By Leif Palmer
Posted on May 20, 2020
Now that safer-at-home restrictions have been relaxed and more and more businesses have begun reopening their doors in the Great Smoky Mountains, we've been seeing a lot of people returning to Gatlinburg as well as Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Remember those drone videos from a month or two ago, the ones that showed deserted streets in downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge? Those days are gone, fortunately. From hotels and shops to restaurants and attractions, things are starting to feel a little more like normal, although most businesses still have social-distancing and other safety protocols in place.
That means if you're excited about visiting the Smokies this year, you can still do that. Perhaps not all of your favorite attractions or restaurants will be up and running at the time you want to visit, but there will still be plenty of choices available to ensure that you and your family have a great time while you're in the mountains. And we'll still be able to offer plenty of parking in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Perhaps you'd like to come to the Smokies, but you're still not comfortable getting out and roaming shops or sitting down in restaurants or waiting in lines with other people to see attractions and shows. You still have options. Remember that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open (although not fully), so you have lots of room to hike, fish and explore in the great outdoors without having to come into close contact with other people.
Or maybe you're still comfortable spending most of your time at home for a little while longer. Have you considered taking a virtual vacation? If you do a little Googling, you'll find lots of attractions and parks all over the country that allow you to tour their facilities and sites online. Sure, it's not the same as being there, but it's still a great way to see new places and things and maybe get some ideas for where to travel on future vacations.
For starters, how about a trip to Dollywood to visit the Chasing Rainbows museum? Take a quick spin through Dolly Parton history here: https://blog.dollywood.com/index.php/2020/05/18/virtual-walk-through-chasing-rainbows-museum/
And here are some links to several other notable sites from around the country and the world:
The Louvre: https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne#tabs
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: https://naturalhistory2.si.edu/vt3/NMNH/
Cincinnatti Zoo: https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/
Georgia Aquarium: https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.