Let it Snow!

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

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

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

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

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It’s Still Fall, Y’all!

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November is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean it’s over yet! The leaves are still changing so there’s time to experience the wonderful colors the Smokies have to offer. You may just have to take a walk on the wild side with some adventurous coasters or saddle up for a whole new outlook on the beauty our area has to offer.

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We now have an incredible selection of coasters in the area. Start off small with the Alpine Slide at Ober. This 1800 foot track is fun for all ages! They also have the Ski Mountain Coaster where you can enjoy a faster ride down a 3750 foot metal track! If you would like to see the colors from all areas and angles, try the other coasters in the area as well. Stop by Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster 640px-DW_Wild_Eagle.JPGon your way into town to experience their 35 mph coaster. Or if you’ll be lodging in Pigeon Forge, the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster would be a fun stop for the kids (and adults!). Go big or go home with Dollywood‘s roller coaster the Wild Eagle®. It is definitely one of a kind! While “flying” high above the park itself, the views you catch showcase the Smoky Mountains.

 

sunset riders 250xTo slow down the pace a bit, head over to Cades Cove. This 11-mile loop through the National Park offers a close up look of the flora and fauna we have in the area. Take your time to drive around the loop or just take the shortcut at one of the two they have. They also offer Horseback Riding Tours Guided  Hayrides, and Carriage Tours up until November 30 (weather permitting). You’re sure to see some of the wild animals in this area and some of the prettiest close up views from inside the park itself.

 

Want to soar through the trees? Head over the CLIMB Works Zipline Canopy Tour to get up close and personal with nature. Start off with an ATV ride to the top in groups of six. Sticking with a “true tree canopy” feel, during the tour  your feet won’t touch the ground for 2 1/2 hours! You’ll walk over 3 sky bridges giving you a ‘bird’s eye view’ when not zipping. If you’re looking for more of a challenge they also offer Mountain Biking. El Regis Trail is a two mile loop that is considered intermediate, but beginners up for a challenge are more than welcome on it as well.

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and
Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

April Showers Bring May Flowers!

 

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Spring has sprung in the Great Smoky Mountains! With the spring rains filling the rushing river and the flora starting to come alive, now is the time to come experience what the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is all about.

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The rain has lent a hand in shaping our areas most beautiful waterfalls. In fact, here in the park we can get so much rainfall that it’s nearly equal to that of a temperate rain forest! While the water is still gushing, come see the numerous waterfalls in our area! If you’re not ready to brave the elements just yet, we have a few autumn waterfall 250x vertwaterfalls you can drive right up to. These include The Sinks, Meigs Falls, and Place of a Thousand Drips. If you’re not afraid of getting out there, then stop by our personal favorites. Some of the shorter trails include Laurel Falls, Indian Creek Falls, and Grotto Falls. If you’re ready to make a day of it, check out Rainbow Falls or Ramsey Cascades. Don’t forget to prepare with hiking essentials before you go! If you need some tips check out one of our other blog posts here.

 

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With the rain feeding the river, the river is feeding the Park. It’s still early in the season but the blooming has begun! The spring ephemerals that are popping up now won’t be here long, they die off around the end of April, so you’ll have to hurry if you want to catch them! The most prominent in this area would be the trillium, of which we have 10 different species. Several types of orchids, fire pink, bleeding heart, and violets are a few other the other prominent ephemerals also. The Red Maple’s flowers will be a brilliant red along with the bright white of the Dogwood trees.

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We’re kicking off the season with our 66th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage starting April 19 and going through April 23, 2016. These five days are full of over 150 guided walks, instructional workshops, and demonstrations. Sign up here if you would like to attend this years Pilgrimage. We do recommend either downloading the wildflower checklist or purchasing a wildflower book for the area.

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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?

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

Snowed In? Snow Day!

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Here in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, we experience our fair share of snow days. While getting out of school or work is exciting, spending the day inside can be a bore. We’ve come up with some activities that are perfect for a good snowy day.

Make Snow Cream!

Snow Cream is a delicious treat that you can’t get all year long. Kids 10890636_1572602209620477_2098604635_nlove getting involved in the kitchen -especially if they get to bring snow in the house! All you need is milk, vanilla extract, and some clean, fresh snow. We recommend setting a big bowl out once the snow starts falling. Once you mix everything together add in any toppings you would like. Sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut, and honey are some favorites.

Do Yoga!

Yoga is a great way to warm up on a snow day. Practicing yoga has many benefits. These include increased blood flow, boost in immune system, boosts metabolism, and much more. Loosen up after walking around with all those layers from playing in the snow. Try out some basic poses like the Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, and Downward Facing Dog.

Make it a Spa Day!

There’s nothing more relaxing than a day at the spa, but no one wants to trek out into the snow to do so! Grab some ingredients from your pantry and put together some DIY spa treatments. Combine coconut oil, honey, and lemon juice for a fantastic face mask. For a hair mask use 1/2 a ripe avocado and mix it with coconut oil and vitamin E oil. After throwing snowballs all day, your hands will want some love too. Mix coarse sugar with lemon juice and coconut oil for a silky hand scrub.

Set up a Photoshoot!

10525552_347616358767131_1087180128_nGrab any type of camera and head for the pretty white blanket that has covered your yard. Snow makes for such a fun backdrop to candid
photos. Have someone snap several pics of you tossing up the snow,
trudging through it, shaking a tree to cover yourself, the possibilities are endless! The lighting on snow days is perfect for pictures so even if you’re just using your phone, there’s bound to be a good one!

Build a Fort!

Tap into your inner child and break out the extra pillows and sheets for nostalgic purposes. Everyone loved building forts as kids and now that we understand construction a little better it’s a great time to get your creative juices flowing. You can get really creative with all of those left over boxes from Christmas and put together a cardboard fort. Just attach some tape to secure them together. Mr. McGroovy’s sells boxes of rivets to help bring your creation to life. They also have tons of downloadable plans if you’re not up for designing your own.

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Play Outside!

Of course playing in the snow is the best part about snow days! Step your snowball game up by using a ball press. You can also get a snowball launcher to have even more fun! Build a snowman, snow bear, or any other snow creature that may be native to your area. Grab a sled or a tube and find the nearest hill to spend hours entertained or even just plop down and make a snow angel.

 

Now that you have a day full of activities planned, go ahead and get started! Enjoy your day full of snow!

 

 

LOGO with text 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.

Things To Do: Gatlinburg Summer Camps for Kids

Click Here to Subscribe by Email!We know you are always looking for fun things to do with your kids, but this time we have a slightly different idea! If you need a bit of a break from the kids, but leaving them behind is not an option, bring them with you to Gatlinburg, and send them to summer camp! You’ll still get to have them with you in the evenings and mornings, but from as early as 8:30 am, until as late as 3:30 pm, depending on the age(s) of your child(ren), you could enjoy some private time with your soul mate while your kids have a spectacular time enjoying the best fun our area has to offer!

The City of Gatlinburg is offering 6 Summer Camps for kids this summer! Unfortunately, we just now heard about it and 3 of them are already over. But there are still three more to choose from. (And hopefully we’ll get our report out a bit sooner next spring!)

Petting ZooPipsqueak Camp- Ages 5 – 7

July 7 -11, 2014 :: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Cost: $50.00
This fun day camp for the little bitties includes a T-shirt at no additional cost. Please provide your child with a sack lunch. Children will visit a petting zoo, go swimming, watch movies, go bowling, try putt putt golf, go to Kid’s country, try ice skating, and visit the Knoxville Zoo!

Ice Skating at Ober GatlinburgSportacular Camp- Ages 8 – 13

July 14 -18, 2014 :: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Cost: $50.00
Your super little athlete will get their fill in this busy sport camp! A T-shirt is included, but please provide your child’s own lunch each day. Activities include basketball, dodgeball, lasertag, swimming, capture the flag, bowling, tubing, Hot Air Balloon, soccer, flag football, ice skating, and go-carts.

Camping in Cades CoveSurvivor Camp- Ages 8 – 13

July 21 – 25, 2014 :: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm and one overnight camp-out
Cost: $90.00
If you have a young adventurer on your hands, look no further than Survivor Camp! Children will need to bring their own lunch with them each day (excluding the camp-out) and a T-shirt is included in the cost! This amazing camp includes a treasure hunt, Haunted Adventure, obstacle course, The Tomb, craft and puzzle challenges, dogeball tournament, tubing, White Water Rafting, and a camp-out at Cades Cove.

For more information, call the City of Gatlinburg at (865) 436-4990 or visit the City of Gatlinburg website!

The Sugarlands Distillery

The Sugarlands Distillery

On March 21, 2014, Sugarlands Distillery held their grand opening celebration!

Making Moonshine

An exciting place “with one foot firmly planted in the past and the other in these modern times,” Sugarlands Distillery offers authentic moonshine flavors such as: Silver Cloud, Appalachian Apple Pie, Blockader’s Blackberry, and much more! They use a 7 Step process to make the moonshine:

 

1st Step of Distillation Artisanal Stone Burr Mill– Tennessee white corn is milled to a cornmeal consistency in our artisanal stone burr mill.
2nd Step of Distillation Fermenter– Milled corn & pure cane sugar are then combined with “backins” from a prior batch along with yeast & water from the Smoky Mountains to create our sour mash. During fermentation the mash bubbles over 4-5 days.
3rd Step of Distillation Copper Pot Still– Fermented “corn beer” is transferred to the Copper Pot Still where the mash is heated until the alcohol vaporizes. This is the first distillation.
4th Step of Distillation Copper Distillation Column– As it moves through the copper distillation column, it condenses and is redistilled 5 more times for a total of 6. The copper removes sulfites from the alcohol vapor.
5th Step of Distillation Spirit Safe– As the liquid is cooled and poured off the tap in the Spirit Safe the new moonshine’s heads, hearts, and tails are collected and separated. Only our hearts are kept for final bottling.
6th Step of Distillation Sugarlands Shine– The “backins” from the pot still take on new life when they are blended with the next run. The Authentic Sugarlands Shine Silver Cloud is born and savored.

 

Historic Roots

Though a new company, the Sugarlands Distillery has made every effort to keep itself deeply rooted in the Tennessee History from which moonshine originates. You can see this in a variety of ways, including the materials used to construct their main building- a barn-house built from reclaimed wood.

Red Blue and White WoodsBlue and White Wood

The rustic blue and white painted wood used throughout the distillery interior was rescued from the Grey family home which was nestled in the Cane Creek area of Tellico Plains. The home was built upon a brick foundation which pre-dates the civil war. The wood carefully selected for our distillery consists primarily of interior painted wood from this warm family home, soaking up the history of family gatherings through the years.

Red Wood

The signature red wood came from an old barn in the Appalachian foothills of Tellico Plains, which was built and then painted by the Carriger family in the 1930’s. Just up the road from there a few of the light greenish/grey boards came out of the interior of a house in an area called Turkey Creek that also dates back to the Civil War.

Brown and Grey WoodsBrown and Grey Wood

The weathered brown and grey wood which covers the distillery’s exterior and some high interior walls were saved from a barn in Sweetwater. Built by a well-respected barn builder of the time by the name of Wilson, a copy of the handwritten deed of the property reveals it was most likely built in the late 1850’s. It is all white oak wood. The brown was most likely interior wood protected from the elements while the grey wood shows 150 years of cold mountain snows and the heat of Southern summers.

Our SugarlandsTennessee Legends

Another interesting way the Sugarlands distillery shows their pride in their roots is by sharing some of the fascinating history and legends of our area on their website!  Stop by there sometime and enjoy learning about the moonshine history of the area and the part it played in our economic development, Wiley Oakley, for whom one of Gatlinburg’s most traveled roads is named (ERA In the Smokies has several cabins available for rent which are on or just off of Wiley Oakley Rd), and much more!

Worth a Visit

Below are just a few reasons the Sugarlands Distillery is worth a visit!

The Back PorchThe Back Porch

Rest your feet and sit a spell on our Back Porch; an outdoor pine pavilion which includes our performance stage ready for you to relax and savor your time with us at the distillery. We keep our calendar filled with touring regional and national musical acts as well as talented local favorites. Highlighting styles ranging from; Appalachian Americana, old-timey, bluegrass pickin’ jams, folk, acoustic, and singer-songwriter.

The Back Porch is also home to the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association, which brings tale tellers to the stage from as close as our backyard to the world over. Check out our Happenings page for our up to date entertainment calendar and plan your next visit to hang out with us.

The Trading PostThe Trading Post

Shop moonshine, mountain merchandise, apparel, books, music and more in the Trading Post. You’ll find a collection of shirts, hats and other accessories to outfit your Sugarlands style. There’s also a nifty assortment of gifts and tools for the outdoor adventurer. Since we care an awful lot about our Sugarlands Shine we’ve got glassware, flasks, and other gizmos to serve it up in fine fashion. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of extra large bags for you to carry all your stuff. Visit the shop link to preview our full range of online Sugarlands Merchandise available.

Sippin' PostsThe Sippin’ Posts

We wanted to make it easy to sip free samples of our delicious Sugarlands Shine while you’re visiting, so we constructed three octagon bars for folks to gather around. We call em Sippin’ Posts. We’ve saved a place just for you to get acquainted with our friendly Tastemakers as they pour savory sips of all of our fine moonshine. At the Sippin’ Post, you will find your favorite flavors of shine to take home and share with friends and family.

When you buy a full case of twelve jars from the distillery, or even a six pack you will receive your very own Sugarlands wood crate absolutely free. Warning- you will receive very interesting looks on the street while walking around downtown Gatlinburg and may gain many new friends in the process.

Sugarlands Still HouseSugarlands Still House

Although the recipes and craft of making moonshine are ages old, the Sugarlands Still House features custom-designed distilling equipment that produces a superior moonshine.

With one foot firmly planted in the past and the other in these modern times, the Still House is where our delicious Sugarlands Shine is made.

Our artisanal stone mill grinds grains like corn and rye into meal that is then mixed with pure Smoky Mountain water and is then moved to our giant cooker. From there, the liquid is transferred to the fermenter to simmer for a few days. When the time is right that “wash” is pumped into the copper pot still where it is heated and distilled. The alcohol vapor filters through the copper pipes and rises up through the plates of the distillation column, down through the chilling column to cool and is finally poured out of the Spirit Safe.

You can see the whole production through the screen windows or if you want to take a closer look you can book a free talk and tour. As long as you knock on our speakeasy door, whisper the password, keep mum,  and you are in!

Most of the above contents, including most of the photos, were copied directly from The Sugarlands Distillery Website. Please visit their website to get more information, stories, and pictures!