Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg is my mother's and maternal grandmother's favorite vacation spot and was my late sister's, probably is my third favorite after Sarasota and Orlando.

"Get in my belly" - Fat bastard, Austin Powers

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville have many great eateries.

The Pancake Pantry is, in my family's opinion, the best breakfast restaurant on the planet.  You can't go wrong there!  They serve I think 24 varieties of pancakes permanently and one or two seasonal varieties that either they rotate each month or are promotional items they offer one time and that's it, after one month, they are gone forever.  My mother's, my grandmother's, and my late sister's favorite variety?  Orange walnut pancakes and peach delight crepes.  They have another in Nashville, although my family says they aren't quite as good, but close, for the most part.  There are slight differences.  I actually prefer Nashville's version of the Smoky Mountain Buckwheat pancakes over Gatlinburg's, as the batter is identical, the difference is the way it's served,, although that's the only pancake we like better in Nashville, or at least I do.  Both use REAL butter (not margarine), although Gatlinburg serves theirs with their own syrup (not quite as good as real maple syrup but it's better than commercially bought pancake syrup without a doubt!) whereas Nashville serves theirs with pecans and honey.  Mom and Grandmother say Nashville's orange walnut isn't quite as good as Gatlinburg's, and Nashville doesn't have peach delight crepes.  I advise you here to get here at 7 AM sharp or early so you beat the line, otherwise you will be waiting!  Once my late father, late sister, and I (not sure if my mother and younger brother were with us) waited two hours in 15 or 20 degree weather around Christmas and New Year's because we missed getting there at 7 AM and were damn sure not going to go without our pancakes!  It was insane!  I got Dad regular coffee, my late sister a hot chocolate (she says this place has / had the world's best hot chocolate), and myself a Mocha Latte from the Donut Friar about 100 yards away.

The Park Grill is awesome.

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant is also good.

There is only one theme park in the area, but it's a good one, Dollywood.  It has everything, rides, shows, great food, the works.

Of course, no trip to Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge / Sevierville would be complete without shopping!  Whether it's window shopping just for shits and giggles but not actually buying anything, shopping for shit you don't need but just because (such as luxuries), gift shopping for people you care about, or actually outlet shopping for shit you DO need at discounted prices, somewhere in the area has it all!  Except the ultra-high end, like the outlet shopping, you won't find very many high-end designer brands here like Gucci, Prada, Louie Vuitton, etc. if ANY, you're lucky if you find Lacoste / Izod (they're the same company, just two different brands, both of them make fucking awesome shirts though, probably my two favorite shirt brands, two of the few designer brands you're paying as much or more for quality than for just the name.  For example, do I think Gucci, Prada, and Louie Vuitton clothing items are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars?  Oh hell no!  Getting back on track, I like the Village and the Mountain Mall.  The Gatlinburlier tobacco shop is awesome.  They give free samples of their product if you bring your own pipe or buy a pipe from them.  Pipes range from $30 (at least before COVID-19, probably more like $40 - $50 now) on the low end to THOUSANDS of dollars, some actually are designed to smoke out of, some are more collector's pieces.

Not really a great city to fly into, nearest airport is McGhee Tyson (Knoxville's airport), and you absolutely will need to rent a car or get an Uber or Lyft from there, I seriously doubt any of the hotels or timeshares offer transportation from there.  Although you can always try, lol.  And the road from the airport is not the best.  You either need to go north to the Governor John Sevier Highway (a road that is two lane but should be four due to the traffic) or go through residential streets to cut over from where I-140 ends to US 411, and that's the beginning.  If you desire to shave 3 miles off the drive and avoid a lot of the traffic on the Parkway, you can do that, I can show you how, but all the roads on the "Southwest Sevierville Bypass" except for River Divide Road suck, and even River Divide Road is not a road you want to write home about, if said roads ever get heavily crowded it's bad news bears.  I think River Divide Road you can expect to drive 45 or 50 on if you're speeding (speed limit is actually 35 but none of the locals drive that nor did I when I used to drive there, we drove a bit faster), the other roads maybe 25 or 30 (35 tops in the best segments maybe), and that's NOT an exaggeration of how poor they are!  McGhee Tyson really needs an expansion (if they can expand) and, even more so, they need to improve some of the roads in the area to accommodate people who may actually know the back roads, especially if they get well known.  Of course, you know Tennessee, they don't get around to roads until 20 or 30 years after they're needed.  Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky have six-laned I-75 and Kentucky I-65.  Has Tennessee I-75 or I-24 between Murfreesboro and Chattanooga?  Not the last time I drove through there they hadn't!  And that makes about as much sense as tits on a bull to me.