Gatlinburg is the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. If you’re looking for a fun and yet relaxing getaway close to nature with a lot of delightful attractions, Gatlinburg is a perfect weekend destination.
My first visit to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge was with friends as a weekend vacation. We drove from Atlanta, Georgia.
Venture in the Smokies – Day 1 :-
It’s a 4-hour drive from Atlanta to Gatlinburg. If you take State Highway 23 it’s a very scenic drive. Just outside Gatlinburg, on our way to the hotel we made our very first stop at the Clingmans Dome Gatlinburg. At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There’s a 0.5 mile hike to the observation tower from the parking lot. Though the hike path is paved, it may be exhausting for some folks. But it’s worth your effort because the view from the top is breath-taking.
We sat there for a while enjoying the nature, then it started to get a bit cold and windy so we made our way back down and onward to the hotel. We were pretty exhausted from the drive and the hike so we checked into our hotel, freshen up, caught some rest and got ready to explore the city.
In the evening we drove to explore the city. It get’s very busy on the weekend and thus was a bit of struggle to get parking. It took some time but eventually we found a spot. We walked around the city enjoying the bright lights, the lively crowd and all the while listening to live music from various street performers.
Next stop was the famous Hollywood Stars Car Museum which features authentic vehicles from the best of Hollywood movies and TV shows. There was the Original ELEANOR 1967 Mustang Shelby GT 500 from Gone in 60 Seconds, Batman Returns Batmobile, Ecto 1 (Ghostbusters) and almost 40 other popular Hollywood automobiles. It was so fascinating and almost a dream come true watching these up close and thus it took longer than expected to come out of there.
After visiting the museum, we had dinner and called it a day.
Venture in the Smokies – Day 2 :-
On day 2, we decided to explore the attractions of Pigeon Forge, another neighboring city to the Smokies. We started with the adventurous ride at the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, The ride track is more than a mile long. Plus, you get to control how fast your ride is which is like super cool.
Next we went to check out the Titanic Museum, a two-story museum shaped like The Titanic. On entry you’ll be given a boarding pass to be an actual passenger. It’s amazing how you can explore the first class rooms, third class rooms, touch a growing iceberg, experience 28-degree water, sit in an actual size lifeboat.
After visiting the Museum, we started our drive back to Atlanta and making random pit stops to check out overlooks and capture the scenic beauty of mountains and valleys.
We also spent some time near a river, to take in the calmness before getting back the hustle of the city. Even the roads were so scenic which made the drive even more relaxing.
This was the end to a relaxing weekend and we drove back to Atlanta to our busy lives, cherishing the memories we gathered.
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I’ll be back with another post, until then Enjoy..!!!