Rentals

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.