A Few Of My Favorite Places – Gatlinburg, TN
Today’s edition of AFOMFP is going to be a little different but I wanted to share anyhow! I’ve done this series on cities that I’ve been to a lot/feel that I know a lot about [see them here + here]. I went to Gatlinburg for the first time with my hubby and I loved it so much. While I’m certainly no expert, I did want to share what we did that I really enjoyed. Typically, I’ve shared the “best of” of each city in this series, but here I’ll just share what I did experience. While it may not be the best the city has to offer, we sure loved it! So, below are some of my favorite restaurants, sites, shops, and more to explore if you ever find yourself in the Smoky Mountains! It’s absolutely beautiful there and I cannot wait to go back! Let me know if you have any questions about the city!
Fine Dining – Gatlinburg is not a dining destination, in my opinion, and it was really hard to find a nice restaurant to have dinner at. We settled on The Greenbrier and were actually pleasantly surprised. The main courses were pretty good but the real star was the soup/salad before the entree. Their Caesar salad is amazingly yummy and I had the best soup I think I’ve ever had in my life. The jalapeno clam bisque was actually life-changing and I will be dreaming of it until our next visit back. The view is also stunning! See what I wore here.
Casual Lunch/Dinner – It’d be really easy to miss the Best Italian, but you’ll kick yourself if you do. Hidden in the back of a little strip mall off the main drag, Best Italian is exactly what it says. The best italian. We ate here after hiking up Clingmans Dome, so we were ready to pig out. We got the fried ravioli to start then split the chicken parmesan. It is just pure indulgence. [image via Best Italian website]
Day Out – I highly, highly recommend checking out Ober Gatlinburg. It’s a ski resort that in the summer/fall turns into a destination of fun activities, including an alpine slide, a roller coaster (which was SO fun), some food and beer options, and kids rides. The highlight of Ober Gatlinburg is the tram you take up the mountain (pictured below). It’s a really fun ride and has stunning views of the entire city. We spent probably 5 hours total in Ober Gatlinburg (including waiting in line and taking the tram there and back) and it was a fun afternoon of just letting loose. We grabbed drinks and had fun riding rides and taking in the gorgeous scenery. The roller coaster is new and I would definitely check that out. It’s different than any other coaster I’ve been on! See what I wore here. [image via Ober Gatlinburg’s website]
Drink Up – One of the top things on my list was to visit the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. It was actually the first thing we did when we got there! See what I wore that day in this post. It’s nestled in on the main drag but has a stage for a live band and a bunch of chairs to enjoy the music. Inside the holler is the tasting room where you can do a free tasting of all the flavors. That was so fun! The people leading the tastings are hilarious and you get a nice little buzz from trying the flavors. We ended up leaving with the Margarita, the Pumpkin Spice, and the soaked Peaches. It’s definitely a fun experience and I would recommend checking it out.
Hiking – The highlight of our trip for me was hiking to the top of Clingsman Dome. I even did a full post on just that! The views are just stunning and it’s a nice little hike that’s easy enough for beginners. I won’t go too much into detail on this since I already did a post dedicated to it, but you must do this hike while you’re there!
Night Out– Gatlinburg is not a party city by any means. In fact, our first night there, the part of the drag we went to was absolutely dead by 9PM. However, if you head down the strip towards the tram for Ober Gatlinburg, you’ll find a few bars and restaurants that are still buzzing. We had dinner at Crawdaddy’s and actually were pretty impressed with the food. Mike enjoyed his Crawfish broil and I got the jambalaya. The real treat about Crawdaddy’s is the karaoke that starts 9:30PM. What a show! We laughed the entire time. If you’re wanting to grab some drinks and have a good time, I’d recommend Crawdaddy’s, or at least something in it’s vicinity as that’s where the action is at night. [image via Crawdaddy’s website]
Tourist Attractions – Gatlinburg is a tourists’ dream. It’s full of restaurants, attractions, and things to do. They have aquariums, museums, murder mystery shows, magicians, and more. One of the main things I wanted to do was the Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! Odditorium. Those who know me well know I love all weird things. I loved reading the Guinness Book growing up and I still love shows like My Strange Addiction. The Ripley’s Odditorium did not disappoint. We had a blast walking through and looking at all the strange things Rip collected over his life. It took about an hour to get through so if you have some down time, I’d check it out! If that’s not your jam, Ripley’s also has an aquarium that’s supposed to be amazing that’s definitely on my list for next time![image via Ripley’s website]