Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a fantastic family destination for anyone looking for a combination of natural beauty, fun activities, and shop-till-you-drop opportunities. Oh, and did I mention, great food?
Located in the Smoky Mountains, the city is right at Smoky Mountain National Park’s doorstep. It evolved after the park’s dedication in 1940. Many residents were displaced when the land was purchased to make the 522,427-acres park which is divided almost evenly between the states of North Carolina and Tennessee. Some of the mountain residents moved to Gatlinburg. Women started making souvenirs and the men often served as tour guides for Americans clamoring to see the new park.
And the city grew.
When not exploring the park, there is all manner of activity from miniature golf and Ripley’s Aquarium, to Anakeesta where the fun is all about the great beauty of the area.
When you stay in Gatlinburg, choose accommodations to fit your needs.
Do you stay high on the mountain overlooking the city and drive down and find parking every time you want to see any of the attractions? Or do you stay in the business district where everything is close by along with the noise and confusion of tourists?
I found a third option that was not only convenient but offered beautiful accommodations and was quiet at the end of a busy day—The Appalachian Lodge, better known as The Appy.
Located about one mile from the central business district on the Parkway, the hotel is on the Gatlinburg trolley route. A trolley stop is in the parking lot.
The hotel has all the amenities you would expect, including free parking, complimentary breakfast, indoor and outdoor pools, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, and a free downtown parking pass if you decide not to wait on the trolley.
Add to this woodland-theme decorating and bright red and black plaid wallpaper and trim in the lobby.
I can personally vouch for the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. It's a beautiful hotel that will add to your visit to the fantastic Smoky Mountains.
Make sure and plan to stay several days. There is so much to see and do in Gatlinburg, the national park, and nearby Pigeon Forge. I stayed three days and wish I would have planned for four or five.
Go, have fun, relax, and take in the sites. Gatlinburg is a great destination.