Friday, October 31, 2008

32nd Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade Dec 5th 2008

It's hard to believe that it's just 5 weeks until the much anticipated Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg TN. It is scheduled for Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 7:30pm in downtown Gatlinburg.

There will be more than 100 parade entries including marching bands and giant helium balloons. Santa’s Autograph Party starts at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Riverbend Mall at Light #3 in front of the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. The parade begins at Traffic Light #1A on Hwy 321 and lasts about 1 hour-and 1/2 later at Traffic Light #10.

Be sure to arrive early since a ton of people are expected to be there for the festivities during this second phase of Gatlinburg Winter Magic, the City of Gatlinburg’s popular holiday lights program which is receiving a $1.5 million expansion.

To learn more about these and other events in Gatlinburg, call 800-56-VISIT (568-4748) or visit the Gatlinburg website at

Why not come and spend the weekend for this spectacular event, check out these great cabin rentals around the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area.

Bring the whole family to start the holiday season in Smoky Mountains!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Follow Smoky Mountain Travel Tips & Get All The Updates!

We love the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. They truly hold a special place in our hearts and we want to share that with all of you.
We try to bring you interesting news and information about Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Wears Valley, Townsend, Cades Cove, Bryson City, Dillsboro. Sylva, Cherokee and all of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

We would love to hear from you about your favorite restaurant, attraction, show, hiking or fishing spot around the Smokies. Please share your stories with us, email me at
NOW, we want you to keep up with all of our updates by following our Smoky Mountain Travel Tips blog - just click Follow this Smoky Mountain Travel blog and you will get all the updates. Be part of our Smoky Mountain Followers !

Rainbow in the Smokies photo by c. gilliam

Fall Is In The Air And On The Trees In The Smokies

I am thrilled to have somewhat of a Smoky Mountain expert giving us a fall color report from the NC side of the Smoky Mountains this week. Bob and Tonya Williams live in this beautiful area and have cabin rentals and the yummy Dillsboro Chocolate Factory !

Fall is in the Air and on the Trees in the Great Smoky Mountains

By Bob Williams

Fall color is really starting to abound in the Smokies the final week of October. Predicting fall color is somewhat a science and somewhat an art.

Leaf color change is influenced by shortened days as the calendar turns to September and October, temperature of the season, moisture over the growing season. All these play a role in the timing and intensity of the fall colors on hardwood trees. We have had a warm fall until this week with temperatures plunging into the 20s and in the higher elevations and some valleys received nearly 3 inches of snow on Tuesday morning!

Historically fall colors peak in the Smokies around the 2nd or 3rd week. However, the ongoing drought in the Southern Appalachians could be having a positive side effect with prolonged fall color seasons.

Last year here in the Dillsboro/Sylva/Bryson City area we had fall colors on the oaks well past Thanksgiving with intense reds. Perhaps this year we will see the same. Fall foliage will likely be at peak come this week and into next week based observations from my driving around the area.

Up on the Blue Ridge Parkway above 5,000 feet fall is almost finished, but below 5,000 feet and into the valleys fall is going strong. So, if the predictions made in magazine articles and other places got you thinking about fall colors being past their peak? Think again and perhaps take a drive to the Smokies over the next few weeks and experience a cool crisp Smoky Mountain Fall.

Bob & Tonya Williams
Welcome to Smoky Mountain Time!
Luxury Vacation Homes in the Smoky Mountains

The Dillsboro Chocolate Factory & Espresso

Smoky Mountain Photos by Bob Williams

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Zip, Zip, Zip The Wahoo Zipline near Pigeon Forge TN

Are you up for a new, exciting way to view the Smoky Mountains? IF so, check out the new WAHOO ZIPLINE, near Pigeon Forge TN. This is not only an absolutely thrilling ride, you even have an amazing view of Mt LeConte.

Age does NOT matter, if you are between 70 lbs and 275 lbs, you can try this exhilarating zipline ride! The Wahoo Zipline in Sevierville, TN offers 5 single zips and 1 dual zip, total 10,000 feet. They are conveniently located just outside Pigeon Forge and just a short drive from Gatlinburg.

I recently blogged about my birthday zip near Boone NC at the Scream Time Zipline. We had a blast, I think it's about the closest thing to flying you can get. I can't wait to try the Wahoo Zipline in TN. You can get more info on Wahoo's website or call 1-877-924-6621

Check out this awesome YouTube video instruction from Wahoo Zip Line -Sevierville TN, Gorgeous views, very long zip over the trees !

See Beautiful Smoky Mountain Fall Color On A Llama Trek

Sandy Sgrillo owns Smoky Mountain Llama Treks near Pigeon Forge TN. Her company does hiking treks all over the Smokies with her professionally trained pack-llamas.

The Llamas are easy to lead(not ride). They carry all your hiking gear, lunch, etc so you can enjoy your hike through the Smokies.

Sandy kindly shared this great fall color report a week or so ago from the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Check out Sandy's report and photos.

Fall Leaf Report by Sandy Sgrillo - Smoky Mountain Llama Treks Sunday 10/12/08
Hiked up to the Mt Cammerer Lookout Fire Tower today(this restored 1930's fire tower is the last of it's kind in the Smokies)..
..was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS! If I die tomorrow, it will be OK, because today I was half-way to heaven......

Took Low Gap up to the Appalachian Trail(a constant 5 miles UPHILL...just about killed me)....colors at the top were unbelievable! They're peaking up there now......

At the Tower, it was extremely windy and chilly, upper 50's, but just beautiful. We had lunch inside and spent time walking the catwalk...

Hey locals....if you can, get up there in the next few weeks or you'll miss out!! And for you out of staters...get your butts up here!!!! I'm so lucky to live here. (THANKS Sandy!!)

Folks, IF you hurry you can still see some beautiful fall color around the Smokies. Some of the higher elevations have lost their leaves but there's still color around.
If you don't make it to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area in October, November offers less traffic, it's much easier to get around and the lights of the Pigeon Forge Winterfest kickoff on November 6th with lots of fun activities!

Try our spectacular cabin rentals near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, some are even pet friendly with approval. Plan to take a Llama Trek with Sandy while you are there !! You will get a whole new perspective of the Smoky Mountains.

Smoky Mtn photos by Sandy Sgrillo

Thursday, October 09, 2008

News From The Smoky Mountains!

Fall is here and the color is starting to show in the Smokies. You still have time for a trip to the Smoky Mountains to see the beautiful fall foliage.

You can keep up with the changing fall colors through several Smoky Mountain Webcams and Podcasts here at NPS.

Here's a new way to keep up with all the news around Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Cherokee and the Park. Raymond Owens has a new website about his beloved Smokies called He and his wife Veronica honeymooned in the Smoky Mountains years ago and they have loved the area ever since. I know what he means, I love those mountains as well !

Raymond's website not only has links and info about the area, he also does a BlogTalk Radio Show on his website. He interviews interesting people with all kinds of news about restaurants, attractions and festivals. His show today was sponsered by Dave & Phyllis Baseler with Smokies Rent Direct Cabins and Raymond interviewed Dave to find out how he came to own and rent cabins in the Smokies. They also chatted with some representatives from Dollywood and Pigeon Forge.

Go Smoky has some very informative shows about Asheville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Townsend, Cades Cove and much more. He will be doing his live show from Cherokee tommorrow so be sure and tune in or catch it later online at He loves to hear from listeners also, you can call in to share your own Smoky Mountain memory.

Here are a few other great links:

Check out all these beautiful Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals available to make your trip the absolutely best ever, some are even pet friendly.