For the second year in a row, we took a trip to Gatlinburg just prior to the Easter holiday. Even though we’ve been to Gatlinburg more than 10 times now, we are giddy with excitement every time we make the trip here from Ohio. Every year brings new surprises and also some old favorites are revisited. Here is a summation of the highlights of our most recent trip.
After visiting the Knoxville area for some sightseeing and some good grub from Hard Knox Pizza, we drove into Gatlinburg after 5 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. We checked into our hotel and took an evening stroll along the Parkway. My first order of business was to buy a bottle of cinnamon flavored whiskey from Ole Smoky Whiskey Distillery for a co-worker who had to have another bottle, which was long gone from his previous trip last year. I was surprised that my wife elected to sample a few of their selections while we were here. Her favorite was peach, even though she’s not much of a moonshine or whiskey drinker. After some free samples from a few other businesses in town, we called it quits for the day and looked forward to tomorrow’s activities.
I love taking morning walks from our hotel to one of my favorite places in town, The Village, where I can enjoy my favorite donut from The Donut Friar and enjoy my favorite cup of coffee from Coffee & Company.
Wednesday was our day for lunch at Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que in Gatlinburg. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised at our portions with this visit. Both of us had new dishes that weren’t ordered before: Pulled Chicken, which is a new menu item, and Burnt Ends, which is fairly new, as well. They were very tasty and tied us over until well past the time we normally eat dinner.
We finally managed to be hungry enough for our planned visit to Cherokee Grill in the evening. My wife ordered her usual, Prosperity Steak, and I ordered a daily special, which was the Bourbon Glazed Grilled Chicken. Of course, no visit to CG is complete without eating their two best side dishes, which are Neva’s Potatoes and Spinach Mac and Cheese. As good as the food always is here, we still needed a to-go box for leftovers.
Last April, we didn’t go on a hike, but after seeing pictures on social media of all the waterfalls and streams, we thought it was a good idea for a morning hike this year. We decided on a new trail this time-Porters Creek Trail to Fern Branch Falls. This is considered moderate in difficulty, and we could definitely feel it afterward. The first mile is pretty easy, but it gets more difficult after the footbridge until you get to the falls. We took many pictures, as it was beautiful to see the rushing Little Pigeon River, the blooming trillium flowers, the historic sites, and a few surprise guests on the return trip—a deer and a snake.
We were tired, but we made it out to the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, where we visited with my friend Lori, the owner of Farmhouse Mercantile. We stopped in Custom Creations by Beth, where we purchased one of her paintings of the mountains to hang on our wall at home. I highly recommend a visit to the shops located at the Covered Bridge in the Glades. They are wonderful people who appreciate your business.
Finally, I can’t forget to mention our favorite place for breakfast in Gatlinburg, which is Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. We ate here for breakfast on Thursday morning and Friday before we left town. Their portions are consistently HUGE! Did I also mention they are very affordable with fast and friendly service to go along with their high-quality breakfast dishes—or should I say…skillets, which they actually serve there.
I am going to end this post by saying that this was another lovely trip to Gatlinburg and the mountains of East Tennessee. I don’t think we could’ve asked for better weather for the three days we stayed there—80 degrees and sunny every day! If this sounds like something you want to experience for yourself, check out MobileBrochure to help plan your vacation to the Smokies.
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