Autumn At “The Appy”
Gatlinburg, TN has been known for years as a hot spot for tourists hoping to enjoy some family fun and explore the country’s most visited National Park – The Great Smoky Mountains. Many Gatlinburg guests have said “Yes!’ and just as many have said, “I do.” while in town.. And well, for as long as most can remember, the city has been a place of pure happiness…
However, the city has seen its share of heartbreak as well..
In 2016, tragically, a portion of the city was filled with fire, areas of the national park were burnt and even more tragically lives were lost. Yet, the people of Smokies – rose up gracefully and beautifully from the ashes. The city has made a comeback beyond measure! Gatlinburg has truly shown America what it means to be resilient Appalachian Americans. Over the past 2 years, the city and its residents have found transformation in the ruins. They have, like the first settlers of the area, taken moments that would have broken many and turned them into opportunities and a chance to show their strength.
And now, a new addition to the city – The Appalachian Lodge or also known as The Appy, has brought a place of Appalachian history and love to the main strip of the city.
Located on the Pigeon Forge end of the parkway, The Appy is the most unique hotel in Gatlinburg… It is a hotel, a museum and a cozy like home place to spend a night, a weekend or even a week.
The Appy is fully based on America’s treasure, the Appalachian Trail. Lining the halls are facts, photographs, and history from the trails. In the guest rooms are a beautiful paintings by local artist, Robert Tino, as well as other local art that can be found throughout the lodge. Guest rooms are based on shelters found along the AT and even the pool is named after the Stratton Pond that can be found on the AT in Vermont.
Click on the link below to check out The Appy, and then…
Read over some ideas of how you can enjoy your time in the Smokies during your stay!
Make a reservation at The Appy: The Appy Lodge
5 Ways to Enjoy An Autumn Stay at The Appy
Take A Hike!
Roam the halls of The Appy and read about the Appalachian Trail, study the photographs of those that poured their soul into a trail that over time would save the spirits of so very many – by bringing a much-needed connection to the mountains and nature to them during their journeys on the AT… Then, take a hike on the AT yourself… Catch a sunrise or sunset at Clingmans Dome, the highest point on the Appalachian Trail. Hike out to Charlie’s Bunion and soak up the views. Not ready for a higher elevation AT hike? Not a problem! Take a stroll down the Little River Trail, or another low elevation trail, under a canopy of Autumn colors. When you’re finished, head back to your place at The Appy… Shower, grab a cup of coffee, one of the many books available, a blanket and hang out by the fire pit and laugh with friends and family about the day’s adventure.
Take A Scenic Drive
Hiking isn’t for everyone, but nature is… Wake up early, grab breakfast at the lodge. Then, take a drive around the Roaring Fork Motor Trail – located 15 minutes from The Appy. Take a drive through the park to Cades Cove, leaving extra time to stop in at the Sugarlands Visitor’s Center and to explore stops along the way. Drive over to Cherokee and see the Smokies from the top and even spot some elk in the Oconaluftee area.
The possibilities are endless!
Get To Know The Locals
Gatlinburg is filled with artists and local business owners that rely on the visitors of the area to not only feed their families but also to feed their dreams of doing what they love for the rest of their lives or until they retire. They love meeting new people, they love providing their services and goods to those passing through town. They love the support of others that purchase their art and crafts – but even more so, they love that visitors take a little piece of Appalachia home with them. Just 3 miles from downtown you’ll find the Arts and Crafts Community, with over 100 artists. From carvers, weavers, potters, painters and more – it is filled with Appalachian soul. Looking to hike with a local? Check out hiking tours with locally owned A Walk In The Woods. Need a shuttle? They can help with that as well! If you check in and fall in love with one of the many Robert A. Tino paintings, look him up and take one home with you! Check out Bike The Smokies if you’re looking to take a ride, instead of hike. Hungry after your hike? Grab a bite to eat the Hungry Bear BBQ or one of the many other locally owned restaurants.
Regardless of what you’re seeking, you’ll find a local that can help you find it!
Spend Time With The Kids or Just Be A Kid Again
In Gatlinburg, you won’t find a shortage of mountains, souvenirs or ways to be a kid and enjoy being a kid with your own children. The city is packed full of family fun and the mountains are filled with unlimited opportunities for kid-friendly adventures. Take the kiddos for a tour of The Appy, beyond the room or suite where you’re staying. After, you’ve sparked their attention – head to the Sugarlands Visitor’s Center inside the Great Smoky National Park and check out ways for them to experience being a part of the Junior Ranger Program. Join a ranger for a walk in the woods, a salamander hunt, to learn about our Islands In The Sky, for some Tree Tales, a campfire or for their History of the White Blaze program. Crazy weather during your stay or just looking to spend time in the city? The choices are open and abundant! From multiple Ripley’s locations(including Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf next door to The Appy) to mountain coasters, playing in the snow at Ober or the amazing Anakeesta experience, you’ll find non-stop fun during the length of your stay.
Fall In Love
If I hadn’t been intrigued by a story of two hikers thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail on their honeymoon in the 1980’s, you wouldn’t be reading these words today. It’s a long story, but exactly how my writing about the mountains that I love came to be. Autumn at The Appy is the perfect time to fall in love, or at least even more in love with your sweetheart… Take hikes in the mountain, hold hands by the fire, in late Autumn – go skiing or play in the Smoky Mountain snow. Browse the local shops, find the perfect dining spot, take a winery or distillery tour. Who knows… By the time your visit is over, you may even find yourself in one of the many local wedding chapels saying your “I do’s” or renewing your vows. But, one this is for sure – love is always in the Smokies air.