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Trip List by sweeknolliams

Gatlinburg for the Ripley's Averse

Dec 9, 2011  Recent Honeymoon
4.0 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

Destination: Smokies. Goal: Relaxation, Exploration, Health, Funk.

  • 1. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
    Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

    Recovering from a day of hiking, just getting into town, or needing a relaxing way to experience the beautiful GSMNP, take this road for quick beauty, places to get out and stretch, snap a photo, and wander a little. For a low intensity meander, check by the cabins at the start of the Motor Trail for the walking trail. Short, pretty, an outdoor date.

  • 2. Laurel Falls Trail
    http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/laurel.htm

    Low intensity hike with a great view of falls. The buzz is that there are bears active in this area lately; we didn't see any. Good hike to combine with another for a full day in the Park.

  • 3. Grotto Falls Trail
    http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/grotto.htm

    Second low impact, short hike with a great falls destination. Walk behind the falls. Take your time. Enjoy the ups and downs. Great for people like us who discovered they wanted to hike but not recreate an Outward Bound Experience on a honeymoon, first time to the Park. Enjoyable with little planning required -- take water but eat before or after without issues.

  • 4. Cade's Cove
    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm

    Drive the 11-mile loop trail and get out whenever you feel like looking, walking, resting, or doing jumping jacks. Donate $1 for the driving tour guide and force the navigator to read in their best Tennessee accent the history bits of this little area. The mill area makes a fun short walk with structures to scope out. The only bears we saw in all our hiking, driving, and walking were on this driving loop -- a Mama teaching her cub to climb the steep tree-covered hills. Bucks, turkeys -- it's a wildlife catch-all for what you haven't yet seen. It's a little change of scenery with some prairie and open stretches. The drive out and back from Gatlinburg is also pleasant. Turn on your best classic country and hoot and holler to the wind!

  • 5. Mellow Mushroom
    Mellow Mushroom, Gatlinburg

    goofy wanna-be-psychadelic pizza chain that had the freshest food in Gatlinburg we tried. In a meat and potatoes wasteland, enjoy vegetarian options, large fresh salads, and bruschetta with local brews. plenty to take home and heat up for hike lunch or eating in later. View of the main drag below.

  • 6. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
    Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, Gatlinburg

    The "tour" is self-guided and outdoor, reading place cards and taking in the smells of bubbling yeasty vats and watching the pipes run. Nice to get a little learning into the mix, a little history for the area that didn't involve a Dukes of Hazard vehicle. The moonshine is nothing amazing but it was a fun thing to try, and to see the moonshiners' old cars on the floor of the shop. Staff seemed stiff. Try the barbecue sauce.

  • 7. Smoky Mountain Brewery
    Smoky Mountain Brewery, Gatlinburg

    The yelp reviews didn't catch our attention but this place surprised us with friendly service, cheap sample tray, and delish hand made egg roll appetizer. We didn't spring for their sister restaurants' price ranges but this place was cool. Recommended for a pre-meal stop or snack.

  • 8. Pancake Pantry
    Pancake Pantry, Gatlinburg

    In season and after 9am, prepare for a long line, but worth the wait for buckwheat, blintzes, and other delectables delightfully straying from the cakes/bacon/eggs drones. Friendly service, clean facility.

  • 9. Best Italian Cafe & Pizzeria
    Best Italian Cafe & Pizzeria, Gatlinburg

    Off the main strip, this friendly local spot served up great main courses and salads and the carafe of chianti didn't suck! Another oasis in the bar food overkill that is Gatlinburg. FYI: They will let you cork and carry what you don't finish.

  • 10. North China Chinese Restaurant
    North China Chinese Restaurant, Gatlinburg

    Only Asian cuisine we could find in the G-burg. Basic decent Chi-merican food with generous portions and a very friendly manager/owner. We didn't feel dipped in MSG or fry batter. It's just a relief to find places with steamed or fresh vegetables! A couple older local types seemed to be in a North China rhythm, but it was fairly quiet. Enjoy.