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!

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Waterfalls in the Smokies

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Few experiences in nature are more rewarding than taking a beautiful hike knowing there is a majestic waterfall waiting for you at the end. Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young at the time when the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock erosion happens slowly while upstream erosion occurs more quickly. As the water increases its velocity at the edge of the waterfall, it picks up material from the riverbed. The erosion capacity is increased when whirlpools created in the turbulence as well as sand and stones carried by the water stream. These whirlpools cause the waterfall the carve deeper into the into the bed and to recede upstream. Many times over a period of time, the waterfall will recede back to form a canyon or gorge downstream as it recedes upstream and will carve deeper into the ridge above it. The rate of retreat for a waterfall can be as high as one and a half meters per year.

waterfall diagram

Waterfalls normally form in a rocky area due to erosion. There is usually a deep area just below waterfalls because of the kinetic energy hitting the bottom. Often, the rock stratum just below the more resistant shelf will be of a softer type, meaning that undercutting due to splashback will occur here to form a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter under and behind the waterfall. Eventually, the outcropping, more resistant cap rock will collapse under pressure to add blocks of rock to the base of the waterfall. These blocks of rock are then broken down into smaller boulders by attrition as they collide with each other, and they also erode the base of the waterfall by abrasion, creating a deep plunge pool or gorge.

There are many waterfalls that are just a short hike away here in the Smokies, these include:

  • Laurel Falls- This 80 foot high waterfall is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the smokies. Located just a few minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, this trail is paved making it stroller, wheelchair and walker accessible.
  • Grotto Falls- Easily walk behind this 25 foot high waterfall just minutes from Gatlinburg off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This trail is 3 miles round trip and should take around 2-3 hours to complete.

    grotto2

    Grotto Falls

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Laurel Falls

  • Abrams Falls- This 5 mile roundtrip hike along Abrams Creek is moderate, but worth it. The large amount of water creates a very deep pool, but swimming is not allowed because of the dangerous currents. This hike is in Cades Cove.

    abrams

    Abrams Falls

Ramsey Cascades- At 100 feet, this is the highest waterfall in the park. The water collects in a small pool where salamanders can be found. This is a strenuous 8 mile trip  will take 5 to 7 hours to complete, but the reward at the end is worth it. To get there drive 5.9 miles from Gatlinburg on 321, then turn right at Greenbrier, at mile 3.2 turn left at the sign for Ramsey Cascades onto the bridge that crosses the Middle Prong and drive 1.5 miles to the parking area.

  • Hen Wallow Falls- At the bottom of the 90 foot high waterfalls you can often find salamanders. During a very cold winter, the falls often freeze to form a beautiful ice formation. At 4.4 miles roundtrip, this hike is moderate in difficulty. Access this hike at the Gabes Mountain Trailhead at the Cosby Picnic area.

    hen-wallow

    Hen-Wallow Falls

  • Mingo Falls- Just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can hike this moderate set of wooden stairs .4 of a mile to this waterfall. The access trail is at the Pigeon Creek Trailhead. From the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, drive south toward  Cherokee on US 441 and take the second bridge to the left and drive 4.5 miles to Mingo Falls Campground where the trail begins.

    mingo

    Mingo Falls

  • Rainbow Falls- A rainbow is visible on a sunny day when the mist creates a canvas. This 80 foot high waterfalls creates an impressive ice formation in the winter .This hike is 5.4 miles roundtrip and moderate in difficulty. The access trail is at the Rainbow Falls trailhead in the Roaring Fork area. From the Gatlinburg parkway, turn at traffic light #8 and follow the Historic Nature Trail into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Continue past Noah “Bud” Ogle cabin to the Rainbow Falls parking area.

    rainbow-falls

    Rainbow Falls

Waterfalls in the Smokies you can drive to:

  • Meigs Falls- The pull off for this waterfall is along Little River Road 13 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. This waterfall can be easily missed while driving so be sure to watch carefully for it!
  • Place of 1,000 drips- From the parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at traffic light #8 and follow the Historic Nature trail in the park. Take the Roaring Fork Motor Nature trail and continue to stop #15 at the falls.

These waterfalls are breathtaking, but make sure to hike prepared with plenty of water, snacks and hiking essentials in case of emergencies.

Holiday Travel Tips

Click Here to Subscribe to the Blog by Email!Gatlinburg receives millions of visitors each year, in part, due to the fact that we are a day’s drive from half of the United States east of the Mississippi River. Travelling with your family in the car can be an adventure, but you need to be prepared. Thanks to Associated Content for assistance with this great list of car travel tips:

1. Keep Documentation – A week or at least a few days before traveling make sure that all travel arrangements have been secured and confirmed. The last thing you want is to get to your destination and not have a place to stay. Carry a copy of all documents you may need such as emails of cabin rental confirmations. If you pre-paid, we recommend that you hang on to your receipts. Have a valid identification card. Airlines require it as do the security agreements of most cabin rental companies. Keep all this information in a waterproof bag that will be kept with you at all times.

Take your car in for a tune-up before you travel!2. Vehicle Maintenance – If you have decided to take your own car then you need to make sure it is running properly and up for the trip. We recommend you take it in for a routine maintenance check-up. Request that your maintenance provider change and fill your oil as well as check your spark plugs and all liquid levels. Check all the exterior lights and electrical components. Check air pressure in the tires and take a fully functional spare in the trunk. Don’t forget to ask your cabin rental company if you need a 4-wheel drive to get to your cabin in case of inclement weather.

heck out this kit from survival-supply.com!3. Carry an Emergency Kit – Bring an emergency kit with you. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The kit should include items that could come in handy if you are stranded. Including: a flashlight, emergency food items, water, warm clothing, first aid supplies, small tool kit, roadside assistance numbers, cellular phone and insurance cards. In case you get a flat tire, carry a tire iron and jack and learn how to change a tire.

4. Tell people where you are going – In addition to getting to boast about your phenomenal holiday vacation plans, telling someone where you are going ensures that at least one person can send for help for you in the event that you cannot. So many times you hear on the news of people not arriving home when they should have and therefore the authorities were alerted.

Don't forget your medications!5. Take Medications – Don’t forget to get your medication refilled and take them with you. If you have a chronic health condition, don’t forget to research the names and locations of appropriate health care providers and pharmacies in the area.

6. Beat the Rush – Try to travel a day or more before other people start traveling or try leaving on a day or two after the holiday. Staying longer not only prolongs your Smoky Mountain fun, but it will also help you avoid highway traffic. In addition, many cabin companies require that you rent for a minimum of 4 to 6 days during the holiday…so you might as well get your money’s worth.

Pack your entertainment items in the car not the trunk!7. Travel Light – Don’t pack every shoe in your closet. Not only will it be a hassle to carry but it would be devastating to you if they got lost or stolen. Packing wrinkle resistant clothing is always a plus, and don’t forget to ask if your cabin has a washer and dryer or whether you will need to find a local laundromat. Don’t forget that if you are travelling during a gift giving holiday, you’re going to need to leave room for presents too.

8. Pack Important Items in Smaller Bags – Pack the most valuable items in bags you can keep inside the car with you. For easy access and to prevent unnecessary stops on narrow, winding back roads, make sure all medications and entertainment items like iPods, gaming systems and cell phones don’t get left in the trunk.

Click Here for help finding a romantic gift!9. Secure Safe Lodging – If at all possible book your cabin well in advance. Make sure you ask if there are any available discounts and review company policies regarding security deposits and payment. If you have concerns about the security of your family or your items, make sure you ask if your cabin comes with a security system.

10. Presents – If you are spending a gift-giving holiday away from home…think small like gift cards. If the present is huge, maybe you could leave the present at home and let your loved one have a picture of the present instead. Don’t try to cram the presents you receive into your luggage because we all know your clothes don’t fit back in the same suitcase they came in…much less the presents.

For info on local dining and attractions, click here!11. Eat Light and Healthy – Your stomach will surely suffer if you eat all the fast, greasy fried food when traveling. Try to keep it light and healthy like fruit and vegetables. Once you get to Gatlinburg, ask a local for their recommendations for local dining. From the best local burger to their favorite pizza joint, local residents are likely to help you find the best food as well as the best bang for your buck.

12. Take Bathroom Breaks – Take breaks every hour and a half if you are driving. It’s unhealthy for you to hold it when you need to use the restroom. Think of it as an opportunity to get a little fresh air, stretch and consult a map. Tennessee has many beautifully renovated, clean and spacious visitors’ centers that offer bathroom and picnic facilities as well as visitor information like maps, coupons and attraction brochures.

Don't forget your map!13. Pull Off the Road if You Feel Tired – Please don’t try to drive tired. Enjoy your trip and don’t try to rush it. Many cabin rental companies offer a late or after-hours check in, so take your time and enjoy the sites. If you truly are too tired to drive, consider checking into a motel at the midway point.

14. Take a Map – You could stop and ask for directions but what if you are in the middle of nowhere? With a map you can take the nearest cross street to find your location. It can be difficult to find a map these days, but you can always use Mapquest or Google Maps to find your way. When travelling to the Great Smoky Mountains, we don’t recommend relying upon GPS. With many roads being new or privately-owned, GPS is often inaccurate in Gatlinburg. In addition, the mountains often cause spotty or no satellite communication. We recommend you stick with a map or atlas; luckily, your cabin company should provide you with a detailed map to your cabin from your check in location.

Wear comfortable clothes for your car trip!15. Travel Comfortably – Wear clothes that are comfortable and loose. Dress in layers because Gatlinburg is likely to be hotter or colder than your home state depending on your location. In addition, differences in elevation means the temperature can drop significantly as you climb a mountain road. Make sure you are prepared.

To see Associated Content’s full article including flying tips, click here.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday…we’ll see you soon!

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.

Prepare for Spring Break!

Subscribe to A Day In The Smokies!With all the warmer weather we’ve had around here lately, it’s getting easier to believe that Spring is finally coming soon! Some would say it’s already here. (I did see a somewhat confused flowering tree, yes with tons of tiny flowers, the other day; and there is a patch of tiny purple flowers in my grass at home.) I wouldn’t be surprised if we got at least one more light snow, but would be extremely happy if the warm weather just stayed! But regardless, it’s definitely time to start planning and preparing for our Spring Break Vacations!

Visit Gatlinburg for Spring Break!1. Choose a Destination
Obviously Gatlinburg is the best place to come for your Spring Break vacation! Shopping on the downtown strip or at the outlet malls, fabulous restaurants, enthralling shows, go karts, laser tag, indoor skydiving, bungee jumping, ziplining, zorbing, and more! Yup. Definitely going to Gatlinburg! Well that was easy!

At Trails End Cabin has awesome games!2. Choose Your Lodging
It’s true there are hundreds of thousands of options out there, just among places to stay in the Smoky Mountain area. And it can be dizzying. So make it simple:  just call the folks down at ERA In The Smokies! They can help you find the perfect cabin or chalet for you. Mountain views, hot tubs, game rooms, and more are just a phone call away!

Transportation to get you here!4. How Will You Get Here?
Maybe you are coming from Knoxville, maybe from California, Canada, or even across the ocean! Will you drive? Do you need a rental car? If you are bringing your own car, make sure your maintenance is up to date. You may need an oil change, more air in your tires, a brake check? Maybe you will fly here. Start looking into those flights. We’ve heard Allegiant Air has super great deals!

Gatlinburg is Full of Adventure!5. What Will You Do Here?
There are tons of things to do here, and it’s always a great idea to plan ahead! Whether you don’t know where to begin or you already know everything you want to do, but you just need more information, use this blog as your free vacation planner. Just type in what you’re looking for in the search box to the right. If all you can think of to start with is something as general as fun for the kids, or romance, or shopping, don’t worry! We’ve got a few articles on that! And if you already know that you want to visit the Titanic and go ziplining, we’ve got articles on that!

Gather Your Funds!6. Gather Your Funds
Hopefully you’ve already done some of your planning by now. In this economy we can all afford to be a bit more financially responsible. Once you know where you’re staying, how you’re getting here, and what you’ll be doing, it probably won’t be too much of a stretch to figure out how much it will cost for this whole trip. Although it may be somewhat daunting to see your estimated cost from the get-go, it may help you be more responsible to pick and choose the best activities for you, and it will allow you to gather your funds gradually ahead of time so that when its time to enjoy that vacation, you’re all set to go!

Rearrange Your Schedule!7. Rearrange Your Schedule
For most of us, planning a vacation involves rearranging our schedule for the days we will be gone. We may have to ask off work, or get someone to cover us. Maybe that’s not really a problem, but you do have a certain project that you will have to make sure is done before you leave. Make sure you haven’t planned any meetings or special events during those dates, and reschedule if you can. You may need to ask someone to take your mail and newspapers inside, and/or feed and care for your pets (or just plan to bring them with you!).

Prepare to Pack8. Prepare to Pack
Make sure you have the proper luggage and that it’s in good shape! If you will want a new spring/summer wardrobe and or bathing suits, go ahead and start shopping for some of that. Or you can always find plenty of that here! Make sure you have a camera in good order. Find out if you need any special gear for any of your planned activities, and get it ready. If you will need small appliances such as hair dryers, blenders, or irons be sure to ask your lodging company if your unit contains these items. The majority of lodging will contain these things, but in many cabin and chalet rentals that are owned by private owners, some of these things are left up to the owner to provide, so it is always a good idea to ask.

Bring Healthy Snacks!9. The Trip Here
Your trip to get here can be a challenge in and of itself, especially if you are bringing small children and/or pets along. Make sure your planned travel time includes pit stops for bathroom breaks and meals. Have healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables, SunChips, pretzels and plenty of water. I know its tempting to limit food and liquid intake to cut down on the number of bathroom breaks, but just remember that people of all ages tend to get pretty cranky when they get even slightly less than the amount of food and water they’re used to. You also don’t want to be stuck in a car-full of cranky people!

Time to Relax!10. Take a Breath, Relax, Enjoy!
You’re finally here! It’s time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work and planning. It makes a trip so much smoother when good plans are made. Just don’t forget to expect deviations from your plan, too. Life is unpredictable! Don’t let those unexpected circumstances ruin your vacation! Roll with it, adjust, and enjoy the adventure life brings you!

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.

GATLINBURG: The Dragon Tail

Subscribe to A Day in the Smokies!Not far from here, at Deal’s Gap, NC, there’s a stretch of road known as “The Dragon Tail.” Any self-respecting motorcycle or sports car driver knows exactly what “The Dragon Tail” is! The “Tail” is said to have 318 curves in 11 miles! It begins on US 129 South, a 1/2 mile south of the TN/NC state line, and extends South for 11 miles! Since it is a Federal Highway, it is, of course, free!

Map of Deals Gap, The Dragon TailHistory
There are 3 stories about how it came to be said that the “Tail” has 318 curves:
“ONE: The 318 in 11 was first mentioned by Pete Leary, owner of the Crossroads of Time Motel and Gas Station located at the Gap. Someone asked him how many curves were up the road and he answered straight out …. 318. Since then it has been taken as fact.
TWO: Several riders including Doug Snavely were sitting around the campfire one evening in the early 90s discussing the road while consuming a few brewskies. They decided to try to come up with a number to emphasize the twistiness of the road. After several rejections Doug said how about 318? His explanation ….. the road is US 129; add the first two numbers and you get a 3; multiply the last two numbers and you get 18. The number also just had a certain ring to it so from that night on it has been 318 curves in 11 miles.
THREE: Several early car drivers who tested the Dragon drove Dodges with 318 cubic inch engines. They used the number to denote the number of curves on the Dragon.
Many people have counted the curves and all come-up with different totals. To us a curve is each time you have to readjust your steering. One corner, say a decreasing radius, will have several curves in it as you turn the wheel more or back. You can count or believe whichever story you wish. Number TWO is thought to be the most accurate one.”
Special thanks to the Tail of the Dragon website for these stories and much of our other information!

Check Out This You Tube Video from Tail of the Dragon!

 So to those who love the feeling of handling their vehicle on these curvy mountain roads, come one, come all to “The Dragon Tail!”

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.

GATLINBURG: Holiday Travel Tips

Click Here to Subscribe to the Blog by Email!Gatlinburg receives millions of visitors each year, in part, due to the fact that we are a day’s drive from half of the United States east of the Mississippi River. Travelling with your family in the car can be an adventure, but you need to be prepared. Thanks to Associated Content for assistance with this great list of car travel tips:

1. Keep Documentation – A week or at least a few days before traveling make sure that all travel arrangements have been secured and confirmed. The last thing you want is to get to your destination and not have a place to stay. Carry a copy of all documents you may need such as emails of cabin rental confirmations. If you pre-paid, we recommend that you hang on to your receipts. Have a valid identification card. Airlines require it as do the security agreements of most cabin rental companies. Keep all this information in a waterproof bag that will be kept with you at all times.

Take your car in for a tune-up before you travel!2. Vehicle Maintenance – If you have decided to take your own car then you need to make sure it is running properly and up for the trip. We recommend you take it in for a routine maintenance check-up. Request that your maintenance provider change and fill your oil as well as check your spark plugs and all liquid levels. Check all the exterior lights and electrical components. Check air pressure in the tires and take a fully functional spare in the trunk. Don’t forget to ask your cabin rental company if you need a 4-wheel drive to get to your cabin in case of inclement weather.

heck out this kit from survival-supply.com!3. Carry an Emergency Kit – Bring an emergency kit with you. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The kit should include items that could come in handy if you are stranded. Including: a flashlight, emergency food items, water, warm clothing, first aid supplies, small tool kit, roadside assistance numbers, cellular phone and insurance cards. In case you get a flat tire, carry a tire iron and jack and learn how to change a tire.

4. Tell people where you are going – In addition to getting to boast about your phenomenal holiday vacation plans, telling someone where you are going ensures that at least one person can send for help for you in the event that you cannot. So many times you hear on the news of people not arriving home when they should have and therefore the authorities were alerted.

Don't forget your medications!5. Take Medications – Don’t forget to get your medication refilled and take them with you. If you have a chronic health condition, don’t forget to research the names and locations of appropriate health care providers and pharmacies in the area.

6. Beat the Rush – Try to travel a day or more before other people start traveling or try leaving on a day or two after the holiday. Staying longer not only prolongs your Smoky Mountain fun, but it will also help you avoid highway traffic. In addition, many cabin companies require that you rent for a minimum of 4 to 6 days during the holiday…so you might as well get your money’s worth.

Pack your entertainment items in the car not the trunk!7. Travel Light – Don’t pack every shoe in your closet. Not only will it be a hassle to carry but it would be devastating to you they got lost or stolen. Packing wrinkle resistant clothing is always a plus, and don’t forget to ask if your cabin has a washer and dryer or whether you will need to find a local laundromat. Don’t forget that if you are travelling during a gift giving holiday, you’re going to need to leave room for presents too.

8. Pack Important Items in Smaller Bags – Pack the most valuable items in bags you can keep inside the car with you. For easy access and to prevent unnecessary stops on narrow, winding back roads, make sure all medications and entertainment items like iPods, gaming systems and cell phones don’t get left in the trunk.

Click Here for help finding a romantic gift!9. Secure Safe Lodging – If at all possible book your cabin well in advance. Make sure you ask if there are any available discounts and review company policies regarding security deposits and payment. If you have concerns about the security of your family or your items, make sure you ask if your cabin comes with a security system.

10. Presents – If you are spending a gift-giving holiday away from home…think small like gift cards. If the present is huge, maybe you could leave the present at home and let your loved one have a picture of the present instead. Don’t try to cram the presents you receive into your luggage because we all know your clothes don’t fit back in the same suitcase they came in…much less the presents.

For info on local dining and attractions, click here!11. Eat Light and Healthy – Your stomach will surely suffer if you eat all the fast, greasy fried food when traveling. Try to keep it light and healthy like fruit and vegetables. Once you get to Gatlinburg, ask a local for their recommendations for local dining. From the best local burger to their favorite pizza joint, local residents are likely to help you find the best food as well as the best bang for your buck.

12. Take Bathroom Breaks – Take breaks every hour and a half if you are driving. It’s unhealthy for you to hold it when you need to use the restroom. Think of it as an opportunity to get a little fresh air, stretch and consult a map. Tennessee has many beautifully renovated, clean and spacious visitors’ centers that offer bathroom and picnic facilities as well as visitor information like maps, coupons and attraction brochures.

Don't forget your map!13. Pull Off the Road if You Feel Tired – Please don’t try to drive tired. Enjoy your trip and don’t try to rush it. Many cabin rental companies offer a late or after-hours check in, so take your time and enjoy the sites. If you truly are too tired to drive, consider checking into a motel at the midway point.

14. Take a Map – You could stop and ask for directions but what if you are in the middle of nowhere? With a map you can take the nearest cross street to find your location. It can be difficult to find a map these days, but you can always use Mapquest or Google Maps to find your way. When travelling to the Great Smoky Mountains, we don’t recommend relying upon GPS. With many roads being new or privately-owned, GPS is often inaccurate in Gatlinburg. In addition, the mountains often cause spotty or no satellite communication. We recommend you stick with a map or atlas; luckily, your cabin company should provide you with a detailed map to your cabin from your check in location.

Wear comfortable clothes for your car trip!15. Travel Comfortably – Wear clothes that are comfortable and loose. Dress in layers because Gatlinburg is likely to be hotter or colder than your home state depending on your location. In addition, differences in elevation means the temperature can drop significantly as you climb a mountain road. Make sure you are prepared.

To see Associated Content’s full article including flying tips, click here.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday…we’ll see you soon!

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 Day Trips: Sunny Side Trail

Subscribe to A Day in the Smokies!!Some of us like to know the little known stories of the places we visit! I am always intrigued and enthralled by old log cabins, churches, grist mills, and trails, and the stories that go along with them! I love the feel of entering a building or a place that has a history, even (and sometimes especially) if it is a little-known history! I love old eateries and hotels that are unique and grew out of their community instead of just arriving there fresh off the factory line! If you want to discover the Smoky Mountain Area like you’ve never seen it before, take a day and explore the Sunny Side Trail!

Visit Gatlinburg!The Sunny Side Trail starts at the French Broad River in Sevierville, TN, and winds its way through Gatlinburg, and then all the way up to the most Northeastern corner of the state, back west a bit along the northern part of Tennessee, and then back South, ending back in Sevierville! There are 328 recommended stops along the trail, including eateries, hotels, artisans, tons of historical sites, and other points of interest, all with their own story to tell! You can find more information about this self-guided driving tour by visiting their website, or pick up the brochure, with a map of the tour and information about each recommended stop, at one of our welcome centers! I can’t wait to try it out myself!

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.