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First timers!

Level Contributor
30 posts
6 reviews
First timers!

Hey everyone!

My boyfriend and I are renting a cabin in Sevierville at the end of August. This is our first time in TN and first time visiting the Smoky Mountains! I have a few questions that I hope you guys can help me with (:

1. Whats the nearest waterfall trail? Trying to go to one with no more than 3.5 miles roundtrip. Any you can think of that won't be too far of a drive to get to?

2. Is there any restaurant nearby that serves chicken and waffles? Also, wheres the best place to eat BBQ?

3. We're going Sat 8/20-Weds 8/24. While hiking in the mountains, how should we dress? Shorts and a tank? Or capris and t-shirts? Should we bring extra layers? I'm guessing it's cooler in the mountains but am unsure how cool.

4. Is it worth it to take the drive all the way from our Sevierville cabin to the sugarland visitor center to begin our drive on Newfound Gap Road? (Mapquest estimated a 50 minute drive.. although I did check at 12:30 pm when traffic was heavy.. and we'd actually be doing this drive around 6:30-7 am). We'd like to hike Andrew's Bald, turn around on Newfound Gap Road, picnic, fish at Little Pigeon River, and drive back to the cabin. Is the drive to sugarland visitor center scenic? If so, we wouldn't mind at all.

5. Any other trails you would recommend? Looking to hike no more than 6.5 miles roundtrip easy or moderate in difficulty, but we're open to hiking multiple trails (just 6.5 miles altogether round trip)... hope that makes sense. We're looking for breathtaking views, however we are novice hikers.

6. Any good non-touristy bars for us to go to to grab a beer? We're both 24 years old but we like small, local bars (not a club).

7. Any other places for us to go to, any other suggestions, or any other sights to see? We want to stay away from touristy activities (no zip lining, Ripleys, etc). The more likely locals would be doing it... the better! Also, the less crowded and more secluded ...the better!

Thanks in advance!! (:


Destination Expert
for Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Level Contributor
5,561 posts
343 reviews
1. Re: First timers!

I like Laurel Falls the best. There is also some on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and a few other ones in the park. I don't do a lot of hiking anymore so other's may chime in on that.



I like Bennett's BBQ in Gatlinburg. Applewood Farmhouse has good chicken and waffles. Sawyer's Farmhouse also serves it.

I would recommend stopping at Sugarlands Vistors Center before you do anything in the park. They have some helpful info and free maps and such that you will need. Wear what is comfortable to you hiking and you may want to bring an extra pair of clothes to keep in the car just in case.

Three Jimmy's is a awesome local bar in Gatlinburg and we also like The Shamrock Pub.

One of our favorite places to stop and have a beer is Friendly Falls on Wears Valley Rd. There is a beautiful waterfall behind the wood fence so you will have to stop to see it.

You might enjoy the Greenbriar section of the park on 321 East Parkway. It's not as crowded as other areas in the park.

If you do decide to do some touristy things then go to The Island in Pigeon Forge. It's nice and has a Paula Deen restaurant and also Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant and bar.

Checking out the river tubing in Townsend. It's a lot of fun on a hot day. Have fun and enjoy your time in the mountains.

Level Contributor
900 posts
200 reviews
2. Re: First timers!

You may want to check out the Great Smoky Mountains Association website and order a starter information package with maps and other info. The cost is $5 and shipping. You should have enough time to get the info before your trip. Hope you will enjoy your trip and post a trip report.


Bedford, Indiana
Level Contributor
6,329 posts
322 reviews
3. Re: First timers!

Check with the Pigeon Forge Camber of Commerce online.

They used to have a free info packet with all the info you could want, they probably still do.

Level Contributor
171 posts
66 reviews
4. Re: First timers!

tn vacation .com has a really nice magazine style book you can order online that is free.

Destination Expert
for Rehoboth Beach
Level Contributor
2,285 posts
1,476 reviews
5. Re: First timers!

1. Whats the nearest waterfall trail? I think your best waterfalls trails are going to be in the GSMNP. A nice trail is Laurel Falls, not too long and not too short. IF you want short & easy, consider Catract Falls behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The Sinks requires no hiking. Also there is a small "waterfall" at Friendly Falls restaurant in Sevierville.

2. Is there any restaurant nearby that serves chicken and waffles? First place that comes to mind is Paula Deen's Family Restaurant at the Island. I'm not a big fan, but it is an option. >>Also, wheres the best place to eat BBQ? My favorite is Hungry Bear BBQ #2 in Gatlinburg.

3. While hiking in the mountains, how should we dress? I would wear shorts/capri's and a t-shirt. You can always wear layers, such as a long sleeve flannel & remove it IF you get hot. Wear sneakers.

4. Is it worth it to take the drive all the way from our Sevierville cabin to the sugarland visitor center to begin our drive on Newfound Gap Road? YES it is worth it.

5. Any other trails you would recommend? Mingus Mill in Cherokee. The Deep Creek Trail in Bryson City, NC as it has 3 waterfalls on ONE easy trail. You can tube here and swim in the creek next to Tom Branch Falls. I also like the hike from Metcalf Bottoms picnic area to the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse and on to the Walker Sisters Cabin. The Noah "Bud" Ogle Trail on Cherokee Orchard Rd is decent.

6. Any good non-touristy bars for us to go to to grab a beer? Sorry, I'm not much help here, but maybe try Smoky Mountain Brewery.

7. Any other places for us to go to, any other suggestions, or any other sights to see? I would recommend Tinsley Bible Drug in Dandridge for a burger/fries/shake. Also check out the Bush Beans Visitor Center in Dandridge. Our Place in Cosby has great coffee & TONS of used books for sale. Carver's Orchard in Cosby has a nice farm market and great restaurant with awesome food. The Mason Jar Café in Sevierville has good home style food. Check out the Harrisburg Covered Bridge in Sevierville. Circle G Ranch in Strawberry Plains has a unique camel ride safari although it has been YEARS since I visited last. FREE Little River Railroad & Lumber Museum in Townsend is neat (check the hours because they are limited).

Hope this helps!

Centerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
14,363 posts
3,388 reviews
6. Re: First timers!

We have always found Goldrushie's advice to be 100% solid.

Yes, do visit the GSMNP.

Nearly 100% of your time is being spent with other tourists - do re-visit Nov - April for a totally wonderful experience.


7. Re: First timers!

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