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FIRST FLIGHT OUT
When I use to hear someone mentioning Tennessee, the first thing that came to thought was Nashville and great barbeque food. My husband and I both celebrate our birthdays in February and planned a couple’s getaway with a group. I have been traveling on road trips out of state with no issues. With social distancing, wearing my mask faithful, and sanitizing I have been very safe. This would be the first time since COVID that I would be entering an airport to board a plane. I took my second COVID test within a year and tested negative which I knew would come back with me being safe to travel.
When we arrived at the airport, it looked like everyone had the same idea we had. To get away for the long President’s weekend break. I was completely in shock at how the airport was crowded, and all the flights were booked. There were even some flights that had a list for people on stand-by. The airport is extremely strict with you wearing your masks and there are sanitizing stations everywhere. We had to take two flights from New Jersey to Tennessee.
When you board your plane, the stewardess is there to greet you with masks if needed and sanitizing wipes. I brought my wipes as well. After wiping down my chair, I felt safe from any germs. Both flights were less than an hour and we were on our way to our rental car. (We were asked several times if we wanted to upgrade our vehicle for an additional $200, which was quite annoying) The ride from Knoxville into Pigeon Forge was a smooth 45-minute drive.
PIGEON FORGE TENNESSEE
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express located at: 308 Henderson Chapel Road, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 37863. The room was clean and had a nice towel decoration on the bed. Breakfast is served daily with many options to choose from. My only complaint is that the bathroom lighting was very dull and for someone who wears contacts, I could have used a magnifying mirror with light. The customer service was great from checking in to checking out.
We were hungry and Googled food near us to eat. There are many options within walking distance for food and it was hard to decide each day. Pigeon Forge is a long strip with attractions within walking distance of each other. Just some of the food we ate while there: Smokey Mountain Burritos Mexican Grill, Texas Roadhouse, Bullfish Grill, and Corky’s Ribs and Barbeque. There are so many places from pancakes, Mexican, BBQ, ice cream, and candy shops. There is something for everyone.
We didn’t have time to visit any attractions during our visit because we had prior things scheduled. My husband and I decided that we would come back on a road trip with the kids so we could enjoy our time. I would recommend staying for a least a week to enjoy all the fun things to do. I recommend visiting the Smoky Mountain Navigator site to get discounts for food and attractions. If you love miniature golf, arcades, wax museums, go-carts, aquariums, food, and fun rides. You will have a great time.
The weather was cold and raining. I wish the visibility was better but the fog overpowered the day. We still headed out. I can only imagine the beautiful views on a clear day. Before I get to our day. I first want to say that I, well we were scared to death driving through the mountain in Gatlinburg. There were barely any rails and the fog was heavy. If you aren’t careful you can drive off the cliff. I am saying this as a warning to be extremely careful and drive the speed limit.
Please visit the following site of Dangerous Photo Spots in the Smokey Mountains: https://www.mysmokymountainpark.com/.amp/photos/bad-selfies
After driving through the mountains and bad weather we didn’t make it to the Gatlinburg Skybridge. The fog was coming in heavy and I was too scared to drive through the mountain in the dark. We decided to only visit Anakeesta Adventure Park. Leaving out early in the morning is best. I suggest visiting Gatlinburg and Anakeesta during clear weather conditions. The parking lots were full and we drove to three different lots before we were able to get one. Make sure you have your license plate number (we had a rental) most parking meters will require it. Parking was $15 all day. Purchasing theme park tickets online is the best to avoid lines.
I am not afraid of heights, but something about going on a sky lift makes me nervous. The line went fast due to us purchasing our tickets online. Again, the best time to visit is on clear skies. Anakeesta has so much to do for all ages from ziplining, treetop sky bridge, rail runner mountain coaster, treehouse village, the Anavista Tower and so much more. There are beautiful outdoor and indoor eateries. But with a view like this overlooking the Smoky Mountains, you will want to eat outdoors.
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee are great places to visit all year around and fun for all ages. There is also a RV campground for trailers for people taking road trips. We enjoyed our visit and will definitely be back to enjoy all the great sites.