Our Top 10 list

There are so many places and things to see and do when on vacation in our area. Here is a list of 10 of our favorite things for you to experience while enjoying your Smoky Mountains vacation.

1. See the Smokies from Clingmans Dome

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. Although Clingmans Dome Observation Tower is open year-round, the road leading to it is closed from December 1 through March 31, and whenever weather conditions require. It's seven miles to the end of Clingmans Dome Road and there are scenic pullouts with endless views of ridges and valleys along the way. The road ends in a large parking area from which a 0.5 mile trail leads to the summit. The trail is paved but steep, and leads to an observation tower on top.

We found that the best time to see the views are late fall and early spring when there isn't as much humidity in the air.

2. Ziplines, ziplines, ziplines

This growing attraction in the Smoky Mountains is guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping!  Zipping along and reaching heights well over the treetops, taking in wonderful views - you’ll will be bragging about this unique, breathtaking adventure for years to come! Most Smoky Mountain zip lining tours are located in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area, with some also located in Gatlinburg - all within easy drive from our cabins. Zip lining involves being strapped around the waist to a cord mounted on an inclined cable.   From newlyweds to retired couples and from friends to families - this activity will make a day to be remembered  by everyone.  Some, like Foxfire Adventure park offer additional activities such as ATV tours as well.   Check out other local ziplines here and here

3. Tour Cades Cove on a bicycle

Visiting Cades Cove is a must for your Smoky Mountains experience. The Cove is a broad valley surrounded by the mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokiy Mountains National Park. Some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park are found here. Motorists can tour the cove by a one-way loop road that circles the cove, sightseeing at a leisurely pace. Better yet, experience it up close and personal riding a bicycle. The full Cades Cove loop is 11 miles, but there are turnoffs at two different points if you’d prefer a shorter ride. Along the way, you’ll see numerous historic buildings – the homes, churches, and workplaces of Cades Cove residents during the 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll also have access to several hiking trailheads. 
The loop road is open to bicycle and foot traffic only until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September, so get there early! You can rent bikes here  - they start renting at 7 AM. 

4. Visit Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Trail

On the way to of from our cabins, you will be driving through parts of  so called Arts and Crafts Loop . This historic 8-mile loop has been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. Established in 1937, these artisans whittle, paint, sew, cast, weave and carve to create original collectibles such as candles, baskets, quilts, brooms, pottery, jewelry, dolls,  pottery, scrimshaw, silver smithing, leather, stained glass, wearable fashions, fine photography, frameable art, oils, watercolors, and also lodging, restaurants, cafés, tea room, soda fountain and candy shops. There are several Trolley stops along the loop, so you can park your vehicle and ride the Yellow trolley route (seasonal).  Browse the shops, see the crafts being made. Our favorite was visiting Alewine Pottery on Glades Rd in December. We watched signature real leaf-print pottery being made while warming up by the great big woodburning fireplace.  

5. Alpine Coasters - Awesome family fun in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Alpine coasters are the latest must-have experience during your Smoky Mountains vacation. There are several to chose from - Mountain Coaster at Ober Gatlinburg  in Gatlinburg,   Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster   and Coaster at Goats on the Roof , in Pigeon Forge. This is the ultimate family experience any age can enjoy.  Riders may choose to leisurely cruise the coaster track or reach speeds up to 25 MPH, while hugging turns and dips down the mountain. Don't worry - you are in control of your speed, it is fun for young, old, and everyone in between.  
​The coaster at Ober Gatlinburg is located at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park which offers Wildlife Encounter, plenty of shops, indoor ice skating and other activities any time of year.  You can ride the Aerial Tram to Ober Gatlinburg and enjoy the stunning views of the town and the mountains. 

Besides the thrill ride itself, the Coaster at Goats on the Roof , in Pigeon Forge offers you to interact with well.. goats! Visitors can  feed the goats, try their luck with gem mining and taste the sweetness of homemade ice-cream and fudge.  

6. White Water Rafting in the Smokies - Splashing Family Fun

There are several  rafting outfitters in the vicinity of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  Treat yourself to an unforgettable experience with one of our many white water rafting adventures. Smoky Mountain Outdoors and Rafting In the Smokies are couple of outfitters that can take you on your exciting splashing adventure. 
There are rafting trips on upper or lower Pigeon river, with varying degrees of difficulty. Rafting in the Smokies offers "Family Float" - a "No experience necessary" trip open to anyone 3 years old or older. Your family and friends will be escorted by an experienced guide down 6 miles of casual and laid back section of the Lower Pigeon river. We have done it with a family group, ages 10 to 76 and it was a great experience for all!
Some outfitters offer combo packages that include ziplining and other activities as well.  Discounts may be offered  for advance reservations and larger groups.  
Keep in mind that some rafting trips only take place on certain days of week during the season, so inquire ahead for the information to ensure that rafting fits into your Smoky Mountains Vacation schedule. 

7. Visit Forbidden Caverns, stop by English Mountain Trout farm 

The caverns are located in Sevier county, under the English Mountain, about 20 miles form our cabins. 

O nce upon a time, Forbidden Caverns was used by Indians during hunting trips  a shelter and a constant source of water.

You’ll most likely see drawings engraved in some of the walls of the caverns. This is because the caverns are filled with flint which was used by Indians to carve tools and weapons.
Later, from 1920 to 1943, moonshiners used the caverns as a hiding place to make their moonshine.

In 1967 the cavern was opened to the public and today it is a great, educational tour that lasts between 45-60 minutes and it is very kid-friendly. They do put on a small light show to explain the history of the cavern. You can take pictures while you’re on the tour.

​​ Forbidden Caverns is open from April through November, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m,  closed on Sundays. Tours are every hour, and the last tour leaves at 5 p.m. so be sure to arrive no later than 5. 
Located streamsite on the way to/from Forbidden Caverns, at 291 Blowing Cave Rd, Sevierville, TN 37876, is English Mountain Trout Farm and Grill.
Stop by and see gorgeous mountain trout swim in clear waters. The place offers open-air no frills dining experience, but best of all, you can catch the trout yourself - and they will cook it for you! It sure will be a favorite with families with kids. 
Or, just opt for someone else catching the fish. Served with simple sides, the trout itself is the "star" of any dish. Seated at the picnic tables outside under the trees on a sunny and gorgeous Fall day, we thoroughly enjoyed blackened trout.
English Mountain Trout farm also supplies trout to several area restaurants, but what can be better than tasting the freshly caught one? Well rated by TripAdvisor too. 

8. Take chondola to Anakeesta (and find out what is "chondola").

What is Anakeesta It is a Gatlinburg-based theme park and a great family value! Admission to Anakeesta includes a scenic ride via the Chondola to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain. Enjoy spectacular views of downtown Gatlinburg along the way.  At the top, you’ll experience majestic scenic views of Mt. LeConte, quaint gift shops and casual dining. See magical Firefly Village, stroll along the 16 bridge Tree Canopy Walk 40’–60’ feet above the forest floor (resembling that of Capillano Bridge in Vancouver) and explore whimsical Tree House Village Playground with the kids. 
Experience Dueling Zipline Adventure and race side-by-side with friends on 1,000+ foot zip lines soaring 125′ above the ground. Everyone will enjoy racing down the mountainside on the new single rail mountain coaster…the Rail Runner!

Chondola: an open air 4-person chair with safety bar or select an enclosed gondola cabin with seating for 6.

9. The Island in Pigeon Forge and The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel 

The Island in Pigeon Forge, however toristy it may seem, is good to visit with the whole family. It is a shopping and entertainment complex with more than sixty retail and specialty shops, a number of popular restaurants and eateries, rides and games, dancing fountains, live music, attractions and much more.
You do not have to spend a lot of money - see the sights and listen to the sounds for free. The dancing fountains are awesome. 

If you want to spend some money, go on a clear day and take a ride on towering 200 feet-tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel to see the beautiful mountains surrounding the area. This modern Ferris wheel sits at the foot of the most visited National Park in the United States–Great Smoky Mountain National Park. As the centerpiece to the Island in Pigeon Forge, it stands as one of the tallest attractions in the Southeast!

10. Rain or shine...It is Snow in Pigeon Forge.

It used to be that if you wanted to play in snow, you had to visit during winter months and head over to Ober Gatlinburg. But not anymore! Pigeon Forge Snow is a new attraction open year round.
It is  the first indoor snow facility in the entire United States that offers REAL snow all year long. It uses state of the art snowmaking technology to transform its 35,000 square ft. indoor facility into a winter wonderland, complete with up to 12 lanes of snowtubing regardless of the time of year. Instead of using synthetic material, the attraction’s slopes are covered in genuine fresh powder.

The best part is - no bundling up necessary: Pigeon Forge Snow has a comfortable temperature of around 60 – 70 °F all year long.

See our Vacation Guide

Meet the owners

I came to the Smoky mountians with a friend in 2009 for the first time during winter snowfall. It was so pretty! Living in Florida, we missed having seasons. Todd and I (Victoria) came together several more times, and we knew - Smoky Mountains was the place! We bought our cabin in 2010. For now, we are living and working in Tampa FL,  and looking forward to making Sevier county our permanent home one day. 
Photo taken day after Christmas 2010 when Blue Mountain Lodge was almost complete.

We love DIY projects, and we have restored or made many furniture and decor pieces you will see in our cabin. 

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