By Leif Palmer
Posted on November 4, 2019
Of all the holidays we celebrate, the one that we often recall with such nostalgia is Thanksgiving. Remember kicking off the day with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade before heading to grandma's house, where aunts and uncles and cousins all gathered together? The house would fill with laughter and the scents of roasting turkey, sweet potatoes, and mom's secret stuffing recipe. After dinner, everyone cheered for his or her favorite football team and ate far too much pie.
Today, with families spread across the country, it's not so easy to create those lasting holiday memories. Sometimes it seems the best you can do is get together by phone or Skype. This year, why not start a new tradition, and invite the whole family for a relaxing weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains?
Nestled deep in the wilderness of eastern Tennessee, you'll find the perfect vacation getaway for your Thanksgiving event. A short drive from Pigeon Forge takes you deep into the mountains, where you'll see some of the most stunning panoramas in the United States. And waiting for you in the heart of this magnificent forest is your own private retreat.
These charming cabins feature all the comforts of home, including full kitchens, game rooms, and lots of space for the entire family. A fireplace adds warmth on a chilly fall morning, and the hot tub offers a place to relax after a long day. There's even plenty of room for the whole family to stay, with cabins that sleep up to 16 or more. Bring the kids and your aunts and uncles, and prepare to enjoy a long holiday weekend away from the noises and crowds of the city.
In fact, perhaps the best part of Thanksgiving in the Smokies is the solitude. Just steps from your back door, you'll discover miles of hiking trails and winding mountain roads waiting to be explored. Take the kids for a hike and let them learn about the wonders of nature, or recharge and reflect on your own.
It's lovely to relax around the fireplace with the family while making new memories, but don't forget - there's plenty more to see and do in Pigeon Forge.
First stop: Titanic Pigeon Forge. This true-to-life replica of the great ship is the highlight of any trip to Tennessee, especially during the holidays. You'll glide up the spectacular grand staircase just as the first-class passengers did more than 100 years ago. Take a peek into steerage to see how the servants traveled before heading to the bridge to take a turn at the wheel. Not only that, but also if you plan your visit for Thanksgiving evening, you'll enjoy a stunning fireworks display to kick off the holidays.
Next, Gatlinburg offers the perfect start to your Christmas shopping season, with its huge community of artists and craftsmen. Plan to spend a day just wandering along the historic arts and crafts community trail. You'll find everything from blown glass to hand-sewn quilts, so bring your gift list.
Whether you choose to spend your holidays curled up next to a cozy fire, hiking the trails near your cabin, or seeing the sights, Gatlinburg Forge has everything to make this Thanksgiving one you'll remember forever.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in east Tennessee. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.