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Destination I Do

Tranquility In Tennessee

Words by Jennifer Stein

When people think of the Smoky Mountains, they may envision thick forests, babbling brooks and quaint log cabins with crackling fireplaces alive with warmth. A destination where comfort food is made with care and everyone waves as you pass them by. A place where life’s pace slows a beat and the residents of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, Tennessee welcome you with genuine Southern hospitality.

It’s pretty much exactly like this, only the “quaint log cabins” are enormous and quite luxurious. There is also an abundance of fun things to see and do. From theme parks and miniature golf, to nighttime shows and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this area is a fantastic escape for families and groups. 

Eat
The Chop House: The mouthwatering steaks and chops here are major crowd pleasers. You can even top your steak with up to ten decadent items, such as crab cakes or lobster. 

The Hard Rock Café – Pigeon Forge: It is able to accommodate large groups with a sizeable menu that satisfies a range of tastes.

The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant: Delicious, home-style food with generous portions and take-away options, as well.

Play
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Named because of its natural blue mist, this ancient Appalachian Mountain chain offers a range of adventure.

Dollywood Theme Park: All day fun for the kids and guests. Thrilling rides and adventures, plus award-winning entertainment.

Zorb in the Smoky Mountains: Ride down a steep hill in an enormous, inflatable sphere. This unique experience originated in New Zealand and is the only one of its kind. There are only two places in the U.S. to “Zorb” and one is in the Smokies.

When it comes time to say “I do,” the choices and options are affordable and endless. The Smoky Mountain area offers an assortment of traditional and non-traditional venues ranging from gazebos overlooking the stunning landscape, to the more intimate and exclusive options such as chapels or even private, luxury cabins.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Stein and iStockphoto #5117242 and #22869517

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.  

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