Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gatlinburg, Tennessee: The Perfect Mountain Getaway

This past weekend, we got the chance to head North a bit and stay in one of the most beautiful, relaxing family getaway destinations in the South East. A place where you can spend your mornings watching the sunrise over the Smokies with a cup of hot cocoa, and then spend your afternoon relaxing by the cool mountain stream before taking in some amazing family entertainment and getting in some much needed retail therapy.

Where is this veritable family relaxation oasis? Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Nestled at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg attracts more than eleven million visitors a year. Folks come from all over the world for vacations, outdoor adventures, family fun and memory making.

We were lucky to get to take a trip up and experience everything they had to offer including a beautiful mountain top cabin nicknamed "Evelyn's Eden", the gorgeous Ripley's Aquarium, and lots of local treats and shops that make this little town an amazing treat for the whole family.

A personal favorite of mine is walking the Downtown Parkway. Its filled with the most beautiful shops carrying everything from Christmas treasures to handmade chotchkeys and the classic local T-shirts shops. Of there is also an amazing array of things to see and activities to experience, places to eat, super shopping and attractions.

The boys' favorite thing to check out was the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. This huge aquarium boasts an underwater tunnel with 12-foot sharks, giant sea turtle & thousands of exotic sea creatures. The boys enjoyed watching the live feeding and diving shows the most and getting to interact witht he divers while they were in the tank was a real treat to all of the young ones.

Of course another don't miss Gatlinburg attraction if you are lucky enough to visit in the winter season is the snow tubing park Ober Gatlinburg! Boasting Ski and snowboard rental equipment with lessons available, plus an indoor ice rink, restaurant and lounge and much more, Ober Gatlinburg is a sure hit with the whole family.

If you visit in the summer time, suit up and take a trip down one of the class III and IV rapids. The Big Pigeon and other regional rivers offer Gatlinburg rafting challenges to the max.

If you are looking to relax for a day (or week!) you can cozy yourself up in one of the many cabin rentals or hotels along the Riverwalk and enjoy some quiet relaxation overlooking the gorgeous Smoky Mountains. Take a hike around the Smokies or even pay a visit to the gorgeous Cades Cove. No matter where you are in Gatlinburg, you are always reminded to slow down a little and smell the beautiful smells and take a look at the surroundings. Breathing in that mountain air is good for your body and soul!

If you want more information on booking your trip to visit Gatlinburg in the great Smoky Mountains, check out You can find all the information you are looking for from cabin rentals to attraction tickets.

*I was provided lodging and attraction tickets for this post but all opinions are my own.

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