Gatlinburg in the Fall

After months of quarantining, we decided for Fall break this year we wanted to get away for a few days and spend some quality family time together in the mountains. Luckily, we live pretty close to the Smoky Mountains so we packed up and drove three and a half hours to spend a long weekend together. I partnered with Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa and we enjoyed one of their cozy one bedroom cabins while we were there. The resort offers an indoor/outdoor water park experience, two outdoor pools, tennis and basketball courts, ziplining and miniature golf (which Nathan and Easton loved) and so much more!

The resort has a new restaurant Southern Comfort with a Southern inspired cuisine. They offer everything from fried green tomatoes to chicken and dumplings. The restaurant is gorgeous, the service is great and the food is simply delicious. We had dinner there on Saturday night and couldn’t wait to go back for breakfast! We also ate dinner one night at a restaurant nearby owned by Westgate Resorts called Wild Bear Tavern and it was so good! It was the perfect place to go for a casual night out.

Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa is only minutes from downtown Gatlinburg. We enjoyed walking around downtown and looking at all of the shops. My favorite place to stop for sweets was Aunt Mahalia’s Homemade Candies. We also loved stoping by The Donut Friar & Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, which are both located in The Village. One thing to keep in mind is that some stores only accept cash so it’s a good idea to have some extra cash with you if you plan on shopping downtown.

I also partnered with Anakeesta, an outdoor upscale theme park, located at the top of the mountain in downtown Gatlinburg. We spent an entire day there and it was definitely the highlight of our trip! Once we got there we were able to choose how we wanted to travel to the top of the mountain. There were three options: the chairlift, chondola or Ridge Rambler. We rode the chairlift up and it was about a fifteen minute ride. It was so relaxing, however I don’t recommend the chairlift if you are afraid of heights. No matter which option you choose, the views are all amazing! Once you reach the top of the mountain, it is truly magical. It feels like its own little world tucked away with so much to see and experience. Quaint shops. Adventurous rides. Stunning views. Delicious food. Fun play areas. Fresh mountain air. It truly has it all.

Anakeesta has the longest treetop skywalk in North America and the views are breathtaking. They also offer dueling ziplines. Easton and I went ziplining together and we had a blast. The zipline adventure took about an hour and it was so much fun! We had lunch at their new restaurant called Clifftop Grill and Bar where we ate outside and enjoyed the most gorgeous view of the mountains. After lunch we rode the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster. I had no idea what to expect, but it was awesome! We enjoyed the botanical Vista Gardens Walk. It was charming and had an amazing variety of flowers and plants. We climbed to the top of the Anavista Tower to see the 360 degree mountain views and it was absolutely spectacular. Anakeesta definitely lived up to the hype and we can’t wait to go back soon!

A few other places we didn’t have a chance to experience this time, but definitely worth mentioning: Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg Skylift Park, Ober Gatlinburg.