Kids throughout the country are heading back to the classroom, and within a couple of weeks, there will hardly be a school system within a day's drive of the Great Smoky Mountains that won't be back to school. For parents who have been tending to restless, squabbling kids during these last few weeks of summer break, the return to the school-year routine is a welcome event.
We're smack dab in the middle of summer, which means this is peak season for folks coming to the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle this area has to offer. Between the neighboring national park, a nearby national forest, whitewater-filled rivers and TVA reservoirs that occupy so much of our region, opportunities abound for families to get outside and play this summer.
When it comes to being a vacation destination, Gatlinburg sure has a whole lot going for it. But parking availability at individual businesses isn't one of those assets. Gatlinburg is a fairly small town, wedged into the crevices of a scenic mountain valley, so real estate is at a premium. There are dozens and dozens of attractions, shops and restaurants that simply have very few to zero on-site parking spaces.
This is the time of year when visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park sharply rises. School's out for the summer, and most folks plan their family vacations for this window of time. And people aren't the only creatures active in the national park. Bears are up from their winter slumbers and are living their lives within that same territory.
For more than 30 years, Dolly Parton's Stampede (formerly known officially as “Dixie Stampede”) has been one of the top dinner destinations in the Smokies. The attraction combines a delicious multi-course meal with a captivating live production to create one of the most in-demand show experiences in town.
Most of us can probably agree that sitting in traffic behind the wheel of a car is everyone's least favorite thing to do when visiting the Smokies. But this week, we've got a great tip for helping you avoid doing just that. From June 16 through August 15, the city of Gatlinburg will be offering free trolley service along the Parkway downtown.
There are lots of places you can go to have a good time when you're visiting Gatlinburg, but one brand name has a reputation around here for offering more than one way to find family fun in the Smokies. Ripley Entertainment has had a presence in Gatlinburg for decades, and while you may know them best for a certain little downtown aquarium, you may be surprised to learn about everything the company has to offer Smoky Mountain visitors.
One of the hallmarks of spring in the Great Smoky Mountains is the annual emergence of wildflowers and other vegetation in the national park and surrounding areas. It's a time when new life springs from the ground, bursting onto the scene in a brilliant array of colors and shapes.
We understand that for many travelers, the idea of public parking can be a painful prospect. Some vendors have been known to charge outrageous rates just for the privilege of leaving your vehicle in a place you won't even be around most of the day. Lots and garages that charge by the hour can make that experience seem even worse.
The Five Oaks area of Sevierville has long been known for being a fantastic outlet mall destination. But did you know it's also a great place to visit for families in search of fun times in the great outdoors? That's exactly what you'll find if you check out everything they have to offer at Five Oaks Adventure Park, located on the Parkway in Sevierville, not far from the Tanger Outlet center, at traffic marker number 13.1.