Great Smoky Mountains Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 23, 2018

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton brings more country to Gatlinburg

YES!! He certainly is doing just that. On the Gatlinburg Parkway you will find Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, his lifestyle branded restaurant. It will open sometime in the spring of 2019. It will be multi-level 16,000 square foot exciting entertainment setting. There will be a performance area along with a dance floor. You will be able to satisfy your retail therapy. A two-story bar and restaurant plus an outside terrace will round out the venue. 

Remember Shelton’s hit song, “Ol’ Red?” Well, that was the inspiration for the restaurant. The menu will be Shelton making the menu reminiscent of his Southern roots with classics like BBQ, burgers, Hot Chicken and Waffles and a lot of other Southern classics. As for the entertainment, there will be organized concerts and performances by up and coming talent. All this will be heard on the venue’s state of the art equipment. 

Blake Shelton said that Gatlinburg was one of his all-time favorite places and when he heard about the space there, he jumped on it. He wanted to give the people in the area another locale to have fun at night, to give Gatlinburg the feel of a late-night party. He believes that the country lifestyle people live here in the Smoky Mountain area is the perfect place for Gatlinburg’s residents and visitors to enjoy the entertainment of country music with good food, wonderful music and a whole lot of fun. 

There have been several new and exciting businesses that have appeared over the last year, Margaritaville Resort, Savannah Bee Company and Anakeesta the outdoor family oriented theme park. With a lot of growth and visitor appeal, Gatlinburg will probably be very high on your bucket list of places to visit. After checking out homes and cabins in Gatlinburg real estate you will find yourself able to rest and relax at Ole Red, that is unless you decide to tear up the dance floor!

Ole Red Restaurant and Entertainment Center

511 Parkway (currently the vacant Riverbend Mall)

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Opening February or March 2019


Oct. 12, 2018

Fall in the Smokies

Fall In The Smoky Mountains

 There is so much going on Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Smoky Mountains in the fall that I honestly don’t know where to start telling you about them. So, I’ll just pick a few from each city so that you can make the decision where to go and what to do after looking at all the Smoky Mountain real estate for sale.

 I do have to begin with the Fall color changes in the Smokies. Mid-October thru the end of November is peak time for the color change. It starts at the highest elevations and works its way down the mountainsides. This means you will be able to see the colors for approximately 7 weeks. Most are saying that the peak colors this year will be the last week of October thru the first week of November. There are several easy to moderate hikes thru the forests for those of you that want to walk thru the colors and avoid the vehicle traffic which include Baskins Creek Falls, Old Settlers and Porters Creek Trails. For those of you who are of the hardy brand of hikers there is the Appalachian Trail, Mt. Sterling and the Goshen Prong Trails. Also, there are roads that provide beautiful displays of the fall color such as Newfound Gap Road, Cove Creek Road and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

 Sevierville, TN

Although Sevierville is not as famous as Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, there are still a lot of things to do and well worth taking the time to visit.

1.    There is the Apple Barn Cider Mill and General Store. It’s a very popular dining and shopping area. It sits beside a 4000+ apple tree orchard. The Apple Barn has some of the most delicious desserts such as fried apple pies, apple cinnamon donuts, and old-fashioned apple stack cakes. Besides the Cider Mill and General Store you will find a winery, a Christmas Shop, a creamery, a candy store and a couple of outstanding restaurants. The Apple Barn is a great place to rest and refresh yourself after a morning of looking at Sevierville real estate for sale.

2.    You can take a walk around downtown Sevierville to the Sevier County Courthouse and take a selfie with the bronze statue of the one and only Dolly Parton, the Queen of Country Music. It was sculpted in 1987 by a local artist, Jim Gray. Jim Gray spent more than 2,000 hours working on this project. He used a steel skeleton and then about 300 pounds of clay. Once he finished with the sculpting of it, he shipped it from Knoxville, TN to the Wagner Foundry in Fredericksburg, VA. There it was cast in bronze.

3.    At the Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo in Sevierville, you can pet and feed some of the animals there such as, deer, kangaroos, camels, wallabies, and zebras. There is also horseback riding with pony rides for your little ones. There are well-maintained trails for you to enjoy the beautiful mountain views. Admission for those 13 and up is $10.95 and children are $5.95. however, you do need to call ahead as prices are subject to change. 478 Happy Hollow Lane, Sevierville, TN.

4.    Would you like to walk the same area that was used by the Eastern Woodland Indians hundreds of years ago? You are in luck! There is a place just like that in Sevierville, TN. It’s called Forbidden Caverns. This cave was used by the Indians as a good source of water and a place to stay out of the winter cold so you may see some drawings engraved on the walls of the caverns. From around 1920 until 1943, the cave was used to house homemade moonshine operations. In June of 1967, after 3 years of development, a group of business men opened this natural attraction to the public. There are guided tours of the caverns that last about 55 minutes. You can take photos inside during your tour.  Parking is free for cars and buses, there is also a picnic pavilion, a souvenir shop and refreshments. Take a light jacket since it’s always at 58 degrees It’s open Monday – Saturday, April – November opening at 10am to 6pm. The last tour leaves at 5pm. Prices are adults $16. Children 5 -12 are $10 and children under the age of 5 are free. Closed Thanksgiving Day, December, January, February and March. Forbidden Caverns is located at 455 Blowing Cave Rd in Sevierville, TN.

5.    Smoky Mountain Knife Works is an interesting blend of old and new one of a kind store that not only has 120+ brands of knives but, also has a wildlife trophy display, Native American relics and a Civil War display. In their relics area, there are several dinosaur bones, an antique non-working ‘pirate’ lock, and many arrowheads. It can take a while to see everything in this 55,000 square foot building. There are three floors stocked with thousands of knives, outdoor tools, martial arts weapons, and kitchen utensils. Approximately 1.2 million people visit the store every year from all over the world. They have clothing, belt buckles, money clips, kitchen accessories, kitchen gadgets, military surplus, firearm accessories, flashlights, lighters, axes and so much more. Located at 2320 Winfield Dunn Pkwy in Sevierville, TN you can call them at 865-453-5871 to get their hours. They are open different hours depending on the season.

  Pigeon Forge, TN

Fall in Pigeon Forge is loaded with many events and activities. It will be hard for you to decide what to do first.


1.    One of the best ways for you to enjoy Pigeon Forge is to get outside and play. The weather is gorgeous, the changing leaf colors will delight your eyes, and the magnificent mountain views will have you snapping photos all day. You can go fly fishing, you can take ATV tours, you can soar thru the trees on a zip line, or you could go horseback riding.

2.    Kyker Farms is a fun fall thing to enjoy. Take the whole family and just see how much fun you can have getting lost in one of the five corn mazes. They also have hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a zip line, a zombie paint ball adventure, corn cob swing and so much more. They have bonfire sites and concessions. All this fun is located 1.7 miles off TN Hwy 66/Winfield Dunn Pkwy. Their phone number is 865-679-4848.

3.    As you can tell, fall is a busy time of year in Pigeon Forge. There is the Fall Harvest Festival at Dollywood and you know Dollywood knows how to celebrate autumn in the Smokies. There is live gospel music, thousands of illuminated pumpkins, and incredible fall decorations. There are also Smoky Mountain crafts demonstrations going on.  Your children will enjoy getting candy in a non-scary event. There are interactive displays by local vendors who will hand out the candy to all the little super heroes and beautiful princesses. Take a ride to Wears Valley and attend the Fall Fest where you will see craft-making, art displays, live music and entertainers, story telling and some of the best southern food around. While you are there you can look into some of the Wears Valley real estate for sale.

4.    Can you imagine October without a few spine-tingling thrills? You don’t have to here in the Smoky Mountains. You might be interested in Ripley’s Haunted Adventure or maybe take a tour of the Mysterious Mansion. You could even enjoy a Gatlinburg Ghost Tour. One of the new scary attractions in Pigeon Forge is OUTBREAK, a zombie adventure at the Hollywood Wax Museum.

5.    So many Scenic Smoky Mountain Drives that it will be hard to choose just one. While you are here looking at cabins for sale in Pigeon Forge check out at least a couple of these drives. In the Smoky Mountain National park - On the Roaring Fork Motor Trail you will see historic home and beautiful waterfalls. You can see incredible mountain views on the way to the tallest peak in the Smokies on your way up Clingman’s Dome Road. There is the Cades Cove Loop which can become crowded but, you can see old historic homes and mountain views and maybe a bear. Outside the national park – try the Foothills Parkway - gorgeous drive with views of the mountains, the Dragon – a very interesting ride near Fontana Dam that’s a very popular motorcycle route, and there is the Gatlinburg By-Pass, a short scenic drive with views of Gatlinburg.

6.    Over 100 years ago, the Old Forge Distillery was an old historic barn that housed a farm supply store. Now, moonshine made from mountain spring water and fresh-ground grains are turned into original moonshine and flavored moonshines. Some of the flavored moonshine are Chocolate, French Toast, and Coffee. The moonshine is made in small 80 proof batches. The Old Forge Tasting Bar is open daily. There is a gift store that has hand forged knives made by the resident blacksmith. You can also purchase moonshine jugs handmade by Pigeon River Pottery. The Old Forge Distillery is located at 170 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, Tn. As the hours may vary please call 865-774-4126 for the hours of operation.



Gatlinburg is a fun place to visit year-round but, there’s something special in the air when fall arrives. The leaves begin to change colors, the fall festivals begin, and all this happens when you start to feel a slight chill in the air.


1.    CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains is a place where you can spend the whole day. There are 9 world-class ziplines that allow you to soar thru the trees with breathtaking views. What an incredible adventure at CLIMB Works!! There are 9 ziplines with 3 sky bridges with a surprise a ending. You can ride the mountaintop zipline and have a higher vantage point while you ride side by side with family or friends. The mountain biking supplies all you will need to go for a ride – the bike, the trail and the experience.

2.    According to the ‘experts’, the fall colors should peak toward to the end of October and continue for a bit into November. Sounds like the best time to get the most out of your scenic drives through the Smokies is right around Halloween!! You can keep an eye on the progress of the leaf change by tuning in to one of the Smoky Mountain webcams. Here’s one for you.

3.    As beautiful as the fall foliage is, there are other things you can do in the fall here in Gatlinburg. Halloween is a big event here. There is the annual Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival on October 31 from 1 - 5 pm. Head on over in your costume with your family to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza for a fun filled afternoon with costumed characters, candy and contests. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Gatlinburg in October.

4.    There is an evening hayride in Cades Cove during the fall season. The national park rangers guide these tours so you know you’ll learn a lot of interesting things about the Smoky Mountains. Tickets are $14 per person. The rides are every Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:30 on a first come, first served basis so, I’m sure arriving early is a good idea. If you have other things to do in the late afternoon, you can go to Cades Cove Riding stables where they have other hayrides daily. These aren’t led by a park ranger but, they do offer the chance to see the beauty of Cades Cove in the fall.

5.    From September 21 to October 28, the fall season is celebrated in Gatlinburg with fun, German food, and music. OBER GATLINBURG celebrates October Fest with entertainment, outdoor games and authentic German food. You can not only enjoy German food at Oktoberfest in Gatlinburg like German Bratwurst, Schnitzel, and Strudel, there is the Bavarian Funmakers Oompah Band that performs daily during Oktoberfest at the Seasons of Ober Restaurant. Most of their performances are at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm during the week plus 7pm on the weekends.

6.    You can attend the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. The event I held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. You will see many talented artisans and craftsmen from all over the country. Some of the crafts highlighted at this event are pottery, painting, metal works and glass blowing. There are also country and bluegrass concerts from the Dennis Lee Band.

7.    If you’re of a mind for a creepy and spooky memorable evening, you can attend Ripley’s Fright Nights that go on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during October. The shows begin at 6pm with a parade of characters at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure in Gatlinburg. It’s located at 908 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN.


Wears Valley

This is an unincorporated community in Sevier County, Tennessee. It’s located in a valley known as Wear Cove and runs parallel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are many new businesses about to open in Wears Valley. Some of them are Cades Cove Corner, Mountain Brothers General Store and Laporte Archery. At the corner of Lyon Springs Road there will be an antique shop and the much awaited Cades Cove Distillery.


One of the most fun things to do in Wears Valley is the Fall Fest October 19-21. There are three full days of fun things to do with your family – pumpkins, entertainment, crafts, and incredible southern food. There is pumpkin carving, running thru an obstacle course, jumping in inflatables, and a lot of other crafts. The stage will be filled throughout the weekend with southern gospel music, country, Elvis and folk music. There are many artisans showing their traditional and some newer crafts. The food! Oh, the food! Steak on a stick, grilled corn on the cob, Greek and Italian foods, and of course BBQ. To round out your meal there are gourmet caramel and candy apples.



These are but a few of the fun and exciting things that go on in the Smoky Mountains during the fall. After you are done looking at real estate for sale in the Smokies, Search Here for All Real Estate drive on into any of these cities to check on the autumn events for you to enjoy. 


Sept. 24, 2018

Five Oaks Farm Kitchen


Located at 1638 Parkway in Sevierville, TN, you will discover a relatively new restaurant devoted to you, the hungry visitor with true southern-style meals. Five Oaks Farm Kitchen is the place to go for southern hospitality and good southern cooking. They have breakfast, lunch, and supper menus. Breakfast is from 7:30am to 2:30pm, lunch is from 11:30am to 2:30pm and supper is from 2:30pm until closing which is 9pm Sunday thru Thursday and 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. 


For breakfast you can have something sweet like the large handmade cinnamon roll with a sweet cream icing to a large serving of southern homemade biscuits and sausage gravy. More traditional is the French toast and griddle cakes. Many ways to have your eggs or your omelets. Should you go with one of the harvest morning bounty selections you will be served two eggs, grits, potatoes, biscuits and gravy and a griddle cake with warm syrup. That by itself would be enough to fill you but, you still get to make your bounty selection. Maybe rainbow trout or a ground chuck steak with sausage gravy. Perhaps a pan-fried pork tenderloin with sausage gravy? 


Should you not have time for breakfast there’s always lunch at Five Oaks Farm Kitchen. There are many salad selections with several types of dressings to choose. Chicken and scratch-made dumplins – omygoodness! All that with any of the lunch entrees – fried chicken, open face pot roast, meatloaf, chicken casserole, sugar cured ham steak, and if meat is not your thing there is a veggie plate. There is also a full rack of hickory smoked pork ribs or a pulled pork plate. You may have to return more than a few times to try all that’s on the menu for lunch! For dessert you can try the banana pudding, a southern delight, a caramel apple served on a stick, or the purple cow. I’ll let you think about that. 


You’re probably not a work weary farmer at the end of a busy day but I’ll bet you’ll be hungry for supper at Five Oaks Farm Kitchen after a busy day of searching for Pigeon Forge real estate or Gatlinburg real estate. 

Always seerving a delicious salad made with fresh ingredients. They have added an incredible potato soup to the supper menu along with the chicken and dumplins and slow cooked pinto bean and ham soup. For supper, they have added rainbow trout, fried chicken livers, stuffed peppers, fried catfish, and a chicken casserole. Multiple sides for you to choose from – cole slaw, green beans, stewed cabbage, creamed corn, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and fried green tomatoes. There are too many sides to list. Should you prefer smoked meats, there’s chicken, pork ribs, beef short ribs, prime rib of beef and a smokehouse sampling. For dessert and you know how southerners love their sweets, you can choose from blackberry dumplings, window sill cobbler, and of course the three desserts from lunch. 

Five Oaks Farm Kitchen has two floors of seating with a kitchen on both. There is plenty of private dining for family reunions, school trips, meetings, parties, and receptions. There is easy access for buses and tour group and all parking is free.  

Make Five Oaks Farm Kitchen a place you plan on visiting when you come to the Smoky Mountains to visit the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area. I’m sure you will go away full and eagerly wanting to return. 


Five Oaks Farm Kitchen

1638 Parkway

Sevierville, TN



Sept. 18, 2018

Pigeon Forge Snow


Yes, you can! Right here in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! As the first attraction in the United States to use cutting edge snow making technology, Pigeon Forge Snow converts 35,000 square feet of its indoor space into 15 lanes of the coolest place you can be when the outside temperatures are in the 80s and you need to cool off after looking at Pigeon Forge homes for sale. The slopes at Pigeon Forge Snow are covered with bona fide real powder! For those of you who don’t care to hit the slopes, there is a SnowPlay area for you. There you can build snowmen, make snow angels, and almost like at the beach, you can make snow castles. Should snow not be your thing, you can go up the 2nd level and watch your family and friends have fun with their tubing time. There is a place to relax and also grab something to eat and drink at the snack bar.


Pigeon Forge Snow is open every day from 10 am to 10 pm. The last ticket is sold at 9:30 pm so, get in there early to have as much fun as you can. For 1 hour of tubing for any and all ages, as long as you are at least 38 inches tall and 3 years old, the cost is $21.99. should you or your little one just want to play in the snow, it’s $7 for 30 minutes of Snow Play. To enjoy both snow tubing and snow playing, the best value is a combination of the two at a discounted price of $26.99.


Now you might think it’s going to be cold inside Pigeon Forge Snow but, due to technology they are able to maintain a comfortable temperature of between 65 and 70 degrees. For the most part, whatever you are wearing when you come here, after looking at Pigeon Forge cabins for sale, Is perfect. It’s preferable that you don’t wear flip flops, though. A long sleeved shirt or very light jacket wouldn’t hurt if you get chilly easily.


There are a few rules that must be followed so that you can enjoy a fun and safe time at Pigeon Forge Snow. They are common sense rules in place for your safety not to spoil your fun. No snowballs, pushing, running, or horseplay, don’t eat the snow, only one person per tube, no eating or drinking on the snow, no loose objects, maximum weight of 375 lbs.# and you have to be able to sit securely in the center of the tub. Like I said, common sense rules for safety.



Pigeon Forge Snow is located at 2533 Teaster Ln, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. The phone number is 865-366-1334.

Aug. 22, 2018

Glamping in the Smokies

Glamping in the Smoky Mountains

Of course, you may ask What Exactly Is Glamping. It’s considered to be Glamorous Camping. Where present-day luxuries meet dazzling and spectacular nature. It’s especially popular with modern day tourists that seek the luxuries of accommodations that can be found in hotels but, want to be outdoors in nature without all the hard work, hassle and dirt. It’s for the person who wants to be in nature but, to be honest, don’t want to rough it.

Glamping in not a new concept. In the 16th century, a Scottish earl set up lavish tents and stocked them with food and wine from his own palace. In 1520, over 2,500 tents were set up with fountains of red wine  for a summit with Henry Vlll of England and Francis l of France. At approximately in the same time frame, the Ottomans had palatial tents moved from one military encounter to another. In the 1920s, an African safari was what wealthy Americans and Britons did for their vacations.

As you can see, glamping combines both the luxuries of yesterday and the hi tech amenities of today. There are many different structures that are used for glamping. You can vacation in a treehouse in a forest, enjoy sunrise from a yurt on a mountaintop, there are cabins, lodges, tipis, and of course tents. There are barns and farmhouses, airstreams and trailers, domes and eco-domes, private villas, wagons and shepherd huts, and many unique glamping experiences such as, caves, ice hotels, planes, and trains. There is little that can’t be experienced as glamping.

 There are glamping accommodations that have king-sized beds and a full bathroom with a flushing toilet, hot shower and a sink in your tent. All you need to take with you is your suitcase full of your personal items. Everything else is provided for you. Some glamping experiences even provide all your meals. There are hiking excursions, fishing trips, wildlife viewing, biking, kayaking, and so much more. You just have to search for the type of experience you are looking for.

 One such company that is providing the glamping experience in the USA is they are situated near seven major US national parks and attractions: the Grand Canyon, Moab, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Zion National Park

and now the Great Smoky Mountains.

 I’m thinking autumn is the perfect time to go glamping in the Smokies. You can go ziplining, hiking, view the wildlife, hike up to Clingman’s Dome, white water rafting, and enjoy the beautiful fall colors. You will be only minutes from the most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park with all it has to offer. There are no accommodations in the area quite like it!


Aug. 6, 2018

Dollywood Before and After

In the years before it became Dollywood, it was first owned by the Robbins brothers from North Carolina. In early 1961, it was a small tourist attraction with a steam train, a general store, a saloon, and a blacksmith shop. It was called Rebel Railroad with a theme influenced by the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. The train riders encountered attacks by blue-coated Union soldiers, train robbers, and Indians. The train and riders were defended by the brave Confederate soldiers who fought off the various attackers.

 The year 1964 brought about a name change for the Rebel Railroad. It became Goldrush Junction and with minor modifications, it brought up images of gold prospectors and claim jumpers. Away went the days of sitting under a large Magnolia tree sipping on mint juleps. This time the bad guys were plundering Indians and disreputable gold thieves. After Goldrush Junction purchased half of the flume ride that was at the ’64-’65 New York World’s Fair, it became a bigger attraction than it ever had as the Rebel Railroad. It was destined to become bigger than anyone had imagined.

After the death of one of the Robbins brothers in 1970, the park was sold to Art Modell, who was also the owner of the Cleveland Browns football team!! Art owned the park for a few years and added a few attractions. Then, in 1976, the Brown’s interest was bought out by Jack and Pete Herschend. The brothers poured about $1,000,000 into the park renaming it Silver Dollar City as a sister park to the one they already had in Branson, Missouri. Jack and Pete didn’t set out to buy an existing theme park. But, after researching the area and learning that they couldn’t put up a sign pointing the way out of Gatlinburg to the apple orchard they were considering, they discovered Goldrush Junction was for sale. They bought the Goldrush because they thought a big buyer might buy that property and they’d have major competition on a main road.

 Ten years later, Dolly Parton, who had grown up in the area, appeared on a Barbara Walters tv show and said she was going to build a park somewhere in the Smoky Mountain and call it Dollywood. So, now Jack and Pete were faced with the idea of an even bigger competitor. To avoid that from happening, they came up with a proposal that would make Dolly part owner of Silver Dollar City and a name change. She took them up on their offer and in May 1986 Silver Dollar City became Dollywood.

And as they say, the rest is history.


July 31, 2017

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