Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Terrific Tennessee Travel Tips

When people think Tennessee, the majority think the Smoky Mountains area including Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.  The Smoky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited of the parks and tourists flock there for the beauty.  But, there is a lot more to Tennessee than just one particular area.  For example:

Abby the Lab enjoyed her day at Rock City!

 A city that is growing by leaps and bounds and contains enough tourist-oriented attractions to keep you busy for a week or longer.  The Tennessee River gracefully flows through Chattanooga and offers fishing and boating.  Just sitting along the river enjoying picnic while the world floats by would be a nice, free, thing to do. 

Of course one of the oldest and probably the one most people know about is Rock City. You can’t visit Chattanooga and not stop in and climb up to the top where you can see 7 states.  Remember, it’s hot in the summer and the climb up can wear you out.  Be sure to take hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  There is a snack area at the top so be sure to sit, rest, enjoy the view and hydrate again!

Getting ready for my first visit to the Opry!

If you are heading to the central part of our beautiful state then you will be on the banks of another river, the Cumberland River.  Nashville is probably my favorite city in Tennessee.  We’ve been there a few times and enjoyed a ride on the paddle boat the General Jackson.  We went to the Grand Ole Opry and took a tour of the Opryland Hotel (quite a place!). 

There is so much to see and do that it would be impossible to describe it all here.  Check out some of the links at the end of this article for more information.  You don’t have to be a country music fan to enjoy Nashville, but it doesn’t hurt!

Graceland - Memphis, TN

The opposite end of the state from me is a place I visited once and have fond memories.  That place is Graceland.  If you are or were an Elvis fan you can’t go wrong stopping in to see where and how Elvis lived.  If you get hungry drop into to any of the many BBQ joints that Memphis is also famous for.  Memphis is also home to St. Jude’s – a hospital for children that Danny Thomas started to save the lives of children.  It’s a wonderful place doing great work and saving many lives.


There are many little towns offering fishing, camping, hiking, shopping and restaurants – take a back road and see where it takes you!

Photos belong to AbbyG

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dollywood is growing again!

It is almost spring and that means it will soon be time to ring in the action at the most famous theme park in the State of Tennessee – Dollywood.  Any fan of the park knows that the warm weather in East Tennessee is a welcome mat for the parade through Pigeon Forge staring Dolly herself.  Usually following the parade Dolly can be seen at the park greeting visitors with a big smile!  

This year Dolly will be smiling even bigger as she introduces three new attractions.  In order to keep current and keep the tourists (and locals) coming back you need to grow and improve.  In the works for 2017 are: Drop Line, Whistle Punk Chaser and TailSpin Racer.

The first one listed is called:  Drop Line at Dollywood

If you are afraid of heights don’t even try the Drop Line since you will be 200 feet in the air.  OK yes, the views from that high will be amazing.  We lived a few miles from Dollywood when we moved to Tennessee and I bet if we went on the Drop Line we could see that home for sure.  The up in the air part is difficult enough, but it’s the drop to the ground (well, you stop before you hit the ground don’t worry!) is the thrill part of the attraction.  I predict there will be long lines at this ride.

The next new attraction is:  Whistle Punk Chaser at Dollywood

This coaster is referred to as a junior coaster and was created for the kids.  Kids love coasters and this one should fill the bill until the kids are old enough and tall enough for the big coasters.  I am not a coaster fan but if they allow adults on this ride I might consider it.  Don’t forget, you need to stick with your kids when you go to amusement parks.  They do need guidance and they like to know that mom or dad has an eye on them!

The third new attraction is actually at Splash Country:  TailSpin Racer

This looks to be set up like a race track with six lanes and since it’s at Slash Country you can be sure water is part of the thrill.  Nothing nicer on a hot Tennessee day than Splash Country, which is right across the road from Dollywood.  Bathing suits and a big towel are necessities at Splash Country!

Keep these dates in mind:

Dollywood opening day: Saturday, March 18, 2017

Splash Country opening day:  Saturday, Mary 13, 2017

Use the Dollywood website for information on ticket pricing and even cabin rentals, click here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I get ideas for travel destinations from TV!

A few years ago while watching GPB (Georgia Public Broadcasting) I learned about Helen, Georgia.  Helen is a small town with a big image!  If you want to visit Germany but can’t afford it, your next best option is visit Helen, GA.  It is a very interesting town full of German inspired shops.  What caught my eye was the restaurants and the German bakery.  The bakery was amazing and well worth the trip!  I understand that now there is a second German bakery and that makes us want to head there to check it out!

Not long ago I turned in as I normally do to check out the “Georgia Traveler” on GPB.  The town that was the hot spot of discussion was Dahlonega GA.  I heard a few people discussing it years ago and didn’t put much thought into it.  Now I have a little better understand of the town and its history.  Dahlonega is an old mining town and you can still pan for gold and hope to hit it big!  Once the excitement of that is over you can move to the other big drawl – the wineries.  Yes, the State of Georgia has wineries…who would have thought?!

There are several small wineries in and surrounding the town.  If you are into wine and enjoy local wines, you might want to put Dahlonega, GA on your ‘wish to travel to’ list!  There are some unusual restaurants in town and from reading the descriptions I think no matter what you like to eat you can find it there.  My husband likes the description of the Back Porch Oyster Bar Restaurant.  They have a delightful offering of various seafood items, and seafood is his downfall. 

I was attracted to the candy shop called Fudge Factory– they make fudge and chocolates.  I am not a fudge-fan, but I’ll travel hours for good quality chocolates!  There are more shops than just candy makers and if you check out the website you can find them along with many choices of lodging from B&B’s to cottages/cabins to hotels and even a ranch. 

If Dahlonega, Georgia sounds appealing to you check out their website where you can order a brochure, I got one and it’s a handy booklet to refer to. It is also a good tool to use to convince your husband that you really want to go there!!!   And as a site note – right up the road is Helen, GA and those wonderful German restaurants!

PS:  Don't forget, your TV is a source for travel destination!

Photos courtesy of Pixabay