When my wife and I were deciding where we would take our family of six on vacation this summer we were having a tough time of it. Living in Florida there are many great vacation destinations. We had been to the Keys, Disney World, St Augustine, and the like many times over along with various beautiful beach resorts like the Jupiter Beach Resort. They were all wonderful locations and relaxing vacations. But this time we wanted to do something differently.
First, we looked into cruises. Having taken a couple of Caribbean Cruises in the past, if we cruised it was going to be to a place like Alaska. Checking the pricing for six people, the cruise prices were very reasonable....until you added the airfare. We decided to look elsewhere..
My wife decided to look into locations that were not in Florida but well within driving distance. We looked into locations in Georgia, Alabama, and a few other states and finally saw a few interesting places in Tennessee. We quickly realized that Gatlinburg had some things that would be fun for our children (ages 11-20) as well as for my wife and I.
Dollywood was a hoot! Twenty minutes from Gatlinburg, it is a Disney type park but has a back home feel to it. The food was good, and rides spectacular. Especially the zipline that my two oldest children and I decided to give a try. Soaring above the trees over ravines and rides was very exhilarating. The staff was great and provided you with a feeling of safety.
Gatlinburg, downtown, is very touristy. It has a tremendous amount of shops and places to eat. I especially liked riding the ski tram up the mountain to Uber Gatlinburg. You will find an ice skating rink, small bear and otter zoo, along with all the skiing amenities you could ask for. Of course, we visiting in the summertime, so the ski slopes were closed, but I am sure they would have been fun to ski. There is even a luge run that in the summer you can ride on luge sleds with wheels!
We stayed in an absolutely gorgeous cabin in the Smokie Mountains themselves. Our cabin was approximately 2 1/2 miles up the mountain slope, go through serpentine roads. I must admit the roads were a little bit harrowing, but when you got to the cabin it was all worth while.
We had probably 160 degrees of just perfect view of the mountains. Some mornings we were actually in the mist (clouds) for a while. Very cool experience. Our cabin had a pool table, two fireplaces, a jacuzzi in the master bedroom, and a hot tub on one of the two porches that overlooked the mountain. After dinner my whole family would jump in the hot tub and talk about the day we just had.
A great vacation, at a very reasonable price. For more information on how you can enjoy a trip like this, be sure to follow the links below.