Little River Road

Little River Road just outside of Gatlinburg offers some of the area’s best natural attractions. If you’re going to be in the Smoky Mountains, or if you’ve lived here your entire life, Little River Road offers people a way to really immerse themselves in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers a glimpse at why millions flock to the area every year.

Here are just a few of the more popular destinations located along Little River Road. Take a day and pull the car over, explore the area. This is the Smokies at its best.

Laurel Falls

The moderate 2.6 mile trail to Laurel Falls is one of the Park’s most traveled. The trail divides the waterfall in two. At the top, Laurel Branch bursts from a grove of rhododendron, or “laurel” as it was called by early settlers, and falls nearly 50 feet to collect in a pool perfect for soaking tired feet. The falls continues on from that pool for about 35 feet before reaching the bottom.

Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area

Once a family farm, Metcalf Bottoms is now a large picnic area with plenty of space along the river. As Little River Road was being built, the Metcalf family often brought fresh spring water to the many workers. The National Park Service remembered the favor by naming the picnic area for them.

Little Greenbrier School

Just a mile through the forest from Metcalf Bottoms lies the Little Greenbrier School. This charming 19th Century schoolhouse evokes the simpler education of years gone by. Built from logs split up to two feet wide, the school also served as a church from 1882 until the Park’s creation. The original benches and desks still line the room, along with a lectern and a painted blackboard.

The Sinks

Located just 1.5 miles east of Metcalf Bottoms picnic area, The Sinks are a combination of hydraulic rapids and deep pools. Folklore tells of how a logging train once derailed and plunged into the Little River at this spot. It was never found as the bottom could not be reached. Thereafter, this spot was always referred to as “The Sinks.”

Townsend “Wye”

A local favorite for years, the Townsend “Wye” is the meeting point of the middle and west prongs of the Little Pigeon River. This broad, peaceful curve is ideal for swimming and the smooth, grassy banks are a perfect spot for spreading a blanket. Over the years, this has become a popular site due to its accessibility — one mile south of Townsend and seven miles east of Cades Cove.


Once known as Tarpaper Camp (for the covering used on buildings), Tremont was one of three towns built by the Little River Lumber Company. Tremont became a logging boom town in the Southern Appalachians during the 1920s. The company town once consisted of a store, post office, hotel, doctor’s office and a church/school/theater building. Today, the area is primarily used for ranger facilities and educational research.

6 Reasons to Visit Ober Gatlinburg in the Summer

For over 50 years, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort has been a staple in the area for family-fun activities. However, the fun found here isn’t limited to only during the winter. In fact, you may be surprised by all the exciting things to do you can find there during the summer as well. Continue reading “6 Reasons to Visit Ober Gatlinburg in the Summer”

Let Big Cabins take care of your Large Group Retreat

Big Cabins can accommodate your church, business or family retreat.

Whether you’ve got a family reunion, corporate event, church retreat, or just need the space, there is only one place in the Smoky Mountains capable of handling large group needs in a grand setting…. that’s Big Cabins.

With a name as a large as its reputation, Big Cabins is the place for large, luxury cabin rentals in the Smokies. Big Cabins offers more than your average Tennessee chalet, or cabin rental service. Big Cabins specializes in the more sought-after spacious, large group cabin rentals that are often described as alpine lodges. No matter the size of the group planning a Smoky Mountain vacation to East Tennessee, Big Cabins has the perfect chalet fit.

The stunning large group cabins available are most often used for group retreats such as corporate retreats and family reunions. Church groups and youth groups also find the cabins provide the perfect setting for some inspiration time away their normal, everyday setting. Big Cabins can comfortably accommodate any group retreat with cabins that range in size from 8-12 bedrooms. A friendly and courteous customer service staff can also help make the planning of each group retreat as simple and painless as possible. Need assistance with reservations in establishments in nearby Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge? We’ve got you covered. Is catering a requirement for your group gathering? We can arrange for that too. From the smallest detail to the largest, Big Cabins is ready to ensure that your group retreat – whether it is a corporate retreat, family reunion, or other group gathering – is a success for everyone involved.

For those using the cabins for corporate purposes, some cabins even feature a state of the art audio-visual system and ample furnishings so that your company presentations come off with professionalism, style and class. There is research to suggest that picturesque, mountain settings are ideal for rewarding, relaxing, and inspiring company employees. Your staff is sure to appreciate the lengths Big Cabins goes to in order to accommodate their stay. And the picturesque backdrop of the surrounding Smoky Mountains will only add to the creativity of your company gathering.

If it’s a family reunion you’re planning for, Big Cabins is equally equipped to maximize your large group experience. Bringing family together (near or far), it makes sense to do so in a relaxing, peaceful setting. No place meets those standards better than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the surrounding region. You’re sure to come back from this East Tennessee setting with numerous mountaintop memories that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. Add to that, the fine detailing of the interior of these large group cabins and the exquisite furnishings guarantees that your family reunion will take place in a setting of absolute lodging luxury.

So why not let the staff at Big Cabins take care of your Smoky Mountain vacation? We’ll set you up with a large and luxurious mountain chalet that is suited to the needs of your particular group. Each of Big Cabin’s grand lodges is equipped with ultra-modern stainless steel kitchen facilities, amply loaded games rooms, extravagant bedroom furnishings, wrap-around hard wood decks with an on-site Jacuzzi, and much, much more. The combination of each cabin’s impressive functionality and rustic beauty make these Tennessee mountain lodges a true luxury getaway for your family reunion, group retreat, or church or youth group retreat.

Smoky Mountain Winery

If you’re in Gatlinburg shopping for wine, be sure that the Smoky Mountain Winery is on your itinerary.

If you’re in Gatlinburg shopping for wine, be sure that the Smoky Mountain Winery is on your itinerary. Over the years, the winery has become as much of a Gatlinburg destination as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or Best Italian restaurant. Dry and sweet wines line the walls, each straight from their own vintners. Be sure to take part in a tasting while you’re there and stop by the gift shop to grab your favorite wine before you leave.

The wine selection at the Smoky Mountain Winery is eclectic and will appeal to the staunchest of wine enthusiasts. For the oenophile, or the true lover of wine, it’s very easy to find that perfect wine. Dry wines make up the entirety of one wall while another is sweet and semi-sweet wines. The Mountain Red and the Mountain White are semi-sweet wines that have tremendous flavor, but aren’t too heavy. As for sweet wines (blackberry, sangria, strawberry, etc.), Smoky Mountain Winery hits the top the mark in this category. Their sangria hits just the perfect note and all without having to make it yourself. With just the hint of wine and bursting with flavor, it’s truly the perfect dinner wine or a wine to savor with desert.

Not up on all the flavors, types and styles of wine? Don’t worry. The Smoky Mountain Winery staff is eager to find you the bottle of wine to go along with your tastes. They’ll even let you taste the wine before you buy it. It’s their job to explain why the wine tastes the way it does. And it’s almost a given that they know the perfect meal to accompany your selection.

And don’t forget to stop by the gift shop for any needed wine accessories.  From wine glasses to decanters to wine tools, everything that has to do with wine can be found in the gift shop.  Hand-painted wine glasses to match your décor, wine stoppers of your favorite football team and even a wine glass holder that will hang around your neck if you need a hands-free wine experience are all available and make for great gift ideas.

The Smoky Mountain Winery is located in Winery Square.  If you are headed to Gatlinburg from Pigeon Forge, turn left at traffic light No. 3.  Follow highway 321 for half a mile and then turn right into Winery Square.  The winery is at the top of the hill.  Just make sure you take the time to go in and explore the winery itself while you’re shopping.  Go for the wine, but talk to the staff while you’re there.  You’ll know more about wine than when you arrived and have a great time at the Smoky Mountain Winery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to boot.

FREE, and Fun Things To Do in Gatlinburg

Whenever someone says FREE, you can bet that a few ears will start perking up. When it comes to the word “FREE” and Gatlinburg, look out! With so many people coming into town on vacation each year, you can do quite a lot of business by just offering up something for free, or a free gift when you leave, or a buy one get one free.

There are so many FREE offerings in downtown Gatlinburg that many people don’t even consider, or even know about. The next handful of paragraphs mention just a few of the fun, FREE things to do on your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, specifically Gatlinburg.

Take a stroll with your family down the Parkway. There are more than 200 unique shops, dozens of restaurants, and attractions for all ages found here. From homemade taffy pulling to caramel apples being dipped, the list goes on. Experience the world’s largest underwater aquarium tunnel at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, or ride America’s largest aerial tram to Ober Gatlinburg ski resort. There is plenty to do downtown.

The eight-mile Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community loop is the perfect way to introduce yourself and others to Smoky Mountain crafts. You’ll see the artisans themselves in their own shops whittling, carving,  sewing, weaving and sculpting all kinds of materials into masterful works of art. This is the largest group of independent artisans in North America gathered in one place. We’re talking about close to 100 shops, studios, and galleries.

How bout a Smokies auto tour? The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail includes stops at a number of historical sites including the Noah “Bud” Ogle family homestead. The Roaring Fork Cemetery is also highlighted on this tour, as well as the remains of a village that supported some 24 families in the Smoky Mountains more than 150 years ago. It’s an 8-mile adventure through the heart of the Smokies. You’ll also pass, and be able to stop at a number of trailheads along the route if you’d enjoy a Smoky Mountain hike to break up the trip.

The Smoky Mountain gem known as the Greenbrier is located just a few miles from downtown Gatlinburg. This area provides for a number of outdoor activities in the Smokies like tubing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, or just sitting back and taking in the area’s natural beauty. The Ramsey Cascades Trail Head can be found here. It’s one of the more popular and picturesque Smoky Mountain waterfalls.

Another great way to take in Gatlinburg is from the two overlooks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Countless people have come here over the years to take that perfect vacation photo of town. It’s also a popular place to watch the sun rise. So grab your cameras and head up to Gatlinburg Overlook and enjoy the view!

If you’re planning on being here during the summer, enjoy the Smoky Mountains Tunes & Tales festival. Meet characters, hear mountain music and learn about life in the Smokies on the streets of Gatlinburg. Enjoy storytellers, musicians and cloggers performing along the Parkway every evening during this annual summer time event!

Some of the Area’s Hottest Shopping Destinations for Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sales!

Numerous After Thanksgiving Sales are happening right outside Gatlinburg Friday.

Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tn, has quickly become known as a shopping destination that offers a wide range of Smoky Mountain merchandise as well as national brands at outlet centers and one-of-a-kind art and quality antique galleries. This Thanksgiving, some of the area’s most popular shopping destinations offer Thanksgiving night and After-Thanksgiving sales, making this a great time to get some shopping done in the Smokies.

Another popular Sevierville shopping destination, Smoky Mountain Knife Works, will open its doors with great deals on knives, kitchen accessories and bakeware.

Bass Pro Outdoor World will also offer lots of great specials.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is conveniently located just off Interstate 40 Exit 407 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Within a day’s drive of over half the nation’s population, Gatlinburg is annually visited by millions of people who enjoy the shopping, attractions, restaurants and shows this quaint town has to offer.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is one Gatlinburg’s premiere attractions, part of the Gatlinburg skyline and helps ring in the New Year in the old town.

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is one of the premier attractions in Gatlinburg.  It is also a part of the Gatlinburg skyline and something that people look for in this busy little mountain town.  The Space Needle has become a landmark but it has also become its own destination with plenty of attractions to offer visitors.  The Space Needle is a perfect stop on your trip to Gatlinburg.

In 1970, The Gatlinburg Space Needle became the second highest tower in Tennessee, and though the tower has slipped to the 5th tallest, it is still bringing in lots of visitors each season.  Since 1970, the Space Needle has become more than part of the scenery.  It has become a landmark and people use it to place other businesses in town.  If you are looking for Bubba Gump’s, people are going to tell you to head toward the Space Needle.  Plus, people use it to point people to the center of town.  Add to that the fact that people hover around the Space Needle at the end of each year for the New Years Eve ball drop and the fireworks and you will recognize that the Space Needle is engrained into the mind set of visitors and locals alike.

One of the best things about the Space Needle is the view.  Once you have gone to the top of this 407’ tower, you have a 36 degree view of the surrounding area, including Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The ride to the top is accomplished in a glassed-in elevator so even the ride up is nice and scenic.  While you’re at the top of the tower, make sure to work that camera so that you can impress your family and friends back home with the spectacular view behind you.

While you are at the Space Needle, take in some of the other attractions around town as well.  Play Lazer Tag in the arcade (named Arcadia) with the whole family.  You can also learn more about Gatlinburg and the mountains that surround it while you ride in the elevator in their newest attraction called Higher Learning.  This system teaches you about the Smokies and Gatlinburg through a multimedia experience.  The good folks at the Space Needle also offer live entertainment in the form of a hypnotism show starring John Dee.  This show is full of comedy and hypnotism and plenty of family fun.

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a tradition in the Smokies.  Not only is it a part of the skyline of the Gatlinburg, you are also going to be involved in a lot of extra attractions that they have in their venue.  Ride to the top of the elevator, view the town, take some pictures but make sure that you don’t leave without a trip to the arcade or taking in one of the shows.  The Space Needle is a stop that you have to make at least once when visit Gatlinburg in the Smokies.

Space Needle
115 Historic Nature Trail Rd
Gatlinburg, TN

Top 5 Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals

Top 5 Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals, see if you agree, or let us know what you think.

So it’s time to start looking at summer or fall vacation ideas and you’ve decided that a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains is just what the doctor ordered. You’ve decided to book a Smoky Mountain cabin. To make sure it’s a great trip, a bit of careful planning in so far as the type of cabin that best suits you and your family could really make or break the getaway. Here are our top Gatlinburg cabin rentals. Jot a few down, or just keep this link handy when planning your trip.

Approximately 9 million people came through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last year. Many hiked or biked, or even camped, then drove home. A good portion also booked a stay overnight in a Gatlinburg luxury log cabin rental. These cabins are top of the line rentals that look and seem like you’re staying in someone’s mountain home. The views are the first thing guests usually gravitate to, but after that the amenities take over. Theater rooms, pool tables, video gaming systems, and hot tubs are just a few of the many amenities that have guests returning to the Smokies year after year booking the same cabins. They want to relive their first stay, and can you blame them. Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain log cabins are a thing of beauty and just another reason why people come back to the Smoky Mountains.

Without further ado, here are our Top 5 Gatlinburg cabin rentals, and some of their features:

  1. Gatlinburg Cabins Online – Situated in the hills and mountains surrounding Gatlinburg, these cabins overlook the old town, Ober Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium, and many other attractions. From secluded cabins to cabins for large groups, Gatlinburg Cabins Online offers a number of rentals depending on your needs.
  2. Sugar Maple Cabins – Sugar Maple is one of the premiere rental agencies in the Smokies. These Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg cabins are located throughout town in a variety of resorts and locales. Sugar Maple also offers a number of secluded cabins, pet-friendly cabins, and large group rentals.
  3. Majestic Mountain Vacations – Like Sugar Maple, Majestic’s cabin properties are spread out all across Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevier County. You’ll find cabins that back up to a mountain stream and some that situated away from other rentals so as to preserve your getaway’s peace and tranquility.
  4. The Preserve Resort – The Preserve Resort is THE resort if you’re looking for 360-degree, panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains. The cabins at the Preserve offer a number of amenities from hot tubs to pool tables and everything in between. Once you stay at the Preserve, you’ll never want to leave the resort.
  5. Legacy Mountain Resort – Another luxury log cabin resort located atop one of the area’s most scenic ridges. The views from Legacy Mountain Resort are jaw-dropping to say the least. Each cabins features its share of amenities and a view to match.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

If you are looking for a different kind of auto tour while you are in the Smoky Mountains, why not try Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (RFMNT).   Roaring Fork is located above Gatlinburg so it is easy to get to and it is a completely different experience than visiting areas like Cades Cove and Cataloochee.  Whereas those areas were valley communities, the Roaring Fork community was a mountain farm town.

The people that made their homes in the Roaring Fork area were a hardy bunch.  Instead of choosing the easier life in the valleys –Cataloochee and Cades Cove – the people that settled these areas were looking for homes in the woods on top of the mountains.  They built their community along the streams where the rushing water could be harnessed and used to power water wheels that would grind grains and help with cutting lumber into usable boards.  They had full service farms that were designed to keep their family going but they also had other industries that keep them busy during the off times of the year.

Today, you can ride through this history filled area of the Smokies.  You get to pass, cabins and other structures that once made up this community.  You even get to see a tubmill.  The tubmill is driven by the flow of the water on a horizontal wheel instead of the more traditional, vertical wheel.  The tubmill was a more efficient form of water power and it was easier then having to build a water chute.  These tubmills were located in many of the communities around the Smokies and there are still several in the boundaries of the GSMNP that visitors can visit and admire.  This, in and of itself, is worth the trip along this auto tour but you also get to see plenty of waterfalls and cascades.  In fact one of the most popular cascades areas in the national park is known as the Place of a Thousand drips and it is located near the exit of this one way road.

To find RFMT, head to Gatlinburg.  Drive along the Parkway until you find Historic Nature Trail Road.  If you have been coming to the area for quite a while you will know that this road used to be known as Airport Road.  Turn onto Historic Nature Trail road and head up the mountain.  You will pass the Space Needle and other Gatlinburg attractions as you go up the hill.  Once you come to a stop sign, you will go straight across his road and follow the signs and Cherokee Orchard Road around the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.


Magnet-O-World has closed. The information below is maintained for historical purposes.

If you have been to Magnet-O-World, you probably never thought you would walk into a store that looks like the front of your grandmother’s fridge.  But that is exactly what Magnet-O-World looks like.  Magnets cover ever surface and are stuck to everything metal in the store.  Boasting more then 100,000 magnets, your might find yourself drawn through the door.

The good folks that run Magnet-O-World, do posses a certain magnetism.  They have stocked their store with magnets of every shape, size and variety imaginable.  They have also taken the time to cover the walls with metal so that they don’t have to have shelves and racks to put their merchandise on, they just stick them straight on the wall.  The sight of all the magnets and the fact that they are literally making up a mosaic on the walls, makes this retail store a destination when you are walking the Parkway through Gatlinburg.  Magnet-O-World is located very near traffic light 7 in Gatlinburg, so it is minutes from many of the hotles and motels in town and you are going to pass it at some point so head inside.

One thing that want polarize the visitors to Magnet-O-World is the cost.  These are magnets, everybody has a fridge in their house.  And some of the people in your life are stuck on magnets.  They collect them, they love them, they want them and Magnet-O-World has them, this is an easy shopping trip to fill in all those people that you need to get a souvenir for.  The magnets are themed for the Smokies.  The magnets are divided into different sections – movies, tv, art, nostalgia.  You will find magents for those people that are hard to buy for and if you are just needing something quick to remind you of the best trip you ever had to Gatlinburg, TN then Magnet-O-World might be one place that literally has everything you could need for those loved ones you left at home, all in one place.

Make a trip to Magnet-O-World.  Pick up something to remind you of your trip to the mountains.  Pick up something to remind your friends of the fun time you had.  Get pulled into Magnet-O-World in downtown Gatlinburg.

Magnet O World
738 Parkway #3
Gatlinburg, TN