After we said our “I do’s” we headed down to Tennessee. Since then, we’ve made that trip twice more once with kids and once with kids and friends. It has a majestic quality, Gatlinburg does. Mountains, trees, winding roads and cabins tucked into mountain sides.
And if that’s not enough to entice you to pack up the minivan, load up the kids and drive until you get there, go for the other great things that make a trip to Gatlinburg a vacation full of memories you won’t forget; whether you take the kids or just hunker down for a trip for two.
Hillbilly Golf: This tradition started on our honeymoon when we were out and about looking for fun things to do as a newlywed couple. And this is what we found. Situated on the side of a mountain, Hillbilly Golf is unique. It has two 18-hole courses to choose from and you get there by riding up a little tram some 300 feet up the side of a mountain. You spend your time getting the little ball through the obstacles. It’s a great place to go for laughing, kissing the man of your dreams and cheating just a little when you’ve hit the ball fourteen times and still can’t get it in the hole!
Ripley’s Believe it or Not: If you’re into the bizarre or unusual, this is an attraction you don’t want to miss. Tour the museum and ask yourself if you believe it or not. It’s a great way to get conversation going with the kids or with that special someone you’ve just married. And it’s interesting to find out how one word conjures two different images in the heads of two different people. I remember my new husband telling me about some exhibit of tramps. I was (silently) appalled that the creators of this museum would put together a monument to women known for being promiscuous. We got to the exhibit and it was a statue of a tramp –someone who travels hobo-style. Oops.
For those who aren’t fans of the interesting and strange, stroll over to Ripley’s Aquarium and check out the underwater sea life. It’s a fun way to spend the afternoon…especially if you go there after sitting through a three hour seminar on why you should purchase a time share, where you can get free tickets to the aquarium.
The Gatlinburg Sky lift: For those of you who can’t decide which activity to do first, take to the sky for a bit of an aerial view. The skylift takes you 1,800 feet to the top of the Smokey Mountains where you can take in the breathtaking view of trees, quaint streets, people and shops. Or, if you’re afraid of heights, gives you the opportunity to cuddle in close with the one you love. At the top is a gift shop with souvenirs, a photo shop and snacks.
Which brings me to the food. Something that after three trips there (and planning another one sometime this year) you would think I know something about. But I’ve got nothing. I can’t remember a single delicious meal while there. Unless you count the ice cream or fudge or chocolate, of which I had plenty every time. Or the cozy, romantic meals my incredible husband cooked for me in the kitchens of the gorgeous cabins we rented during our stays there.
Who needs food though when the memories of Gatlinburg are enough to fill your heart and mind for years to come? I do! Because food is good and we need it. And because as I was unsuccessfully scrounging for some photos to add to this blog, my sweet husband reminded me of the Mexican restaurant we ate at almost twenty years ago. The food was great. The company was even better…
Have you been to Gatlinburg? What are some of your favorite memories there?