- Travel and Places
Smoky Mountain Vacations Rock
A Trip to Brag About
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best places to vacation in the Southern U.S. -- whether you're going for a one day getaway or looking for a week full of fun. It's a great place for a couple to find cozy, romantic places to enjoy and an excellent destination for a family to play and take in some entertaining shows.
When you go, you will want to make the most of the time and choose a good place to relax when you're not swimming or playing putt putt. So, where's the best place to hang your hat for a few days?
Motels and hotels are in abundance throughout park, but what if you want something a little out of the ordinary? A place where you can have some elbow room and a place to get out and explore would be great. After all, you saved for this and dreamed about it all winter! Why not make it an extra special vacation and stay in a mountain cabin?
A log cabin is the way to go for plenty of room, privacy and a hot tub you don't have to share with strangers... Don't worry, it's not hard to find one and you can decide on just the perfect cabin in a few easy steps.
Simply go online to easily visit all the offerings from the comfort of your easy chair. Look over all the photos and review the information provided on each log cabin site. Then decide which one best fits your plans, call or email to make you reservation and you're all set!
(into photo by Carolyn Sliger. All other photos taken by the author)
Where To Stay?
Deciding can be easy!
The word "magnificent" pretty well describes this Park - it's large and abundant with adventure. How do you decide where to stay?
It depends on what you want to do during your visit. You'll find excitement and plenty of shopping, games and restaurants in places like Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Go just a few miles away from one of these towns to the forest outback where it's quiet and peaceful. The thing you have to decide is what kind of vacation the family wants and go from there. A log cabin could be the setting you've dreamed of!
Log cabins speak to you -- they have a unique effect that makes you feel snuggled, warm and comforted. The woodsy, fresh smell of the logs, the relaxing atmosphere and rocking chairs call you to come in, relax and drift off. A log cabin instantly conjures up images of quiet locales where you can let it all go and forget the rest of the world for a few days.
Normally, the size of your group will determine the size cabin you will want. Cabins available in the mountains range from those that sleep one or two people, to larger ones with enough room for a group of twenty or more.
Web sites splashed with color photos of a variety of cabins are readily available through a quick search online. Simply go to your favorite search engine, type in related terms like "smoky mountain vacation cabins" or "log cabin rentals in the smokies", and you're sure to find plenty to choose from.
Some popular sites include:
Games to Take
You will want some games handy to keep the kiddos busy when you just want to kick back and relax!
20 questions will keep them entertained for hours!
Great variety of vacation games for the entire family!
What's not to love? Your kids will want to play this again and again!
Outdoor fun to go with those awesome burgers and hot dogs to make your vacation picnic fantastic! They will talk about this vacation all year long!
This fun croquet set has a handy carry bag -- just throw it in the car and away you go!
Staying in a cabin is a bit different from staying in a hotel or motel. Some are furnished with everything and some are only furnished with the bare necessities. Make sure you review what is provided with the vacation cabin you choose. If linens aren't part of the deal, you will need to add that to your packing list. It might be a good idea to take extra anyway so your crew will have plenty of towels.
Room service usually isn't included with a cabin, so you will need to stock up on paper plates, cups, napkins and all the essentials, unless you want to wash dishes instead of enjoying the great outdoors.
Don't forget the bathing suits! Everyone will want to take advantage of pools and water parks that are numerous in the Smokies -- especially if you're staying in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, TN. If you don't want to pack your car full of pool toys, those can be found at the many stores and shops stocked for your vacationing pleasure.
One last thing -- put together a first aid kit. No one likes to think about emergencies, but it's best to plan and be ready in case you need something. Bandaids, a compress, "epi" pens for anyone in your group who has allergies. Gingerale or ginger tea is good to have on hand in case someone's feeling a little queasy. Ginger may help settle an uneasy stomach.
Get out and Enjoy!
Your vacation cabin is definitely a great place to hide away from the world, but don't forget there is a fun vacation land out there! There is so much to choose from -- horse back riding, hiking trails, putt putt courses, amusement parks .. the list goes on and on! And, don't forget shopping!! Shopping and dining experiences are abundant around the Smokies.
If outdoor adventure is more like it, you can take advantage of white water rafting, boating, zip lining, jet boats and kayaking. Some great web sites that provide loads of information include, NOC.com (Nantahala Outdoor Center),
Outdoor fun that's a little calmer more your style? There's putt putt, bumper cars and water parks, like Splash Country, to get the list started. Don't think you can't enjoy being outside just because you don't like to get too wild!
Fishing is another activity the family can enjoy together. Little kids will need extra supervision and help baiting the hook! According to the National Park Service, there are 2,115 miles of streams within the Great Smoky Mountains, and fishing is permitted year-round. For more detailed information, be sure to visit www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit and search specifically for information about fishing.
Whatever you decide to do while vacationing in the Smokies, just spending time with family is the most important part of it! Do some research ahead of time, make sure you pack wisely and then look forward to a wonderful time away. If you happen to forget something, there's always a store nearby stocked with everything you need.