Need someone to plan a weekend for you since you’re going to be in Gatlinburg on an upcoming trip? Let us take care of the heavy lifting then. Her at Inside Gatlinburg, we’ve got your Smoky Mountain weekend planned out and broken down in sections. Now, let’s begin with a Saturday morning breakfast.
Saturday Breakfast: Pull up to a table at the Log Cabin Pancake House. There’s no better place for breakfast in the Smokies. You can get enough stacks of pancakes there to get you up Mount LeConte and back down before lunch.
9 am: What isn’t there to do at Dollywood? As far as theme parks go, it’s one of the fasting growing in the country with new rides and attractions opening on a yearly basis. Experience the new Wild Eagle winged coaster, or cool off at Dolly’s Splash Country water park right next door.
Lunch: If you don’t want to stick around Dollywood, historic Old Mill Square is located close by in Pigeon Forge. Their Pottery House Cafe and Grille offer some wonderful and delicious lunch options. From their fried green tomato BLT to their freshly made pies or cakes, there’s something tasty for everyone at the Old Mill.
1 pm: Stick around and look through the Old Mill, purchase some freshly ground cornmeal, or some of the many other mill-produced wares. Next door at the Pigeon River Pottery you can even watch the potters make the plates you just ate your lunch off of.
3 pm: One of the best ways to take in the magnificent views of the Smokies is by one of its newest attractions – Wonders of Flight at WonderWorks. It’s a tethered hot-air balloon that rises 400 feet in the air over Pigeon Forge at Wonders of Flight. Afterward, if you’re looking for a back way into the park, take Wears Valley Road (traffic light No. 3) in Pigeon Forge, make a left at Lyon Springs Road, and follow it into the park to the Cades Cove loop.
Dinner: Ya gotta make a stop at the Hard Rock Cafe while you’re in town.
Nighttime: Take a right out of the door of the Hard Rock and enjoy the parkway in Gatlinburg. Numerous, shops, restaurants, and other attractions stay open late so there’s a lot to choose from. Make a night out of it!
Sunday Breakfast: The Donut Friar located in the Village Shops is up and at ’em at 5 am Sunday morning with some of the finest baked treasures in the Smokies. It’s a “MUST STOP” in Gatlinburg.
8 am: Get into the Smoky Mountains at Sugarlands Visitor Center and take the Sugarlands Nature Trail nearby. There’s also the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail Loop (www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm), complete with historic cabins, wildlife, and waterfalls, which is definitely worth a look into.
Lunch: Try Smoky Mountain Brewery on the Parkway and take your pick of burgers, steaks and some of the best micro-brewed beers at Smoky Mountain Brewery.
2 pm: Stop by the Nantahala Outdoor Center (www.noc.com), it’s an outdoorsmen’s paradise. You can find almost anything you’re looking for when it comes to getting into the great outdoors at this massive outfitter. The NOC has all the gear you need, provides guided trips, and all the information on products and services you could possibly need or ever want.
Dinner: Celebrating 75 years in 2013, Buckhorn Inn is a Gatlinburg classic (built without electricity!). The four-course, prix-fixe dinner menu changes nightly. Thankfully, the sunset view of Mount LeConte does not.