We had so much fun on our Gatlinburg trip last week! I was soooooo sad to leave. Even though I'm born and raised a Tennessean I had never been to Gatlinburg before so I didn't really know what to expect. Adam had been there many times so he knew all the fun things to do!
We stayed downtown so we could walk everywhere to all the fun sites. The first day we were there was a Saturday and there were some huge football games on - UT v. Bama and Ole Miss v. Texas A&M, so we watched both games at the local sports bar, Puckers. This bar is pretty fun so we ended up returning here several times during our trip. It is also really entertaining to talk to the locals here- and they have karaoke some nights here too which is HILARIOUS to watch.
After watching UT almost beat Bama, we went to the other sports bar next door which is called Hoggs Upstairs Tavern. Here we watched Ole Miss beat Texas A&M! This bar has a really cool porch to hang out on and here you can watch all the tourists below. Definitely check this place out also if you're ever in town:
The next day we went and rode the Sky Lift! It is a ski lift type ride that carries you from downtown Gatlinburg to the top of the mountain. It was pretty scary for me because I get scared of heights but it was worth it for the view! They took this funny picture of us too when we were in the air: (haha)
On Monday we went to the Gatlinburg Aquarium which was definitely one of the biggest highlights of our trip:
It is a Ripleys Believe It or Not Aquarium and it was definitely one of the very coolest aquariums I've ever been to. You get close up to the scary sharks, sea turtles, etc. and they swim right over your head.
They have areas where you can pet stingrays and fish, and also a really adorable penguin exhibit!!! The penguins all have name tags so you can see their names and watch the penguin families play and have fun! I could have spent all day in this aquarium because there is SO much to see! I absolutely loved it!
Another highlight of our trip, which we went to during our last night in Gatlinburg, was seeing the dinner show Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
It is a dinner show created by Dolly Parton-- and believe, me, it is a must see!! You first walk in and see a show in the saloon before seeing the actual dinner show. You enjoy your non-alcoholic beverages while watching a bluegrass show in the Dixie Belle Saloon:
After that you go into the Dixie Stampede stadium and watch the 2 hour amazing show while enjoying a 4-course dinner! The musical show is a competition between the North and the South, so each side of the audience competes with each other and the actors to win the Dixie Stampede title.
The most talented horses I've ever seen come out and jump through fire, do acrobats, walk on their hind feet, bow, etc! The men and women on the horses, dressed in civil war attire, dance, sing and do crazy stunts on the horses too! They will do handstands, etc. and you think they are really about to die during the stunt, but thankfully they turn out just fine!
You get to learn the names of the talented horses, and you get to meet them and the actors after the show as well.. I was so excited to do this because these animals are so smart:
Trained buffalo are also part of the act, and you even get to see a pig race!! The actors really encourage you to participate but it's hard to when you're eating at the same time:
Dolly recorded songs especially for the show and kids even are picked from the audience to participate. But remember- no alcohol is served during the show- and this is probably to keep the audience from getting out of hand and to keep the show family friendly. This show reminded me of a vegas show- it is a huge production and really entertaining - I promise you will be impressed if you go! They also have a Dixie Stampede in Branson, Missouri if you want to see it there.
Another fun thing to do in Gatlinburg is to walk around and see the Southern silliness! The downtown area really resembles a state fair (and I LOVE to go to the fair!) We made sure to get the foot long corndogs from the arcade downtown and to see the scary carnival rides and games:
There are so many other things to do but we ran out of time! Next time I want to go to one of their haunted houses, go to Paula Dean's restaurant, go to the Ripleys Believe it or Not museum, etc. Everyone here is SO nice and the town reminds me a lot of a mix between Panama City, Monteagle and Las Vegas if you can picture such a place! If you haven't been I really suggest going- it is a perfect trip for a family, a couple or just a group of friends!
What is your favorite thing to do in Gatlinburg? Please share below!