The last time I was in Gatlinburg, TN, I was in middle school. It was the late 70’s and the highlight of our trip was watching the ‘crazy people’ white water raft down the river. I remember the trip fondly. Nothing too crazy or overly exciting to be seen. Just lots of gorgeous trees, winding roads and great weather. I think we stayed in a friend’s house.
Fast forward about 40 years and it is a completely different story. Now, while the gorgeous trees and winding roads are still everywhere, there’s quite a lot more to see from my gorgeous view at the Westgate Resort. Perched within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, there isn’t a bad view, or from what I could tell, a bad room. With over 1200 rooms to choose from, it seems unlikely.
Now, if you’re like my son, you are interested in everything that’s available to do on property. Can I order room service? How many activities are there at the hotel? Are there any stores at the hotel? The Westgate Resort in Gatlinburg checks off everything on his list and then some! With the Serenity SPA, Southern Comfort restaurant, small marketplace shop (with everything from coffee to clothes to wine), ZipLines, Outdoor Pools, Indoor Waterpark, Mini-Golf & more, there truly is something for everyone and every age.
However, if you are like me, you want something completely different. I love to explore. Take me off the beaten path and I am happiest. Surprisingly, Gatlinburg checked off a bunch of items on my list, too. With great restaurants, Cider Houses & Wineries, Live Music, The Smoky Mountain National Park, great antique shops, horseback riding and more within a 5 mile radius, I was in heaven.
So, if you are looking for a new family destination, this should definitely be up for consideration.
Did You Know?
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, established in 1926, is the most visited national park in the USA with over 200,000 visitors a year!
The park is home to approximately 1,500 bears, over 17,000 species and offers over 700 miles of fishable streams inside the park!
Absolutely breathtaking and sure to deliver a new experience every time you take it in!
Anakeesta Mountain: anakeesta.com
Located in the heart of Gatlinburg. Take the ski lift to the top of the mountain for great food, shopping, sites and my fave, the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster!
Eat the Pancakes! They really are amazing!
My fave, The Pancake Pantry: pancakepantry.com
The Skybridge: gatlinburgskylift.com
Stretching 680 feet across with a height of 140 feet at its midpoint, walking the bridge is an unforgettable moment!
Swig the Moonshine: olesmoky.com
Pop into the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery and take a taste of one of their unique flavors. Samples are available and the people watching is priceless! Hunch Punch was my go-to!
For detailed list of activities, attractions and travel information, visit Gatlinburg.com
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