Some surprise news about Winterfest this year as reported by WVLT.com:
“SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) — Sevier County leaders announced they’ll delay the start of Smoky Mountain Winterfest this year.
The three cities have decided to hold off turning on the 15 million winter lights until later in November, not the first week as they’ve done for the past 29 years.
City leaders said this comes after many businesses wanted to enjoy fall a little longer. Many businesses argued that they spent a lot of money on fall decorations and wanted customers to enjoy them longer.
Pigeon Forge’s Director of Tourism said the change comes because fall lasts longer.
“Over the last two years, you’ve had fall decorations and winter decorations, sort of sends a confusing message. So the three cities got together and decided that we would be better off pushing the lights back,” said Leon Downey, City of Pigeon Forge tourism director.
Pigeon Forge said they will have a community celebration in December, and does not plan on a Winterfest kickoff event this year.
The holiday light display ends sooner as well, Winterfest will end just after Valentine’s Day in 2020.
Winterfest lights: November 22-February 17
Pigeon Forge community celebration will be on Dec. 5 at the community center.”
Who would’ve thought Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales would become a tradition in Gatlinburg? Maybe not that surprising considering tradition is everything there is to the event – when Tunes and Tales is going on, the night turns back the calendar some decades and allows …
Of the many things we have coming in and opening up in May, probably the one we’re most excited about is the new SkyBridge in Gatlinburg that will be opening on May 17th! This new attraction is a huge pedestrian bridge from two mountain peaks offering views of the mountains that only birds got to see beforehand, and not only that, but this bridge is now the longest pedestrian bridge in the United States of America!
Here’s what CNN.com had to say on it:
“Here’s something to cross off your travel bucket list: A walk across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the United States.
The SkyBridge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, stretches 680 feet across a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains and opens to the public on May 17. If you’re afraid of heights, you might want to steer clear. The bridge has glass-floor panels in the middle that allow you to see the ground 140 feet below. The bridge is part of Skylift Park, which features a chairlift that takes passengers up five hundred vertical feet from Gatlinburg to the top of Crockett Mountain.
After the bridge opens, visitors will be able to step off the lift at the top to walk across the bridge and enjoy the views. The chairlift costs $15 per adult and $12 per child. There is no time limit for crossing the bridge, according to the park’s website. Visitors will be able to take Instagram-worthy photos and soak up the view of downtown Gatlinburg and the surrounding Great Smoky Mountain National Park.”
See CNN.com’s full article at https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/gatlinburg-suspension-bridge-trnd/index.html.
See the official website for the SkyBridge at https://www.gatlinburgskylift.com/skybridge.
Many of our guests ask for recommendations on restaurants in and around our area, so we’d like to take this article to showcase some of our favorite restaurants just a short drive from us in Gatlinburg! We’ll section it out by restaurant type to aid in decision making:
* What’s Your Favorite Steakhouse in Gatlinburg? *
Man, there are many and all of them would be good, but the top of the line in our opinion is The Peddler Steakhouse in downtown Gatlinburg.
From their website:
“Located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg TN, The Peddler Steakhouse is literally built upon tradition. Families continue to return from one generation to the next. We invite you to start a new dining tradition with us. From our bountiful salad bar, to succulent steaks hand cut to order at your table and grilled over real Tennessee hickory charcoal, to our memorable desserts, no other restaurant can compare to the one of a kind dining tradition.”
New York Strip
Fresh Rainbow Trout
Marinated or Blackened Chicken
Grilled or Stuffed Shrimp
Signature Chicken Almond Soup
820 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite Pancake Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
Pound for pound, nothing yet beats The Pancake Pantry in The Village. This breakfast house has been a Gatlinburg icon for decades and you know it’s important when you often see a line to get in stretching around the building (though thankfully that’s not the case all the time or we’d never get in!) They serve a variety of pancake styles and flavors and have many other breakfast favorites as well.
From their website:
“Since 1960 when the Pancake Pantry became Tennessee’s first pancake house, visitors to Gatlinburg have made dining with us a tradition. What keeps them coming back? It’s the real butter, the honest-to-goodness fresh whipped cream and everything made from scratch. And it’s also the warm atmosphere of century-old brick, rich oak and rustic copper. Becoming a tradition requires a special quality, a commitment to excellence, a willingness to experiment, test and develop new dishes for your pleasure and delight, while retaining the favorites from years past. Whether you join us for an early breakfast, midday brunch or afternoon snack, your visits will be enhanced by fast courteous service and delicious food, all at a reasonable price.”
Cherry Supreme Crepes
Smoky Mountain Buckwheat Cakes
628 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite BBQ Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
Gatlinburg has no shortage of BBQ or BBQ restaurants, but for our top recommendation, we say Bennett’s BBQ on River Road just behind Ober Gatlinburg. It looks, feels and acts like the kind of BBQ restaurant you want when you REALLY want awesome BBQ in the Smokies. Good, casual atmosphere and very convenient to get to and out of.
From their website:
“BENNETT’S PIT BBQ serves meals that are moist, tender and packed full of flavor. Our pork ribs, chicken, pulled pork and beef briskets are basted in Bennett’s own special sauce. Then they’re placed over smoldering hickory wood & smoked for up to 14 hours! The heat & sauce penetrate deep into every layer of meat, turning it a perfect pinkish color while enriching every juicy mouthful with rich, smoky flavor. Since everyone likes different amounts of our mouth-waterin’ sauce, we serve it warm on the side so you can pour on as much or as little as you like. After you’ve savored the last bite, we hope you’ll agree that all the work we put into preparing your BBQ was well worth it!”
Bar-B-Que Pork Shoulder
Bar-B-Que Beef Brisket
Carolina Pork Sandwich
Spicy Brisket Philly
714 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite Italian Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
When we get asked about the Best Italian restaurant in Gatlinburg, we tell them to go to Best Italian Restaurant here in Gatlinburg! That is the name of our most famous and one of the longest-in-business Italian restaurants we have in Gatlinburg. It is located in the atmospherically pleasing Elk’s Plaza part of downtown Gatlinburg.
From their website:
“If you want to know what we’re all about here at Best Italian, just look to our name. We keep our title by sticking to the classics: golden garlic knots, traditional pizzas, creamy pastas, and our homemade strawberry cheesecake, just to name a few. Sure, we’ve taken some liberties with our signature dishes (just look at the size of our calzones), but at the end of the day, we know it’s our hearty, comforting flavors that keep our customers coming back year after year. So bring in the family and join us for a bite! We love getting to know the community that’s been so good to us for more than 40 years.”
Chef Paul’s Seafood Medley
Paul’s Red Clam Sauce Supreme
Linguini & Clam Sauce
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Tenderloin Tips Marsala
Suite #9 968, Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite Asian Food Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
Truthfully, and to some surprise, we only have one Asian food restaurant in Gatlinburg, but a reason for that is the restaurant is so good, we haven’t needed another one since the 1980s when they first set up! North China in Gatlinburg is a very nice dining establishment just down an ally between River Road and the main Parkway and serves made-to-order Chinese dishes with favorites and surprises.
They do not have a website currently, please use the information below to contact them.
639 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
North China Curry
House Red Curry or Green Curry Combination
Beef with Water Chestnuts and Snow Peas
Beef in Hot Szechuan Sauce
Chicken Chop Suey
Pork Chop Suey
Shrimp with Lobster Sauce
Lobster in Garlic Sauce
we hope this helps get you going on your Gatlinburg restaurant recommendations!
Each year, the Smokies is blessed to receive thousands and thousands of visitors who want to make our part of the region their holiday spirit destination. Many are return visitors who come each year or at least each year they’re able to, and many others …