Ok, just a little announcement first. TODAY IS AUTUMN’S FIRST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL!!! She is there now! Nathan starts his senior year TOMORROW! #icanthandlethis #andhereitis I am praying she had the best first day!
Ok, now back to our regular scheduled programming: In July, we stayed in Gatlinburg, TN for Autumn’s dance nationals. It was our first time visiting the area and we had WAY more fun than I was expecting. Since we were there for 8 days, I am breaking up the trip into 3 separate posts. Today’s post will be the first post and I’m covering the BRAND new Buc-ee’s, which is the LARGEST one in the nation, our townhouse we stayed in, some general Gatlinburg stuff and our day at Dollyworld. So, let’s dive in and let me know if you’ve ever been to Gatlinburg in the comments.
We don’t have a Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in St. Louis, so when I saw there was one in Clarksville, TN, which is halfway from St. Louis to Gatlinburg, we decided to stop in and try it out. They brought by their honey-butter croissants as soon as we got to the table and they were hot and delicious! The rest of our meal was really good and perked us up for the remaining drive to Gatlinburg.
On our way into Gatlinburg, we stopped at the LARGEST Buc-ee’s in the nation in Sevierville. It was newly built and INSANELY big! I wish I had grabbed more snacks to have around at our townhouse for the week, but I did grab a HUGE cinnamon roll for breakfast the next morning and it did NOT disappoint. A nice lady took a family photo of us next to the huge mascot beaver.
Here are some of the goodies I saw at Buc-ee’s: a fudge sampler (we brought this back to the townhouse with us) and if you have a dog… aren’t these edible dog treats the cutest? We only have cats, but if we had a dog, I would have been bringing one of these back with us!
I won’t share a TON of photos of our townhouse, because you can see our townhouse on Airbnb HERE, but we were really pleased with the ‘farmhouse’ place we stayed at. The kids each had their own room AND bathroom, which was a PLUS (TEENS!!!).
One of my favorite features of our townhouse was the walkout balcony that was enclosed with screens and there was a fireplace you could lounge by with coffee in the morning. SO nice! The first night we were there I picked up a puzzle and we had so much fun working on it each night. It was kind of an odd puzzle, because it was round and almost all one color! Eek! But, we did it and I have a photo for proof!
It was a short walk from our townhouse to downtown Gatlinburg, which saved us a lot of hassle with trying to find a parking spot. There is a creek that runs along the road on the way and we saw this momma raccoon and her baby on the first night. They were so precious!
Gatlinburg had a lot of shops and restaurants, but we found it amusing that they had a Trump store AND a hemp store with real hemp trees growing inside it! Ha!
On our first night we ate at Chesapeake’s Seafood House and Autumn loved it SO much, that we treated her to another dinner there after she finished up her dance nationals for the week. The crab cake appetizer was SO good and Ioved their spicy spinach mac and cheese (I know it sounds weird, but it was one of the best mac and cheeses I’ve ever had!). This place reminded me a lot of Bristol’s back home.
Our first full day we decided to tackle Dollyworld! It reminded me a lot of Silver Dollar City in Branson. They had a summer theme going, so I snapped a selfie of myself by the vibrant kites.
We went to Aunt Granny’s for lunch, because it’s supposed to be the best place to eat in Dollyworld. You get to pick off a menu several main dishes, sides and each person at the table gets to pick their own dessert. I can’t believe it, but I forgot to snap ANY photos of the food. So, yeah… it was that good. 🙂 After we ate, we boarded their steam train and got a tour of the entire theme park and it was really cool that the train went into the Smoky mountains.
Dollywood had some REALLY cool shops! I loved the one that had all the lemon stuff (I can’t remember the name of it) and another shop nearby had a whole table of the really cute fuzzy letter bags (and hats, etc.) that are trendy right now.
One thing that you can’t miss while in Dollyworld is the hot cinnamon bread (with apple butter and icing!). You can grab 2 loaves to go on your way out and it makes the perfect dessert or breakfast the next day.
That wraps up my first trip recap of Gatlinburg, TN. Stay tuned for the next one!