Visited: November 2020
Accommodations: Spring Hill Suites, Pidgeon Forge (Free with Time share promo)
Duration: 2-3 days
This was a long weekend trip planned during Covid, as stated in my previous post we answered a phone call for a Marriot Time Share Promo and off we went to Tennessee. We did NOT buy into the time share it was a complete rip off. It would have cost what a house would have cost and then we were limited on where we could go and stay. Back to the adventure, nobody came here looking for time share info.
We spent 3 days in Gatlinburg/Pidgeon Forge. Lots to do and see, we didn’t get everything on my list done, but we sure gave it 100%.
We started out at Sugarlands Visitor Center getting our map of the park and Junior Ranger books, this is a great place to start your adventure.
We then drove down the Newfound Gap Road to Clingman’s dome to start our day. We had heard the parking lots fill up fast and the road gets busy so we started this early in morning and will work our way back towards Gatlinburg.
We hiked up to Clingman’s dome, which I thought I was going to die, be prepared for this trip. My kids ran it….showoffs.
Beautiful views from up here. We stopped in the Clingmans Dome Visitor Center for some souvenirs and then headed back the way we came. Stopping for several photo opportunities along the way.
Once back up to close to where we started we headed down the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, this was already packed with people but we were able to get some great pictures. I would love to come back in earlier fall, this place is gorgeous.
Finished up that loop and headed down Little River Road, this is a LONG, twisty road that leads to Cades Cove Visitor Center and Cades Cove. There are several places to stop and get beautiful photos on this road.
When we arrived a the Cades Cove loop we saw our first black bear on the side of the road. We stopped at the visitor center for even more souvenirs and passport stamps.
Lots more photo ops on this road as well. Back to back traffic here. We stopped off at the Ranger Station outside of Cade’s Cove to earn our Junior Ranger. The Ranger there was super excited to help us, he says he doesn’t ever get to do Junior Ranger badges that often, so we were glad we popped in here.
We did take a short cut back to Pidgeon Forge by taking Highway 73 out of the park. After trying to drive through Gaitlinburg and Pidgeon Forge, I would suggest to anyone trying to visit this park to stay away from those towns if you don’t like people and traffic. There are nice little campgrounds and hotels around the park off of the smaller highways that I would suggest looking at. We didn’t know, now we do.
We didn’t get down to Oconaluftee Visiter Center in the southern part of the park, we do plan to come back, its on our way to several southern states so completely doable. We will be back for more passport stamps.
We spent the rest of our time doing some fun experiences in Gatlinburg and PF. By far our favorites were, Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Theatre (not to be missed), Sugarlands Distilling Company Shine Tasting, and we really enjoyed Hillbilly Golf.
Hope you enjoyed our visit to the most visited National Park in America. We think it is beautiful and is not to be missed if you are in Tennessee. Have you been there?? We would love to hear what your favorite part was so if we missed it we can do it when we re-visit!