Friday, January 4, 2013

Tips on Traveling to the Great Smokies -- Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg & Sevierville

The Great Smokies region of Eastern Tennessee offers visitors a wealth of exciting activities, and plenty of 
 Pigeon Forge cabinsSevierville vacation rentals and Gatlinburg vacation rentals to choose from. Whether you're looking for shows and shopping or hiking and biking, there's something for everyone. You simply won't regret planning a trip to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or Sevierville.

All three communities are near each other, connected by US Route 441, otherwise known as The Parkway. The Interstates running into the area are I-40, I-75 and I-81.

The Great Smokies are great to visit just about anytime of the year. It all depends on what you want to do, and your definition of a vacation. Like any popular area with vacation rentals and cabins, you'll find high seasons and low seasons.

May might be the best time of the year to visit the Smokies. The weather can still be pretty spring-like (rain), but you're also going to get a good number of great weather days. Enough people book vacation rentals and cabins to keep attractions, restaurants and activities not just open, but hopping. However, it's not nearly as busy as the summer months, so you should have your pick of whether they're on a quiet secluded lake or in the middle of all the action.

The end of August and September are similar to May in that the crowds will have peeled away. The weather will be of the late summer, early fall variety, which is certainly nice.

Naturally, the summer months -- June, July, and August leading up to school -- are the busiest in the Great Smokies. They can also be the most expensive, but vacation rentals, vacation cabins and condos are all still pretty affordably priced in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg, when compared to other vacation destinations.

October picks up with the fall colors, which extend into November. Timing a trip for fall colors can be tricky, so be sure to speak with your vacation rental's property manager or owner when booking. As Thanksgiving approaches, you'll find people booking Turkey Day getaways, so plan early. Christmas and New Years are also busy.

Dollywood's the major entertainment attraction in the area, located near many Pigeon Forge cabins. You'll find amusemetment park rides such as roller coasters (be sure to check out the Thunderbird, a wooden roller coaster), water rides, live stage shows, themed shops, demonstrations of 18th century crafts such as glass blowing and blacksmithing, and endless supply of food, desserts and beverages. Dollywood Splash Country is made up of several dozen water slides, a 25,000 square foot wave pool, a lazy river and more.

While there's plenty to do in Gatlinburg (shops, restaurants, and attractions such as Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies), it's the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so it lends itself to people looking for something other than a huge, manmade theme park. After spending a day or two at Dollywood, be sure to check out the many outdoor activities near Gatlinburg--hiking, horseback riding, skiing, whitewater rafting and much more. At night in the summer, you'll be entertained by one of nature's delights, synchronized fireflies. These glowing insects put on a remarkable show that people come from miles to see.

Sevierville has plenty to do and see as well. Check out the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo, Forbidden Caves, NASCAR Speedpark and much more.