Tucked within the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a small town that is just two miles long by five miles wide which makes for the perfect backdrop to a weekend getaway. Roughly 350 miles or six hours, from Charleston, South Carolina, Gatlinburg, Tennessee has miles of hiking trails in the mountains and tons of dining and attractions.
Our route took us almost the exact same way as our previous trip to Asheville, NC, but due to wanting to stop and see another South Carolina State Park, it took us a bit off course. Our first stop on our adventure took us to Croft State Natural Area, 450 Croft State Park Road, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302, where we stretched our legs, took our dogs for a walk through one of their trails, let the kids play on the playground and watch some of the other visitors load, unload and ride their horses in the practice ring and along the numerous trails for horseback riding.
Once we crossed into Tennessee, we made our way to our Smoky Mountain Rustic Log Cabin w/Furnished Patio! that we booked through AirBNB, use my code and get $65 off of your first booking, where we dropped our bags and way our way downtown to explore things for a bit. This cute, quiet and quaint cabin fit our family of six (two adults, two kids and two dogs) perfect! With an enclosed bedroom, loft bedroom, full kitchen, bathroom and living room with a front and back porch complete with a gas fireplace inside and an outdoor fire pit.
Our first stop Gatlinburg SkyBridge so that we could get a birds eye view of the picture perfect town. Located at the top of the iconic SkyLift, on Crockett Mountain, in the Gatlinburg skyline stands the 680′ of suspension bridge where in the middle has over 30′ of glass flooring overtop of the 140′ drop below. From the SkyDeck you can take in the great views of the town and a panoramic view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The next morning we woke up early to enjoy a cup of coffee on our front porch before heading out for a day of hiking at Alum Cave off of Newfound Gap Road. We absolutely loved the hike with its flowing stream running along side the beginning of the trail with bridges to take you across when needed, views from many points along the climb to take in the surrounding mountain ranges and Arch Rock with the first real steps heading towards to the top of Alum Cave. On our way back through town we stopped to the Cataract Falls Trail which was a small hike right outside of downtown Gatlinburg. After that we took the kids home for a night cooking on the grill, enjoying the outdoor fire pit with s’mores and a movie inside snuggled around the fire place.
The following day we expected rain to be falling and came prepared with some fun, indoor activities that we knew our kids would love! We took advantage of the Ripley’s Combo Pass that included the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and two other attractions. We gave our kids each a choice in the other activities and our son chose the Super Fun Zone – Laser Tag and our daughter chose the 5D Moving Theater, both were perfect for the time that we had for the day. After the activities we settled in to grab a bite to eat at Crawdaddy’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 762 Parkway #5, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, where we sat overtop US 441 to watch everything happening outside.
It was a great few days away form our normal hustle and bustle, and we will be back because we definitely want to make sure that we hike some more of the trails that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer and some fun restaurants and areas to explore!