The 36th Annual Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup happens at Dollywood’s Splash Country Friday and Saturday, September 7-8, 2018. This event takes place each year on the first weekend after Labor Day, and is always a big hit.
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.
Kasey and her family came to stay with us recently, and wrote up her impressions of the trip. We always appreciate these views through other eyes of cabin vacation time. What made this trip so interesting was they shared the cabin with another family. It worked out well, and could probably only have worked using a cabin for accommodations.
Kasey’s family includes four kids, while their friend’s family has two, so it was four adults and six kids sharing a 5-bedroom cabin. The good news is that there was plenty of room for everyone to feel comfortable, with quiet space when needed and communal times such as meals together. And then there was the game room, which kept both the kids and adults occupied and having fun.
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.
Delauder’s Smoky Mountain BBQ in Gatlinburg is hard to find but worth it – a hidden gem serving barbecue that was named among the Top 25 in the nation. If you crave an authentic taste of Tennessee barbecue, you have to give this place a try.
Eastern Tennessee barbecue is an American treasure, known throughout the nation for its distinctive flavor and tender texture. Local cooks specialize in pulled pork, but have applied their talents to everything from ribs to chicken, to brisket, and even to vegetables. If you’re looking for a truly American culinary experience, you can find one of the best right here in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the Great 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.
Driving from Cincinnati to Gatlinburg to enjoy the Smoky Mountains? This guide will outline the best ways to get there, whether you’re looking for the fastest trip or the most picturesque route.
There are several stops you might also consider taking to break up the driving day and add some interest to your journey. We’ll denote these under each route to give you some options.
Pigeon Forge holds its annual spring parade on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 6 pm on Parkway, starting at traffic light #6 and proceeding north to light #3. This year the 33-year old parade says goodbye to Dolly Parton as its Grand Marshal and welcomes baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr to lead the parade. The name also has changed, to Music in the Mountains, with an emphasis on the musical heritage of the Smoky Mountains.
Driving from Chicago to Gatlinburg, Tennessee takes roughly 9.5 hours. The shortest roadway distance between the two cities is approximately 582 miles. This is a perfectly doable one-day car trip. Or, you might consider stopping for the night and enjoying visits to a few famous attractions along the way.
If you’re planning to visit Dollywood, you have a variety of options when purchasing the type of ticket that works best with your plans. For visitors on a weekend getaway, the individual one-day pass is perfect as it includes access to attractions, shows, and rides all day. Current pricing, not including tax, starts at $69 for adults, $56 for children, and $64 per day for seniors. For even more fun, visit Splash Country Water Park starting at $49 per day.
If you’re planning an extended visit, the two and three-day tickets are available for Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Two-day tickets for Dollywood start at $89 per day for two days and $99 for three-day tickets. Splash Country Water Park start at $69 per day for two days and $79 per day for three-day tickets.