How to Have the Best Time in Gatlinburg, TN


Every year, my aunt and uncle would rent a cabin in this undisclosed location...literally it’s pretty much undisclosed.  They told me, the only reason why more people have found it is because they post about it on social media.  What I can tell you is, these cabins are individually named and are so cute.  I believe they range from 1 bedroom to 5+ bedrooms.  I didn’t take many photos, however I did take a lot of videos so please check that out on my highlights, “Gatlinburg Trip.” 

Their cabin was two stories.  There was a full kitchen, a living room, a dinette, a laundry area, and the bedroom with an ensuite on the first floor.  There was a spiral staircase that led you to the second floor, where there was a half bath and a game area with darts and a pool table.  It was beautiful.  You were able to get an amazing view of the mountains from both the first and second floor.  This cabin also had an outdoor jacuzzi that provided you with a closer look at the amazing mountain view.

This of course is bear country so no pets are allowed because of this.  They also have cameras on the property to keep you safe.  There’s also one way up this mountain and one way down.  It’s very narrow as you approach the cabins.

Activities

I would highly recommend doing the Smoky Mountains Pink Jeep Tour that can either be 2 or 3 hours depending on which you’d prefer.  My aunt and I were going to do this but we didn’t want my dog to stay with my uncle for that long...torture for both of them but I would definitely do this next time I visit.  I recommend this activity because my aunt was raving about it and how awesome it would’ve been as it takes you on a tour into the mountains and seemed really fun.  I love a little adventure.  

When we made it into downtown Gatlinburg, it was everything I thought it would be.  There were so many people there and so much to do.  It’s one thing to see it on tv as you’re watching other people experience it and it’s another to see it for yourself.

Once we got there, my aunt wanted to go on the Anakeesta Chondola.  As we were waiting in line, a woman asked if we wanted her to take our photo (this is optional and can be purchased at the top of the mountain) and then a couple of women who worked there stated that we had a choice between choosing the chair or a cabin.  The difference is, a chair means it’s open with only a bar that holds you in place and it seats 4 people (no wait) and the enclosed cabin (more safer in my opinion) seats 6 people (45 min wait).

My aunt wanted to scare the living daylights out of me so we took the chair.  These chairs don’t wait, they come around like a carousel.  The woman who worked there told us to stand on the numbers 2 and 3 and lay back into the seat.  When the chair came around, that’s exactly what we did and they immediately told us to pull the bar down.  This bar doesn’t lock so you have to hold on.  I was petrified.  I was being lifted up into the sky, attached to a wire, and holding onto a bar to make sure we don’t fall out.  Let me also tell you that this is obviously very important because there are times when it will stop in mid air (due to people on opposite ends getting in cabins) and there will be subtle swinging.  It’s also very important to have on the proper attire (pants or shorts with sneakers).  I’m not exaggerating because you’re too far off of the ground and plenty of things can happen.

This is the view behind us as we’re riding up to the mountain.

I will tell you however, that ride was worth it.  Why?  Because the real experience began when we made it to the other side.  That’s where the second adventure began.  By the way, before approaching the other side, there’s someone in a photo booth that’ll take your photo and provide you with a number to purchase your photos (this is optional).

There were restaurants and gift shops, activities for kids, lookout spots to sit and converse, places to take selfies, and also the Treetop Skywalk.  Once my aunt saw there were so many stairs, she decided she didn’t want to go.  Me, being the adventurer I am, I wanted to see what it was all about. 

After walking down the many and wide steps they had, I finally made it to my first dip...yep I said that right.  Because this walk is literally in the trees, there are dips that take place when going from one tree to the next.  It was pretty sturdy and fun...at first, then all of a sudden, things changed.  It became wobbly.  Not because someone was swinging it side to side but because the further out you go the more it sways.  It wasn’t for me.  I went as far as I could.  I almost fell on the second extension because it was so steep.  If you’re like me and you’re coming back the same way you started, you’re now going up an incline.  I also want to point out that there are only 8 people allowed to be in one spot at a time. There are lookout points once you come across a walkway (where only 8 people are allowed).


After getting back to safety, I was happy to be on solid ground.

My aunt and I got back on the sky lift and headed to a place called “Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.”  If you’ve ever wanted to control your own coaster, you’ve come to the right place.  This was very exciting but also very frightening because instead of a machine being in total control, I was now the operator. 

There is an automated person who will instruct you as to what to do and if you still have questions, there’s a guy who will assist.

If you have smaller children, you both can ride together but my aunt and I rode by ourselves.  They are very strict in making sure you don’t have your phone out because you honestly have to pay attention.  They have signs the entire way telling you what to do at certain points.  I was paying attention so much that I saw a brown bear cub climbing up a hill.

Once the ride was over, my aunt asked how was it and I told her, it was really nice but I didn’t know I was going to go that fast so much so, even though I was again...petrified, I couldn’t slow down (the overseers tell you not to slow down).  I told her I’m done and I don’t want to do anything else with her because she’s been trying to kill me on these crazy and thrilling rides.  I also told her I saw a bear cub.  A woman who worked there overheard our conversation and asked about the location of the sighting.  After I told her, she immediately got on the walky talky and told her team about what I saw and they shut down the ride until they were able to locate the cub because yall know when you see a cub, mom isn’t far away.

We were only there for a couple of hours until it was time to head back to my side of town.  So yes, I came, I saw, I conquered.  Some fears are only meant to conquer once lol and there are many other adventures that await.

I hope this wasn’t too long and I know that if you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg, you’ll have an awesome time.  You won’t get bored.  

FYI: Make sure to get there earlier than 2pm.  That’s when it becomes really crowded.  Also, if you’re interested in Dollywood or other adventures outside of Gatlinburg, you’re only 25 minutes away from both Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.

xo,

Janelle


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