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This time of year is perfect for a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Remarkably, the leaves are starting to change colors, and the weather is mild. Perfect for strolling the parkway or going on a hike.
Staying at the Mountain Shadows Resort in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Centrally located to all the main tourist attractions in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Mountain Shadows Resort is a great cabin rental find. Consequently, the rental office is located at 1455 E Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738-5950, which is just past the main drag/downtown Gatlinburg. Check-in is quick and simple. As a nice added touch, visitors get a membership card to the local Food City. Of note, Food City is the only grocery store in Gatlinburg. Additionally, Food City has very accommodating hours.
Just a short way up the road and slightly up the mountainside is the entrance to the resort. At first glance, the cabins seem very close together. However, upon getting the lay of the land, visitors quickly realize that the cabins are positioned in a way to allow for maximum privacy for all guests.
The studio cabin is quaint and the ideal accommodation for a couple. Upon entering The Sugar House Cabin, there is a full bathroom to the right. Set up for maximum efficiency, there is a kitchen on the left. Remarkably, the kitchen includes a full-size oven/stove, refrigerator, and surprisingly, a dishwasher. As guests make their way into the cabin, there is a jetted tub, smart television with streaming access, couch, and bed in the living room area. Excitingly, on the back porch, there is a hot tub and grill. Unfortunately, the view from this particular cabin is the side of another cabin and minimum foliage.
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Located off the main drag in downtown Gatlinburg, the SkyBridge is a popular attraction. Throughout the evening on a Friday and all day on a Saturday, the line went well down the street. Luckily, things slow down on Sunday. However, this attraction is pricey. For $55 minimum per person, visitors can ride the Skylift up to Skypark and walk across the Skybridge.
Riding up the SkyLift at sunset is a great time. While going up the mountainside, guests can see the sky change color. After enjoying a snack and refreshment at the SkyPark guests make their way to the SkyBridge.
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According to TripAdvisor, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is “the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.” Shockingly, the bridge is 680 feet across, with several glass panels to cross at the center. Once guests make it to the glass panels, it is 150 feet to the ground below. Views from Gatlinburg SkyLift Park encompass the three highest peaks in the Smokey Mountains and all of downtown Gatlinburg. The perk of going at sunset, is guests are able to see all the lights of downtown Gatlinburg.
Mad Dog’s Creamery and Donuts, a Sweet Treat
After all the exploring of downtown Gatlinburg, tourists may have a hankering for something sweet. Mad Dog’s Creamery and Donuts does not disappoint. Located between Mountain Shadows and downtown Gatlinburg, Mad Dog’s house specialty donuts are cinnamon sugar, espresso sugar, blueberry cake w/ blueberry icing and lemon zest, caramel with sea salt sprinkles, and red velvet and cream cheese icing. Additionally, Mad Dog’s has cake donuts, yeast donuts, and filled donuts.
As a testament to how great Mad Dog’s Creamery and Donuts is, they are a Travelers’ Choice recipient for 2020 on TripAdvisor. Additionally, Mad Dog’s ranks third out of the 18 dessert locations, according to TripAdvisor. One reviewer encompasses the wide variety of treats Mad Dog offers with their review. They write, “The butter pecan ice cream was yummy. My husband had an apple fritter. He liked it and shared a bite with me. It has a lot of apple in it which was good. We even bought a doggie donut for our dogs!”
Overall Thoughts of Gatlinburg, Tennessee in late September
Unfortunately, evening time and all day Saturday are probably the busiest times in downtown Gatlinburg regardless of the time of year. However, Sunday seems to be the least crowded day for downtown Gatlinburg. Keep in mind, many of the shops and restaurants along the parkway have limited hours on Sundays.
As an alternative, guests could enjoy any of the many nature activities the Smoky Mountains have to offer. Also, cabins at Mountain Shadows offer plenty of things to do to stay occupied. Additionally, the arts and crafts district is nearby.
Of additional note is that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. As of the end of September 2020, Sevier County still requires masks in public. Additionally, it appears that dining establishments are operating at a 50% capacity. Luckily, masks are not a deterrent from enjoying Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
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