Cades Cove This Weekend

Cades Cove This Weekend

4 Ways to Experience Cades Cove This Weekend

What to Do at Cades Cove TN

If you vacation in the Smokies, you’ve heard of Cades Cove. And if you’ve heard of Cades Cove but not yet visited, you’re missing out! Cades Cove TN is worth the 27-mile drive from Gatlinburg and a must-visit destination in the Smoky Mountains National Park. Because there are so many things to see and do there, we suggest you plan to make multiple visits and experience the cove in four unique ways.

Cades Cove is open year round so no matter the season, you can take a driving tour along its 11-mile loop. You’ll have excellent opportunities to view wildlife, historic cabins, primitive churches and a cable mill. Be kind to everyone else enjoying the loop and use the pull offs for lingering and taking photos. Prefer to have someone else drive you? Consider a Cades Cove Heritage Tour and ride in the comfort of a tour van with a knowledgeable guide.

Bicycling & Walking
Did you know Cades Cove loop is closed to cars two days per week? Every Wednesday and Saturday mornings Memorial Day through Labor Day, the loop is closed to motorists from 7-10 a.m. Bring your own bikes or rent them at the Cades Cove Bike Shop beginning at 6:30 a.m. They have bikes available for all ages and helmets are included with the rental for ages 16 and under. Ride the entire 11-mile loop, or choose a shorter distance using the 3.5-mile Sparks Lane route, or the 8.8-mile Hyatt Lane route.

Cades Cove is a great place to hit the trails. Experienced and novice hikers alike can find a trail perfectly suited for a roundtrip, vigorous workout or a leisure hike. Trails include:
Lynn Camp Prong Cascades: 1.6 miles
Laurel Falls: 2.6 miles
Abrams Falls: 5.2 miles
Rich Mountain Loop: 8.5 miles
Gregory Bald: 8.8 miles
Spence Field: 10.3 miles

Horseback Riding
Cades Cove Riding Stables offers guided horseback rides, hay rides and carriage rides, giving you yet more ways to submerge yourself in the Smokies and experience the cove. The stables are open early March through November from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Approximate trip times are:
Horseback Ride: 1 hour
Carriage Ride: 30-45 minutes
Hayrides: 1.5-3 hours, depending on Loop traffic

Take your camera and plan to relax and enjoy one of the best parts of the National Park sitting on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies.

Earth Week

Gatlinburg Celebrates Earth Week

As if the 2016 Gatlinburg fires could teach us anything more, it’s to appreciate our land on a daily basis! The approaching Earth Week comes as a reminder to demonstrate that appreciation by physically doing what we can to make the world a better place each and every day.

If you’re in Gatlinburg during the Earth Week holiday, there are some fun things taking place that will increase your awareness of best ‘green’ practices, allow you to give back to the environment and these Smoky Mountains that we love so much, and just have a little fun with others in the great outdoors.

Earth Week Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg Celebrates Earth Week April 23-27

Here is the line up of the week’s special events:

23-27: Earth Week - The city of Gatlinburg hosts a week of family-oriented events created around the national Earth Day Celebration. The week offers educational, fun and even entertaining community activities designed to raise environmental awareness by educating families about adopting easy green practices.

24: Earth Week Spur Clean Up – Volunteer just a couple hours of your time to give back to the Smoky Mountains!   Meet with like-minded givers at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center at 9 a.m. to help our local Keep Sevier Beautiful organization and the National Park Service clean up “The Spur.”   Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. Clean up takes place from 9 a.m.-Noon. For more information, please call (865) 436-0505.

26: Earth Day FestivalA day of outdoor fun will happen in downtown Gatlinburg at Anakeesta Plaza.  Family friendly fun is planned for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and includes environmental awareness demonstrations, music, free crafts for kids, and face painting. Food will be available for purchase.

27: Earth Day 5K – Earth Week’s closing event is the popular, late night race. The Earth Day 5K welcomes both runners and walkers for this nighttime road race in downtown Gatlinburg. Registration begins at 8 p.m. at Nantahala Outdoor Center parking lot the 10 p.m. race.

If you can’t be in Gatlinburg, look online for nationwide Earth Day events taking place near your hometown.

#earthday #earthweek #gatlinburgtn

Arts & Crafts Community and Shows

Gatlinburg Crafts Trail and Shows

Craft Fairs and Craft Shops in Gatlinburg

8 Miles of Beautiful, Functional Art

The Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Community Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains is in their 81st year!   This special community of arts and crafts can be found within an 8-mile loop just 3 miles from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg’s busy streets.   This beautiful, peaceful craft crawl is home to a wide variety of specialty shops in an area known as the Glades.

For many years, people have been quietly discovering one of Gatlinburg’s best kept secrets and taking home precious, handmade heirlooms and keepsakes.   Artisans, many of them 3rd and 4th generation crafters, will introduce you to their pioneering ways of making their craft.

With over 100 craft shops, studios, and galleries, there is plenty to see and do. Most shops are open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and offer demonstrations of their talents along with the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind, heirloom quality keepsakes. Be amazed as you watch and learn! There is a reason Gatlinburg is known for oil paintings, quilts, brooms, pottery, jewelry, ceramics, leather, stained glass, art, woodworking, scrimshaw, and candles because they’ve got it all!

To make it easy, there is an Arts & Crafts Trolley that you can catch along Glades Road and Buckhorn Road. For a one-time fare, you’ll enjoy a complete trip along the 8-mile loop. It’s a great way to see everything! The Yellow Route trolley makes frequent stops, allowing you to get on and off as you please and runs April-December. However, should you prefer to drive, there is plenty of free parking outside each shop.

Gatlinburg Crafts Trail Shops

View the 2017-2018 Brochure

You can easily spend an entire day along the crafts trail with no worries of a grumbling tummy. You can park yourself at one of the shops that make their own fudge, ice cream, or taffy, such as Fudgewrights or Glades Homemade Candies and Ice Cream Parlor.   Or, grab a bite of “the country’s best” at Delauders BBQ . There is also the Fox and Parrot English Tavern specializing in English and local draught ales and downtown activities such as real darts and other pub games, and great homemade meals at Morning Mist Café or The Wild Plum.

To find the craftsmen in their natural habitat, turn at traffic light #3 in downtown Gatlinburg onto Hwy 321N and look for the entrance signs at Glades and Buckhorn Roads. A complete list of artists and eateries on the Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Trail can be found on the official Gatlinburg Crafts web site.

Prefer to visit these talented artisans all gathered in one place?   Then visit the Gatlinburg Convention Center for special holiday shows. Doors open at 10 a.m. daily and admission is free.

2018 Easter Craft Show
March 29-31

* Summer Craftsmen’s Fair
July 13-22

* Fall Craftsmen’s Fair
October 4-21

2018 Thanksgiving Craft Show
November 20-25

2018 Christmas Craft Show
November 26-December 2

* The Craftsmen’s craft fairs include artists from across the US in addition to some of those from the local crafts community.

Fox & Parrot Restaurant

Gatlinburg Restaurant Fox & Parrot

Fox & Parrot British-Themed Pub

Food in the Crafts Community

There’s 8 miles of winding roads bordered on both sides with the art and artists of the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. With all those shops to explore and treasures to buy, you’ll be needing a meal to get you through so that you can arrive early and stay late. Maybe you’ve heard of the Fox & Parrot Tavern?

Located on Glades Road between Ogle Hills and Reed Ridge roads, this British Pub serves authentic food alongside 85 drafts, ciders and coolers in a family friendly yet traditional pub atmosphere.

Curious about what’s on the menu? Taking pride in keeping with non-Americanized recipes, you’ll find classic appetizers, entrees and desserts that’ll keep you coming back for more! Just to name a few….

Dining in Gatlinburg Fox & Parrot Menu

Click to View Menu

Welsh Rabbit
Banger & Mash
Scotch Egg
Chips & Cheese

Bubble & Squeak
Shepherd’s Pie
Poacher’s & Roll
Fish & Chips

English Trifle
Scottish Shortbread
Bread Pudding
Egg Custard

Kids meals too!

There’s a big screen TV, English darts, and even WiFi to enjoy while relaxing with a cold draught or waiting for your meal. If the weather is nice, choose to dine indoors or out!

If you’d rather sit a spell with a glass of wine, you’ll find the Fox & Parrot’s sister, Wine a Little Wine Bar, just might do the trick. Also in the Arts & Crafts Community and just 1.5 miles away, the bar offers a great selection of wine and food making it a perfect stop for lunch and dinner or just a snack. Menu offering include Smoky Mountain Caviar (homemade salsa) and Escargot (sauteed mushrooms), hummus, cheese plates, flat bread pizza and fiery potatoes.

Can’t decide? Try both!

The Fox & Parrot Tavern
1065 Glades Rd
(865) 436-0677
Website | Facebook

Wine A Little Wine Bar
734 Powdermill Road, Suite 2
(865) 567-5217

Old Favorites and New Gatlinburg Attractions

Enjoy These Great Attractions in Gatlinburg

Enjoy These Great Attractions in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg Attractions 2018

Gatlinburg Attractions 2018 Guide

View or Download the Attractions Association Guide

Have you seen the new Gatlinburg Attractions Association guide? Their 2017-2018 publication is a full color directory giving you a synopsis of the fun to be had, where to go and how to call if you need more information. It features 40 member attractions in and around Gatlinburg that you may or may not already know about. Visit the Gatlinburg Attractions Association online where you can view or download their latest guide.

While you might think that the 40 attractions listed in the guide includes everything there is to do in Gatlinburg, you are mistaken! There are additional fun stops that you’ll probably want to check out:

Rowdy Bear Mountain and Gatlinburg Mountain Coasters
Gatlinburg’s two mountain ‘roller coasters’ are open year round and offer thrilling rides of up to 35 miles per hour rain or shine! Both are located at the north end of Gatlinburg between lights #2-#3.

Smoky Mountain River Rat
Formerly USA Raft, Smoky Mountain River Rat offers whitewater rafting on smooth waters or rolling rapids in nearby Hartford. Their sister location in Townsend TN offers all day river tubing for all ages at a great rate.

The Anakeesta Village is directly across from Ripley’s Aquarium at light #5 in downtown Gatlinburg. It is still growing, but there is already oh so much to do! Ride to the top of the mountain in their open chairs or enclosed Chondola cabins; let the kids play in the Children’s Treehouse Village Playground and traverse the Tree Canopy Walk; race on dueling ziplines; and mine for gems. It’s a ton of fun all in one place. Coming in 2018: Single Rail Mountain Coaster!

Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce 2018 Attractions Guide

Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce 2018 Attractions Guide

Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum
While you may not think of this as a thrilling adventure, it really is pretty cool. You’ll see every shape, size and ‘noun’ imaginable in their collection of over 30,000 sets. It’s art, history and quirky fun!

Want to learn about even more? View the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce attractions directory. While you’ll get a pretty good glimpse of what all there is to do between the chamber and attractions associations web sites, you’ll need to just take a ride to see them all because there are plenty more you’ll have to discover on your own.

Dollywood 2018

New at Dollywood 2018

New at Dollywood 2018 – Spring Mix Music Series


New at Dollywood

Second only to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood is an iconic destination in East Tennessee. What started as Rebel Railroad, Dollywood has grown to earning numerous Golden Tickets and even ranking third best theme park in the world!

The 2018 season will likely earn more awards as Dollywood adds a brand new festival and extends the dates of three festivals to go along with the best in food, thrills rides and hospitality in the industry.

Coming to Dollywood between the Festival of Nations and the BBQ & Bluegrass Festival is the Spring Mix Music Series from April 11-29, 2018. You’ll be entertained with over 30 showstopper performances by top names including Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, Firefall, Debby Boone and others.

Dollywood Season Pass 2018

Purchase 2018 Season Tickets

2018 Festival Dates for 2018:

Festival of Nations – March 17-April 9
World-wide cultural experiences come to Pigeon Forge through food, music and festivities. Hear, see and taste celebrated cultures from across the globe.

NEW! Spring Mix Music Series – April 11-29
Top name country, classic rock and gospel artists entertain daily between 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Performers and concert schedules are still being developed so check often for current details.

Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival – May 25-June 10
Extended dates! The 2018 BBQ festival will be a full week longer for more music, more BBQ and more fun!

Summer Celebration – June 16-August 5
It’s another year for an exciting summer festival at Dollywood that celebrates American families, food and love of fun! The park will be open everyday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. so that you and your family can make the most of summertime in the Smokies!

Harvest Festival Southern Gospel Jubilee & Great Pumpkin LumiNights – September 28-November 3
This new 2017 festival was such a hit, 2018 will be extended a full week! The harvest festival combines Southern Gospel music, traditional arts and crafts, and the Great Pumpkin for 5 weeks of family fun.

Smoky Mountain Christmas – November 10-January 5, 2019
The time-honored Christmas in the Smokies celebration brings special Christmas performances, twinkling lights, Parade of Lights and even a New Years Eve party!

View or download the 2018 Dollywood Operating Schedule and we look forward to welcoming you back to Carr’s Cottages in 2018!

Gatlinburg Holiday Craft Shows

Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Craft Shows

 Gatlinburg Crafts Community Thanksgiving & Christmas Craft Shows

As the gift-giving season will be in full swing in just a few short weeks, the time to start thinking about the perfect gift is now. You’re sure to find that just-right item at the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Holiday Shows, which will take place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center from November 21 through December 3. This free admission show is actually two shows that run back-to-back. The Thanksgiving Craft Show runs for the first six days -through November 26- and the Christmas Craft Show, which emphasizes holiday items, begins on November 37. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Both of the shows feature artists that work from the Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Community just outside Gatlinburg. The grouping of workshops and stores in an 8-mile loop is one of the largest collections of artists, artisans, and craftsmen around. At the show, you can meet and speak with many of the crafts community members as the fashion their unique items on site.

As the holidays are a time when folks are particularly interested in traditions and heritage, a visit to the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Show is the perfect opportunity to explore the techniques of long ago and the ways that those methods have continued to work, even for new ideas and designs. Craftsmen used to make things simply because they were needed, but that necessity did not discount the chance to make the objects beautiful as well.

Much of the work for sale at the show represents the kind of objects that are both beautiful and functional. The rich tradition of careful craftsmanship is part of what has made the Southern Appalachian region what it is. The expert craftsmen calling the Gatlinburg Crafts Community their home have found ways to blend functionality with beauty to produce objects that are both unique and that demonstrate strong design elements. Many of the artists have found ways to transcend utility into the realm of art.

Visit the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Holiday Shows to be inspired and to find the one-of-a-kind item to inspire the ones you love.

Mark your calendar for the 2018 Easter Arts & Crafts Fair
March 29-31, 2018

Halloween in Pigeon Forge

Halloween in Pigeon Forge WonderWorks Haunted Laboratory

Special Halloween Event at WonderWorks

Halloween Family Fun

WonderWorks is a big attraction in Pigeon Forge and for good reason. Kids love all the hands-on activities, sights and sounds and adults love watching their kids have some educational fun. (Right?) It’s interesting, interactive, and challenging, and it gets even one better on Halloween.

Halloween in Pigeon Forge

Happy Halloween!

On October 31, you’ll find signs of the holiday all through this ‘Amusement Park for the Mind.’ There will be Karaoke in the lobby, a Halloween costume contest, and gross food selections at the concession stand. You’ll likely see Professor Frankenstein too.

WonderWorks will also treat you to a full evening of ‘kid scary’ activities, experiments, contests and magic with special add-on Halloween ticket. The fun starts to 4:30 p.m. and continues through 9:45 p.m.

* The tentative activity schedule is:

4:30 p.m: Toy Story of Terror (Kid’s Scary)
5 p.m. : 4-Pie Eating Contest & Halloween Gift Bag Raffle
5:30 p.m.: Professor Frankenstein’s Experiment
6 p.m. : “Guess What’s in the Box” Contest
7 p.m. : Terry Evanswood “The Wonders Of Magic”
9 p.m.: Professor Frankenstein’s Experiment
9:15 p.m.: “Hitchcock Presents” (Teens and Adults Only)
9:45 p.m. : Final Halloween Gift Bag Raffle

* Call (865) 868-1800 to verify activities and schedule as these may change without notice.  Purchase your Halloween tickets at the door and have great time at this year’s WonderWorks Halloween bash!


Other area Halloween Events:
1-5 p.m.: Gatlinburg Halloween Carnival at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza
6 p.m.: Ripley’s Fright Nights for Ages 12 & Up

Fall Colors in Gatlinburg

Smoky Mountains Fall Colors | Leaves Changing Colors in Gatlinburg

Come See the Fall Colors in the Smokies

Changing Leaves in the Smokies

Color is coming. As the evening air turns crisp and the afternoons get shorter and shorter, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will soon be bursting with a vivid array of oranges, reds, and yellows.

A lot of people talk about fall foliage “peak weekend” as if the changing of the colors happens so quickly that you’ll miss it if you can’t be in the mountains during a special couple of days. Not so. The “peak” simply refers to the predictions about the probable times when the most trees will have the most color. But remember that the turning relies on several factors — including temperatures, rainfall, and Mother Nature — so that prediction will only be accurate within a few days on either side anyway. This color-coded fall leaves changing map will give you week by week updates for East Tennessee and surrounding areas.

Fall Colors 2017 Smoky Mountains

Colors of Fall in the Smoky Mountains

Since the leaves at the higher elevations begin changing colors a little sooner and the lower elevations slightly later, you can expect to see the forest kaleidoscope for several weeks starting in late September and ending in early November. If you come to Gatlinburg earlier in the season, head for higher ground to see the most color. The Sugarland Mountain Trail or the trek up to Mt. LeConte are safe bets through the first week of October.

If you want to venture more into the wilderness for the immersed experience, head to the Appalachian Trail at Clingman’s Dome. Newfound Gap Road, the Foothills Parkway, and Rich Mountain Road out of Cades Cove are great drives for seeing a lot of fall color from the comfort of your car.

By mid-October, dazzling color will surround the Gatlinburg area. Anywhere you turn, you’re likely to see trees in fully impressive display. This is the perfect time to drive the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

Late October will see the trees at Gatlinburg’s elevation fading a little, but you’ll still have plenty of options for a couple of weeks yet. Hike up the Alum Cave Trailhead or cruise down the Blue Ridge Parkway to view the leaves before they have dropped for the year.

What is your prediction for the Smoky Mountains fall colors best time? Will Smoky Mountains changing leaves happen earlier or later than usual this year?

The really beautiful thing about fall is it comes every year so you can make your Smoky Mountain getaway an annual tradition!

Pickin’ On The Porch

Wood n Strings Dulcimer Shop Townsend TN

Wood -n- Strings Dulcimer Shop Saturday Night “Pickin’ on the Porch”

Dulcimers, BanJammers, Back Porch Pickin’

Surely you’ve heard the expression; “There’s music in them thar hills!” And it’s never been more true than in Townsend TN. You can hear guitar strummin’, fiddle playin’, and bass jammin’ in and around the Pigeon Forge-Gatlinburg area, and sometimes even on their street corners. But you won’t find any sweeter, purer, and yet more haunting sound than a dulcimer, especially as it echoes off the mountains and hangs in the air. Known by many names, from the common “dulcimer” to the unusual “hog fiddle,” even its name means “sweet music” from the Latin “Dulce” (sweet) and the Greek “melos” (music).

Just what is a dulcimer you ask? Why it’s one of the oldest types of musical instruments found in Eastern Tennessee today. The dulcimer was originally introduced in Europe somewhere around the 1700’s. European settlers brought their instruments and their musical heritage with them when they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to come here. But the dulcimer sound we know and love today didn’t enter into the urban northeast folk music scene until after the 1940s.

Want to know more? Hear a little bit maybe? Then a visit to Mike & Connie’s Wood N’ Strings Dulcimer Shop is where you’ll want to be. Home of the “Clemmer Dulcimer” and the Clemmer “Ban-Jammer,” you can sit and enjoy tunes any Saturday night from May through September.

Take a listen…

Mike has a shop where he personally makes dulcimers. He’s also got a back porch where he holds court on Tennessee nights. Appropriately enough, he calls his Saturday night hoe downs Pickin’ On The Porch.” And it’s not just dulcimer music you will be entertained with, but a little fiddle, banjo and jugs too. Mike welcomes various guest artists such as Tuckaleechee Tuners, Rudy Ryan, and Shadow Mountain String Band and a host of others who perform a free concert from 7-8 p.m.  See ya on the porch!

August: 5, 12, 19 & 26  |  September: 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30

View the Pickin on the Porch Schedule and Performers List

Wood -n- Stings Dulcimer Shop
7645 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend TN 37882  |  (865) 448-6647


Things to Do in Townsend TN:
River Rat Tubing
Tuckaleechee Cove and Caverns
Little River Railroad
Cades Cove TN