The Great Smoky Mountains have long been a favorite vacation destination of people from around the world. Stunning views, decadent dining, a weekend of shopping and eye-opening entertainment can be found in the Smokies. And with this two-day itinerary, your next trip is sure to be one you’ll never forget.
As Tennessee’s first pancake house, Pancake Pantry is a must for anyone waking up in East Tennessee. This family-owned restaurant boasts 24 different pancake and crepe options ranging from traditional buttermilk pancakes to Sugar ‘N Spice pancakes and its signature sweet potato pancakes. And, because everything is made from scratch, you can guarantee your flapjacks are as fresh as can be each time.
Next, head over to Record-A-Song Studios at the Pigeon Forge Factory Mall, where you can sing karaoke, record your very own track and have it burned onto a CD. Bring a friend or belt out a solo. Either way, becoming a “Tennessee recording artist” has never been easier!
The Island in Pigeon Forge features a promenade nestled in a beautiful mountain setting. Peruse more than 60 local and name-brand shops. When you’re done shopping, enjoy some of the Island’s numerous attractions like The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Be sure to catch the dazzling multi-tiered Island Show Fountain with shows at the top of every hour.
This Austrian-inspired tea room is known for its relaxing atmosphere and a daily menu that features ingredients pulled from the tea room’s garden each day. The Wild Plum is always a great idea for an afternoon tea on the outdoor patio or a seasonally-sourced lunch in the dining room.
America’s most-visited distillery provides a true Appalachian moonshine experience to every visitor. Take a tour to see the entire distilling process, including authentic working stills Ole Smoky uses to produce 30 different varieties of moonshine ranging from the classic Original to more exotic flavors like Huckleberry and Butterscotch.
There are few better ways to end a day in the Smokies than dinner and a show at Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Enjoy a four-course meal as you watch the friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse-riding stunts and special effects in a show that can please the entire family.
Opened in 2012, Elvira’s immediately became a local morning hotspot. Along with classic Southern dishes like hot cakes and biscuits & gravy, Elvira also pulls from her Russian heritage to offer dishes like feta and spinach crepes and caramel apple crepes with sweetened ricotta cheese.
A work of art itself, the building features stunning hand-carved wood ornamentation by master artisan Lewis C. Buckner. Inside the gallery you’ll discover Great Smoky Mountain-inspired paintings depicting the area’s natural beauty.
Styled after its famous namesake in Munich, Germany, Hofbrauhaus’ community-style seating and authentic German cuisine bring a small slice of Bavaria to Tennessee. Stop in for a bratwurst or its famous Super Reuben sandwich. And on your way out, stop by The Cheese Cupboard and pick up an array of imported cheeses, crackers and chocolates.
Head over to the Forbidden Caverns to experience “The Greatest Attraction Under the Smokies.” Tour guides will take you on an educational and entertaining spelunking adventure past sparkling formations, numerous grottos and a crystal-clear stream. The underground trails are well-lit and there are handrails at all the necessary points, making this the perfect attraction for the entire family.
For dinner, head back above ground to the Cherokee Grill. Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, this upscale lodge-style restaurant and “Gatlinburg’s Great Steakhouse” is the perfect place to relax and refuel after your cave adventure. Palettes will be pleased with the extensive menu containing fresh fish, seafood, sandwiches, salads and steak.
End your day with the ultimate variety experience at the Smoky Mountain Opry, where you’ll enjoy music, dancing, acrobatics, and even a few pyrotechnics throughout. Cap off your two-day Smoky Mountains vacation with this incredible show.
With so much to do in the Smokies, squeezing the fun into only two days is a difficult feat; but with this itinerary, you’ll hit a lot of the must-see places. For more ideas on planning your trip to the Smokies, check out the area’s section on our website.
Glamping is camping with a serious upgrade. From decked-out retro campers to posh treehouses, there are plenty of places around Tennessee to enjoy nature without sacrificing comfort. Photo Cred: @camp_leconte