Sevier County Golf Courses: Above and Below Par



If you found room in your vehicle for a bag of clubs and some spikeless shoes, it’s important to have a summary at hand to make the best choice for your foursome (twosome or self) to have a beautiful day of par-knocking. Here’s a summary for those adults with skills surpassing last week’s mini-golf primer.

1. Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course, 520 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, 800-231-4128,
Located about a half-mile from the main Parkway (Hwy 441) in Pigeon Forge, this facility is easily accessed both from the Parkway and from Veterans Boulevard.
The original course in this area, this William Langford-designed classic course opened in 1955 as Gatlinburg Country Club, but has always been located in Pigeon Forge city limits. The course was renovated in 1993, and again in 2007. Playing here is both picturesque and unique. It boasts plush fairways and bent grass greens, with not much water on the course, and plenty of natural growth. It is true mountain golf: lots of terrain changes make playing both highly challenging and quite unforgiving. Accuracy is paramount, particularly on the forest-lined fairways of the back nine. Hole 12 is the signature hole, named Sky-Hi, a deceptive par 3 where the tee box is cliffside, and the green about 200 feet below: club choice drama at its best!
Tips: Take time to absorb the extreme beauty of the surrounding countryside; it’s truly a gorgeous pleasure. Go prepared with insect repellant since gnats can be an issue, particularly with a wet summer season. This is a course you will want to play more than once, and have a few balls in the bag that you are willing to lose.


2. Sevierville Golf Club, 1444 Old Knoxville Highway, Sevierville, 888-710-1388,
Located a block off Highway 66/Winfield Dunn Parkway, the clubhouse and part of the course can be seen from this main access artery into Sevierville, from exit 407 at Interstate 40.
This second municipal course originally opened as Eagles Landing in 1994, and was expanded to its current 36 holes with relocated clubhouse in 2009, making it both the newest and largest in the area. Along with a nice modern clubhouse, there is an excellent driving range, and good putting greens available. The course has Bermuda fairways, and shares its parking lot with the adjacent Wyndham Wilderness Resort.
The River Course is a relatively forgiving par 72 that offers ample water play around and over the Little Pigeon River. The Highlands Course par 70 is a links layout with more terrain change, and increased accuracy required.
Tip: Because of the course’s youth, there is not much shade with the lack of mature growth trees. Pretty course, but often very hot on sunny days. Don’t forget your hydration and sunscreen on this one.


3. River Islands Golf Club, 9610 Kodak Road, Kodak, 800-347-4837,
Straddling the Sevier and Knox county line, this club can be accessed from both Highway 66 and from Interstate 40 at exit 402 (Midway Road), with a short drive.
Completed in 1991, this course was designed by Arthur Hills as a links-style 18 holes. The layout is scenic and spectacularly beautiful. Though the views are mountainous, the course itself is relatively flat. Please note that it is also quite wet and formidable, maybe even humbling? This par 72 has Zoysia fairways and Bermuda greens, with a challenging and interesting layout. 5 holes are located on islands in the French Broad River, with signature holes actually crossing the river channel (forced carries, anyone?). 9 holes cannot be easily played here, since the ninth hole is out with a turn shack and does not return to the clubhouse. Lovely and fun for the less-than-serious, it’s also a worthy opponent to those intent on conquering its threats.
Tips: Don’t be deceived by the par 3’s, even they can be tougher than you might expect. Deals on fees can be found on


4. Bent Creek Golf Village, 3919 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, 865-436-3947,
Located about 10 miles out of Gatlinburg, on Highway 321. Its location is relatively remote unless staying in the Gatlinburg area.
Opened in 1972, this par 72 course was designed by Gary Player, with bent grass greens and views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It shares grounds with the Diamond Resorts Timeshare community which now surrounds it. Its front nine is scenic on the valley floor, and the back nine is among the hillsides, with creek water running throughout. The course is both panoramic and pleasant, but not for duffers. Precision and accuracy are needed throughout (or at least a good quantity of balls to lose).
Tip: Insect repellant is an absolute must on this course.


5. Creekside Plantation Golf Course, 326 N. Shiloh Road, Seymour, 865-577-4653 (GOLF),
Located off Boyd’s Creek Highway, the course is accessible from both Winfield Dunn Parkway/Highway 66 and Chapman Highway 441. Seymour is about 20 minutes from Sevierville.
This Par 35, 9-hole course was completed in 2000. The course is pretty and pleasant with bent grass greens, and bills itself as “great golf in half the time”. Its main challenge is water on over half the holes, hence the name. Both straight and creative holes are included, with various levels of challenge that can also be achieved from using different tees. Great for a quick game, if you don’t have the luxury of time for a full round.
Tip: deals are available for here also.


Hopefully my thumbnail summary of courses in our area is helpful in choosing a golf location, while enjoying your vacation in one of our Wears Valley cabins. There is plenty to appreciate for all skill levels. Have a ball, and hit them straight!



7 Ways to Score a Hole-in-One: a Putt-Putt Primer

You know you will have to do this at some point during your trip,. The kids have already spotted at least one of these courses on the way to your Gatlinburg, Tennessee cabin. There is certainly an abundance of courses. Here are a few descriptions to narrow your mini-golfing choices.


1. Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini-Golf, 1639 Parkway, Sevierville-Located adjacent to Tanger Five Oaks Outlet Mall, this course is the most sophisticated and the largest in the area. It features three 18-hole courses with barnyard animal themes (choose your pigs, cows, or chickens). Motion-activated, humorous animation is sprinkled through the courses as additional entertainment to the sometimes challenging course layouts.
Tip: Beware the arcade, through which you must exit, that will snag a few extra dollars if your kids can extract them from you.
2. Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf, 188 Parkway in Gatlinburg. This sister course location has a smaller footprint with two 18-hole courses, similar interactive animation, and a woodland animals theme.
3. Firehouse Golf, 2528 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, is the centerpiece of the Walden’s Landing complex, with two 18-hole courses from which to choose. It sports a cute firefighting theme with moving water and several falls throughout the courses. Its location allows Dad to play with the kids while Mom shops. The family could also play together while waiting on restaurant seating or prior to catching a movie at the Forge Cinema, the county’s only movie theater.
4. Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf, 3010 Parkway, Pigeon Forge-Think of Indiana Jones shouting, “Fore!”, and you get the theme of this course. An archeologists’s hunt for gold and diamonds leads you through a ship, a temple, caves, waterfalls and a volcano for that elusive hole-in-one. A unique feature is a “mine train” ride to the first holes of this course.
5. Gator Golf, 2575 Parkway, Pigeon Forge– This course is part of the Track Family Recreation Center, which includes multiple activities: bumper boats and cars, gokarts, kiddie rides section, and more. The landscape is filled with stationary jungle animals, and includes some waterfalls and tunnels.
Tip: Buying tickets in bulk for the attractions at the Track affords some discount over single activities purchases.
6. Adventure Golf, 2925 Parkway, Pigeon Forge-Here is the perfect retro experience of classic miniature golf on two courses. This location is one of the original putt-putts in town, and is easy to spot with its giant octopus, shark and dinosaur. Owned long-term by a local family, the course doesn’t have modern bells and whistles. Yet the creatures make for great photo opps, trees shade part of the course, and real ducks often visit.
Tip: Look for coupons that are offered regularly that make this course a bargain.
7. Hillbilly Golf, 340 Parkway, Gatlinburg- Another classic course that has stood the test of time, this one is unique because the course is atop a small ridge. An incline tram ride carries players up to the playing area itself. Two very similar courses are based on a rustic backwoods theme with simple layouts on a terraced hillside among the trees.
Tip Note there are lots of stairs on this course, and I would recommend bug spray, since it is in the trees, particularly at night when floodlights are on.


So choose your club, which brightly colored ball to call your own, and try for a free game by sinking that hole-in-one on number 18. It’s a time-tested, low-tech way to create some family moments, and a little healthy competition among those who can’t stand a laid-back game. Enjoy!

New Eats of Note in Pigeon Forge: New and Soon-to-Come Restaurants to Try

Now that you have unpacked everyone and everything into your cabin rental in Pigeon Forge, your crowd has “gotta eat”. Maybe you have planned to grill out a family meal on the deck and enjoy the view. But if you are coming into town, there are a few new interesting choices to consider for a fun meal out. 

Cheddar’s Casual Cafe opened at 3240 Parkway in 2013, and is usually quite busy. An American food chain restaurant from Texas, it has large portions at reasonable prices. Nothing fancy, but usually good, with variety so that all can find something to enjoy. Check out this link for location directions and their downloadable menu:



Hard Rock Cafe moved its location from Gatlinburg, and is now found between Wonderworks and Smoky Mountain Opry Theater at 2050 Parkway, Pigeon Forge. Opening on May 20th,  its well-known music memorabilia venue and classic American food is a welcome addition, and now much easier to access with ample free parking at the door.
The Island in Pigeon Forge entertainment complex opened in 2013, and is filling up tenant space not previously leased. Locate the “cannot miss even if you try” lighted ferris wheel and you have found it. This is a destination spot to explore itself, but I wanted to provide a few eating options here.



Poynor’s Pommes Frites is definitely worth the trip. This is simple German food: brats and fries. But, oh, the fries: thick cut, Belgium fries with multiple sauces to dip them in, equals a fabulous indulgence. Then everyone can share a spoonful of Spaghetti Ice, a most fun dessert that is a trompe l’oeil food masterpiece. The picture above is not a pasta plate, but a creative sundae of vanilla ice cream, strawberry puree, shaved white chocolate, chocolate candies and sugar cookie sticks. It’s a fun memory-making spot to eat.
Timberwood Grill is another restaurant at the Island, which wraps a mountain theme around solidly tasty American food. A few creative menu items are offered, which you can investigate here:

Coming soon! There are several other locations to explore at the Island, and the construction of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen restaurant is also underway and slated to open late summer 2014. More on that later this year.

So, make sure and visit your old favorites (or ask us here at VCR for ours), and give one of these new businesses a try. Let us know what you think!

Over 12 Ways to Face Downhill Drama: Just for the Fun of It!

chimneysDon’t you just love (someone else’s) drama? Or do you sometimes endure a little melodramatic flair from someone in your traveling party? After snuggling into the sofa of your Wears Valley cabin to relax and watch an exciting dramatic movie, why not make the storyline more personal, and take on some downhill action of your own making? There are plenty of hills in the Smokies to get you off the horizontal plane. Let’s look at over a dozen ways to head downhill: fast or slow, controlled or not, on purpose, just for fun.

1. Drive from Clingmans Dome to Gatlinburg down Newfound Gap Road. Several suggestions on this list involve your vehicle, and this one is the most logical. Start at the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and make your way back. It’s a gorgeous 25 mile tour.
2. Navigate the road to your rental cabin. Those great views often are located at the summit of a hill, which requires the climb and the fun descent back down to civilization,. If steep rural roads are not on your agenda, check with our customer service personnel regarding your accommodation selection. We have many cabins for all levels of vehicular bravery.
3. Drive down Ski Mountain Road in Gatlinburg. This, of course, involves climbing the mountain first, and there are other downhill opportunities at Ober Gatlinburg at the top (more on that later). A few tips to navigate this curvy, steep, 3-mile length of road well: fair weather only, low gear (or your brakes can overheat), and please allow locals behind you on their way to work to pass by your joyride.
4 through 6. Ski, slide, or tram downhill from Ober Gatlinburg. Seasonal snow skiing, boarding and tubing goes without saying to lovers of those sports. The Alpine Slide is a classic dry trough bobsled-type ride that parents and children can enjoy together. The Ober Gatlinburg Tramway gets my vote for the best view of any downhill journey in the area, though it is a slow and sometimes rather crowded journey. Think ahead to position yourself strategically to get the best standing view spot during your ride.
7. Ride the Sky Lift in downtown Gatlinburg. This retro classic chairlift ride can be easily overlooked since it’s not a speed thriller nor painted some obnoxious neon color. On a pretty weather day, this can be a pleasant way to overlook the city of Gatlinburg nestled in the foothills, as you ride up to a gift shop at the top and back down.
8. Go Horseback Riding among the trees. Though not all of the riding stables trek hilly terrain, some do-just ask. If you don’t spend much time on horseback, it’s a unique and fresh way to view the hillsides.
9. Sluice down the Splash Country River Rush Water Coaster. Yes, it’s a better ride downhill if you’re wet. Hydromagnetic is the technical term for the only water coaster in Tennessee. Four stories high, and four drops along the way. Twists, turns, tunnels, and water. Let’s just say the scenery is not the point here! Check out the POV video of this sweet ride here:
10. Choose your speed of descent on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. New to the area in 2013, you will want to ride this more than once, guaranteed. This one gets my favorite vote. Self-propelled uphill, and speed-controlled by you coming down, this smooth ride is a do not miss.
11. Experience ZORB. My vote for the most outrageous downhill spin (teenagers, anyone?) is this inflated, double-walled sphere, with water inside (or dry). You ride inside the ball as it rolls down a rather steep 700 foot incline. Only you can choose whether that excites or nauseates you. I promise you it will do at least one of those, if not both. Many do this so they can say they did, if you know what I mean. Take a look here:
12 and then some. Now try trail hiking, ziplining, Dollywood rollercoasters, or just picking a random mountain road going somewhere unknown. That’s what is so superb about the Great Smoky Mountains area! You can pick an activity as simple as going downhill, and easily find more than a dozen ways to do it. Like trying to choose your favorite ice cream flavor, the joy is in the experimenting. I’ve given you options; now it’s up to you to make your personal family plan.
Let us know here at Volunteer Cabin Rentals what your favorite downhill adventure choice is. Better yet, come back again, and make sure to try them all!

Stoneground History: the Gristmills of the Smoky Mountains

While you are relaxing in your Smoky mountains cabin rental, make plans to absorb a small bit of history while exploring our area on vacation.

Historically, a gristmill was the central gathering place for most communities. Along with the service of grinding grain into meal or flour between grooved millstones, trade bartering for goods and services took place onsite. Social news and storytelling made the local grist mill the most interesting place to be on mill day, usually Saturdays.

There are four mills in the National Park that are easily accessed:

The John P. Cable Mill is powered by a wooden flume, ending in a classic overshot waterwheel at the millsite. Overshot wheels have spill over the top, suited for fast-flowing downhill mountain water. It is located in the picturesque Cades Cove community near Townsend, about 5.5 miles from the Cove area entrance. Cornmeal ground onsite is available for purchase in the visitor center.

The largest mill in the National Park is the Mingus Mill, located 3 miles outside of Cherokee, NC on 441/Newfound Gap Road, or approximately 30 miles from Gatlinburg, TN. This mill is unique as it is water-powered by a cast iron turbine, instead of a traditional waterwheel. Both of these mills have farm homestead museums created around them, from historic structures that were moved from various locations throughout the park area. Spending time here makes one realize how stalwart and strong-willed the mountain folk were to sustain themselves in their rugged home envrionment.

There are also two smaller, tub mills for viewing along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, which begins at the end of Gatlinburg’s Airport Road/Historic Nature Trail, about 2 miles from the main Parkway, turning at the downtown Convention Center. These mini mills were small, but effective, for use by families and neighbors’ homestead needs. The Noah “Bud” Ogle Homestead is the the first major stop on the trail, and the Ogle mill is about a quarter-mile woodland trek from the cabin. The Alfred Reagan mill is also located on this trail, with its shed-sized building and flume at the Reagan homestead toward the end of the trail. There are multiple interesting historic sites and some scenic overlooks along this trail in addition to the mill locations.

If venturing into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is outside of your goals for this trip, there are two mills in Pigeon Forge:

The Old Mill Complex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a destination location for visiting with surrounding restaurants and shops to explore.  It is located one block off the main Parkway in the heart of Pigeon Forge. The 3-story mill structure was built in 1830, and its waterwheel and adjacent milldam are one of the most photographed mills in the nation. There is a guided milling operations tour available 9:30-1:30 Monday through Friday (except for lunch break). Tour fee is $3 for adults, $1.50 for children 6-12, and free for under 6 yrs. Milled items are available for purchase in the general store located here, and are also used for the menus in the complex’s restaurants, should you need immediate gratification.

The newest mill in our area is at the Dollywood theme park. The Dollywood Working Gristmill was built in 1982, the first of its kind built in over 100 years in the area, and created with the original construction techniques of its predecessors. So, not historic, but certainly authentic. The delicious cinnamon bread baked onsite here is well-known, and well worth the purchase price. Don’t plan on buying this as a gift, I promise you it won’t last, and you will wish you purchased more. One of the best treats to sample in the theme park, in my humble opinion.

Take in a little history of one of these interesting milling sites, and then take home as gifts some of the products created on location.  A simple, timeworn, authentic piece of Sevier County history that’s  good enough to eat!

Urgent Dollywood Update: 3 Must Do’s for the First Visit of the Season

Dollywood opens this season on Saturday, March 22. Let’s prepare before the family gathers by making a “what’s new” shortlist for you to visit at the theme park.

First, for the adults, hurry and enjoy the multiculturalism that is the always popular Festival of Nations. This year brings several new shows with a wide selection of music: Swiss yodeling and alphorn playing, South American harp music, Colombian, Celtic, Gaelic, and Russian music among others.

Most impressive and visually mesmerizing is the “Mother Africa” performance that has toured internationally before arriving at Dollywood. The show features music, dancing and acrobatics in traditional styles from across the entire African continent. Not just your average modern dance drumbeating, this is a true cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed.

My vote for most unusual musical performance is an Italian grand piano act with ballerina on top that will be driving its music throughout the park during the day. There’s so much more to the festival, like a miniature world showcase of art, music, dance and food (of course), from over 30 countries. My only regret is that it is short-lived: Festival of Nations ends April 21, so hurry to enjoy it all before it’s gone until next year.

Next, really fun for all, from grandfather to great-grandchild, is the new family roller coaster, the FireChaser Express. At top speed of 35 miles-per-hour, this firefighter-themed coaster is still mild enough for all to enjoy, but has a few twists (pun intended) to make even coaster fiends smile. The ride shoots forward and eventually pitstops in a fireworks shed, before “exploding” backwards for a shorter, but different backwards trajectory to end the ride in the original boarding station. If you have never ridden a coaster backwards, this is your chance to initiate your family to that unique thrill sensation. The only thing my young son didn’t like were the “hot flames” in the fireworks shed. Me? Let’s just say going both directions makes for some interesting windswept hairdos! No inverted loops or heartwrenchers here:  just good, smooth family fun.

Spoiler alert: want to preview the ride before actually hitting the rails? View it animated online here:

For the smallest ones, there is a great new micro playground below the FireChaser, that brings back oversized Lego’s and a water play area that were features lost from the park with changes at the Owens Farm treehouse play area a few years back. It’s a delightful place to cool off in the heat. It is also very well-staffed to monitor for safety, which most playground-visiting parents can fully appreciate!

Please come and enjoy these new features for all at Dollywood, and stay with us at Volunteer Cabin Rentals while you are here. Our family would love to help yours enjoy the area as much as we do. We promise that once is not enough–join our group of repeat visiting friends soon! Book your visit today.

Erin Go Bragh! Irish Month Events at the Titanic Museum

People of Irish descent celebrate their heritage on St. Patrick’s Day, and anyone, from anywhere, can enjoy special events throughout Irish month this March at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. Storytelling and Gaelic humor, music with singing and dancing, and more will be featured throughout the month. The RMS Titanic arose from the Harland And Wolff Shipyard and the hands of its proud Irish workmen in Belfast, Ireland. Many members of both the ship’s crew and passenger list were of Irish descent.
Several authors of Titanic literature have scheduled Facebook interviews and book signings in March, culminating at month’s end with the 2nd annual Authors’ Week and Book Signing Fair from Saturday, March 29 to Saturday April 5th. The museum has also recently unveiled its featured new exhibit of Margaret “Unsinkable Molly” Brown, one of its many colorful, memorable passengers.
Board this museum “ship”, and immerse yourself in a recreation of sailing on the vast Titanic. Study her unparalleled opulence and the immense resources required to make an excursion. Experience the intricate details of the personal stories of those aboard the vessel during its maiden voyage and impending disaster. Touch an iceberg wall and plunge your hand into 28 degree water, which many endured upon the ship’s sinking.
During your visit, you will develop an interactive, hands-on knowledge of the Titanic that can be acquired no other way. There are activities to engage and educate your entire family aboard this museum. The RMS Titanic was and still is a captivating piece of modern maritime history. For information regarding Titanic events, tickets, and operating hours, visit
As you plan the attractions you want to visit while in Tennessee, consider VCR as your hosts for your next stay in a Pigeon Forge cabin rental. We will work with you to select the perfect home for your vacation to our area. From cozy 1-bedrooms to colossal 12-bedrooms for large events, we can provide a property that will make your visit one you will want to repeat. We hope you will join us for a beautiful springtime in the Smokies.

3 Activities for Inclement Weather in the Smokies: Snow, Rain, or Shine

What an interesting year it has been thus far with crazy weather in the mountains! Literally, in one week, you could wear shorts one day, and build a snowman a little later. Of course, you can always kick back by the crackling fireplace or in the swirling hot tub of your Smoky mountain cabin rental. But what is a tourist to do when the weather does not cooperate with your original plans? Here are a few ideas for activities not impacted by the weather.

Incredible Christmas Place

1. Go shopping-there are multiple locations throughout the county that are large, indoor establishments to explore. Try the Incredible Christmas Place complex in Pigeon Forge to get in a holiday mood any time of the year. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Kodak can satisfy the actively adventurous. Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville is an interesting stop as the world’s largest knife showplace with every imaginable blade available for purchase. Tanger Five Oaks Outlet Center in Sevierville is not an enclosed mall, but has covered sidewalks in front of all stores, with the added bonus that shopper volume is lighter on rainy days.
2. Choose a theater-take in a current movie at the Forge Cinema at Waldens Landing in Pigeon Forge. Or try one of the several music shows in the area like Country Tonite theater. You can also have dinner with your entertainment at attractions like Dixie Stampede or Lumberjack Feud. All theaters offer comfortable amenities while the weather is frightful outside.
3. Take a family afternoon field trip-Enjoy all the aquatic animals indoors at highly acclaimed Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. Or choose to meet some exotic animals and reptiles at Rainforest Adventures in Sevierville. Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge is also a great place to play with interactive hands-on exhibits throughout. You can scoot through any of these quite quickly or slow down and enjoy a relaxing pace while exploring.
So, don’t let a little lack of sunshine bring you down, or hold you back from fun in the Smokies. These are just a few of our favorite locations to enjoy whatever the weather, and there are certainly many more to choose from. Just ask any of us at Volunteer Cabin Rentals for suggestions for activities that you want to find. Don’t fret; spring is just around the corner, when the hillsides begin to show off their beautiful floral splendor that you won’t want to miss. We look forward to you staying with us soon.

Danger! High Gross Factor! Ripley’s Aquarium Now This Spring.

Jellyfish, slugs and eels, oh my! Please experience this ode to ooze, even if you aren’t an eight-year old boy! If it’s been awhile, or if you have never been to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, now is the time for a visit this spring. Not exactly the green bucket stuff, but it’s just as fascinating to short people, and frankly, to adults too. Want to touch a jellyfish? Try it here, with much more.

The new Slime Exhibition adds an exciting and interesting addition this season. This exhibit replaces last season’s popular dinosaurs display. The Slime Exhibition is a hands-on experience: enjoy the Jellyfish Encounter, interactive displays, and multiple aquarium tanks featuring aquatic animals in their habitats, and how they use slime in their lives. Over thirty exhibits are featured in this area, providing as much “gross knowledge” as anyone could desire.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a world-class living museum. The permanent exhibits make the Gatlinburg location the #1 ranked aquarium in the nation by Tripadvisor reviews. Over 10,000 creatures of 350 different species live here. Penguins, sharks, rays and many more make this “zen water getaway” a whole family pleaser for both fun and education. Located in the heart of Gatlinburg at Parkway and River Road, the aquarium is also adjacent to the city trolley stop, making this attraction simple to access.

So after you check into your Gatlinburg rental cabin, make sure to include Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies on your vacation adventure list this trip.

To purchase aquarium tickets online, or to buy combination discount tickets  with several of Ripley’s area attractions, visit the website.

Classic, Celebrity or Muscle? Calling All Car Enthusiasts: come see them all!

Maybe it’s because you have been encased in a 7-passenger automobile for several hours to arrive at your rental cabin in Wears Valley. Maybe you had to let go of that sports car to acquire that family SUV or minivan. Maybe you have just always loved everything to do with automobiles. Did you know there is plenty of opportunity in our area to view all types of vehicles while on vacation?

If horsepower and high performance are most important to you, check out the 90 muscle cars located at Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum, in Sevierville, Tennessee. Featured on multiple television shows, this nationally known collection is worth a stop, along with acquiring your own memorabilia from the musem gift shop.

What about seeing the vehicle from your favorite movie or TV show? The Hollywood Star Cars Museum in downtown Gatlinburg houses over 40 vehicles, including Knight Rider’s K.I.T., Back to the Future’s Delorean time machine, Smokey and the Bandit’s TransAm, the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee, and the original Batmobile as examples. A recent addition is the Hummer from the Avengers. You can also be photographed in most of the vehicles for an additional sitting fee.

What about a whole convention of classic cars or street rod custom vehicles? April and September are your opportunities to join those likeminded folks that gather, and participate in all the fun.

Pigeon Forge Rod Run (formerly the Grand Rod Run) is planned for 2014 at the newly opened LeConte Center.  Dates in the spring are Friday, April 11 through Saturday, April 12 and in the fall from Thursday, September 11 to Sunday, September 13.

Shades of the Past Rod Run is planned for fall 2014 at  Dollywood’s Splash Country parking area, Thursday, September 4 through Sunday, September 7.