Free Gatlinburg Trolley Rides

Free Summer Trolley Rides in Gatlinburg

Free Rides in Downtown Gatlinburg

Riding the downtown Gatlinburg trolley is fun, convenient—and for a limited time—free!

Now through August 13, you can hop on and off 3 specially designated, open-air shuttles as often as you like between 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. at no cost.  The free route is from traffic light #1 at the north end of Gatlinburg to traffic light #10 at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance.
Additionally, the city of Gatlinburg also offers unlimited access armbands for $2 per day for the Red, Blue, Purple, Yellow and Green trolley routes.  All Gatlinburg trolleys are handicap accessible.

Planning a Road Trip #3 – Road Trip Food

In our Road Trip Planning series, we’ve already covered determining the purpose of your road trip to Gatlinburg along with must-have road trip songs. The next thing you’ll need to do is plan to have some great snacks and road trippin’ food ready so that hunger never interferes with the fun!

Gatlinburg Road Trip Healthy Snack Ideas

Easy Road Trip Foods

One of our favorite traveling meals is to plan for a picnic at an Interstate welcome center or rest stop. Not only can you save money with a picnic lunch, but everyone will feel so much better if they can get out of the car and stretch! Kid’s get to burn off a little pent up energy and the driver gets renewed alertness. Find a picnic table or spot on the grass to spread out and relax and have a family meal. Before or after eating, throw a Frisbee or baseball, walk or jog around the center, or do anything else that your family enjoys.

Here are suggestions for easy foods to pack and transport, and hints for saving space!
1. Freeze Bottles of Water: to keep all items in your cooler cold. As they melt, you’ve got good, cold drinks!
2. Freeze Go-Gurt: these take up little space, help to keep other foods cold, and are a tasty, healthy snack frozen or thawed.
3. PB&J Sandwiches: when is the last time you had PB&J? Make em, cut em, put em in baggies. You just might be surprised how fast these disappear.
4. Nuts, Trail Mix, Dried Fruit, Cereal: to save money, purchase a large container of your favorite munchies and divide them up in single servings using the ‘snack’ size baggies. Pass them out often to keep tummies from rumbling!
5. Fresh Fruit: easy to grab and eat with no trash left behind. (Pitch peels or cores out the window for the birds!)
6. Granola Bars: easy to eat, not messy, and stick with ya!
7. Tootsie Pops: how many licks does it take to get to Carr’s Northside Cottages?

If you have suggestions for road trip food that are permanent go-alongs with your family, please share them here with us.

Have a safe and FUN trip to Gatlinburg!

7th Annual Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival

This much anticipated downtown Gatlinburg event kicks off on Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m. with “A Night with The Artists Party” held at Mills Auditorium. There will be an abundance of entertainment, appetizers, beer, wine, and a cash liquor bar. Tickets are $50 to attend, but you’ll get that back in a $50 voucher to spend at the Arts Festival. Call 865-436-7484 to get your tickets!

Head downtown to Arrowmont School at traffic light #5 at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy a full day of art and artists along with an entertainment debut of the 2011 Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales. The festival features a kid’s area with pottery demonstrations, face painting and a giant aquarium-themed mural your kids can help paint, artist exhibits and art technique demonstrations, and mouth-watering BBQ! The festival runs through 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.

We hope you’ll stop by and introduce yourself to our very own Rafael Alegria. He is a member of the Carr’s staff and this is his first year to participate in the Art’s Festival. He has provided several of the paintings that decorate our Cottages, Motel and Cabins… and we are SO proud of him!

Make your reservations with us and take advantage of our current lodging specials!

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!