Gatlinburg Cinco de Mayo

It's a Fiesta in Gatlinburg Cinco de Mayo

$5 Armband Unlimited Food & Beverage Sampling

Head to downtown Gatlinburg for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

Thursday, May 5, Gatlinburg will host its 1st Annual Cinco de Mayo at the Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.   Bring the kids early for a culture-filled afternoon with crafts, Latin music, traditional dress, a Mexican Hat Dance and even a bust-the-piñata contest!

Beginning at 4 p.m., purchase an armband for only $5 to enjoy unlimited samplings of food and beverages.  There will be a variety of music and dancing, and other cultural showcases.  It’s a festival in the plaza that you won’t want to miss!

Check out Carr’s Cottages great rates including $49 creekside Motel rooms or choose any accommodations and get a night free when you pay for 2 nights or more.  Stay with us and walk to the party!

This fiesta is brought to you in part by Ripley’s Entertainment, No Way Jose’s Mexican Cantina, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and the East Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

¡Es hora de festejar!

Mountain Man Memorial March ‘Honor through Action’

Mountain Man Memorial March for American Heroes and Veterans

4th Annual Mountain Man Memorial March

Come to Gatlinburg to participate in the annual ‘Honor through Action’ Mountain Man Memorial March.

This Memorial March began in 2007 in honor 1LT Frank Walkup, a UT alumni, killed in Iraq.  In just four years, the event has grown into a tribute which honors all of our fallen American Heroes and Veterans along with special ceremonies for Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Families.

The Memorial begins Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza with a special ceremony for all families who’ve lost loved ones in combat, Gold Star Families.  The runner’s race begins promptly at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 with march/marathon participants starting just 3 minutes later.

The run and marathon route begins across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe and makes it way through Gatlinburg and into the Smokey Mountains.  It consists of paved road, gravel road, and other uneven terrain, and is made up of flat stretches, rolling hills, and steep climbs.  Water points, snacks, medical aid and support staff will be positioned and available along the route.  Participants in the March will be wearing full gear with a 35 lb. pack, food and water, and march 26.2 or 13.1 miles through the hills of Gatlinburg.  Memorial coordinators are expecting over 500 marchers, marathoners and 10K road racers in this rapidly growning Gold Star Family event.  Watch live interviews for additional details at WBIR.

To participate, visit Mountain Man Memorial March for registration or sponsorship information.  We invite participants and supporters to stay with us in a creekside motel room for just $49 per night plus tax.

Discount Dollywood Tickets

Discount Tickets to Dollywood - Dolly Parton's Pigeon Forge Theme Park

Visit During Festival of Nations

Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge is set to open March 26 and we’ve got “Play Another Tickets” available to all guests at Carr’s.  Essentially, this ticket is a Buy One Get One Free Dollywood ticket because you can visit any time on one day and return within the next 2 days and do it all again!

This ticket makes for a really affordable spring getaway when combined with our seasonal lodging discounts!  Now through the end of the month, stay in one of our creekside motel rooms for $39 per night plus tax, or choose any accommodation and get a night free with two nights paid.

Dollywood opens 2011 with their internationally acclaimed “Festival of Nations” that will feature the cultures, music and food from a multitude of countries including Ireland, Ecuador, Trinidad and Argentina.  Visit our Dollywood Tickets page to view descriptions and dates of all 5 of this years festivals being held at Dollywood that you won’t want to miss.  Hope we see you in Gatlinburg soon!

Valentines Day Romantic Gatlinburg Getaway

Romantic Vacation Packages for Valentine's Day or Any Day

Add a Little Romance to Your Stay!

Valentine’s Day is only 8 days away, and we’re happy to help you plan a romantic getaway in Gatlinburg!

We’ve paired up with the #1 florist in the Smokies to offer subtle to extravagant ways to strike up the romance with your special someone.   Visit our romance packages page to choose your surprises that include a single rose, chocolate dipped strawberries or bakery cake for 2, and a small bouquet of balloons –OR– go all out and select a tub of balloons, candles, dozen roses and more!

Won’t be in the area for Valentine’s Day?  We have these romantic packages available year round because every day in the Smokies can be a romantic getaway!  Simply make your reservations and then add on the package of your choice.  Whatever you choose, it will be waiting in your motel room or cabin ready to greet you both!

Planning a Road Trip #2-Road Trip Songs

Many people plan their vacations down to the minute of each day, but so often overlook the opportunities to enjoy the travel time. The ‘road’ part of the trip can be just as memorable as the destination! With just a little forethought, your captive audience can have hours of fun.

Music… A road trip necessity! Put the iPod’s away and listen to some of your family’s favorite songs that put smiles on their faces and lift their spirits. Assign solo’s and chorus lines for a sing-along, play name that tune or fill in the missing lyrics, and even create your own family theme song. You can talk about favorite genres or instruments in the music, talk about the music of ‘your day,’ let your kids tell you why their favorite singer is so cool, and on and on.

Road Trip Songs for Destination Travel

Crank Up the Tunes!

Here is a list of some famous ‘road’ songs that you might like to add into your own mix.
1. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
2. Hit the Road, Jack – Ray Charles
3. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
4. I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar
5. Freeway of Love – Aretha Franklin
6. Life in the Fastlane – The Eagles
7. Slow Ride – Foghat
8. Open Road – Bryan Adams
9. Breaker Breaker – The Outlaws
10. Roll on Down the Highway – BTO
Feel free to share some of your own favorite traveling tunes!

Planning a Road Trip

Road Trip Planner

Road Trip Planner, Where Your Adventure Begins!

Planning a road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains? We’re going to provide a series of road trip planner ideas that will help you prepare for your journey, give entertaining ways to pass the time, and make the most of your destination vacation in the Smokies! Whether you have a limited budget or really deep pockets, a weekend getaway or weeks’ long vacation in Gatlinburg–filled with plenty of things to do–is possible.

If you’re the “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” type of folk and like to jump in the car and wing it, you’re in luck! From I-40 exits #407 or #440, you’re sure to find ample spontaneous stops to take in a view, shop for treasures, eat a southern meal, or have a private picnic. However, if you plan ahead and prepare, Mt. LeConte is the limit! (If you didn’t know, Mt. LeConte is the highest peak in the Tennessee Smokies.)

Begin your road trip planning by determining its purpose. Do you need a couple days to relax, clear your mind, and renew your soul? Do you want to rev up your endorphins with physical outdoor adventures? Kindle a waning romance? Show the kids the time of their life?

Once you’ve pinpointed the purpose of your road trip and know what your budget is, the adventure begins!

Gatlinburg Christmas Parade – Fantasy of Lights

This Friday, December 3, is the 35th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in downtown Gatlinburg. Not only has the Gatlinburg parade been recognized by the International Festival and Events Association as one of the very best, it’s also designated a Top 20 event by Southeast Tourism Society.

Kris Kringle (aka Santa Claus), the red haired star of the 1970’s children’s classic animated holiday TV special will be serving as the Grand Marshal. Along with his side-kick Topper the Penguin, Santa’s Autograph Party begins traffic light #3 near the Riverbend Mall at 6 p.m. The Parade starts at traffic light #1A on Hwy. 321 at 7:30 p.m. and will travel the Parkway through downtown to its conclusion at light #10.

Be sure to bundle up and take along your thermos of hot chocolate! Our Parade will last approximately 1.5 hours and feature marching bands from across the southeast, huge helium balloons, the Winter Magic Tunes & Tales cast of Christmas carolers, lots of Santa’s and traditional parade favorites — over 100 entrants in all!

Not enough parade for ya? Then get up early on Saturday and head to Sevierville for their 48th Annual Christmas Parade! This is a traditional hometown parade with baton twirlers, pageant winners, marching bands and floats leading up to the appearance of Santa Claus! Parade begins at 11 a.m. and can best be seen from Forks of the River Parkway and Court Avenue in historic downtown Sevierville TN.

Continue to enjoy the holiday spirit in Gatlinburg where doors are open for holiday shopping and Smoky Mountain souvenirs at the Gatlinburg Holiday Craft Show in the Gatlinburg Convention Center. You can also take in Winter Magic Tunes & Tales from 5 – 9 p.m. along the Parkway, a Trolley Ride of Lights with three departures beginning at 6:30 p.m., or Christmas On Ice at Ober Gatlinburg where local talents skate to the sounds of holiday music.

We hope you’ll join us for a fun-filled weekend in the Smokies!

Gatlinburg Winter Magic & Chili Cookoff

Gatlinburg Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff

Magical Lights

Creekside Motel Rooms with 2 Queen Beds for only $49 per night plus tax, Sunday-Thursday, and this includes Wednesday’s Winterfest Kickoff!

November 10 is the date of this year’s Gatlinburg Winter Magic Kickoff and concurrent Chili Cookoff.   This event has been aptly named one of winter’s “Top 20 Events” by the Southeast Tourism Society.  We are going to gather between lights #6 & #8 on the Parkway (near Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies) from 5-8 p.m. for live entertainment, lot’s of warm chili from newcomers and ‘chili’ vets, and the much anticipated turning on of millions of lights that transforms Gatlinburg into a spectacular winter wonderland!

More than 20 businesses and organizations will be cooking up “mild to fired” chili and vying for your vote!  Purchase a ticket to receive a spoon and a ballot and sample to your heart’s content.   Then, can cast your vote for the People’s Choice award, and category awards including best apron design, booth presentation and unique chili name.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Gatlinburg TN

Over 3 Million Lights!

Live entertainment will be provided at the main stage along with additional venues along the way.   Showcasing their talents will be The GrassabilliesSteve Brown and Hurricane RidgeThe Holloway Sisters & Outta the Blue, andBoogertown Gap.   Street Magic and Belly Dancers too!   Once the lights the come on, you can hop aboard the Trolley Ride of Lights to see all the holiday displays around town.

We are currently offering great rates for Creekside Motel rooms or Stay 2 Nights, Receive a 3rd Night Half OFF any accommodations.  Make your reservations request here and come see the lights in Gatlinburg!

Celebrate Halloween in Gatlinburg TN!

Trick or Treat in Gatlinburg TN at the Halloween Carnival

Gobblins and Ghosts Welcome!

I doubt many people think “Trick or Treat” while on vacation, but this is one event in Gatlinburg worth planning a trip around.  We celebrate BIG!

The City of Gatlinburg will be hosting a Kickoff Carnival at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza beginning at noon on October 31.  The carnival will feature costume contests, candy, all day inflatable fun for $1 in a bounce house, dancing to Thriller and other Halloween tunes, and even more candy.   Your kids will get to see some of our area’s favorite characters too including Sharky, Zeno the Bear, Diamond and Slugger, and Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Louie.  It will be a whole load of fun for the entire family!

The carnival ends at 3 p.m., just in time to grab a bite at one of several local restaurants up and down Parkway so that your little creatures can fuel up for Trick or Treat!  Businesses along the strip will be handing out goodies and treats beginning around 5:30-6 p.m.   It’s so much fun that you’ll want to come back year after year to see the leaves turn AND watch your kids gather their loot.  Don’t forget your camera!

Dollywood Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration

Dollywood Theme Park Attraction in Pigeon Forge TN

Now through October 30

It’s harvest time in the Smokies! Now through October 30, you can experience the celebration at Dollywood with over 300 Southern Gospel concerts and talented craftspeople demonstrating their skills.  New this year are banjo making, chainsaw carving, canjos, and Old World St. Nicks among others.

Dollywood offers 4 full weeks of free gospel music throughout the park that will lift you up and renew your spirit! A new stage has been added at the Back Porch Theater to increase the number of daily performances. This schedule includes performance dates for artists including Guy Penrod, The Kingdom Heirs, The Nelsons, and many, many more!

In addition to traditional fall decorations and beautiful music, you’ll also get a little taste of autumn when dining at various Dollywood restaurants. You simply can’t leave the park without trying the Fried Green Tomatoes!

Purchase your Dollywood Theme Park tickets right at our front desk. You’ll get 2 full days for the price of 1 that can be used any time within a 7-day period. Hope to see you soon!