Friday 7/3: Drove from DE to Kingsport, TN where we made a short 30 minute stop to see family--with a promise to see them on the way back. Back on the road by 5:15pm and arrived in Gatlinburg shortly after 7pm. Checked into the Johnson's INN. Unpacked and headed for dinner at the Smoky Mountain Brewery. I had pizza & my husband had Ribs. . After dinner, walked around in front of the Brewery..where the little bridge & park is. The bridge was decorated with star lights of the 4th of July. Then we walked around downtown GB until the midnight parade started. Watched the parade for about 1hr and then headed back to the hotel.
Saturday 7/4: Started early with a breakfast at the Mountain Lodge Restaurant. I had eggs and homefries & the husband had eggs and bacon. Then we headed to Sevierville to Bass Pro Shops, the Beef Jerky Outlet, Smoky Mountain Knife Works, Traders Flea Market & the HUGE Smokies Flea Market. Then we stopped at Long John Silvers for lunch (we dont have one back home). Stopped by the courthouse to see the Vetran's Memorial & Dolly statue. Then we drove out to the Harrisburg covered bridge--which was just a short drive from town & easy to find. We then headed to Wear's Valley to check out the antique shops & crafts. On the way back we stopped at the waterfall by the Walden Creek Stables info booth. Then over to Patriot Park to check out the holiday festivities. We walked around the Old Mill shops & fed the ducks by the river too. For dinner we went back to GB to Bubba Gumps to get the Coconut Shrimp. Then we walked the strip in GB. Stopped in Cooters NEW location with mini-golf, musuem & go-karts. Saw "Enos" there signing autographs! Stopped in the Village at Desserts & More for dessert. I got the Almond Joy Pie and my husband got the Chocolate Tiramisu. Afer dessert, we waited for the fireworks by the aquarium. Got a FREE face painting of a patriotic lizard on my arm for fun while waiting for the fireworks & listening to the live band at the Ripleys Aquarium. Fireworks got off to a late start at 10pm, but they were amazing once they did start.
Sunday 7/5: Early start at the Pancake Pantry. French toast for me & pancakes/eggs/sausage for the husband. Then we headed for Cherokee via the Smokies National Park. We had morning showers, so it was a little foggy headed over to Cherokee. Stopped at Mingus Mill on the way into town. We both liked this stop. Then we drove over to Mingo Falls, climbing those 159-160 steps & a short trail to arrive at the falls. Then we stopped in Cherokee to check out the Mill and touristy shops/bull ride/Indian/Painted Bears/etc. We drove around to Oconaluftee Island Park and walked around by the ducks and water. Headed back towards the park--stopping at the Visitor Center & Mountain Farm Museum...a very nice outdoors "museum". Headed back through the park stopping at NewFound Gap (state-line) for photos. Back to GB for a Fannie Farkle's sausage sandwich for lunch. Then back into the park for hiking..stopping 1st at Sugarlands Visitor Center to see the museum & hike to Cataract Falls outback. We even saw a deer on this trail. Then a short drive to Laurel Falls trail. Took us 30 minutes each way to hike Laurel Falls. Saw a mommy bear and 2 cubs off the side of the trail about 3/4 of the way into the trail. Back to GB for our 1st dinner at Best Italian. I had the Lasagna & my husband had Paul's Seafood Medley. Walked around GB stopping at the Donut Friar for a late night snack (cinnamon twists & coffee).
Monday 7/6: Early start at the Old Mill for breakfast. Both of us got eggs with meat choice. Wonderful as always. Then we hit a few outlets in PF (levis, fuller brush, etc). Rainy morning..so headed up ski mountain rd to Ober GB for ice skating. Ice skated for 1.5 hours & checked out the NEW & IMPROVED Wildlife ENCOUNTER at OBER GB. WOW! The river otters, skunks, bears, squirrels & etc were SO cute. Back to the Old Mill for a late lunch/early dinner---hot turkey sandwich for me & southern fried chicken for the husband. Fed the ducks again in front of the Old Mill, then headed for the Arts & Crafts loop. After to loop, drove up roaring fork rd to Ely's Mill & Bee Farm...then headed over to Winery Square to the Jelly Farm. Headed back to the hotel & then walked around downtown GB. Then headed out to PF for Magic Beyond Belief. Disappointed that some OTHER magician was performing that night instead of Terry Evanswood. Got tickets to come back to a later show when Terry would be performing again. Over to Sevierville for mini golf at Old Macdonald's. Fun! Then to Sonic for late night snack. Headed back to GB. Walked around downtown, stopping at the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen for some goodies & by the Donut Friar for dessert (donuts & coffee).
Tuesday 7/7: Start at the Mountain Lodge Restaurant for a similar breakfast as 7/4. Then back to GB to walk through the Mountain Mall since it was a cool morning. Stopped at the Pepper Place & All Sauced up on the parkway. Then headed out for Townsend for the Railroad Musuem. Husband spent quite a bit of time reading all the informational signs in the museum depot. Then we headed over to River Rat to do some river tubing. Had a blast "river-ratting" as we like to call it. Did both upper and lower floats. Saw geese, fish & a snake on the lower float...which was kind of neat. After a few hours of floating..headed back to GB to get cleaned up. Then over to the Park Grill for dinner. I got Moonshine Chicken & the hubby got the Prime Rib. Sat and listened to the live pianist at Park Grill for a few, then back in the car for a trip BACK to PF to see Magic Beyond Belief, staring Terry Evanswood. YEAH! After the show..headed back to GB around 10:30pm & walked around downtown GB again.
Wednesday 7/8: Short walk to the Village for breakfast at the Donut Friar (Eclairs & cinnamon twists). Walked over & checked out historic Ogle Log Cabin. Drove Cherokee Orchard Rd up by the Noah "bud" Ogle Cabin & then back around the loop just prior to the Roarking Fork Motor Nature Trail. Headed back to the Hotel to check out. Stopped at a few more outlets on the way out of PF. Stipped at the Apple Barn for a fried apple pie, ice cream & cider. Drove to Sevierville..stopping at the McMahan Indian Mound & fireworks outlet to get fireworks to set off at my brother's house in Kingsport, TN. Headed for Kingsport, TN.
WOW!! We always have a FULL vacation...from start to finish---from sun up to sun down. I hope you had as much fun reading my itinerary AS WE had actually doing the things on it!
**Note this is my 1st attempt at a trip report, so I hope it's ok**