5 HIKES IN THE SMOKIES TO EXPLORE

5 HIKES IN THE SMOKIES TO EXPLORE

One of the best things about living in East Tennessee is having access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In a short drive you can be in the middle of the most visited national park in the country. How amazing is that? When I’m in the park I feel at peace with the world. It’s a spiritual retreat for me.

If you’re interested in hiking the Smokies in the coming months it can be hard to know which trail to choose. In an effort to offer guidance I made a list of 5 of my favorite tried-and-true hikes to go on this spring. For the most part these are easy hikes so bring the family and make a day of it! Continue reading “5 HIKES IN THE SMOKIES TO EXPLORE”

5 OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN PIGEON FORGE

5 OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN PIGEON FORGE

This week’s “Friday 5” are 5 of the best restaurants in Pigeon Forge. When you drive down the Parkway there are restaurants everywhere and it can be overwhelming. You can find yourself going to the same places over and over again instead of eating somewhere new. Hopefully this will help the next time you’re having trouble deciding what’s for dinner. I included places that were unique to Pigeon Forge and not big chains. Let me know your favorite in the comments!  Continue reading “5 OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN PIGEON FORGE”

BLOOM CAFE AND LISTENING ROOM

BLOOM CAFE AND LISTENING ROOM

Bloom is a new coffee shop and cafe in downtown Bristol that has been on my radar since Rhythm and Roots back in September. I popped in to this State Street newbie for a coffee a few weeks back but last night I was able to stay for trivia. The theme was “Stranger Things” and it was a huge success. Many patrons, much like the owner pictured below, dressed as his/her favorite character. The list of team names included “Barb’s Search Party” and “The AV Club”. The dinner special was called “The Upside Down” which consisted of bacon, gouda cheese, turkey, apples, and apple butter sandwiched between two Eggo waffles and served with a side of maple syrup. It was strange, of course, but also delicious. Eleven would definitely approve! I snapped a few pictures so you could have a look around the shop. Not shown are the gorgeous herringbone hardwood floors and the stained glass trim around the door frame. I’ll have to go back when the natural light is beaming through the windows. Continue reading “BLOOM CAFE AND LISTENING ROOM”

THE DONUT FRIAR

THE DONUT FRIAR

I’ve said this before but I like to consider myself somewhat of a donut connoisseur. I’m constantly on the hunt for the new greatest donut of my life. In Gatlinburg, there is no better place than The Donut Friar. Located in The Village this shop is a  donut hole in the wall. Once you enter The Village from the parkway just go straight back. Look for the sign with a friar holding a piled high plate of perfection and get in there! Continue reading “THE DONUT FRIAR”

THE MEAD BAR

THE MEAD BAR

Gatlinburg has been a tourist destination for years but just recently it’s been on the map for moonshine, whiskey, and wine tastings. Now, there’s one more adult beverage you have to sample on your way to the national park. The Mead Bar can be found inside The Savannah Bee Company next to Anakeesta on the Parkway. In case you aren’t as familiar with the ancient libation, mead is made primarily of honey. The term “honeymoon” comes from medieval times when it was customary to gift the bride and groom with enough mead to last one full moon. Continue reading “THE MEAD BAR”

SEARCHING FOR SANTA

SEARCHING FOR SANTA

No Christmas season is complete without a trip to see Santa but you have to know where to find him. As a Pigeon Forge insider, I feel obligated to share the best place to visit Santa with my amazing readers. I thought I’d begin my search at The Inn at Christmas Place. They have plenty of rooms so maybe Santa lives here. Come with me to have a look around! Continue reading “SEARCHING FOR SANTA”

DOG-FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE SMOKIES

DOG-FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE SMOKIES

As much as I love going for a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I can’t bring my fluffy son with me on every trail. I’m not referring to those short legs! There are only two approved trails for dogs in the national park and they are “The Gatlinburg Trail” and “The Oconaluftee River Trail”. My husband and I wanted to take Joe into the park and get to see the gorgeous leaves before all they all end up scattered on the ground. Joe really enjoyed himself and fell asleep as soon as we got back to the car. Continue reading “DOG-FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE SMOKIES”

HARRY POTTER CONCERT SERIES

HARRY POTTER CONCERT SERIES

This is a throwback post because we went to Nashville the first week of January to hear The Nashville Symphony Orchestra play the score of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”  live as we watched the film. While it may sound like I’m being unoriginal, the only way I can describe our experience is that it was truly magical. Continue reading “HARRY POTTER CONCERT SERIES”

ANAKEESTA MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE

ANAKEESTA MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE

Gatlinburg’s newest tourist attraction, Anakeesta, is a Cherokee word meaning “the place of the balsams” according to their website. I am part Cherokee (my great-grandmother’s name was Morning Dove) but I wouldn’t dream of vouching for the language. Anakeesta is located across the street from the aquarium in case you’re wondering but it’s pretty hard to miss the huge brand new building next to Arrowmont.

Continue reading “ANAKEESTA MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE”