When you come to the Smoky Mountains, don’t forget to spend some time at Dollywood.

When you come to the Smoky Mountains, don’t forget to spend some time at Dollywood. The park was built in 1986 and includes over 150 acres of fun! Here are some facts about Dollywood and what’s new for 2011. Cabins Near Dollywood

1) Dollywood opens up this year on March 26th, and closes for the season on December 30th 2011. Their calendar varies greatly, so you may want to check out their calendar at www.dollywood.com. Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge,Tennessee, 35 miles southeast of Knoxville, off I-40 at Exit 407. You can use google maps or mapquest.com to get driving directions from your location.

2) Dollywood has an amazing entertainment attraction called the Festival of Nations.They have performers from around the world celebrating their unique music, dance, food and art. This year they are performing March 26-May 2, 2011.

3) Did you know you can get a season pass to Dollywood? If you plan on visiting the Pigeon Forge area more frequently, a season pass makes sense! If you purchase the pass before May 1st, you can save $10.00. Seewww.dollywood.com for specific prices on the passes.

4) Dollywood has an amazing number of rides in the park. Some are appropriate for children, some for adults, and beware, on some of the rides you will get wet!They have over 30 rides including rollercoasters! Check out their all new ride for 2011, the Barnstormer! This thrilling ride will swing airplanes on two massive arms going 45 mph and over 80 feet high. There is also a biplane play area and a pig pen play area for the kids below the ride. There are rides for everyone at Dollywood!

5) Dollywood has always had amazing live entertainment. This year their shows include country, bluegrass, Southern gospel, classic rock and 50′s music.

6) Dollywood also has 5 festivals throughout the year. The Festival of Nations offers five weeks of cultural events by performers from around the world. Join your kids for a fun-filled day at Kidsfest, the South’s largest children’s festival. They have a Barbeque & Bluegrass festival, featuring the biggest names in bluegrass music while you enjoy great bbq. The National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration includes gospel music and master craftsmen demonstrating their skills. And finally, enjoy their Smoky Mountain Christmas.

7) Dollywood has amazing shopping available with over 40 shops displaying apparel, home furnishings, crafts and food.

8) Make sure you come hungry to Dollywood, they have an amazing array of food choices to tempt your appetite! Everything from full service restaurants serving up southern comfort food, to booths you can walk up to and enjoy food off of a giant skillet, to ice cream, to pizza to bbq… there is a huge variety of food available for you and your family.

9) If you come to Dollywood in the summertime, be sure to check out their sister park, Dollywood’s Splash Country water park! Featuring over 23 water slides, thrill rides, a lazy river and kids playground, this park will quench your thirst for water fun for you and your family!

10) Remember, Dollywood opens on March 26th 2011. The opening day will feature the Festival of Nations and Dolly Parton herself will be making appearances around the park all day. Come to Pigeon Forge, TN and enjoy Dollywood this year!

 

Cabins Near Dollywood

Interesting Facts about the Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national treasure and a nature preserve unlike any other in the United States.  Here are some interesting facts and things to know about the Park;
1) Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains were formed about 200-300
million years ago?  This makes them among the oldest mountains in the world.
2) There are many places to view amazing waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains,
including Abrams Falls, Grotto Falls, Hen Wallow Falls, Indian Creek/Toms Branch Falls, Juney Whank Falls, Laurel Falls, Mingo Falls, Mouse Creek Falls, Rainbow Falls and Ramsey Cascades among many others.
3) The Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses approximately 244,000
acres in Tennessee and 276,000 acres in North Carolina for a total of 520,000 acres or more than 800 square miles.  Also, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
4) The Great Smoky Mountains is home to over 4000 plants, 140 species of trees,
and over 1600 bears.  Other animal species in the Park include the Eastern cottontail rabbit, red wolf, groundhog, red fox, coyote, bobcat, river otter, white-tailed deer and wild boar.  The Park is also known as the “Salamander Capital of the World” since approximately 30 species of salamander can be found here.
5) Established in 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest national
park East of the Rocky Mountains. The Park is one of the only National Parks that charge no admission fee.  The Park is also the most visited, receiving 9-10 million visitors annually.
6) A 70-mile stretch of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail winds through Great
Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to the Appalachian Trail, the Park features more than 850 miles of hiking trails.  Some of the most popular hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountain National Park include Abrams Falls Trail (5 miles round trip), Alum Cave Trail (11 miles round trip), Andrews Bald Trail (3.6 miles round trip), Boulevard Trail (16 miles round trip), Chasteen Creek Falls Trail (4 miles round trip), Chimney Tops Trail (4 miles round trip), Grotto Falls Trail (3 miles round trip), Hen Wallow Falls Trail (4 miles round trip), Indian Creek Falls Trail (2 miles round trip), Laurel Falls Trail (2.5 miles round trip), Ramsey Cascades Trail (8 miles round trip) and Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail (3,000-foot loop).
7) Cades Cove is a 4,000-acre scenic valley that boasts preserved pioneer
homesteads, a campground and hiking trails.  It is the most visited area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

For a Spring break that’s alive with activity and scenic wonder, travel to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

For a Spring break that’s alive with activity and scenic wonder, travel to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

Offering miles of hiking trails and wildlife viewing, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is host to these and more. For those who love the outdoors, the park during Spring months is home to a diverse assortment of wildlife. Containing around 1500 black bears, the best viewing opportunities are in open areas. Inhabitating all elevations, bears are most active during the early morning and late evening. Carry binoculars to observe white-tailed deer, elk and black bears from a distance.

Plan to stay in Gatlinburg to experience a small town atmosphere with big events. Beginning in March, the Smoky Mountain Springfest offers activities for the whole family. Look for live entertainment, flowers in bloom and barbeques along the sidewalks.
In May, the Scottish Highland Games features opportunities where clans meet for bagpipe competitions, highland dancing and whiskey tasting.
Sign the family up for the Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament to take on the challenge to hook the largest trout.
For a chance to see filmmakers from all over the country, the Annual Gatlinburg Filmfest features independent films at River Terrace Resort.

Find a wide range of accommodations from Timber Tops in Gatlinburg to suit each personal taste. Rent a vacation cabin from Timber Tops for a true mountain experience. Recommended for ski vacations, a cabin near Ober Gatlinburg will allow guests a getaway near the slopes for hours of breathtaking views and participation in a fun, challenging sport. Stay in the heart of Gatlinburg and find many choices of cabins. Many cabins haveindoor pools and jacuzzis for relaxation after a day around town.

Spring in Gatlinburg offers many activities to do right in town. For shopping, over 400 stores sell arts and crafts, souvenirs and antiques. At the Mountain Mall, find 36 unique themed shops.

For another experience in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge offers popular and unusual activities. Known as one of the best attractions in the South, Dollywood offers thrilling rides and entertainment. Ride the Thunderhead or Mystery Mine roller coaster for extreme thrills. During Spring, Dollywood’s Festival of Nations includes a showcase of entertainment from around the world. Be captivated by acrobat acts, high wire artists and traditional music from South America.

Besides the wild rides of Dollywood, thrill seekers may want to experience the unique adventures of the Pigeon Forge Sky Scraper. Located at Parkway, this exciting new ride takes guests high above Parkway and then turns them upside down.
Take a ride in a Zorb for a one-of-a-kind roll down a hill. Eleven feet high and eleven feet around, this round, hollow bouncy ball is a cross between a waterfall and a roller coaster.
Additional outdoor activities in Pigeon Forge include white water rafting, kayak rentals and mountain bicycling tours.

Last but not least, the Smoky Mountain things to do list includes interacting with the people there who go out of their way for visitors with old fashioned Souther Hospitality.

Planning a Business Trip in a Cabin

When travelers begin planning a business trip, most envision staying in a standard hotel room with the same standard services offered. While this may be advantageous for an overnight stay, other options are available that can be beneficial to the business traveler. Extended stay hotels can be utilized for long business trips, but travelers should know they have other options available. Vacation rental homes can be a favorable alternative. Continue reading

Hiking in the Smokies

If you enjoy hiking, the Smoky Mountains are a great adventure. Located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. There are many different hiking trails with different features and levels of difficulty. Some are known for their wildflowers, others lead to waterfalls or extraordinary views of the landscape. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a newcomer to the field, there is definitely going to be a hiking trail you will enjoy in the Smoky Mountains.
Before planning hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains, there are several things that every traveler should know. First of all, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. This is great because it allows you to plan your trip around your schedule rather than having to find a time during peak seasons. However, it is also important that all hikers know their limits. During the winter, some of the Smoky Mountain hiking trails may not be safe to travel. Also, the park does close some of the campgrounds and roads during the winter months. If you are planning to hike during these months, contact the local park officials to see what the conditions are like before proceeding.
The Smoky Mountain hiking trails vary widely, ranging from short (less than one mile) to long (around 15 miles) and at different levels of elevation. More information about the Smoky Mountain hiking trails can be found from the park visitor’s office, where you will also be able to find maps of the trails for your reference. Knowing how to read these maps is important because you will be able to navigate through the landscape in case you get lost.
The Smoky Mountains offer hiking trails that are great for day trips, picnics, or sightseeing adventures. There are several waterfalls as well, including the Grotto, Laurel, Abrams, and Rainbow waterfalls. These locations make excellent family destinations or romantic hiking afternoons. Some of the trails also lead to wonderful views of the scenery. The breathtaking views at these locations provide excellent opportunities for photos and for enjoying the beauty of the natural environment. Wildflowers are in abundance on the Smoky Mountain hiking trails, and these can also be seen from the top of a mountain on the hiking trails.
For more experienced hikers, there are also longer trails that are great for longer backpacking trips. One thing to consider when planning a longer trip like this is safety. While there are places to park at the entrance to the Smoky Mountain National Park, it is always important to keep any valuables with you or to leave them at home. Also, if you plan on taking a longer hiking trail, it is a good idea to keep a first aid kit with you and to read your map if you feel lost. Hikers are responsible for their own safety in the Smoky Mountain hiking trails.