Davy Crockett Mini Golf

Everybody loves to play miniature golf.  In Gatlinburg, one of the most popular mini golf locations is Davy Crockett Miniature Golf.  Located right off the parkway, there is plenty of parking, free parking, and you are out of the press of downtown Gatlinburg.  Add to this that it is one of the most beautifully made and creative mini-golf locations in Gatlinburg and you are in for quite a treat.

Davy Crockett Mini Golf attempts to tell the story of legendary hero of the Tennessee mountains with the help of an all-critter cast.  From Davy, in this case a fun loving raccoon to the rest of his mountain home friends, you will be amused and your children will be delighted by the antics that these animals get up to.  From shooting cannons to creating water sluices, the animals have been placed around the golf course to add obstacles and to create an atmosphere of fun and adventure around the course, or in this case, two courses.

Both of the courses (36 hole sin all) are challenging and fun.  The obstacles range from water hazards to hills, from wavy bumps meant to make it hard to putt to holes that are not visible from where you start.  Ripleys (yes, the same folks that run the Aquarium) have made this one of the neatest golf courses you will ever play on.  And, unlike many other attractions and activities in Gatlinburg, you don’t have to park and walk for a long time to get there.  There is a parking lot for Davy Crockett Mini Golf guests right next door to the golf course itself, so you aren’t paying extra to park but, it is not far down the street from some of the hotels and motels so you are always welcome to walk to Davy Crockett and enjoy the nice stretch of the legs on your way to play with the family.

Next trip you take to Gatlinburg, make sure that the Davy Crockett Mini Golf is part of your itinerary.  Get the family together and hang out in the great outdoors.  Spend some time challenging the kids.  Play both courses and take in the playful antics of the critters that tell a story about Davy Crockett as you make your way around the courses.  See who can win the game and then, when you come back year after year, play again and again, wait for that day when your kids finally win and then you can reflect on that first game you played with the Davy Crockett raccoon watching from the sign.

Davy Crockett Mini Golf
188 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN

Mount LeConte

Mount LeConte is the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 6,593 feet in elevation, just behind Clingmans Dome and Mount Guyot. However, it is the tallest mountain in Tennessee measuring from its base to its tallest peak at 5,301 feet. And there’s is no spot in the park as talked about or sought out around the Gatlinburg area as LeConte.

It has four subpeaks – West Point (6,344 ft), High Top (6,593 ft), Cliff Tops (6,555 ft), and Myrtle Point (6,200 ft) and is also widely known for LeConte Lodge, the highest inn providing lodging for hikers in the Eastern United States.

When discussing the LeConte name, it’s still of great debate which LeConte family member the mountain is named in honor of. Joseph Le Conte, famous geologist, gets many a nod, especially from those in his field. Still, some like the authors of A Natural History of Mount Le Conte, believe Joseph’s older brother John Le Conte, a physicist at South Carolina College, is the rightful honoree. This claim says that Samuel Buckley, in respect to John’s help in moving his barometer to Waynesville, North Carolina, named the mountain in honor of his friend for the aforementioned good deed.

The mountain didn’t see much activity until the 1920s though. Paul Adams, an enthusiastic hiker and explorer, spent a good dose of his down time creating his own adventures in the Smoky Mountains. The Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association, a group dedicated to establishing a national park in the region, was an interest he set his sights on in 1924. Adams actually led an expedition up the mountain after joining the association with big-wigs from Washington, in order to show them up close the beauty the mountain possessed. They spent the night in a large tent which eventually became the LeConte Lodge – a cabin now, and a popular stop and lodging point atop Mount LeConte. It was a rousing success as nearly a decade later Mount LeConte was included in the establishment of the Smokies as a national park.

Mount Le Conte is made up of Late Proterozoic rocks; mostly metamorphosed sandstone, siltstone, shale, and conglomerate formed over 800–450 million years ago and lies in the Appalachian Blue Ridge geologic and physiographic province. Years of erosion and weather events have given the mountains in the region a distinctive sloping feature. Southern Appalachian spruce-fir left over from the last Ice Age cover the mountain’s peaks and upper slopes.

Gatlinburg – Looking Ahead to an Exciting Year

This might be getting little ahead of things with the holiday season not even having peaked yet, but once the decorations are put away and all the gifts have been wrapped, gifted, and returned, Gatlinburg is looking at quite a 2013 in terms of events, etc. once the ball drops on the parkway.

Following New Years, visitors can still take part in the town’s Trolley Ride of Lights and see the sights downtown by way of one of the old town’s beautiful trolleys.

By January 1, things are usually in full swing at Ober Gatlinburg and it looks to be that way again this year with the snow tubing area having already opened and slopes scheduled to open December 7. This early scheduled opening is thanks in large part to some new snow making equipment that has made it possible to start making snow in less than perfect weather conditions. Follow that up with Ober’s biggest event to start the year – the Tennessee Winter Special Olympics. It’s a chance to cheer on some very talented people and enjoy Ober Gatlinburg at its finest.

A few short months later, Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Springfest begins in earnest with decorations, events, and other Spring-like happenings. It’s a great time for a hike in the Smokies. Get out your nature books and enjoy all the wildflowers springing up everywhere.

Two of the bigger events to begin the year are the annual Easter Arts & Crafts show and the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. The Great Smoky Mountains Arts & Crafts Community puts on a terrific craft show every spring that brings in crafters and buyers from all over the country. Typically held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, isn’t a show that’s not to be missed. For crafters, it’s a show that’s never the same as new items appear every season.

As far as the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage goes, this 60-plus year tradition is the perfect event for the botanist in all of us. Through seminars and guided tours, come listen to some of the country’s foremost leaders in fields of botany and gardening. These tours showcase the multitude of wildflowers, plants, ferns, mosses, trees and shrubs, as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians that call the Great Smoky Mountains home.

Pucker’s Sports Bar and Grill

Looking for the night life in Gatlinburg?  Look no further then Puckers Sports Bar and Grill.  Great food and good times take center stage at Puckers and they are not only for locals that have made this their favorite hangout, tourist and visitors alike are welcome to spend the night hanging out with the great staff at Puckers.  They will make you feel at home.

The Food

Puckers might have the best comfort food in Gatlinburg.  Burgers, fries, wings and more.  All of the selections are Puck-Tastic and some are very punny.  Here are just a few of their offerings:

  • The World Famous Gatlinburger – A 5lbs burger, yes, you read that correctly, a FIVE pound burger.  It is one of those massive menu items that if you eat the whole thing in the prescribed amount of time.. they pay for it and you get a t-shirt.  This isn’t just a huge burger though it is really good.  Get it and share it with the whole table.
  • Pucked Up Fries – Seasoned fries topped with chili, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, sour cream and scallions.  Big enough for meal but great to share with fiends.
  • Fried Dill Pickels (“Pub” Pickles) – delicately fried and fantastic.
  • Chicken Wings – These are available with several different sauces:  applewood smoked, mild, hot, oriental express, ranch, honey BBQ, teriyaki, chipotle honey BBQ, garlic, Carolina mustard or Real Puckin Hot.

The Drinks

Puckers is a full service bar.  Get that after dinner drink or enjoy beers from the top.  Puckers runs specials every night, whether it is a special beer for the evening or some other drink.

Puckers has become a destination for people returning year after year.  Their menu is fun and full of comfort food, their bartenders are excellent and ready to get you something cold to drink.  The atmosphere is more then just a typical bar, they allow you to let your hair down and get a crazy or just sit around and have a good time.  Play pool, play darts, sing karaoke or just have a good time hanging with friends.

Puckers Sports Bar and Grill
745 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN

Christ in the Smokies

If you have ever taken River Road in Gatlinburg, you might have noticed a place called Christ in the Smokies.  This museum is a wonderland for people wanting to learn more about Biblical history and experience the Bible stories in life size dioramas.  Combining the museum with a beautiful garden area and the magnificent face of Christ chiseled into marble makes the Christ int he Smokies museum and Gardens a special attraction when you visit Gatlinburg.

The main attraction at Christ in the Smokies is the life-size figures that tell the story of Christ in stark detail.  You will get to stand before a full-size version of the Last Supper, be present for the miracles and of course stand directly in front of the manager during the nativity.  You will get a sense for the personhood and the humanity of Christ as you see Him depicted with people, standing among people and working with them and form them.  There has been great attention to detail and you can see the faith of the people that created the exhibits shine through.  You will feel that you are walking along with the disciples as you walk through the museum.

Along with the main part of the museum, telling the story of the life of Christ, is the garden at the center of the museum.  The garden contains one of the most amazing pieces of art work that you will ever see.  In the center of the garden is a a marble depiction of the face of Christ that seems to follow you as you walk from the right to the left.  Of course, this is just an optical illusion and a tribute to the skill of the artist that chiseled the face out of the stone but it is still amazing to walk from one side to the other in the garden and see the face seem to turn to follow your path.  Many people of spent many of hours watching the reactions of the people as they encounter the the Face of Christ for the first time.  It is a truly powerful and moving experience, especially after leaving the museum itself.

When you are done with the main parts of the museum tour, the dioramas and the gardens, you will be able to take in the gift shop and the exhibit of coins and gems form the Holy Land.  Every visit to the Christ in the Smokies Museum brings you closer to your faith and you will find something more each time you visit.  The Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens is easy to find.  It is in the middle of Gatlinburg in River Road.  If you are on the Parkway, headed toward the GSMNP, go to the SkyLift and take a right.  When you come to the traffic light at the bottom of the hill you will be facing Christ in the Smokies.

Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens
510 River Road
Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg Trolley Ride of Lights

Gatlinburg’s Trolley Ride of Lights tour takes visitors on a guided tour of the old town’s lighted Christmas displays.

Information on this page refers to the 2012 event.

Start out the holiday season on the right foot and enjoy Gatlinburg’s lighting spectacular with a fun tour through town. Gatlinburg’s Trolley Ride of Lights is the perfect way to jump start the holidays and really take in the old town’s Christmas magic.

With the holiday season really kicking into gear, trolley rides will continue through the month of January, departing at 6:30 p.m. each Saturday (except on December 2, 24 & 25) at the mass transit/trolley center at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies with additional tours at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and be sure to call 865-436-0535 for reservations.

The Trolley Ride of Lights is a chance to soak up every last bit of Gatlinburg’s holiday spirit as the trolley winds its way through streets decorated with garlands, wreaths and the occasional elf. The 45-minute tour is completely narrated so that no one will miss that oh so elusive display just around the corner, or the place you keep meaning to drive by, but have simply forgotten.

Cruise along Gatlinburg’s River Road taking in the one-of-a-kind LED lighting display. This latest lighting endeavor has a price tag of $1.6 million. You’ll notice newly-designed sections reminiscent of evergreens, winter forests, and romance. Bright lighting displays will align Hwy. 321 as well.

The whole lighting program itself was updated just a few short years ago to quarter-watt LED bulbs, replacing the 5-watt incandescent bulbs the program used to run on. This update saved the town nearly 95 percent in energy costs. It also allowed Gatlinburg to run the program for 120 days on what would have only covered 3.

Like in years past, you’ll pass by displays featuring Smoky Mountain creatures like deer, squirrels, foxes, and rabbits. You’ll also notice that many older displays that you might recognize as a child over the past 23 years have been updated as well. LED lighting now adorns Gatlinburg’s snowmen, dancing fountains, and a shiny rocking.

So don’t miss the trolley ride of lights, and make sure you’re waiting at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza Saturday night at 6:30, 7:30 or 8:30 p.m. and enjoy the lights!

Reservations are encouraged as the ride typically sells out.

For additional holiday events check out Gatlinburg’s Calendar of Events for a complete list of Christmas festivals and additional things do around Gatlinburg during the holidays, as well as Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas in Pigeon Forge.

Gatlinburg City Parks

Gatlinburg has 3 city parks with pavilions, sports fields, restrooms, fishing streams, and other various outdoor amenities.

What? You thought the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the only park in Gatlinburg? Well, you’d be surprised how many people actually believe that to be true. In reality, Gatlinburg is home to three large city parks that get quite a bit of traffic.

Whether it be kids playing on the playground, a game of football, or maybe a large church group, Gatlinburg’s parks have a number of uses. Each city park has a covered pavilion which large groups, families planning a reunion, and church groups can reserve for outings. Each of the covered pavilions are FREE to Gatlinburg residents to for such gatherings.

For those who live outside of the Gatlinburg city limits who wish to reserve a pavilion, there is a fee. At Mynatt and Mills Park, it’s $25 for up to 4 hours of pavilion usage, usage over 4 hours is $35. At Herbert Holt Park, up to 4 hours of usage is $35, and over 4 hours is $45. Anyone interested in reserving a pavilion can call the Gatlinburg Recreation Department at (865) 436-4990. Fees must be paid prior to using the facility.

Herbert Holt Park (right)
Herbert Holt Park is located just off the Parkway on Pigeon River Road in Gatlinburg and include:

    • Children’s fishing stream
    • Handicap access fishing pier
    • Covered pavilion
    • Picnic tables
    • Playground area
    • Horseshoe pits
    • Walking trails
    • Sinks & grills

Mynatt Park

Mynatt Park is located on Asbury Lane and includes such amenities as:

    • Children’s fishing stream
    • Tennis courts
    • Covered pavilion
    • Baseball field
    • Basketball court
    • Playground area
    • Horseshoe pits
    • Picnic tables
    • Grills
    • Restrooms

Mills Park
Mills Park is on Mills Park Road just off Hwy 321 in Gatlinburg with:

    • A 9 hole Disc Golf course
    • 400-meter track
    • Skate park
    • Football field
    • Softball field
    • Basketball court
    • Jogging trail
    • Covered pavilion
    • Playground area
    • Picnic tables
    • Horseshoe pits
    • Sinks & grills
    • Restrooms

Coffee & Company

Coffee & Company is a great little coffee house in the Village Shops in Gatlinburg. Choose from over 50 different coffee varieties.

Tired of the whole Starbucks scene? Want a place with over 20 years of experience in brewing the finest cup from locales the world over? Make a note to stop by Coffee & Company next time you’re in downtown Gatlinburg and enjoy coffee from some of the finest growing regions including Africa, Costa Rica, and Panama.

There’s just something to be said for that first cup of coffee in the morning…. And what better way to get your morning started than a stroll down to the Village Shops in Gatlinburg for a cup at Coffee & Company. What looks like a quaint little store is anything but. Choose from an array of coffees, over 50 varieties, and buy a cup or pick out a bag of your favorite beans for consumption at home. Flavors like Black Bear Blend, Guatemala Antiqua, Le Conte View, and Smoky Mountain Mist highlight the shop’s straight blend category. They also have a number of flavored coffees like Almond Joy and Chocolate Truffle as well as seasonal favorites like pumpkin spice, Kentucky bourbon, and blueberry crumble to name a few. Vermont Maple, which is back, is a personal seasonal favorite for us.

Being that Coffee & Company is located in the Village in downtown Gatlinburg, there is plenty of outdoor seating. You might also stop by if you get a our cupcake or muffin craving, to go along with your gourmet fresh roasted coffee.

The purveyors of Coffee & Company, describe their brewing business as a small batch coffee roasting house, thus ensuring that each customer gets the freshest and highest quality coffee around. Currently, 12 ounce bags of straight and blended coffee are now $10.99, exotic straights & blends are $11.99, and all flavored & decaf coffee is $11.99 per bag.

Can’t make it back to Gatlinburg for a cup or bag? Visit Coffee & Company’s web site and place an order online and have their coffee shipped to you via secure order form here.

Coffee & Company at The Village
634 Parkway #13
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 430-3650


Arrowmont school of arts and crafts is one of Gatlinburg’s treasured institutes. Arrowmont celebrates 100 years in the art world this year.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg is a national center for art education. It’s for anyone who wants to take advantage of its tools and step up their art education. In all, Arrowmont offers one- and two-week courses for the beginner to advanced artist. All workshops are taught by national and international studio artists and university faculty – each with years of experience to lean on.

Arrowmont is located on a 14-acre residential campus in Gatlinburg, TN. For residents of the Gatlinburg community, Arrowmont offers a series of weekly classes. These classes and workshops include instructional courses in books, ceramics, drawing, fiber, metals/jewelry, mixed media, painting, paper, photography, warm glass, wood-turning, and woodworking.

Come by and visit Arrowmont’s campus whenever you would like, they’re open year round. Peruse artwork by artists the world over in Arrowmont’s five galleries. These galleries are continuously changing exhibits and evening presentations are the norm most weeks. In terms of research and study, the Marian Heard Library and Resource Center includes print and electronic materials and work is always on display from Arrowmont’s permanent collection. Art supplies and tools for students can be purchased on campus at the Artist Outfitters Store as well.

Arrowmont’s Artists-in-Residence Program provides for five early-career artists during a year-long residency. Continued programs of study and various community talks bring artists, art educators, and others to Arrowmont’s studios where they discuss and critique issues and trends in the art field.

Area schools have benefited greatly from Arrowmont over the years. A program called ArtReach, a partnership with Sevier County Schools, gives 1,000 students from grades 4-12, an in-depth, full day art workshop at Arrowmont each year.

This year, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts marked its 100th birthday as an art education center. While Arrowmont’s formative years were based on a general education curriculum in a settlement school setting, mountain handicrafts soon found their way to the school’s halls. This came about in order to preserve the skills and livelihood for residents who lived in a more agricultural environment at the time. Arrowmont’s signature summer workshop program was launched in 1945 and the school welcomed people from all over the country who were interested in furthering their art education against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. Today, more than 130 classes in contemporary art and crafts are offered throughout the center’s seasonal sessions.

Arrowmont operates Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 4 pm. Hours expand to seven days a week during the spring, summer and fall workshops programs. During winter classes, the galleries, resource center and the book/supply store are also open extended hours.

Arrowmont Map

White Water Rafting in the Smoky Mountains

Get inside information for your white water rafting Tennessee adventure! Find out the best places to go whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg, TN and the surrounding Smoky Mountains.

In the mood for a little excitement? Why not try a little white water rafting while in Gatlinburg, TN? Thanks to the Pigeon River and its untamed mountain waters, you and your entire family can enjoy the thrills and exhilaration of riding the high waters! Whitewater rafting in Tennessee is the perfect adventure for a family vacation, honeymoon, family reunion, youth retreat, corporate outing, conference, etc!

There are several outfitters in Gatlinburg that will guide you through the entire process of taking a rousing rafting trip along the river. Guided whitewater rafting tours make the excursion safer and more fun, and there are several different classes of rapids to explore for every age and experience level. Whitewater rafting in the Smokies is a perfect family adventure, and a great way to not only see the mountains but become a part of them!

Safety is number one when it comes to whitewater rafting. You will be fully prepared by experienced guides in what to wear, what to bring, and how to react in certain situations on your trip. You can also expect to be asked to sign a release form for you and every member of your rafting party. If you do want to experience a white water rafting trip during your stay in Gatlinburg, make sure that you contact an outfitter well in advance, so that you can book your trip for the most convenient time for you!

Here are some of the more popular white water rafting companies in Gatlinburg, TN and the Smoky Mountains:

Rafting in the Smokies
PO Box 592, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(800) PRO-RAFT
(865) 436-5008

White Water Rafting – Smoky Mountain Outdoors
453 Brookside Village Way
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

It is a very good idea to be prepared when you arrive for your Tennessee whitewater rafting excursion. That includes being dressed properly. Be prepared to get wet! That means you should not wear clothing that will be too heavy, such as jeans or wool. Also, do not wear flipflops or crocs shoes, and certainly don’t try to go barefoot! Water shoes and other lightweight, secure footwear are required. Don’t wear any loose jewelry, and don’t try to bring your camera, unless it is waterproof!

Once you experience whitewater rafting in Tennessee one time, it will be in your blood! It’s thrilling, refreshing, and fun for the entire family! If you are planning a trip to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, a smoky mountain white water rafting trip down the Pigeon River in the Great Smoky Mountains will be an unforgettable experience!