A June 2003 trip
to Gatlinburg by Muchmor
Quote: The beautiful Smoky Mountains--a lovely place to get married!
The log cabin was a recently built and very secluded, and came with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining area, and lounge. One side of the cabin was completely made up of windows, so the view into the wooded area around us was lovely (see pics). There was a log fire for winter nights (this area is a ski resort in winter), cozy sofa and chairs, satellite TV, dining table and chairs, and a fully-equipped kitchen. There were also a number of videos left for our use.
The main bedroom had a lovely, cozy double bed, a chest of drawers, and a large TV. There was a full bathroom with bath, shower, basin, and vanity area -– oh, and a toilet. All linens and towels were included.
Upstairs there was another bedroom, which overlooked the living room and had views out of the windowed wall. We decided to use this as our bedroom as it was so different. This room also had a bathroom -- no bath in this one, just a shower -– a very large one though (big enough for two -- I am led to believe!). It was lovely to sit up there at night and watch the sunset through the trees.
Three sides of the cabin had outdoor decking. The front had a BBQ and rocking chairs, the side a swing seat, and the rear a large private hot tub, table, and chairs. The hot tub was lovely to relax in! The front of the cabin had a large parking area. We were at the top of quite a steep drive and were glad to have hired a jeep; had we been in a normal car, we probably wouldn’t have made it to the cabin on the one day we had lots of rain.
As the cabin was surrounded by trees and mountains, we were also surrounded by wildlife, including lots of birds, some of which we saw, many we only heard. We also spent many an hour just watching the fire flies darting about outside with their bight-green lights.
If you are going to stay in this area, and I recommend that you do, you can do far worse than rent a lovely cabin like this one. It made our holiday all the more special and relaxed.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 18, 2003
Four Bears Getaway Cabin
About half way along the road is the turning for Clingmans Dome, this is similar to Look Rock (see Foothills Pathway review). There is a large car park and information point with map. You then climb a concrete pathway and get very out of breath (altitude 6,643 ft). Once at the end of the pathway you climb a concrete lookout tower which itself is 54ft high. I would suggest you take a bottle of water with you, as although initially the length of the walk doesn’t seem to bad – half a mile but the altitude and steepness really takes the breath out of you. This is the highest point in the Smokies and the view is great. However there is quite often low-lying cloud, which can obscure the view. We had this problem, but it is worth staying for a while as the cloud moves quickly, so one minute you can’t see a thing, the next you can see for miles. There are information boards at the top so you can pinpoint certain peaks etc. According to the official guide, on a clear day you can see for over 100 miles into seven states. Definitely worth visiting.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 23, 2003
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
Attraction | "Foothills Parkway and more"
On the book's suggestion, we traveled along a road called Foothills Parkway. This was an 18-mile long road that runs along the western side of the mountains. There are lots of lay-bys to pull into and admire the views. We found very little traffic and, most of the time, we were the only people at the stop-off points.
One stop not to be missed is Look Rock, about half-way down the road. You have to park your car in the large lay-bye before crossing the road and walking through a wooded pathway for one mile -- with the altitude and uneven path it feels like ten. It is worth the hike, however. When you get to the end of the pathway there is a large concrete structure with another pathway to climb. Once at the top, you'll be rewarded with a fantastic view -- you can see for miles. We spent ages watching eagles soar through the sky -– it was magic.
After this, we continued our drive to the end of the Parkway and decided to continue on to Fontana Village and a lake. The road to Fontana is very, very twisty -- hank God for automatic transmission -- we have never experienced a road like it and it seems to go on forever. There are picnic tables dotted along the route that follows the river along to Fontana Village.
We stopped at the village for a bite to eat and had just ordered our food when there was a power cut, this meant we could not have the hot food we had ordered. It was funny to think that, just down the road was an electricity-generating dam and yet, here we were without power.
A few miles from the village is the Fontana Dam. You can choose to drive to the top or bottom of the dam, depending on which road you take. We went to the top and think we did the best thing (though, of course, you can do both). The view from the top is great as you see both sides of the dam -– the huge lake on one side and the small river coming out of the other.
It is worth the trek from Gatlinburg, so if you get the chance, do take a look.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
Apparently this is the second most popular place to get married after Las Vegas. We wanted something nice and simple, so after lots of web research found The chapel in the Glen. This was a lovely little log chapel, with beautiful landscaped gardens including waterfalls, gazebos etc.
We booked our ceremony by phone a few weeks before traveling. They had several packages available depending on what type of bouquet, garter etc you wanted. You can also choose the size and number of photos you need, they can also provide a video. The ceremony can be performed inside or out.
There are also extras you can have such as champagne goblets, wedding cakes, limo hire, reception and even honeymoon arrangements.
As we already had a cabin booked and our actual holiday was our honeymoon, we chose a package of cascading bouquet, garter, buttonhole and 20 large photos in an album. This cost us approx $400.
We arrived half-hour before our allotted 12pm wedding. We chose to have an outside wedding, but unfortunately when we got there it was raining, so we decided to have the ceremony inside the chapel (it never rained again for the whole two week break). They have large (separate) dressing rooms for the bride & groom to change in. After checking your info is correct they take the wedding rings from you and at your allotted time, you are introduced to the reverend and taken through to the picturesque log chapel. Although you can have guests, there was only the two of us, so it was very intimate. The ceremony took place (to be honest I remember very little about it, but it was very simple and moving), then we were introduced to the photographer.
He took photos inside, but half way through the rain stopped and the sun came out, so the other half of the photos were taken outside on the chapel balcony. You can also have photos in the gazebo and near the waterfall.
Once the photos have been taken you go back into the office and collect your marriage certificate, change and leave as man & wife. We collected our photos two days later and they were very nicely presented in a white album with a brochure to order re-prints and enlargements later.
Once back in England, we ordered several photos and some enlargements and they arrived a couple of weeks later. I would definitely recommend this chapel, it was not too tacky and they treated us well at every stage.