Have you ever been to Tennessee? How about Tennesse during the winter? If you are thinking about going the first place you need to visit is Gatlinburg, TN. Home of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Paula Deen’s New Restaurant (in Pigeon Ford which is 10 min away), and the best family vacation ever. When you go you will need a place to stay. How about The Greystone Lodge On The River
We stayed at this wonderful hotel and we were the first to stay since they renovated….
The place was spacious, very clean, and came with a bunk bed for the kids. They loved that bunk bed so much they asked to bring it back home with us….I think not
Some key points
- You park in a parking garage it’s crazy how you go in and out so watch out for cars
- They offer free breakfast to all their guest….can’t beat that
- Your balcony overlooks the river if you want a place to have your morning coffee…this is the place
- We had two bathrooms..well one and half so we all weren’t piled up on one toilet that was very cool
- We were missing a remote for one of the tv’s called down to the main building had it within 30 minutes…loved it
- Very quiet and budget friendly
- This hotel is located right next to the aquarium and trolley service so you do not have to walk through the downtown area perfect location to be in
Okay so on the first day we drove through the mountains. Coming from Atlanta….I have never ever driven through so many curves in my life. My ears were popping and those curves…..but when we got out of the mountains Gatlingburg awaited us. We had tickets to Ripley’s Believe it or Not in Gatlinburg, TN and it was a great way to see the town. So here is what you do…when you get out of the mountains….check into The Greystone Lodge on the River and then go across the street and get your tickets to all the attractions you pay one price and can use your ticket for 8 of the attractions.
We went to the Aquarium first. I didn’t have my camera with me because we hadn’t checked into the hotel as of yet and didn’t unpack. It looked small from the outside but inside it was huge with lots of things to do. I liked that it had hands-on activities for every age.
Some Key points
- You can walk to all of the attractions
- You can also catch the Trolley
- Since there are so many attractions my advice go to 3 on the first day of your visit if it’s a short visit. We only did 3 days so we needed to maximize our stay. We went to the Aquarium, The Museum, and the Haunted House on the first day
One thing I loved about the area they had all the stores and restaurants right there. You didn’t have to go anywhere. They had Friday’s, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, The Melting Pot, Mellow Mushroom, Five Guys, etc. Also, if you don’t want to walk you can drive up some and park in certain areas of the strip. If you walk up and down the strip it won’t kill ya but it’s a good walk if you aren’t used to walking. We ended up driving and parking (paid 8 bucks for the entire day) and then walking it was easier for us with kids.
After visiting those places we came back to the hotel and crashed. We were tired we drove 5 hrs that morning got in around 12 pm did 3 attractions ate and crashed…in that order.
The Next Morning we got up and ate at FlapJacks
Price and service were very good. I was not a fan of the eggs but everything else was good. After we left FlapJacks we went to visit three more attractions…
After breakfast, we went to the Moving Theater. This theater was so cool because it was like you were in the movie moving and feeling the same things as the characters on the screen. Felt like a mini roller coaster and the kids had a blast. After we did that it was time to taste test some moonshine. Yes, the legal kind lol.
Growing up in Charleston I have had moonshine before it cures a lot of stuff and the older people use to use that for colds. Trust me it worked. I taste tested about hmmmm I lost count after the 6th one. The Lemonade and sweet tea were my favorites can you imagine what I can mix up with those thangs…..
While we were busy drinking my son was posing. For the lemonade above try out Sugarlands
Okay so after some shots we visited some Hollywood cars and saw the Avengers. My son was happy lol
After all of the walking we decided to go back to the hotel room and rest for a few hours until dinner time where we headed over to Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge was only 10 minutes away and they had a strip of things to do. We went on bumber cars, got thrown in the air and saw live alligators. Then we headed over to Paula Deen
This place right here….SHAT Let me give you a few points
- Its all you can eat. Yes ALL YOU CAN EAT (there is no way you will make it pass the 2nd round no way)
- You get biscuits and pancake thingys and drinks come with the meal too
- You pay one price for adults one price for kids. It’s two kids and two adults so we paid about 80 bucks all together for our meal. When I tell you it was worth it…..trust me I will gladly spend that money again. If I say food is good around here on…food is good.
- You choose 3 types of meat, 4 sides, and a dessert and they bring those to you constantly until you have to roll up out of there
The wait time is about 2 hrs and this was on a Tuesday. The store is downstairs and the restaurant upstairs overlooking some beautiful scenery.
Some pointers about the entire trip
- We spent about 300 in total on food. That wasn’t bad and that included tip (this was the entire trip we didn’t eat lunch just breakfast and dinner)
- We still didn’t get to go golfing but you can keep your tickets and visit all yr long even if you don’t see all 8 attractions (that is so cool)
- You will do a lot of walking and there are a lot of sweets around…walk and get yourself some candy
- The drive was pretty good and we enjoyed the scenery
- Check in and out of the hotel was easy and there wasn’t a lot of foolishness
- Breakfast is served at the hotel although we only ate there one morning out of the entire trip. The food and coffee was hot and good
- There are gas stations around fill up before you hit the road and watch out for that mountain its a beast
- Have your camera ready to take pictures and Enjoy. Wear tennis shoes because as I said there will be a lot of walking
We received complimentary tickets (Ripley’s) and overnight accommodations (The Greystone Lodge) as part of the media. All opinions are my own. This post was originally written in 2016 on my other site and it was the last trip we took with the hubs before he died.