Category archive: Smoky Mountains

Things To Do in April 2019 in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Here’s what’s happening in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in this month of April, 2019. There’s a lot going on as always – see the full list below.

And note our current Cabin Specials with deals up to HALF-PRICE. Check the Specials page for our Easter Weekend 50% off large cabins (round up the gang!) as well as our Weeknights (Sun-Thurs including Easter Sunday) “Buy 2 Get 2 Free” specials on all cabins – that’s half price on a 4-night stay!

UPDATE: Now Easter Weekend, April 19-21 is HALF-PRICE on ALL available cabins. Call us anytime at 855-91-SMOKY!

March 16-April 14. At Dollywod, the annual Festival of Nations is in full swing, and will continue through April 14. A visit to Dollywood is always an adventure and Festival of Nations brings a multi-cultural world of food, dance, costume and song.

April 6. You can Sleep With The Sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. This opportunity occurs a few times each year, and kids love it. If you’re 5 years old or above, you can spend the evening watching a diving show, participating in a scavenger hunt and late night activity, and then drift off to sleep while the sharks keep a watchful eye on you!

April 6-7. The first full weekend of April always brings the annual Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, a fun time for fishing in the best local waters, stocked with trout. Many prizes for young and old. See our feature story for full information.

April 8-10. Townsend, a few miles to the west of Gatlinburg, offers a visit to the Quiet Side of the Smoky Mountains. Close to Cades Cove, the town has unique events year round at its Heritage Center. You can see some custom jewelry on these dates, and more by different artists on April 15-18 and 19-20. Tuesdays are special too, with afternoon programs in summer. Want some expert advice on how to can food properly? On April 23 you can get some. Check the calendar for more.

April 11-13. Pigeon Forge hosts the annual Spring Rod Run, when the town fills up with muscle cars and gleaming chrome in the great American sport of Cruising the Strip. It’s a friendly – and congested – street party for 3 days.

April 11-13. Out in Townsend meanwhile, there’s a gathering of Ford Broncos in the largest Bronco show in the country. The Bronco Super Celebration features daily scenic drives in the mountains, food trucks, kid’s games, vendors and contest awards.

April 12-13. The Wine Weekend offers a chance to sample wines from Tennessee wineries along with small dish fare from some of the best restaurants in the Smoky Mountains. This is a popular event held on the campus of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts – and any reason to visit this scenic campus in Gatlinburg is worth taking, for an in-town getaway.

April 12-14. Townsend hosts its annual Fiber Arts Festival at the Heritage Center, a place filled with history and local lore. Not all the artisans are in Gatlinburg: there are weavers and spinners out this way also, and this show presented by the Artisan Guild will demonstrate the “sheep to shawl” process with llamas, sheep, goats and angora rabbits.

April 12-14. Meanwhile in Gatlinburg, one of the largest communities in the country of independent artisans offers a chance to visit studios and enroll in personal instruction in a number of genres. This is Hands-On Gatlinburg, a recent festival that has become extremely popular, and now offers both a Spring and Fall event.

April 17-20. The Great Smoky Easter Arts and Crafts Show is a free event in Gatlinburg where many of the local artisans show their wares and demonstrate how to make them. These are always fun shows, with unique handmade items of high quality, to buy or simply peruse.

April 20. Breakfast or Brunch with the Easter Bunny. Every year there’s a chance in Pigeon Forge to spend brunch with the Easter Bunny at The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grille from 9:30-11:00 am. After breakfast enjoy door prizes and activities for kids. Reservations are required – call (865) 428-0771.

April 20. After brunch with the Easter Bunny, step over to Patriot Park for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Pigeon Forge hosts this free event for all kids ages 0-12, with thousands of eggs and also prizes. This usually starts at noon but get there early to be safe, and the action will be happening from 11 am on.

April 21. There are many places of worship in the area, but the Easter Sunrise service at the top of the mountain at Ober Gatlinburg is one of the more unique. The Aerial Tramway offers a free round trip that morning from downtown Gatlinburg.

April 24-27. The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage annual event has been held since 1950 each year in spring. This is the short window of just a few weeks that produces a miraculous display of millions of vibrant flowers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Pilgrimage ranks as the best way to explore many of the wildflower highlights. Led by experts and park rangers, the Pilgrimage draws people from all over the world to view the wildflower profusion.

April 26. It’s Earth Day and Earth Week, and runners and walkers are invited to celebrate by participating in the annual Earth Day 5k Run/Walk in downtown Gatlinburg. This is a night race scheduled to start at 10:00 pm. Athletes of all ages are welcome to participate in this USATF sanctioned event.

April 27. Just a few miles up the road from Pigeon Forge, at NASCAR Speedpark in Sevierville, it’s race day for walkers and runners – especially those who want to take their dog along. The Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K features awards and medals in several categories, and a Pet Parade. Non-toxic fun colors are available to liven up your looks, and all proceeds go to help service dogs.

April 28 – May 5. The Yellow Mustang Registry Gathering offers yet another gathering of classic vehicles, this time it’s the Ford pony. This annual event is located at The Christmas Place Inn on Parkway in Pigeon Forge. View mustangs from the 60’s to current models. Call 888-465-9644 for information.

April 30. Finish off the month with some Appalachian music. Head to Townsend and the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center to hear the highly acclaimed Libby Weitnauer Perform Appalachian Music – with a jam session afterwards. Libby is both a classical violinist and a fiddle player of the more traditional sounds of Appalachia. Bring your instrument to jam after the show! It’s just another Tuesday at the Heritage Center, and the show is at 2 pm.

21st Annual Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament in April 2019

Image courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The first full weekend in April means it’s time for the 21st Annual Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, on Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, 2019. Cash and gift prizes are awarded in multiple categories, with hundreds of entrants fishing, and thousands of rainbow trout stocked in over 20 miles of local streams.

Keeping things fair, there are different divisions for children and adults as well as for locals and visitors – but wait, it’s even more fair than that, with a $500 cash prize for largest trout caught AND $500 for the smallest trout caught! A total of $10,000 is awarded in the spring and fall contests, while 10,000 trout are stocked each year in the largest trout tournament in the Smokies, acclaimed as the best.

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Synchronous Fireflies in 2019: Two Ways to View This Event

The world-famous Synchronous Fireflies natural occurrence will happen again this year, in early June 2019, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding area. Now is the time to be thinking about how to to watch this unique event that, outside of the U.S., happens only in southeast Asia.

There are two ways to get a seat at the show.

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Valentine’s Day 2019

With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, the season of romance begins. And whether you’ve been married for years or are just falling for each other now, there’s no finer place to celebrate Valentine’s Day than in the Smoky Mountains.

The magic of the Smokies is the backdrop for all of our luxury vacation cabins. Some are secluded enough to make you feel you’re the only ones up there. Others feature views of lushly wooded landscapes, babbling brooks, and rolling foothills. In all directions, you’ll enjoy the serene landscape of the Smokies, the fresh mountain air, and the song of birds and wind through the trees.

To make your Valentine’s Day getaway truly special this year, we invite you to add a romantic getaway package to the cabin of your choice. Check the 3 and 6 night romantic getaway packages in our Gatlinburg honeymoon cabins page. We have several options to choose from – and you can also create your own romantic getaway!

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New Year’s Eve 2018 in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

New Year’s Eve 2018 in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offers two great venues bringing the long-anticipated excitement of free concerts, DJ music, specials in local restaurants and theaters, crowds of revelers, millions of seasonal lights and massive fireworks to ring in a brand-new 2019 at midnight.

Tens of thousands of people will be outdoors and up late this year on Monday, December 31, 2018. Usually Gatlinburg’s Space Needle draws 50,000 attendees to the New Year’s event, featuring its own special countdown and ball drop from the 400-ft tower, in its 31st Annual New Year’s Eve celebration. At the same time in Pigeon Forge, excitement builds at The Island, providing free entertainment, a countdown, plenty of razzle dazzle, and more amazing fireworks.

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Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge: Which is Best?

If you’re planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains, chances are you’ll be choosing between two of the most popular Tennessee towns for your stay: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

Both towns are great vacation destinations, and they’re right next to each other, with just a few minutes drive between the two towns. While both towns are close to the mountains, offer breathtaking views, and are full of activities and attractions, each one has its own unique personality that may influence your ultimate decision of where to stay.

Image courtesy of Gatlinburg

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Everything Turns Green After the Fires

Local broadcaster WBIR Channel 10 News has footage of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in a recent story showing the dramatic recovery of the forests, following the wildfires of 19 months ago in the Gatlinburg, TN area. As the interview with the park’s fire ecologist Rob Klein makes clear, this is a great example of how quickly forests can snap back and regenerate with new life following a wildfire.

According to the story, 70 percent of the areas affected by the fires of November, 2016, are recovering very rapidly. Hundreds of brand-new Table Mountain Pine trees have already shot up to around 2 feet in height. Within a couple more years, says Klein,  it will be difficult to see that these areas were even burned. In fact, entire areas will become transformed into new forests over the next decade.

This is all good news, and it’s quite astonishing to see the images of before and after in various parts of the national park.

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Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

There is literally so much to do and see in the area in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park that you simply can’t fit it all in. You’ll need a guide to the best ways to spend your time if you visit the area. This guide to the Smokies gives you a broad outline of the options, so you can drill down through the million-and-one things to find the type of activity that best suits your trip to the Smoky Mountains.

There are four major fields of activity in this part of the Smoky Mountains. You can visit the national park, you can play in the gateway towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you can venture further out to some of the roads less traveled, or you can relax in your cabin in the mountains and watch it all from a hot tub on the deck.


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