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4 Fun Facts About Gatlinburg That You Probably Didn't Know

The Reagan Terrace Mall in downtown Gatlinburg TN. There is nowhere else in the world quite like Gatlinburg, TN! Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, our city offers the perfect mix of natural beauty and family friendly fun. Here at Chalet Village, we love to share our knowledge of the area with our guests. To help you get excited for your next vacation, we have put together a list of four facts about Gatlinburg that you probably didn’t know:

1. Gatlinburg Was Named After the Most Hated Man in Town

Before it was known as Gatlinburg, our Smoky Mountain city was named White Oak Flats, (because of the area’s beautiful white oak trees). In the early 1800s, Martha Huskey Ogle and her family became the first permanent white settlers in the region. If you visit Gatlinburg today, you’re likely to run into an Ogle or two, as many of Martha’s descendents still live in the region.  

While the Ogles were the area’s most prominent family, it was Radford Gatlin who would inspire the city’s modern name. Gatlin only moved to town in 1854, but because the post office was located in his general store, people started to call the city “Gatlinburg”. Although the city bears his name, Gatlin was hated by his neighbors for feuding with the Ogles and supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War. East Tennessee was a stronghold of pro-Union sentiment, so Radford Gatlin was actually chased out of town in 1859!

2. There Are More Fish in Ripley’s Aquarium Than People Who Live in GatlinburgRipely's Aquarium of the Smokies in downtown Gatlinburg.

As crazy as it sounds, the above statement is true! While Gatlinburg receives over 11 million visitors per year, the city only has about 4,000 permanent residents. Meanwhile, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is home to over 10,000 sea creatures. That means that Gatlinburg technically has more permanent aquatic residents than human residents!

(See Also: 5 Great Attractions Near Our Gatlinburg Cabins)

3. Gatlinburg is the 2nd Most Popular Wedding Destination in the U.S.

Another one of the most surprising facts about Gatlinburg is how many people get married here. Our Smoky Mountain city hosts more weddings than any other location in America, with the exception of Las Vegas. Gatlinburg is such a popular place to get married because of its romantic mountain scenery and its variety of wedding chapels. Here at Chalet Village, we have hosted thousands of couples who chose Gatlinburg as their wedding and/or honeymoon destination.

4. Gatlinburg is Home to Tennessee’s Only Ski Resort

Gatlinburg, TN is the only place in the state where you can go skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing! With its pristine slopes and high powered snow machine, the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is one of the very best spots to enjoy winter sports in the Southeast. When you stay at Chalet Village you will be minutes away from all of the fun at Ober Gatlinburg, as our cabin community is located on the same mountain as the ski resort.

The sign for the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway in downtown Gatlinburg.Did reading all of these facts about Gatlinburg make you want to visit? To start planning your next vacation, browse our complete selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals. All of our properties are completely unique, so you are guaranteed to find the perfect cabin for your getaway in the Smokies!

Top 5 Restaurants in Downtown Gatlinburg

The downtown Gatlinburg skyline and the mountains.Anyone who has visited Gatlinburg before knows that the downtown area is filled with wonderful restaurants! With everything from pancake joints to pizza parlors to steakhouses, you are guaranteed to find something that tickles your tastebuds. When you stay at the Chalet Village cabin community, you will only be a 10 - 15 minute drive from all of the excellent restaurants in downtown Gatlinburg. To help you prepare for your next vacation, we have put  together a guide to the top five places to eat on The Strip:

1. Pancake Pantry

There is no better way to start your day than with a trip to the Pancake Pantry! This legendary restaurant is Tennessee’s first pancake house, and its flapjacks rank among the very best in the nation. The Pancake Pantry has a seemingly endless variety of hotcakes to choose from, including Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Swiss Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and authentic Swedish Pancakes with imported lingonberries. Everything at the Pancake Pantry is made from scratch with real butter and fresh whipped cream, so you really can’t go wrong when you dine here.

2. Parton’s Deli

Parton’s Deli has been a favorite lunch destination for visitors and locals alike for over 40 years. Known for its tasty subs and friendly service, Parton’s is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat in the afternoon. In addition to the mouthwatering sandwiches, standout menu items include the deviled eggs, potato salad, chili dogs, and lemon pound cake. Don’t let the deli’s unassuming exterior fool you; this place is the real deal!

(See Also: 5 Fun Attractions Near Our Gatlinburg Cabins)

3. Cherokee GrillThe Cherokee Grill in downtown Gatlinburg

Cherokee Grill is one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Gatlinburg for upscale dining. Offering a comfortable mountain lodge atmosphere, this restaurant is ideal for a romantic date night or dinner with the whole family. Guests at Cherokee Grill will enjoy a varied menu that includes seafood entrees, rotisserie chicken, salads, sandwiches, and delicious steaks. If you visit Cherokee Grill, be sure to try their famous blue cheese grits - they are phenomenal!

4. Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

If you’re craving pizza, a visit to Big Daddy’s Pizzeria is an absolute must! This superb restaurant offers an impressive selection of pies, all of which are baked in their signature 550 degree, wood-fired brick oven. With homemade dough and the freshest ingredients available, pizza from Big Daddy’s never disappoints. For a pizza that is out of the ordinary, try their Taco Pie, which is covered in ground beef, refried beans, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and cheese sauce.

5. Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que

As a city in the South, Gatlinburg certainly doesn’t slouch in the BBQ department. Our favorite place for pulled pork, brisket, and ribs is Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que. This award winning restaurant smokes its meats over smoldering hickory wood for up to 14 hours to create exceptionally tender and flavorful dishes. In addition to its signature meats, guests will enjoy a great selection of sides, including spicy mac and cheese, BBQ beans, biscuits, and deep fried corn.

BBQ ribs covered in sauce.When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be just a short drive away from all of these fantastic restaurants in downtown Gatlinburg! Our cabin community offers an unparalleled location near The Strip, the Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To start planning your vacation, browse our complete listing of Gatlinburg cabin rentals!

TripAdvisor Names Gatlinburg One of the Top Beautiful Little Mountain Towns in America

Sunrise over the beautiful mountain town of Gatlinburg TN.Our favorite Smoky Mountain town is in the news! TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, recently included Gatlinburg in its list of “24 Beautiful Little Mountain Towns Across America”. To qualify for the list, a town needed to have less than 10,000 residents and be located in a scenic mountain setting.

What makes Gatlinburg the best mountain town in the nation? Here are some of the things that make our East Tennessee home so special:

At the Doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Gatlinburg boasts an unparalleled location bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With over 10 million annual visitors, the Smokies are the most popular national park in the United States! As one of the few national parks that does not charge an entrance fee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is truly accessible for everyone.

The Smokies are a paradise for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Hikers will find over 800 miles of trails to explore, with everything from easy 2 mile hikes to 12 mile treks. The national park is also home to 11 beautiful picnic areas, 2,900 miles of streams, and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the nation. Even if you don’t want to work up a sweat, you can enjoy the area’s natural beauty right from your car on one of the park’s scenic roads.

When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be just 1.5 to 4 miles away from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, our cabin community borders the national park on three sides!

(See Also: 5 Fun Attractions Near Our Gatlinburg Cabins)

Home to Tennessee’s Only Ski ResortA man in an orange jacket skiing.

Another thing that makes Gatlinburg a unique mountain town is Ober Gatlinburg, the only ski resort in the state of Tennessee. During the winter months, Ober offers fantastic snow tubing, skiing, and snowboarding. While the Smokies don’t typically get a ton of snow, the resort’s powerful snow machine ensures that there is always enough fresh powder on the slopes.

In the off season, Ober Gatlinburg operates as an amusement park with a number of fun attractions and activities for the whole family. Highlights of the park include a mountain roller coaster, alpine slide, scenic chairlift ride, wildlife encounter, mini golf, an indoor ice skating rink, and even more fun.

Chalet Village is located on the same mountain as Ober Gatlinburg, so guests are just minutes away from all of the activities at the ski resort and amusement park!

Charming Downtown Area

Downtown Gatlinburg is both quaint and bustling at the same time! Despite only being a few blocks long, the center of town is loaded with some of the state’s most popular attractions, shops, and restaurants. Visitors will find one of the top aquariums in the country, a number of moonshine distilleries, excellent mini golf courses, a plethora of pancake houses, and everything else you could possibly want on vacation.

People walking around the Reagan Terrace Mall in Gatlinburg TN.The cabins at Chalet Village are just a 10 - 15 minute drive from The Strip! To learn more about what it’s like to stay in the heart of town, check out this blog: 3 Advantages of Staying at Our Cabins Close to Downtown Gatlinburg.

As you can see, Gatlinburg is a mountain town like no other! To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals!

4 Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg

A pumpkin and other Thanksgiving decorations on a table.Gatlinburg, TN is one of the most popular places to take a Thanksgiving getaway! A charming cabin in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time with family and friends. The Gatlinburg area also offers some fun activities around the holiday that you’re sure to love. To help you plan your vacation this November, Chalet Village has put together four tips for celebrating Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg:

1. Book Your Cabin Early

The week of Thanksgiving brings thousands of people to Gatlinburg, so we recommend reserving your cabin as early as possible. Chalet Village offers everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 8 bedroom cabins, so we can accommodate groups of virtually any size. If you have a very large group, you can also rent a few properties that are minutes away from each other in our cabin community. If you have any questions about our cabins, or would like a recommendation, don’t hesitate to give our friendly staff a call!

(See Also: 3 Advantages of Staying at Our Cabins Close to Downtown Gatlinburg)

2. Plan a Feast in Your Cabin or Visit a Local RestaurantA delicious Thanksgiving meal.

When you spend Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg, you will have a variety of options for your holiday meal. All of our cabins come with fully furnished kitchens, so you can prepare a tasty feast right in your home away from home. There are a number of grocery stores in the area where you can find all of the ingredients you need to whip up your famous pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, or herb stuffing.

However, if you don’t feel like cooking during your vacation, you don’t have to! Many restaurants in the Gatlinburg area offer special holiday meals with all of your favorite dishes and trimmings. Here are some of the local restaurants that are typically open for Thanksgiving:

  • Seasons of Ober Loft & Lounge (at Ober Gatlinburg)
  • The Park Grill
  • Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que
  • Mama’s Farmhouse
  • The Old Mill Restaurant and the Pottery House Café & Grille

We recommend calling your prefered restaurant ahead to confirm Thanksgiving hours and see if they take reservations.

3. Get a Jump on Your Holiday Shopping

The Friday after Thanksgiving is a great time to get started on your Christmas list! The Village Shops and the Mountain Mall in downtown Gatlinburg are two popular shopping spots that are just minutes away from Chalet Village.

For unique handcrafted gifts, you will definitely want to stop by the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Running from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after Thanksgiving, this special event showcases products from the artisans in Gatlinburg’s Arts & Crafts Community. You can expect to find paintings, pottery, jewelry, baskets, quilts, dulcimers, and a variety of other handmade wares.

Winterfest lights in Gatlinburg TN.4. Take a Tour of Gatlinburg’s Winterfest Lights

Gatlinburg’s holiday lights are turned on in mid-November, so you will have a chance to see these beautiful displays during your Thanksgiving vacation. Featuring snowmen, local wildlife, and Smoky Mountain scenes, these charming Christmas lights are located throughout the city. To see Gatlinburg’s 3 million LED lights, you can drive around town at night or take a special trolley tour for $5 per person. For more information about the Trolley Ride of Lights, call the Gatlinburg Welcome Center at 865-436-0535.  

To start planning your Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg, browse our complete selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals!

5 Fun Attractions Near Our Gatlinburg Tenn Cabins

The Ober Gatlinburg sign in downtown Gatlinburg.Chalet Village boasts one of the best locations in the Smoky Mountains! Our Gatlinburg Tenn cabins are just minutes away from some of the most popular attractions in the area. To help you make the most of your Gatlinburg vacation, we have put together a guide to five can’t-miss destinations near our cabin resort:

1. Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area

Ober Gatlinburg is home to a variety of fun activities to enjoy all year round. In the winter, visitors can hit the slopes and go skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing. Ober Gatlinburg has a great snow making machine, so the mountain is always covered in plenty of fresh powder. During the off season, Ober offers a number of excellent amusement park style attractions including a mountain coaster, alpine slide, ice skating rink, wildlife encounter, mini golf course, arcade, and more. Ober Gatlinburg is just five minutes away from Chalet Village!

2. Gatlinburg Sky Lift

For beautiful views of the downtown area and the mountains, it’s hard to beat the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. This fun chair lift ride takes guests from The Strip up to the top of Crockett Mountain. From 1,800 feet in the air, you will have an incredible vantage point for viewing the Smokies. In addition to binoculars, the overlook at the peak of Crockett Mountain also features a gift shop with snacks, ice cream, and cool drinks. If you’re planning a romantic evening with your sweetheart, consider riding the Gatlinburg Sky Lift at night so you can see the city’s glittering downtown lights.

(See Also: 3 Tips for a Great Weekend Escape at Our Vacation Rentals in Gatlinburg)The exterior of Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

3. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Located just a short drive away from our Gatlinburg Tenn cabins, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is ranked among the top 10 aquariums in the nation on TripAdvisor. With over 10,000 aquatic animals to see, Ripley’s has more sea creatures than Gatlinburg has permanent residents!  A highlight of the aquarium is the Penguin Playhouse, where you can see some adorable African penguins frolic in a specially designed habitat. Ripley’s also features Shark Lagoon, a 100 yard moving sidewalk that takes visitors through an underwater tunnel that is teeming with the ocean’s most fearsome predators.

4. Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre

The Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre has been entertaining visitors to Gatlinburg for over 40 years! The theatre’s talented cast specializes in silly, clean comedy: the type you may have enjoyed on The Carol Burnett Show or Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Sweet Fanny Adams produces a variety of shows throughout the year, so you can enjoy new laughs every time you visit.

A gray sports car.5. Hollywood Star Cars Museum

The Hollywood Star Cars Museum hosts some of the most famous vehicles from TV and film. Some of the iconic cars you can expect to see at the museum include the Back to the Future DeLorean, the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard, The Ghostbusters Ecto-1, and two Batmobiles. For an extra fee, you can even get your photo taken in one of the cars!

To start planning your vacation at Chalet Village, check out our complete selection of Gatlinburg Tenn cabins!

3 Tips for a Great Weekend Escape at Our Vacation Rentals in Gatlinburg Tennessee

The View from the Top vacation rental in Gatlinburg Tennessee.Of course, everyone wants to spend as much time as possible in Gatlinburg. If you’re running low on vacation days, however, don’t panic! You can still have an amazing getaway even if you only visit for a weekend. To help you make the most of your trip, Chalet Village has put together three tips for an unforgettable weekend escape at our vacation rentals in Gatlinburg Tennessee:

1. Try to Stay for Two Nights

When it comes to weekend getaways, having two nights in Gatlinburg instead of one can make a world of difference. If it’s feasible, try to leave on Friday afternoon after work so you can spend both Friday night and Saturday night at your cabin. It may be worth it to ask your employer if you can take off an hour or two early to give yourself enough time to drive to the Smokies.

Of course, long weekends are another great way to maximize your time in the area. Some three day weekends you may be able to take advantage of include Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, and Memorial Day.

2. Save Time By Coordinating Your Meals with AttractionsThe Reagan Terrace Mall in downtown Gatlinburg.

If you’re only going to be in town for a weekend, you’re going to want to cram as much fun into your trip as possible. Fortunately, our vacation rentals in Gatlinburg Tennessee are just ten minutes away from all of the fun in the downtown area!

(See Also: 5 Reasons Chalet Village Has the Best Cabin Rentals in Gatlinburg)

To cut down on wasted time, we suggest planning to dine at restaurants near the city’s major attractions. For instance, if you’re going to spend the morning at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, have breakfast at the Pancake Pantry, which is just a three minute walk away. Likewise, if you plan on visiting the studios and galleries in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, have lunch at the nearby Wild Plum Tea Room.

One great way to combine a meal with entertainment is to visit one of the area’s excellent dinner theaters, like Dixie Stampede, the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, or the Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show.

3. Don’t Forget to Relax

While you will definitely want to spend plenty of time exploring Gatlinburg, don’t forget to relax too. After all, you’re on vacation! Be sure to schedule some time to kick back and unwind at our resort. Chalet Village offers swimming pools, tennis courts, shuffleboard, and other great activities at our clubhouses.

Hot tub on the deck of the View from the Top cabin in Gatlinburg.Guests will also find plenty of relaxing amenities right in their cabin. Whether you enjoy a soak in the hot tub on your deck or watch a movie in your theater room, you will have a wonderful time at your home away from home. 

To start planning your weekend escape in the Smokies, check out our complete selection of vacation rentals in Gatlinburg Tennessee. For more information about any of our properties, or to get a cabin recommendation, don’t hesitate to give our friendly staff a call today!

How to Plan an Amazing Fall Vacation at Our Gatlinburg Resort Cabins

Incredible fall colors in the mountains near Gatlinburg.Fall is one of the very best times to visit Gatlinburg, TN! With comfortably cool weather, spectacular foliage, and a variety of fun events, autumn is absolutely idyllic in the Smokies. To help you make the most of your vacation, Chalet Village has put together a guide to planning your fall getaway at our Gatlinburg resort cabins.

1. Coordinate Your Vacation with the Changing Leaves

If you’re going to be vacationing in Gatlinburg this fall, you’ll want to time your trip so you see the changing leaves at their best. While it is difficult to predict exactly when “peak season” will arrive, there are some general guidelines that typically hold true.

The last two weeks of October and the first week of November usually offer spectacular foliage in the lower elevations of the mountains. As you drive around town or admire the views from your cabin, you will see plenty of reds, yellows, and oranges all around you.

Anyone who can’t make it to Gatlinburg during these weeks can still catch the fall colors in the higher elevations by visiting earlier in the season. The last week of September and the first few weeks of October are perfect for heading to Clingmans Dome for panoramic views of the colors.

(See Also: 3 Advantages of Staying at Our Cabins Close to Downtown Gatlinburg)

2. Choose the Right CabinThe Sweet Surrender cabin in Gatlinburg surrounded by fall colors.

Once you have figured out when you will be taking your fall getaway, it’s time to choose your cabin! Chalet Village offers a wonderful collection of vacation homes, each with its own unique design and amenities. For an autumn escape, you will want a cabin with mountain views, so you can enjoy the breathtaking foliage right from your deck. Our website allows you to search for Gatlinburg resort cabins with great views, or you can give our friendly staff a call to get a cabin recommendation.

3. Plan Scenic Hikes

With average highs in the low 70s, the fall is a wonderful time to go hiking in the Gatlinburg area. Since the autumn colors reach the higher elevations earlier in the season, certain hikes are more scenic depending on when you take them. Here is quick guide to popular fall trails and when the best time to hike them is:

  • Mt. LeConte (mid - late September)
  • Andrews Bald (mid - late September)
  • Rocky Top (mid - late September)
  • Spence Field (early - mid October)
  • Sugarland Mountain Trail (early - mid October)
  • Gregory Bald (early - mid October)
  • Alum Cave (mid - late October)
  • Charlies Bunion (mid - late October)
  • Little River Trail (mid - late October)
  • Schoolhouse Gap (early November)
  • Abrams Falls (early November)
  • Deep Creek Loop (early November)

Beer, pretzels, and more food at an Oktoberfest celebration.4. Check Out Fall Events

Gatlinburg hosts a variety of excellent events during the fall! Here is a look at some of the things going on during the autumn months:

  • Taste of Autumn (mid September)
  • OktOBErfest at Ober Gatlinburg (late September - mid October)
  • Ripley’s Fright Nights (October)
  • Shocktober at the Gatlinburg Space Needle (October)
  • Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair (October)
  • Chili Cookoff (early November)

To begin planning your fall vacation, browse our complete selection of Gatlinburg resort cabins!

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