Originally Posted by schiguy
Smoky Bear is officially booked. Can't wait to get my first taste of the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. Thank you everyone for the advice.
Shame. We stayed there last Sept. Great little CG. Like Tgallagher I can't say enough good about them.
Gatlinburg was a hoot. A little bit cheesy, a little bit small town charm, lots of good places to eat that aren't chains, and lots of cool little shops to peruse. If you like to hike, look for a shop called "The Day Hiker". They also had the best t-shirts. One of the most fun things in Gatlinburg is the moonshine tasting. There are at lest 5 places that have free tastings and sell it too. Not the "real thing" but pretty good stuff non-the-less.
We found Pigeon forge to be really cheesy, all tourist trap, mostly chain restaurants. We avoided it our entire week.
Even though Sept is technically off season, if you plan to hike get to the trail head you're looking to hike early, that is no later than 9:00 am. Parking is very limited at most trail heads.