I met an old friend for a weekend of fun in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge! We made the most of the 1.5 days I was really there. It was anything but our first time, so we maximized by going straight to all the things we wanted (including trying some new things). We hit Dolly Wood (both mornings), Adventure Quest (new to both of us), the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride (she'd done it once before, but it was new to me), Dixie Stampede, Blaine's (our fav Gatlinburg restaurant), and even a little of the Smokey Mountain Nat'l Park.
One of the many gorgeous fall trees in the Nat'l forest
My friend and I have decided that it's much easier to explain Gatlinburg to people from NC/SC/VA. It's Myrtle Beach in the mountains. And that pretty much gets the idea across. It's a strip of road with wall-to-wall tourist kitsch shops, go-cart and fair-type rides, putt-putt, and cheap family-friendly restaurants. Just add tons of chapels and Bible bookstores. For all the peeps from other parts of the country, there doesn't seem to be a point of reference (or, because we're not from those parts, we have no idea what it would be!).
See! Upside down!
We had been to Wonder Works before, but wanted to go back because we had so much fun the first time. It is definitely designed for kids (at least, not for 28 year olds!), but we had a blast. It's all interactive learning activities, like Discovery Place in Charlotte (I know, another regional point of reference!). There was a climbing wall, an earth-quake simulator, a pulley experiment where you haul yourself up (easier on the seat with 3 pulleys than the one with only one), a sound room that demonstrates how the brain gives a 3-d sensation to sound, with only 2 ears. Basically, a ton of interactive, fun stuff for your inner child! Oh! and the entire thing was built to look like a mansion had fallen, upside-down, onto another house. I love that they even had a little upside-down UPS drop box.
What could be more fun than making giant bubbles?!
Black light Pirate Mini golf - need I say more?!
Yeah, these were the animatronics. Scary!
And of course, there's Dolly Wood! It's the thing to do in Pigeon Forge! It's country at it's best! People are nice, music is wholesome, and there are a ton of roller coasters! AND there's a birds of prey refuge/rehabilitation center. Basically, perfect family fun. So what if we don't have a family (well, we're not orphans, but we haven't started our won families yet)?!
*I am appalled that the blogger spell-check doesn't recognize the abbreviation ANTM! Best guilty pleasure ever! And yes, we were tempted to pose our way through it.