Hard Rock Cafe has moved to Pigeon Forge

Posted by David  
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Thanks to the change in the Liquor law in Pigeon Forge, Hard Rock Cafe has moved to the old Tony Roma’s building at 2050 Parkway. This is a great place to have this restaurant, plenty of parking space and plenty of room for the smoky mountain tourists. This is a big win for the company, Pigeon Forge and the tourists.

The new Hard Rock Cafe location will seat 302 guests, feature private event space, free parking, patio seating, live music stage, and an interactive Rock Wall Solo- a 52″ high-resolution interactive touch wall that enables fans to virtually explore the world’s greatest music memorabilia collection.

Next time your vacationing in Pigeon Forge stop by the Hard Rock Cafe.

The Island in Pigeon Forge set to open in June

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PIGEON FORGE — Signs have been erected for several tenants of a nearly complete development in Pigeon Forge, and safety testing for the development’s centerpiece attraction is complete.

The first phase of the Island in Pigeon Forge will open mid-June, about a year and a half after new developers took over the abandoned Belle Island project.

The new project will include dining and shopping attractions, as well as the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, the 200-foot attraction.

“We put up a main sign on the Parkway last week and finished safety testing the wheel,” said Kristy Lucero of Access Brand Strategies, the public relations group for the Island. “We’re working on getting everything up and running.”

The Island’s dining tenants include Mellow Mushroom, Timberwood Grill, Island Yogurt and Poyner’s Pommes Frites. Among shopping tenants are Alaska-based Island Trading Post and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel Gift Shop.

Lucero said the developers plan to add more tenants, including a hotel, in the second phase.

“We still have spaces to fill, but I don’t have any specific information right now,” she said. “A hotel is in the plans, but nothing has been finalized.”

For the first phase, Lucero could not give a more specific opening date than mid-June.

“We’re still doing construction for some of the buildings, so for phase one we’re opening what we currently have,” she said. “Most of phase one are the dining options, and our centerpiece is the wheel.”

The wheel has 42 climate-controlled, glass gondolas that seat eight persons each. All ages can ride the three-revolution experience.
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Dollywood’s Kids Fest

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The largest kids’ festival in the South, Dollywood’s KidsFest welcomes the Gazillion Bubble Show in 2012, filling the stage with astounding bubble artistry. Kid’s fest runs from June 17 – August 7, 2012.

At the Imagination Playhouse, the Penguin Players bring to life three classic children’s storybooks, including the inspiring Little Engine That Could. All three shows feature original sing-along songs written by Dolly. The forecast is calling for fun at the Imagination Cinema where the Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls™ 4D Experience fills the big screen.
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Smoky Mountain Campgrounds opening for spring

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GATLINBURG (AP) – Spring is almost here, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is opening up its grounds for campers, horseback riders and mountain bikers.

Beginning Friday, the park service will begin opening up a majority of its campgrounds and secondary roads for spring visitors. Half of the 10 campgrounds in Tennessee and North Carolina can be reserved online.

The Smoky Mountain Riding Stable opened up on March 4. A number of other riding horseback stables and camps will open in the weeks ahead.

Visitors can go to www.recreation.gov to reserve campgrounds, all group campsites, horse camps and picnic shelters.

Concession stores offering firewood, camping supplies, food and bike rentals will also open up on a staggered basis.

Copyright 2011 AP

First legal Tennessee Moonshine distillery opening in Gatlinburg

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Tennessee’s first legal moonshine will soon be available to the public July 2nd.

What was once a very hard thing to get will soon be easily available to anyone over 21.

The distillery will have a grand opening celebration on Friday, July 2 and will offer free tours, free samples of moonshine to adults over 21, and moonshine for sale.

Ole Smoky Distillery is located at 903 Parkway, and will offer original unaged corn whiskey moonshine, apple pie moonshine, sweet tea moonshine, and peach moonshine. The facility will include a working still. Moonshine cherries will be available for purchase during the holiday season.  The Ole Smoky recipes are the product of the hard work and experience of local families who have made moonshine in the mountains for over a century. Dave Pickerell, who served as the Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark for over 15 years, assisted with the refinement of the recipes in order to ensure a superior mountain – made moonshine.

This was just pure genius to bring this to Tennessee.  Another cool thing is the moonshine will be distributed in Mason Jars.

Update: I went to the Distiller the other day. Right now when you go there they are allowing you 3 shots of Moonshine. They aren’t full shots but you get enough. They start you out with 2 clear shots of shine, and then give you a apple shine shot. You can’t buy the apple moonshine until sometime in October or November. It’s about 25.00 a jar. There is a 10% Local discount if you happen to live around Gatlinburg. The moonshine is 100 Proof, not quite as high as the illegal shine. Definately worth buying a few jars to have around the house when you entertain.

What are the most popular Gatlinburg attractions?

Posted by David  
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Want to know some of the popular Gatlinburg attractions to enjoy during your vacation in the Smoky Mountains?

There are a lot of Attractions in the Smoky Mountains!  I’ll just go over a few of the popular ones.  In the future I’ll discuss them in a more detailed review. Read more

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Road Trip

Posted by David  
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Situated on both sides of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park still remains the most popular national park for every road trip planner. Attracting over nine million adventurers and sightseers every year, it is the most visited national park in the United States. This summer, grab your gear and head off to the massive Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Planning your summer road trip will make you realize that there are so many things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You would most certainly want to experience all of them. The size of the park might pose as overwhelming, but the Smoky Mountain Heritage Driving Tour will surely help you discover the park at your own pace on a self-guided automobile tour. Take your time driving yourself around to seek out landmarks, mountain culture and heritage, the captivating aura of the neighborhoods and, of course, the history of the Smoky Mountains.

If you are looking for a unique way to wander around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then the English Mountain Llama Trek is perfect for you. The llama treks also allow you to move at your own timetable as you are welcome to arrange them for varying lengths of time. You have the option to choose a trekking trip with a picnic or even an overnight stay at one of the cabins and/or campgrounds affiliated with English Mountain Llama Trek. Children six years of age and older can join the treks as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
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Ski Ober Gatlinburg

Posted by David  
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If you’ve flipped on the TV to the news channels in the last 3 days I know you’ve seen story after story about the massive snow storms plowing through the east coast of the United States. Cities are reporting double digit snowfall in just hours, in fact Washington D.C. has been shut down completely for the last two days. It’s just been insane.

But it’s not just the major cities on the east coast getting slammed… mountain destinations are being hit too. It sucks for people who live there but is awesome for vacationers looking to hit the slopes! Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials say Mt. LeConte got 14 inches new snow for a total depth of 27 inches. Ober Gatlinburg ski area is located pretty close to Mt. LeConte so you know they’re getting tons of snowfall too.

Ober Gatlinburg has eight skiing trails and three chairlifts. They also have a multi-tracked snow tubing slide that is great for kids and families.

Here are some pictures taken from Ober just a few days ago. If they don’t convince you to strap on those snowboard boots then I don’t know what will.

Great Smoky Mountains Wilderness Week

Posted by David  
Filed under Things to do, Wildlife

The Great Smoky Mountains are home to an amazing array of wild animals and some of those most beautiful vistas in the United States. We share the Park with black bears, deer, elk and more. Wilderness Wildlife Week in the Great Smoky Mountains begins Saturday, January 9th 2010 – it’s an annual event that pays tribute to the National Park and to Mother Nature in general.

Locals and visitors come to the Park every time this year to celebrate this precious place. About 150 experts — rangers from the National Park Service, biologists, botanists, nature photographers, animal rehabilitators and Smoky Mountains residents — donate their time to present lectures, classes, photography shows, musical performances and demonstrations.

Wilderness Week is a free event and runs through January 16. Most of the activities can be found in Pigeon Forge, but there will be signs of celebration all throughout the park. It’s important to remember how scared the Smokies are and we shouldn’t take them for granted.

Snow Storm Slams Smokies

Posted by David  
Filed under Sightseeing, Things to do

Over the last 4-5 days the Great Smoky Mountains have been blasted with snow: 10-30 inches in some areas. The ski resorts are loving it, but the casual travelers might not be as happy. Sure we all love seeing snow on the ground, but not if it gets in the way of your vacation.

The Great Smoky Mountains have had so much snow over the past few days that certain roads are restricted and trails are closed. Even Cades Cove, the most visited part of the Great Smokies was closed. There was a lot of ice out there making it very dangerous for people who are not accustomed to traveling in those conditions.

Check it this picture from Newfound Gap, it looks nothing like the photo I posted back in October.

So go and enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains this winter – it is truly a blessing to have this much snow so early, but please be careful when traveling and site seeing.