Hey, y’all! So sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve posted. With moving Jon into our new place and general wedding planning… I have been just a tiny bit busy. Nonetheless, I am super excited to share my weekend trip with my family to Tennessee from late July! So come along and join me in recapping the perfect little summer getaway.
After a quick drive (5ish hours) through Kentucky and Tennessee (and one spicy chicken biscuit later), we arrived! We immediately parked in downtown Gatlinburg and I lowkey ran to get some lunch. My family loves to get Mellow Mushroom and sit on the balcony so that we can see the whole street!
We then spent most of the rest of the afternoon popping in and out of shops. I, of course, had to stop and get some cider at a new place that just popped up downtown (see left). Then some of the others stopped and got some cookie dough. I think it’s safe to say that we consumed our own weight in desserts that day.
Despite the heat, I still managed to find an animal to cuddle (you have to squint… but there’s a reallllly cute puppy in my arms). After eating a donut at the Donut Friar (if you know, you know), we stumbled into a few more shops that were either our favorites or ones we had yet to visit.
Next stop: adventure time. My mom found this amazing company called “Rowdy Bear” that has mountain coasters and gliders. Did I feel my life slip before my very eyes? Absolutely. (I promise I’m not being dramatic, I truly think mountain coasters should be illegal.) It was horrifying and my body was swung around like a ragdoll, yet I still had fun and would totally do it again. I highly recommend it if you like to stare death in the face (okay, now that’s drama).
We started off our day mini-golfing in 95-degree heat. As this weekend was the weekend the entire world (for the most part) had a massive heatwave, we were still dripping in sweat at 10 AM. We nonetheless had an absolute blast. I got my first hole-in-one ever in mini-golf and I was very excited (even though I still lost). Afterwards, we ran to get frozen custard at Rita’s and then had lunch at the Old Mill (go and check it out… best and coziest food in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area). Then came back to the hotel for some swimming. It started to rain while we were in the pool, so we hid inside playing Phase 10 until the rain eased off. I absolutely love this calm, unscheduled parts of our family vacations. They always tend to happen at least once and they put me in the coziest mood.
Last but not least, we explored The Island in Pigeon Forge. It’s essentially a huge tourist shopping, eating, and attraction center. From a massive Ferris wheel to a Paula Dean restaurant to a store with literally just parrots in it… it’s a place you simply have to visit. I love coming here to find random trinkets and interesting soda flavors you can’t find anywhere else. We ended our night here with the best campfire queso around.
Our last day had fewer photo ops but was still just as amazing. We started off our morning on the roof of the hotel, relaxing and catching the beautiful views. We packed up our bags, checked out of the hotel, and headed to the Tanger outlets. I love shopping a little too much so the outlets are always a dream. We made one final stop at the Applebarn. One of my best and sweetest childhood memories is coming here every year and walking along the property with my family. We stopped in for apple cider donuts and cold apple cider and then began our drive home. x
It’s been a bit since I’ve done a travel blog and I was so excited to share it with you all! My next travels are actually not too far off from Gatlinburg… I’m going to Asheville, NC with Jon the week we get married!!! I’ll be back with another blog post next week! Stay tuned. x