For the past couple of years we have gone hiking over Easter weekend. This year we narrowed down our annual hiking trip to Branson, somewhere in Georgia, or Knoxville. The Wednesday before we were to leave we checked the weather. Too cold in Branson and rainy in Georgia. Knoxville it was! We had planned to let the kids do a treetop adventure zip-line then hike a nearby quarry. Our whole reasoning to go was to finish buying for our big trip and go to the REI store for the first time.
On the way to Knoxville I was searching the area for hotels on Expedia. I had been at it for a couple of HOURS and just couldn’t find anything I wanted to pay for. I was beginning to wonder if we would ever find a good, cheap hotel when up popped a suite in downtown Gatlinburg for $103 a night with great reviews. It had a king bed and queen sofa couch with fireplace and balcony. The reviews were great! I quickly booked it and our plans changed from a stay in Knoxville to a weekend in Gatlinburg. It obviously was a cancellation but we were excited.
Our hotel was really nice and updated. You could tell it was old but had been modernized. If you ever get the chance to stay at River Edge Motor Lodge I highly recommend it.
We did not do much except walk the strip, eat, and hike while we were there. We went on a 5.4 mile trail to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains. The hike was (of course) uphill the whole way. At some point I was sure my lungs were going to burst. Considering we will be way higher than this “out west” I better get ready. It was pleasant and cool but as we made our way back down the sun started to shine and it got very hot.
We enjoyed a little putt-putt golf at Gatlin’s and took the kids to the Mysterious Mansion. Carter thought he was going to die inside but we all made it out alive. If his crying and screaming didn’t scare away would be assassins I don’t know what did. I am not sure how the fan got Ryan and me on the sky lift but we made it out alive there as well…
I have to admit Gatlinburg was a little cheesy and tourist-y but the Smoky Mountains were phenomenal and the family gives it a definitive thumbs up!