What do you do when you live in Ohio and spring break comes along? You go to Gatlinburg, TN! With warmer weather and beautiful views, we knew that after last’s year stay at Gatlinburg Falls Resort we would want to visit this beautiful area again. And like last year, we had a fabulous time.
With so much to do as a family from hiking, attractions and shopping we were never ever bored. That being said, we were strategic as to what we did so that we could maximize our time together and add to all the great things that the area has to offer. We can’t wait to visit again!
Gatlinburg Falls Resort
This year we were yet again hosted by Gatlinburg Falls Resort. While our cabin was different than last year, we truly enjoyed every inch of space a luxury cabin provides. We made our own breakfast and lunch each day and then ventured out for dinner. The cabin gave us such freedom to explore the area with it’s location while also giving us a fantastic home base to relax.
Now that we’ve stayed at Gatlinburg Falls Resorts for two years, there’s a few things that I feel very confident in sharing with you as to why we would stay there again and again.
- The resort cabins are impeccably clean. Both years we’ve stayed here I have been very impressed by the fact that the bathrooms, hot tub, kitchen and the bedrooms are very clean to the point where it feels like no one has ever stayed there.
- The location is prime. We love that our cabin is tucked away from it all with magnificent views. However, we were a short jog into either Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. Not to mention, we were just a short drive from the Smoky Mountains National Park.
- The view. You’ll probably hear me mention this more than once, but if you’re going to venture to this area of the country you want to wake up to a gorgeous view – and that we had.
- The game rooms in our cabins. We love to have some down time each afternoon for the kids to recharge – and to avoid not over-doing it. Let’s be honest, my husband and I need a little downtime as well. The game room is the perfect cabin perk for our two boys (and my husband). It’s a treat for them to get to play games like this since we really limit their screen time at home. The game room makes our vacation just that much more special.
- Free coupons. We took full advantage of the coupons that are provided as part of staying at our cabin. You can see a list of what’s available here.
Cabin Tour Gatlinburg Falls Resort
Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge
I mentioned we were strategic during our stay, and that we were. We typically planned our day with a big activity in the morning. We would come back to our cabin for lunch and then take a few hours to recharge. In late afternoon we ventured back out for more adventure and exploration.
Here’s a a few of our favorite (and not-so favorite) places we visited this year.
- Laurel Falls – This waterfall was on our radar last year, but we decided to visit Cataract Falls instead. We’re so glad we visited this very popular hiking location. Laurel Falls was truly breathtaking and I felt like our boys (aged 7 & 9) were the perfect age for this hike. They enjoyed it as much as we did. It’s pretty spectacular to get the views and a waterfall like we did with only a 1.3 mile hike one way. We arrived around 10am and I recommend getting there in the morning between 9am and 10am to avoid a lot of the crowds.
- MagiQuest – We did our research and decided to visit MagiQuest as our big splurge attraction this year. It was a lot of fun and was such a unique experience. Plus, for the cost of the attraction we also were able to play mini glow golf and go through the mirror maze. The mirror maze was difficult and we had to work together to get out. The entire attraction was a great deal in our minds and the wands we bought to play served as the boy’s souvenirs. I highly recommend getting there when they open so that there are less crowds to enjoy this attraction.
- The Christmas Place – This was our second year visiting the Christmas Place. We picked up our family ornament for the year again. In a time when I’m trying to get away from the cold and snow, it still is such a sweet and joyful place to visit – even if it reminds me of December.
- Tanger Outlets – We won’t be visiting the outlets again. It was super crowded and we really didn’t find that great of deals. We visited on our way down since it was raining, but now we know. (And so do you.)
- Lodge Outlet – In contrast, I really enjoyed the Lodge Outlet. As a big fan of cast iron, I wanted to buy all the things. The best deals were the seconds that looked great to me. I walked away without any of it, which was a big practice in self control.
- Pigeon River Pottery – I’ve thought about these hand made bowls for a year and the regret I had in not buying them last year. I made it a point to visit this store again, and bought the bowls I’ve been dreaming of. You’ll probably see them filled with a soup recipe sometime in the future.
- Gatlinburg – This year we ventured to downtown and parked. We walked along the street and thoroughly enjoyed stopping in the different shops.
- Herbert Holt Park – Our last evening we wanted to get outside but we were also exhausted from our Laurel Falls hike. After an early dinner we went to the park and spent a few hours there. It was perfect and the boys found some friends to play football with.
- Antique Shopping – I visited a few antique stores along Wears Valley Road in Pigeon Forge while the boys enjoyed some downtime back at our cabin one afternoon. I brought a few things home from the Antique Mall and thoroughly enjoyed the old house of Yesterday’s Antiques.
Favorite Places to Eat in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge
- The Donut Friar – Donuts again from this amazing place after walking around downtown Gatlinburg. Worth every single penny.
- Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina – My husband said he had the best fajitas of his life. This restaurant had really delicious food and was located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. It was the perfect spot for dinner.
- Three Jimmy’s Restaurant – Our last night we went back to our favorite from last year. Yum! That’s about all we have to say about it.
- Beer, Wine & Liquor Superstore – After Three Jimmy’s we stopped and grabbed a bottle of wine and I absolutely fell in love with the fresh look to this store. I met the owner and enjoyed talking to him about his new location. We’ll definitely be back.
- Kilwin’s Chocolate – After our walk along downtown Gatlinburg we enjoyed ice cream from this little store. It was delicious!
The best part of visiting the area is the memories we made as a family. This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. My oldest decided to test the temperature of the water. It was cold!
What a beautiful place to visit with so many things to do as a family. It was hard to pick out pictures to share with you with so many great ones! This is downtown Gatlinburg on our trip home after spending the evening walking around downtown.
But to come home to a view like this from our cabin?! I mean, it’s breathtaking and makes enjoying the area that much more special. You know I love my sunrises and sunsets and our view did not disappoint. I enjoyed reading my book out on our big porch and watching the colors of the mountains during the sunset. What a beautiful area of the country and Gatlinburg Falls Resorts provides a great location with a view. We can’t wait to visit again.
Gatlinburg Falls Resort is operated by Venture Resorts. They are the largest cabin rental agency in the Smoky Mountains so they have over 400 cabins to choose from no matter the size of your family. Amenities vary by cabin, but include things such as Jacuzzi tubs, pool tables, game rooms with arcade games and so much more!
I was hosted at Gatlinburg Falls Resort at no cost to me in return for a review. Guys, go check them out! While the opinions I shared are my own, they are amazing and we cannot wait to go back. You can see our exact cabin we stayed at here.