HERE IS A LIST OF ATTRACTIONS AND OTHER THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER DOING WHILE VISITING
We would like to thank you again for choosing Bearly Behavin'. We hope you thoroughly enjoy your stay. We've complied this list that may be helpful for you to during your visit.
There is so much to do in the area from Nature to attractions, it all depends on what you want to do. When you come to the Great Smoky Mountains, the sheer volume of activities will make you wish you could stay twice as long. My first recommendation is to wait until you arrive and drive around and see what most interests you. Unless it’s an attraction that sells-out quickly like Snow Tubing in Ober-Gatlinburg, Trolley of Lights, or the Dolly’s Stampede Christmas Show, then I would not buy online yet unless you see a deal on Groupon. There are also coupons in just about every business, which will save you a lot. Below is a list of things to do. First, the attractions and second the nature attractions. Before telling you about some of these, here are a list of some frequently asked questions. If you find some misinformed information, please accept our apologies and let us know so that we can correct it:
Food Delivery: Big Bear Subs and Pizza will deliver to Bear Creek Crossing. The are located at 1731 Parkway, Sevierville, TN and their number is 965-908-0444. A $20 minimum order is required for delivery.
Closest Grocery Store to the cabin: KROGER City, 220 Wears Valley Rd. Pigeon Forge.
The outdoor pool is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The indoor heated pool is open year round.
Putters and balls are provided at the cabin for the free Putt-Putt course. Please return these when you're finished playing so that other guests may enjoy them as well. As you may know, SNOW is likely during the winter months. Our HOA works extremely hard to keep our roads ice free. With that being said, always plan ahead and drive safely if you find yourself traveling during implement weather conditions.
PIGEON FORGE AREA
Pigeon Forge is a mountain town and favorite vacation area for millions with tons of attractions. It is located just 20 minutes from Gatlinburg. It is connected to the City of Gatlinburg through the SPUR and you’ll pass the famous Honk Tunnel if you’re traveling from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge. Both towns offer unique adventures and I would highly suggest you visit both during your stay in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Dolly Parton’s (country singer) Appalachian-themed park consists of rides and a museum of her costumes and memorabilia. If you are traveling with children, it’s impossible to be in Tennessee and not go to this theme park. It hosts over 3 million visitors in a typical season from Presidents Day through the Christmas Holidays. It is recognized as one of the world’s best theme parks in America. A unique feature is that it’s located in the mountains and the majority of rides are family friendly.
Dollywood’s Splash Country
This 35-acre water park is adjacent to the theme park. It operates May through September, and is great for any age group..
Smoky Mountain Water Park
Soaky Mountain Waterpark is a 50-acre waterpark located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. Highlights include the Avalaunch, a first-of-its kind watercoaster; Soaky Surge, a 35,000 sq. ft. wave pool; Black Bear Rapids, an adventure river; and more!
Dolly Parton's Dolly’s Stampede Dinner Show
This great show includes dinner. If you want to have an authentic feel of Southern food with a Southern show, this is it. I’ve attended The Stampede with my family several times including when it was located in my home town of Myrtle Beach, SC. We loved every minute of it and always have a blast.
Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show
All you can eat dinner show! We’ve been here twice, and I must say, they changed their show from the first time we saw it and it’s absolutely amazing! The food is great and they give you plenty to eat. Some people say it’s better than The Stampede, but personally, I would have to say, the jury is still out on that one.
This used to be one of the best shows in town. It is now called Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner Show. I'm not sure how good this show is compared to the original on as I've heard mixed reviews saying it doesn’t live up to other Dolly shows, but others say it’s great. I guess the Jury is out on this one too.
Comedy Barn Show
Christy and I have been here three times and had a blast each time. It’s a clean comedy show for the entire family and it’s cheaper than a regular dinner show because food is not included. Everyone I’ve spoken with that have attended, said they had great time.
Old Mill Square
This is a quaint and cozy area, and the best of all, it’s free. Definitely, a must do! The Old Mill Square is a little square that is the home of restaurants, a bakery, ice cream shop, pottery and craft shops. It’s located in the Parkway (Downtown) of Pigeon Forge. One of the most visited restaurants is The Old Mill Restaurant, best known for their southern food and large portions. Eat like you're at home, passing around large bowls of your favorite Southern dishes.
The Christmas Place
This is the largest Christmas Village in the South, a beautifully landscaped courtyard with Bavarian Style Village shops. These shops are magical and a must do for anyone who loves Christmas. It is open year round, but definitely don’t miss it on cold months ( Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)
Parrot Mountain is a Tropical Bird Sanctuary. If you are not too much into shows or attractions, this is a good slow paced place to visit. Children will have a blast. It’s a place where you can actually play, hold and feed the birds. There is a petting station, a feeding station and a baby nursery.
If you're a history buff, this is a place for you. This is a one-of-a-kind museum with original items from the Titanic. There are a lot of exhibits and artifacts (letters, cutlery, etc.) to observe and photograph. At the beginning, you will be assigned a character and will see if you are a survivor at the end of the tour. There are interactive displays (chilly room with touch pools of water at the temperature it was that night). Keep in mind, this museum may not be as fun for smaller children. They might not appreciate the historical value as us adults.
We haven't been here yet, but heard it was fun. My understanding is that children always love this place, and enjoy it as much the first time as they do after numerous visits. It gives a couple of hours of entertainment with the many exhibits and lots of interactive things to do. If you are visiting with children, I’ve been told this is one of those places to take them to canalize all that adrenaline.
Tomb Egyptian Adventure
We have not been here either, but my guests with little ones have recommended this attraction. Most say it is a fun adventure and not scary at all. The tomb, an Egyptian escape room adventure, allows your team of archaeologists to venture deep into the ancient Egyptian Tomb for 45 minutes of excitement. Guests find themselves trapped by the spirit of an ancient Pharaoh that presents ingenious challenges that must be completed for any chance of making it out alive. Your group must work together to find success in this battle of wits, or face the Pharaoh’s wrath. If you fail, you may never escape! Expeditions depart every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on availability.
This great little cinema offers movies year round for only $ 5 dollars. It is located next to the Tomb Egyptian Adventure.
Hollywood Wax Museum
I have been to the one in Myrtle Beach and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s a great place to visit if the weather is bad. They also sell a combo packages.
Alcatraz East is a privately owned for-profit crime museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Opened in 2016, it was formerly operated as the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, D.C.. The museum gives a behind-the-scenes look at crime history in America.
Smoky Mountain Deer Farm And Exotic Petting Zoo
Absolutely amazing place to take the children. Interaction (feed and pet) with Reindeers, Mountain Elk, Miniature Horses, Donkeys, Zebras, Camels, Watusi, Cattle, and much more. Also offers horse and pony rides for the little ones so the whole family can enjoy this attraction. This is a rare gem.
Forbidden Caverns & Tuckaleechee Caverns
One located in Sevierville and the other one located in Townsend. Tennessee is home to the most caves in the United States, with over 8,350 caves registered to date. Forbidden Caverns, located in Sevierville, Tennessee is one of America's most spectacular caverns. Visitors are provided with an entertaining and educational tour past sparkling formations, towering natural chimneys, numerous grottos and a crystal clear stream. Special lighting effects, a stereophonic sound presentation and well-trained tour guides combine to make this a most enjoyable experience. The trails are well-lite, with handrails at all necessary points.
Scenic Helicopter Tours
Many of my guests have taken these tours and have recommended it to me. Mostly honeymooners, anniversaries and birthday celebrations have done these to celebrate their special occasions.
BUSH’S Beans Visitor Center
A very nice museum with a gift shop. Watch a short movie showing the history of the Bush Family, or tour the museum which reveals artifacts of days gone by. Enjoy a delicious and affordable meal at The Bush Cafe'. You can even have your picture taken with Duke. Best of all, this museum is completely free.
Wild Bear Falls Water Park
Located inside Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa is a mountain themed indoor waterpark. Guests can enjoy comfortable conditions year round. Consisting of more than 60,000 square feet, Wild Bears is the largest waterpark of the South and the fifth largest of the country.
Wears Valley Road
Mostly unknown by tourists until recent years, it has managed to remain one of the most relaxing areas people can visit. Wears Valley is small, but there is a lot of fun to be had with its low key attractions. Wears Valley Road winds from Pigeon Forge to Townsend. This 15 mile road offers scenic views along with two mountain coasters (The coaster at Goats on the Roof and Smoky Mountain Coaster). You can also enjoy Wears Valley Zip Line adventures, and horseback riding at Walden’s Creek Stables. If you are in Wears Valley, don’t miss eating at Elvira’s Café and Grandmother's Kitchen. Also visit Aunt Debbie’s Country Store if you're looking for a unique souvenir shop. Locally made items, many made by the owners.
River Romp Tubing
Recommended by guests, and less than 5 miles from Dollywood. Tubing in the Pigeon River is fun for small kids and adults. Who wouldn't enjoy tubing and relaxing in a lazy river.
River Rat Tubing
Located 15 miles from Pigeon Forge. Float down the little river in beautiful Townsend. For ages 2 and older. Recommended to me by guests. I have never visited.
Smoky Mountain Outdoors
White Water Rafting- For smaller children, Lower Pigeon River. For older Children, The Upper Pigeon River.
Metcalf Bottoms Park
The scenic Metcalf Bottoms has a picnic area with benches, tables, charcoal grills, bathrooms, and water fountains. It's located beside the Little River where travelers can enjoy tubing and fishing.
The Island is a free attraction located in Pigeon Forge where you’ll find the Giant Ferris Wheel. You can park your car and take a free trolley to the island. A favorite among visitors because you can take the whole family (Grandma, teens, babies), and it’s handicap accessible.
What to do inside the Island:
1. See the water fountain show that dances with the beat of music with magnificent colors. This is beautiful at night.
2. Walk around and visit many unique stores, or enjoy some ice cream or pizza. The Kiddie rides are also a big hit.
3. Eat at Paula Dean’s Restaurant or Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. Both have Great Food!
4. You can take a ride on the 7D Dark Ride Adventure. This attraction is a very good adventure ride. Tip: Get the Zombie Ride and enter at matinee time10am-2pm and you pay half price. Not recommend for kids under 7.
5. For awesome views, ride the Famous Gondola Wheel and see the city from above. You can see the wheel for miles down the road
Three Bears General Store Souvenirs, shirts, Christmas ornaments, tasty ice cream and fudge. You can also pay a small fee to see LIVE Bears.
Tanger Outlet Mall
Most popular outlet mall in the state with so many different shopping options. The best part about the whole experience is that it’s located on a scenic route right off of the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Christmas Store
The Incredible Christmas Place, at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, is the premier destination for Christmas gifts and collectibles, designer-themed Christmas Trees, novelty and traditional Christmas Lights, hundreds of Personalized Ornaments, and all your favorite Holiday brands like Department 56, Lemax, Christopher Radko and many more!
Lid’l Dolly’s Factory Store
Lid’l Dolly’s Factory Store has been charming locals and visitors with our handcrafted southern belle girls’ dresses, Quilts, Throws and much more for more than 25 years. Throughout that entire time, our large factory store has been in the same location, and we’ve developed a loyal following through the years.
Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall
Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, also known as the "Red Roof Mall," is one of the ORIGINAL outlet malls of Pigeon Forge Tennessee.
A 196,900 SF Outlet Mall at stop light # 4, located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, TN.
With its centralized location and surrounding attractions, amazing outlet shops that offer unbelievable bargains and ample parking; The Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall can provide the most convenient shopping experience in the Smokeys.
If you enjoy shopping and people watching, downtown Gatlinburg is the place to go. It is better known as "The Strip", and is very crowded as they receive as much as one million visitors per month during the summer and Fall. If you want to see Gatlinburg in its entirety, make sure you have comfortable shoes and a lot of time on your hands.
From one end of the Strip to the other, you’ll find attractions that will take you high up to the sky and others on solid ground. You can see everything either strolling by foot or taking the trolley. It’s a long strip full of entertainment. Walking, shopping and eating in Downtown Gatlinburg is also a must do. Here are just a few of the attractions you’ll find on the strip:
The Chairlift is a classic Gatlinburg tradition that departs from downtown Gatlinburg and ascends to the top of the mountain. Another must do if you are not afraid of heights. The Tram is another enjoyable ride with breathtaking mountain views that take you in an enclosed gondola, in case you are afraid to take the Chairlifts. Keep in mind, the Chairlifts and the Tram are both different rides and take you to 2 different mountain tops. The tram takes you directly to Ober-Gatlinburg Ski Resort. You don’t have to take the Tram to visit Ober-Gatlinburg. You can also drive to the top by car.
The One & Only Gatlinburg Sky Bridge
The Most Spectacular Experience In The Smokies! Located at the top of the SkyLift, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and the most spectacular experience in the Smokies.
From the mountain-top SkyDeck, the SkyBridge quite literally crosses the sky as it stretches 680 feet across a deep valley in a single span. Guests can walk across at their own pace, taking in the panoramic views and enjoying the spectacular setting before walking back when they're ready. With a height of 140 feet at its midpoint, the SkyBridge is an incredible but easily attainable experience you'll remember for a lifetime - especially as you cross the glass-floor panels in the middle of the span. You can find other bridges and spans, but there's only one Gatlinburg SkyBridge and it will be the one photo you'll want to share with family and friends after your trip. The last ticket sold at the window is 10pm and the SkyBridge closes at 10:30pm.
This beautiful aquarium is one of the best in the country, a favorite among visitors and kids. Is it worth the cost of the ticket? Most definitely! Is it on my priority list as one of the must do things for you on your first visit? It all depends if you’re planning to come back; otherwise, you can do it on your 2nd visit, but if you don’t plan coming back to the Great Smoky Mountains in a long time and you’re with children, definitely go for it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a must do at some point. For some families that have visited so many aquariums throughout the country, it might not be on the top of their list with so much other natural wonders in the area.
Believe it or not, Haunted Adventure, Moving Theater, Old MacDonald's Farm Mini-Golf, Davy Crockett Mini-Golf , Guinness World Records. Worth visiting if you are looking for something to entertain teens and older kids with interesting exhibits, weird and odd facts. Not on top of the list, but if you have extra time, it's rainy day or if other attractions are closed for winter, it's definitely entertaining. The package of Aquarium/ Believe It or Not/ Mirror Maze might be better value. There is also a package to visit all 8 Ripley's attractions.
The Space Needle is a 407 feet observation tower that provides a 360-degree view of the Smoky Mountains. You're allowed to go twice within 24 hours. It's best to go up in daylight and nighttime to view the whole city at different times.
Ober-Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area
Alpine Slide, Ski Coaster, ice skating, scenic chairlifts, wildlife encounter, carousel, as well as snow tubing, ski boarding and snow boarding in the winter months. If you are planning to go during winter, buy pre-advanced tubing tickets as these sell out quickly. I encourage you to purchase these several weeks before arriving.
The Village Shops
This little village (town square) resembles a Switzerland Village. Great to grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut at the famous Donut Friar, or you may choose to eat a hearty breakfast at the famous Pancake Pantry.
This three story Haunted Mansion is a self-guided tour revealing the secret passages, winding staircases and daunting corridors of this Victorian Home. Not recommend for children under 7.
Hillbilly Golf Ride Mini
This incline train takes you 300 feet straight up to the Mountaintop above the city. There are two 18-hole courses with lots of challenges, another must do with the perfect theme. Kids love it and adults too. There are a lot of Mini Golf attractions in the area, but this is by far one of the best. Remember, Bear Creek Crossing offers FREE miniature golf at the resort.
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster
This is a fairly new Attraction in downtown Gatlinburg. It’s a coaster that winds you through the mountain side on a sled-like cart. You control the speed. Fun for children and adults.
Arts and Crafts Community
This community is not located on the parkway of Gatlinburg (Main strip), but it’s approximately 5 miles from downtown Gatlinburg, and more in the outer skirts. Designated as a Tennessee Heritage, it’s an 8 mile loop road of stores with independent artisans (120 total) located in Glades and Buckhorn Rd/ East Parkway. A good address to arrive is at Glades Village at 680 Glades Road, Gatlinburg and you can go down the loop from there.
This new attraction in Gatlinburg just opened in mid-2017. Admission to Anakeesta includes a scenic ride by Gondola or chairlift (which ever you choose) to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain where a mini Alpine Village awaits for you. You will enjoy a spectacular view of downtown and Mt. Leconte. You will also find quaint gift shops, casual dining, and explore the Tree house Village playground. Follow the memorial forest walk to learn about the November 2016 fires. Mountain coaster, and Gem Mining.
RainForest Adventure Zoo
Collection of 130 species with natural habitats of rain forests all over the world. Not your typical zoo animals. Groupon offers discount coupons for this attraction all the time.
Cirque de Chine
Amazing display of Chinese acrobats, performers, and experts at their chosen craft.
Cuzzin Eddie’s Tours Bus
This is a funny bus tour where guests learn about the area, history and culture with lots of fun. Have no opinions on this because have never done it.
Roundabout Gatlinburg Bus Tour
This is a 2.5 hour tour through historic destinations with stops at Sugarlands Visitor Center, Mynatt Park, Dudley Creek, Baskins Creek, and much more. Have no opinion have never done it.
Moonshine and Wine Tasting
A favorite thing to do among couples, honeymooners, anniversaries.
Legacy Mountain Zip line
This was recommended by some of my guests as a great attraction for kids and adults. It has one of the best breathtaking views between woods, hills, trees, mountains and nature.
You cannot be in Gatlinburg and not ride through the bypass. This 3.8 mile long bypass of US-441 provides a picturesque view of Gatlinburg from a high ridge. There are plenty of overlooks for you to enjoy the breathtaking surrounding landscape.
Outdoor Adventures of the Smokies
Offers one of the best ways to enjoy the rugged beauty of the Smokies. Hop on an all-terrain vehicle and try to navigate the bumpy trails yourself.
Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights
Ride the Gatlinburg Trolley and witness the festival of lights that has been one of the city’s trademarks for years and witness millions of twinkling lights. You have to buy early since these sell out fast.
Shadracks Christmas Wonderland
It’s the love of Christmas and music together. The Lights are programed to dance with some favorite Christmas tunes. It has received national media attention and won a several awards.
Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House
The perfect souvenir from Gatlinburg is perhaps, not the typical key chain, but a lot of Jelly. For fans of jellies, jams, and butter, this store boasts a massive collection of spreads, preserves, as well as pickles and hot sauces. It is located next to Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum.
Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
When you find yourself in this part of the world, be sure to stop by and see over 20,000 sets of Salt and Pepper Shakers from around the world, and a huge Pepper Mill collection!
Note: There are many coupons everywhere that give discounts. Plan ahead of time is the best you can do to enjoy your trip.
NOT INTO ATTRACTIONS?? HOLD ON BECAUSE THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS HAS SOME OF THE BEST NATURAL ATTRACTIONS AVAILABLE.....
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park
This is a great way to have several days of entertainment without breaking the bank. Its Americas most visited park. Before heading to any of the viewing areas at the park, I recommend to stop at the Sugarland’s Visitor Center located at the entrance of the Park. Here you can ask for maps and directions.
A must-do at the National Park, which is the Highest Point at the park where you’ll take some of the most breathtaking photos. It has an observation tower listed on the National Register of historic places. Clingman's Dome offers a panoramic view of the mountains and is located only 19 miles from the visitor center. If you want to visit the tower, prepare yourself for a hike of ½ mile of an incline hike. Even if you cannot make it to the TOWER, the views driving through Newfound Gap are awesome. It's located between Pigeon Forge and Cherokee, NC.
This is what most visitors like to do, but you will have to commit to 2 hour drive (1 hour getting there and another hour coming back). People go to Cades Cove trying to see the bears in the wild (natural habitat), but there is much more to it. It's beautiful scenery, numerous old pioneer Church’s, homes and grain mills are just a few. I love this place!
Picnic at Chimney's Picnic area or any of their picnic areas at the National park.
This town is located just outside the park governed by Cherokee Indians. They have dozens of Native Americans Gift and arts/crafts shops, Harrah’s Casino, and Cherokee Museum. Oconaluftee Visitor Center on the left has ELK (which are massive and magnificent)!! The Indian Village which shows the Indians lived. And don't forget Santa Land and Mingo Falls.
Drive Newfound Gap Rd ( US 441)
Starting from Gatlinburg, TN or Cherokee, NC you can drive this road that has fragrant evergreen woodland, similar to the Boreal Forests of New England and Eastern Canada. Newfound Gap is cooler and receives much more snow during the winter. The 31 mile road encompasses a variety of forest ecosystems and with an elevation of 5,046 feet, be sure to bring a jacket. Directions: From the Sugarlands Visitor Center follow the signs to Cherokee NC.
POPULAR HIKING TRAILS
Many nature enthusiasts visit the Smoky Mountains for its awesome trails. I will list in order the most popular hiking trails preferred by tourists. Some are fair, but others are rough and mostly for experienced hikers.
Roaring Fork Motor Natural Trail
A favorite among visitors. At the end of the hike, it takes you to Grotto Falls. The total hike from start to finish is about. 45 minutes to 1 hour total. Great trail for children over 2. It’s an easy trail for older children and you must take water bottles. Many bears have been spotted here.
The paved path to Laurel Falls is a favorite hike among many park visitors. A fairly easy hike, close proximity to Gatlinburg, and a picturesque 80-foot waterfall; all combine to make this an extremely popular destination within the Great Smoky Mountains.
Grotto Falls is the only waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that a person can actually walk behind. The 25-foot high waterfall offers a cool, shady, and moist retreat for summer hikers. This same environment also provides an ideal habitat for salamanders.
Rainbow Falls Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the park. This 5.4 mile round-trip hike offers creek side hiking, beautiful forests, and the beautiful Rainbow Falls as a destination. At 80 foot, Rainbow falls is also the tallest waterfall in the Smokies. On Sunny afternoons, a rainbow often becomes visible through the mist of the falls, given its name. For a longer hike, you can continue on the trail for another 4.2 miles to the summit of Mount LeConte, one of the tallest mountains in the park.
At 6593 feet, Mount Leconte is the 3rd highest peak in the Smokies. Mt. Leconte can be considered the tallest mountain in the Eastern USA. The Alum Cave Trail is the most hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Allow 6-9 hours for this hike. It’s strenuous, but not technically challenging. It takes an average of 8 hours of hike, since there is so much to stop and enjoy along the way, there is a lunch service provided by LeConte Lodge for day hikers! You need to order 2 days in advance.
Gatlinburg Trail is one of the two pet friendly trails in the entire park. It’s a nature walk through the woods. The Hike is 1.9 miles one way from Sugarland’s Visitor Center. It runs through the forest along the Little Pigeon River.
Elkmont Nature Trail
Hike Elkmont Nature Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains when you are looking for a short, easy hike for a family. It is less than a mile long.
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is a short, half mile trail in the National Park. It’s the only trail that is wheelchair accessible. This trail is half mile past the visitor center.
Big Creek /Mouse Creek Falls
This is a great hike for novice hikers because the trail is relatively smooth, and is a gradual climb of only 605 feet over the course of the two miles to the 45-foot Mouse Creek Falls.
This trail begins at the Clingman's Dome parking lot and drops elevation as you hike. Are you up for a 1.7 mile hike to see magnificent views? Sounds like a breeze. Well, not so fast - this is still a fairly rugged hike! But don’t let this deter you. Thanks to several acres of open grassy meadow, commonly referred to as balds in the Appalachians, spectacular views of the Southern Smokies await you at the end of this hike. Andrews Bald is the perfect place to unfold a blanket, relax, and enjoy a picnic lunch.
You can access the trail through Cades Code. Due to the length of the height, it takes 3-4 hours to finish. Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, the large volume of water rushing over the sandstone cliff more than makes up for its lack of height. In fact, Abrams Falls is the most voluminous waterfall in the park, easily making this the most scenic waterfall in the Smokies. As a result, the moderate 5.2-mile round-trip hike to the waterfall is one of the more popular hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Porters Creek Trail just about has it all. You'll stroll along a beautiful cascading stream through a lush old-growth forest. While walking past many remnants of the early settlers in this area, you'll find the little known waterfall. If you hike this trail during the spring, you'll have the additional benefit of witnessing spectacular displays of wildflowers. The forest floor is carpeted with bloodroot, hepaticas, violets, white trilliums, fringed phacelia, rue anemone and many other wildflowers.
Little River Trail
The Little River is a beautiful cascading stream with large boulders and several small waterfalls. The Little River Trail parallels the stream as it gently climbs along an old gravel railroad bed. Between mid-March and April, this trail is an excellent choice for hikers wishing to see wildflowers.
Basins Creek Falls
Relative to its popularity, this 40-foot, two-tiered waterfall just might be the most underrated falls in the Great Smoky Mountains. It's also a great place to kick back and enjoy a picnic.
Walker Sisters Place
The Little Brier Gap Trail is located in the heart of an old mountain community known as Little Greenbrier. The community achieved national fame when five spinster sisters continued to live here decades after the park was established. The Walker Sisters refused to sell their 123-acre farm to the National Park, and were able to maintain their traditional mountain life into the 1960's.
Indian Creek Falls
Hikers will reach Indian Creek Falls via the Deep Creek Trail, which was one of the first trails constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. In addition to visiting the 45-foot waterfall, hikers will also pass by the 80-foot Toms Branch Falls along the way. This is another great hike for early spring wildflowers.
POPULAR SWIMMING HOLES
The Townsend Y
The Townsend Y is where the Little River and the Middle Prong of Little River join. Probably the most easily accessed and popular swimming hole. This wide pool area provides fun for the entire family. Located just after the Townsend entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, this swimming area provides plenty of water to play in. Psst, you can also tube in it. It has sandy, beachy areas and it’s family oriented. This swimming hole is located approx. 18 miles past the Sugarlands Visitor Center heading toward Cades Cove. You can't miss it.
This is a deep scenic pool below a 6 foot waterfall with crystal clear water!! It is a 1.5 mile hike to get to the swimming hole. If you want, you can hike another half mile to see Mouse Creek Falls.
When you enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that takes you by the Parks Visitor Center, travel towards Elkmont. Shortly before the turnoff at Elkmont, you’ll encounter the popular swimming hole on the right called The Sinks There are falls that you can walk under there as well.
Eateries You Must Try :
Any Pancake House
A must do in the area. You’ve heard that saying "If in Rome, do what Romans do". Pancakes are what Tennessee is famous for. I recommend:
* Crockets Breakfast Camp -
Awesome themed breakfast place with skillet breakfasts ( my guests have said it is one of
the best breakfast places in the area).
* Log Cabin Pancake House - located in 327 Historic Nature Trail Parkway- Cute themed pancake house. I have been
there and I like it very much. French toast Royale a Killer.
* Pancake Pantry - I’ve heard excellent comments from my guests, but expect long lines as it’s a very popular place
* Little House of Pancakes
Bennett’s BBQ in Pigeon Forge
This is a favorite of ours as well. Great food and the service has always been good.
Mel’s Diner in Pigeon Forge
Mel's Diner is a little 50’s theme restaurant that takes you back a long way, Look closely and you may see Richie Cunningham or The Fonz sitting at a table. Great American classic foods.
Old Mill Pottery Café and Grill
Another favorite, most affordable price you will find around ranging $7.99- $8.99 for lunch. Their dinner prices are fabulous as well, between $10.99 and $13.99.
Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant/Grill
A Hearty Southern comfort food restaurant in a casual environment with delicious apple fritters. This is one of those down home family feel restaurants you can’t miss. We’ve been and absolutely loved it. I promise, you will not leave hungry!
Applewood Barn and Cider Mill
Located next door to the Farmhouse Restaurant. This is a delicious place if you love anything made with apples (cider, donuts, apple fritters, ice cream).
Hole in the wall, but a will hidden gem. It is a family business with delicious pulled pork, ribs and chicken that melt in your mouth.
Family owned with the best catfish hands down!! All you can eat catfish & chicken dinners.
Smoky Mountain Shakes-N-Dawgs
If you want to keep it simple, this is a local mom and pop joint. They mostly serve hot dogs and curly fries, but they offer loads of crazy toppings (Reuben Dog, Philly Cheesesteak Dog , etc) with fresh buns. They even a hot dog boiled in moonshine, which makes it a first on the list.
Wild Plum Tea Room
Inspired by the Australian-style tea house. Located near the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, this is a nice little shop for travelers that want a break and enjoy delicious wild tea plum. The restaurant also offers a delicious menu in case you are hungry.
Restaurants with ambiance for Honeymoons/Anniversaries/Romance: The restaurants beneath have ambiance although they are on the pricey side.
Peddler Steak House
We personally love this restaurant and many of our guests (honeymoons and anniversaries) have gone here as well. This place has a romantic ambiance with a salad bar included with your entrée. I also know people can dress up and some brides have even gone in their wedding dress. You need to call at least 2 weeks with anticipation if you want to reserve a window seat. Tell them it’s your honeymoon or anniversary and they will light a candle on your table. This is what my guests have said. Expect $100-130 for 2 people including dessert.
The Alamo Steakhouse
With 2 locations, one in Pigeon Forge and the recently rebuilt (after the fires) one in Gatlinburg is by far one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. Their T-bone steak and Porterhouse are great. It might not have the ambiance of other places, but has great steaks.
Park Grill Restaurant
Located in Downtown Gatlinburg. This is a very nice place too. Maybe a little cheaper than Peddler, but still with a nice ambiance and great food. This one also has a salad bar. Mention that you’re celebrating a special occasion and they'll do their best to sit you in a good spot.
The food is good; it’s nice, modern and cozy inside. I haven't visited yet, but reviews are high.
Hearty American meat & seafood dishes served in a homey log cabin setting. Have not been here, but heard it is good.
Wood fired steaks, ribs & other hearty American eats are served in a rustic atmosphere overlooking a creek. Christy and I have eaten here several times. The food is amazing! Although, we haven't visited since they rebuilt from the Gatlinburg fire.
The Melting Pot
This is a chain, but I know some of my guests have gone there to celebrate special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. If you are into fondue you might like it. I've eaten at the one in Myrtle Beach, SC and personally, it's not one of my favorites.
SPA BUSINESSES - I have never gone to one of these so I really can’t provide much of a comment, but here is a small list of the most popular ones.
Spa at Oak Haven
It’s located in a Resort up at the mountain and at least this one gives you the sense of being in nature because of the trees surrounding the resort. It also gives the sense of a mountain vibe, although, it doesn’t have views. Note: There are many massage places located in the middle of a street next to buildings; you want to keep away from those. Those are just tourist traps.
Spa at Riverstone
This one is located in Pigeon Forge at the Resort of Riverstone. It’s more on the fancy scale.
Beneficial to Life
They claim to do the massages up at the cabin. They set up all their tools (therapeutic beds) either inside the cabin or on the back deck for a more rustic and natural feel. They have a romantic package with dinner for 2 at the cabin and a couple’s massage for $236. They take the dinner and everything to the cabin.
Spa at Pine Mountain
I’ve heard it used to be real good, but for some reason, it hasn't been getting too many good reviews. Not sure if everything said is true.
This is for the more adventurous. It’s very rustic as it used to be a farm. They converted the farm into Utopia Day Spa and Retreat. If you visit any of these places, please let me know so I can pass it on to other guests (good or bad).
EVENT NOT TO BE MISSED ON THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS FOR THE LUCKY ONES!!!
Synchronous fireflies are something that occurs only in 2 parts of the world “Thailand and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park". It occurs 1 time every year for only 5-6 days, typically in late May or early June. It is located in the Elkmont area of the Park. It's a spectacular display and a park pass has to be bought 2 months prior to the show. There are 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and only one of the species in the world synchronize their flash patterns. The insects reproductive display occurs for a couple of days every year. The tickets will be sold by the end of April of each year. The pass is only $6 and they usually run out fast.
Visitors who wish to view the fireflies must acquire a pass to park at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and ride a shuttle to the viewing area for $1. The number of parking spaces is limited, as is the capacity of the shuttle system.
Each year in April, the Smoky Mountain National Park announces the viewing dates as well as the date the parking pass will be sold. You will have to check during the month of April, usually mid and end of April to not miss it. They sell for 3 consecutive days and after that, the chance in gone. They will sell 111 passes for each of the 7 evenings.
The dates of the fireflies show each year is announced by the Smoky Mountains National Park at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/fireflies.htm in late April. Once the passes go on sale, you will be able to purchase them from www.Recreation.gov but you only have 3 days to buy them online or call the Park.
Again, Christy and I would like to thank you for choosing Bearly Behavin'. We hope this will help you thoroughly enjoy your vacation. Enjoy and please visit us again!