A June 2003 trip
to Gatlinburg by Library Dragon
Quote: In need of a family getaway, we visited Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We don't do all-you-can-eat buffets, arcades, or many of the other activities found in the gateway to the Smokies. Still, we had a great time. Find out what we did.
The beds were supposed to be queen size (I even asked to be certain). They were not. We have a queen-size bed at home and these beds were much smaller.
The swimming pool was across the street and I wouldn't let my teenage son walk there by himself. The free breakfast was a box of donut holes. The view from your balcony is of the campground across the creek and everyone's laundry.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 23, 2004
4034 River Road
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37865
Hotel | "Park Vista Hotel"
The hotel is located at the end of a steep road, about 500 feet over the main street. This road takes the guest to a fresh experience in Gatlinburg. It is quiet and beautiful. The hotel is a circular, 15-story building, so "every view has a room."
Our view was spectacular. Each room has a narrow balcony. We stood out one night and watched the full moon peek in and out of clouds, over the silhouette of mountain peaks.
The rooms are nice. We had a room with a king-size bed and fold-out couch. The room was large enough for us all to move comfortably about and not get in each others' way.
The indoor pool area is attractive and designed well. There is an upper level with a deep pool (5'-10') and Jacuzzi. The lower area has a 3'-5' pool, with a one-foot baby pool. Next to the pool is a game room with video games, and an activity room where younger children can play. There is also an outdoor playground.
The city trolley makes stops at the hotel every 30 minutes. It is very easy to get around without having to bother taking a car.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2005
Park Vista Hotel and Convention Center
705 Cherokee Orchard Rd
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
After a busy, wet day at Dollywood, we were looking for someplace to eat. Promoted on a large sign was that the Pigeon Forge Alamo was voted the locals’ favorite steak house. Why, I do not know.
Where the Gatlinburg version was quiet and friendly, the Pigeon Forge Alamo was loud and too bright. The food didn't compare well either. If this is the locals’ favorite place, it must be because they all have family that work there.
My husband ordered an Angus burger, medium rare. It came out resembling a charcoal briquette. It was clear that they really did not like to remake the burger. Portions were small and the service was so-so. I don't blame the young waitress for the kitchen's problems, but there was little to recommend it. Our waitress would come with a meal item and then disappear from view. Our drinks were never refilled. The check was brought without asking if we wanted dessert.
If you are in Pigeon Forge, skip this place.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 37863
Attraction | "Hurray for Dollywood"
For those connected to the military (my husband is retired Army), the entrance price is half off. Fifty percent of the regular admission price and you can spend two days at the park. An excellent deal!
There are many standard water rides. Nothing too outrageous or spectacular. The shows are mostly so-so, but we did see an excellent singer (and we don't do country and western). The Purina dogs were enjoyable.
Dolly Parton was a forerunner in establishing organizations to protect the cultural heritage of Appalachia. Many crafts and artisans are available to be seen.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 23, 2004
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 37863
Attraction | "White Water Rafting on the Little Pigeon"
We traveled for an afternoon trip on the Little Pigeon River. We were outfitted with life jackets, helmets, and paddles, and told to wait. We would be assigned to a raft with another group and a guide. Since our group of three are rather - let’s be nice - out of shape, we thought they would pair us with some strong, athletic types. When we saw the other family we knew...we were the athletes of the group!
We were bused to the river and given guidance on what to do and how to survive. Rule #1, listen to the guide. Rule #2, listen to the guide. You get the idea.
Our guide was fantastic. He had us paddling in rhythm and working as a team. He was the lead guide for that outing. They released seven rafts on the Little Pigeon river. Ours was the only one that didn't get stranded on a rock, flip, lose passengers, or spring a leak.
We didn't shy away from the rough water, either. We all loved it. I'm planning my next summer trip.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 23, 2004
Attraction | "Sweet Fanny Adams"
We attended the show "Once Upon A Trunk." This musical comedy lasted about 1 hour. There is then a "sing-along." Beware--you'd better sing! This is followed by song and dance routines.
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre