Looking to go exploring in the Smokies? Here is a primer for suggestions and recommendations
* Smoky Mountain Scavenger Hike Adventure:
This great hiking adventure book will lead you on easy, moderate, and strenuous hikes through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, with the added twist of a scavenger hunt. Authors John & Kat LaFevre have compiled directions, history, and little known facts about each trail to help you enjoy the splendor of the Smoky Mountains. Experience adventure travel in the Smokies to the fullest extent by planning a hiking vacation or just an afternoon of family fun! www.smokymountainscavengerhike.com.
* Sugarlands Visitor Center:
The best first step to exploring the natural beauty of the Tennessee Smokies is Sugarlands Visitors Center on Highway 441 towards Cherokee, NC. You can get there either by taking the Bypass on The Spur just before you get to Gatlinburg from Pigeon Forge, or you can get there after driving through downtown Gatlinburg past Stoplight #10.
The center is open every day except Christmas Day, and offers a small museum, theater film, gift shop, and special programs all year long. Your group can easily spend more than a couple hours at Sugarlands alone. Features Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally (check at the visitor center for locations and times), extensive natural history exhibits, Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop, public restrooms and telephones, soda and water machines and a Backcountry permit station.
* Picnic Areas in the National Park:
• Chimneys - Newfound Gap Road. Large picnic area on banks of Little Pigeon River, with picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and huge boulders that can put you in the middle of the river.
• Deep Creek - Hwy. 19 from Cherokee. Covered amphitheater with several waterfall hikes nearby.
• Greenbrier - Hwy. 321 from Gatlinburg. Open & sheltered picnic areas in a perfect setting.
• Heintooga - Balsam Mountain Road. Highest picnic area in park offering great views.
• Metcalf Bottoms - Little River Road. Shady picnic tables in the cozy woods or along the river.
Coming to the Smokies for a romantic getaway? Here are some things you definitely need to take advantage of to make the most of your honeymoon, anniversary, or couple's only getaway.
1. The Love Nest
Alamo Steakhouse is famous in the Smokies for a variety of reasons, and this one is easily one of the most popular. There is an upstairs private table available ONLY by reservation and it's your own private little place to spend with each other and enjoy some of the BEST Southern-style food you'll ever find in Gatlinburg.
2. Greenbrier Restaurant
Want something a little more old-fashioned fancy dining? Greenbrier Restaurant is one of the best places to go for that. Not only is it tucked away from the main road of Gatlinburg to add an incredible sense of atmosphere and privacy, the upper-class cuisine is simply unbeatable in the county. See their menu at
3.Creations by Janine
Candy and Snack bouqets for any occasion. Surprise your spouse or family with a basket waiting for you from Creations by Janine. Baskets are custom made to order. Delight your family, celebrate your anniversay, surprise a friend with a candy and snack bouquet by Creations by Janine.
4. Cupid's Petals
Gentlemen, there is not one woman on Earth whose heart would not melt at the sight of a beautiful bouquet from Cupid's Petals. Order a dozen roses, or even a dozen dozen, and your gesture of affection and appreciation will not be forgotten. Also gift baskets and more services.
5. Smoky Mountain Guest Services
If you're not into looking around at too many places for different services, check out Smoky Mountain Guest Services - which offers spa and massage, gift baskets, flower and balloon delivery, personal shopping, catering, and even a limousine rental.