Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gatlinburg In The Winter

For 20+ years, we’ve owned a time share condo in Gatlinburg, Tn, and we’ve only stayed in it 3 times. It’s the 6th week of the year and this is not prime time to be wandering around Gatlinburg - we just bought it to trade for vacations in other places. Our problem lately is that we space-bank it to trade, then we don’t get around to using it, so we decided to stay there this year.

If you’ve never been to Gatlinburg, it’s a shoppers mecca along with the requisite motels, restaurants, and tourist attractions plus being surrounded by the Smoky Mountain National Park. When we go, I can only stand a few days of shopping, so we usually take a shopping friend or two with us so Bev doesn’t have to go it alone when I’ve had it. Not only am I done shopping after a few days, I’m ready to go home, so we put together a little plan that worked out very well. Our power-shopper friend Kathy went up with us and spent the weekend, then Bev and I spent Valentine’s day alone – more on tomorrows post. On Tuesday I came home while Bev’s sister, Pat, and another friend, Charlotte, were driving up for the rest of the week. Pat watched the dogs while I was gone and I watched them the rest of the week.

It was beautiful weather for this time of year as every day was sunny with temps going from the mid 40’s on Saturday to predictions of near 60 by weeks end. While the ladies shopped, I people-watched and I can see how the restaurants stay in business, as thin people over the age of 25 were an anomaly, but since hardly anyone was carrying a shopping bag, I couldn’t help but wonder how the stores make it.

One of the things I do like about Gatlinburg is that most, if not all, new construction is done with an architectural style that fits the area with lots of stone, logs, and other woods. This is the Calhoun’s, where we went to lunch for fried green tomatoes and the Cherokee Grill next door – along with my two lovely companions.

This is back into the area containing the Old Smoky Moonshine Distillery, which is also of the mountain motif. We had to try their free samples of twice distilled and six times distilled moonshine (White Lightnin). The White Lightnin was smooth and easily drinkable, but the other stuff was pretty rough.

There is a small ski resort there and it is serviced by an aerial tram from downtown.  Bev and I spent many happy hours on those slopes 30 years ago.

The town obviously provides a good living to some folks.

I’m not sure why so many people go to Gatlinburg as most seem to be just walking the streets or cruising the Parkway.

One of the best things I saw was the number of folks in my generation walking along holding hands.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. It sounds like you had a great mini-vacation! So glad you finally used the time share...this way you got your money's worth!

  2. Well, it looks like a fun little spot. I've never heard of it and next to all the good recipes, that's my 2nd favorite thing about blogs...getting to see different parts of the country.

  3. Here in Kansas, we are a day trip away to Branson, Mo... reminds me of that.. including the seniors hand in hand.

    And who buys all that crap in all those stores???

    Ahh, the Bev's (and Jackie's') of the world

  4. Can't wait to read your part of the musical chairs style vacation! :) Living in a tourist destination, I can tell you that many of the stores struggle to stay in business. We are blessed with a strong and locally supportive "buy local" group and I try to do my part to shop locally for gifts and groceries.

  5. I have not been to Gatlinburg in years. Although, I love the scenery in the Winter, it is far too touristy for me.

  6. It sounds like you had a great time!

  7. We only went to Gatlinburg once. I'm just not crazy about all the crowds and traffic. Of course, we don't have a timeshare there, either. I see you had nice temperatures; there aren't any winter coats in your pictures!

  8. I haven't been in a long time but I loved it there. I went in the fall, and it was gorgeous.

  9. Looks like a great little place to spend the day....and the cute couples holding hands...awwwwhhh!!! :)

  10. I never understood the appeal of Gatlinburg either, I'd much rather be on the trails in the Smoky's than the streets, sidewalks, and shops.

  11. I would enjoy spending the day there! It looks like fun.


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