Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past several months, you're probably already aware that a rare astronomical event will have a major impact on East Tennessee next week – August 21, to be precise. That's the day that much of our region will experience a total eclipse of the sun, and portions of East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains lie in the path of totality – that is, the zone in which the sun will be totally obscured as the moon passes between it and the earth. And when you consider that the last total solar eclipse viewed from the contiguous United States was in 1979, you can see how this will be a rare event indeed.
When you hear the Ripley name in connection with the Great Smoky Mountains, the first thing you probably think of is Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, located in downtown Gatlinburg. But that's not the only place where this legendary entertainment company brings in tourists by the thousands every week. In fact, the company operates eight different attractions in the Smokies – seven in Gatlinburg and one in Sevierville. This week, we'll point out Ripley Entertainment's other local ventures, any of which would be the perfect complement to our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains.
Sure, you'll discover great reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee any time of year. But if you still haven't made it to the mountains yet in 2017, you may actually find there are a number of benefits to having waited this long. And if you decide to make the trip in August specifically, you'll discover at least five of those benefits:
If you were to sit down today and start planning a shopping spree in the Great Smoky Mountains, chances are that outlet malls would be one of the first destinations to spring into your mind. After all, outlet malls are practically synonymous with the Smokies. You'll find the biggest ones in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, and with multiple retail outlet centers and hundreds of individual stores at your disposal, it's hard to pass up substantial savings on name-brand merchandise of all kinds.
If you're planning a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains this summer, chances are you've spent some amount of time trying to decide how you're going to fill your days and nights. There's so much going on around here that sometimes, we know the prospect of choosing only a few options for your vacation itinerary can seem daunting. Where does a person begin?
Last week, we introduced you to many of the theater shows in the Smokies that don't necessarily cater to country-music audiences. After all, there's probably a perception out there that Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville offer only country music fare on their theater stages. That's true to an extent, but as we showed last week, folks who don't care for that country twang can still find lots of entertainment options in this area.
In addition to the Smoky Mountains, outlet mall shopping and awesome family attractions, our area is known for its music theaters. More than a dozen venues in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg offer an even greater number of live shows, with show times scheduled morning, afternoon and evening, depending on the theater. Like the music-theater community in Branson, MO, the Smokies' showplaces are definitely skewed toward the country end of the music spectrum as well as close-cousin genres like bluegrass and gospel music.
This is a topic we try to cover at least once a year and for several reasons. First, black bears are an iconic symbol of the Great Smoky Mountains, so they're one of the main sights visitors hope to catch a glimpse of when they're in the national park. Also, as the bear population grows and the number of park visitors grows each year, it's inevitable that man and bear will cross paths at some point, so it's important to know how best to handle those encounters.
You don't have to drive far up or down the Parkway in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville to find food. Hundreds of restaurants that cater to all types of cuisine and all price points dot the main roads of the Smokies, which should be no surprise, considering that eating out is one of the perks of being on vacation. Cooking is usually one of the top things that folks enjoy taking a vacation FROM.
Why do people enjoy ziplining so much? The most obvious answer is that it's a whole lot of fun. That's a given. But that's not the only positive thing to be gained from hanging out with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. This week, we'd like to offer you a little insider insight into some other benefits of ziplining you might not have thought about.