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Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Zipline Experiences

Posted on 08/12/2018 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

Zip lining is all the rage in Gatlinburg this summer. What could be more fabulous than flying through the crisp mountain air, sweeping through the tree canopy, and watching amazing mountain views zip by? Zip lining is an enjoyable adventure that the whole family will love. Several operators are minutes away from Gatlinburg, and a few are right off the Parkway in downtown!

 

Zipline adventures are usually combined in eco-parks with other activities. Many outfitters offer guided nature walks, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, or similar family-friendly adventures alongside their zip line courses. Since each park is different, you will want to research carefully to find the perfect day trip for your family.

 

What is a Zip Line Adventure?

 

A zip line is a course of ropes that connect through a tree canopy going down a mountain slope. Visitors are strapped into a special harness, and they descend the course through a series of guided and controlled drops. Individual ziplines are connected with sky bridges and trails as the route descends the rider through picturesque mountainscapes and treetop views. While some zip line courses are designed for maximum excitement and high speeds, most of them drop at a moderate pace to allow visitors to enjoy their surroundings and time to take in the natural beauty of the mountains and forests. Besides being a lot of fun, a zip line course is a great way to spend a day outdoors enjoying some fresh air. Zipline courses have been made famous by exotic locations like Costa Rica and Hawaii, but they are popular in many mountainous areas, including the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

 

Ziplines haven’t always been used for fun. Historically, zip lines have been used for many years in remote areas of the Himalayas and the Alps for moving supplies from one location to another. In Costa Rica, zip lines first became popular with research biologists who were studying creatures that lived high in the rainforest canopies.

 

Zipline courses are made up of multiple zips connected in a path down the slope. As such, every course in every park is different and exciting in its own ways. Each section of zipline ends at a platform, which leads to a trail or a sky bridge and connects to the next zip. Tour guides will be at the beginning and end of each line to perform safety checks and ensure that everyone is enjoying the adventure.

 

One of the most commonly asked questions about zip lining is, “how do I stop at the end?” There are several systems that operators use, but the most common arresting gear involves a damper spring that absorbs the kinetic energy of the moving rider and brings them safely to a stop. Some lines have extra slack in them, so that gravity will slow the passenger to a stop before the end of the line. There are also some zip lines that give their riders special gloves, which can be used as brakes along the line. If you want to learn more about how zip lines work, check out this great article from How Stuff Works.

 

Who Can Enjoy Zipping?

 

Zip lining is not just for kids! Everyone from children to grandparents can enjoy this adventure. Check with your tour operator for restrictions before you book. Most operators restrict by weight. Often children must be a certain age and weight. Riders should usually not exceed 275 pounds. Just like other adventure rides, pregnant women and people with heart conditions are restricted from riding. Anyone who can handle light activity should be able to enjoy zip lining. If you have mobility issues and don’t wish to climb a lot of stairs or march over long bridges, research all the operators and find a single zip line. This can give you a feeling for how fun zip lining can be without being too exhausting. As with any outdoor adventure, be sure to keep hydrated throughout the day.

 

What Should I Bring to Go Zip Lining?

 

Many operators require closed toe shoes, so be sure to pack sneakers. Many allow you to bring a camera, but be sure to have a strap for it and use it very carefully. Check with your operator - some parks take professional photos of you and your family enjoying the rides so you can focus on having fun and leave the photography to the professionals. Many parks provide secure lockers so you can store any excess personal items like backpacks and jewelry. You will be most comfortable if dressed for the weather. Remember you will be wearing a harness and safety equipment. Shorts and pants and comfortable shirts are preferred over dresses, skirts, and short shorts. If you have long hair, it should be tied back in a ponytail to keep it out of your face. Some elaborate hairdos might be impacted by the required helmets.

 

Overcoming a Fear of Heights

 

Don’t let a fear of heights stop you from enjoying zipping. Zipline parks employ the highest safety measures, and professional staff members are available to help you every step of the way. Remember to take it one step at a time, keep breathing, and focus on the reward. Visualize yourself enjoying the views. Visualize how excited you will be once you have completed the zip line course. Imagine the fun photos you will have to share with your friends! Once you are hooked in and soaring over the trees, most people are able to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Overcoming a fear of heights and riding the zip lines will give you a huge confidence boost and will be an experience you will remember forever.

 

Zipline Providers Near Gatlinburg, TN

 

There are tons of zip line providers within a quick drive of Gatlinburg. This list isn’t all-inclusive; instead, these are just a few of the great options you’ll find nearby.

 

Climb Works

 

Climb Works features two zip line courses and mountain bike rentals. Their Treetop Zipline Tour lasts two and half hours and features nine separate zip lines and three sky bridges. The Mountaintop Zipline Tour has a higher vantage point from which you can really take in the fresh air and panoramic Smoky Mountain views. Climb Works is located 20 minutes east of Gatlinburg on Highway 321.

 

Zip Gatlinburg

 

Zip Gatlinburg features a nine zip line course through a treetop canopy right off of the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg. The park also has a self-paced 14-element “Tree Trek” course that includes bridges, ladders, sky bridges, and log steps. Zip Gatlinburg is right off the Parkway in downtown, next to the Space Needle.

 

Fox Fire Mountain Adventure Park

 

Fox Fire Mountain features several different canopy tours, including the Goliath and the Waterfall Tour. The Goliath is the Smokie’s highest and longest zip line adventure. The 5-line canopy tour features spectacular views and breathtaking thrills. Their Waterfall Canopy Tour features seven separate zip lines and is the only area attraction that features a zip line over a waterfall. The 2-hour tour also features two sky bridges. Fox Fire Mountain has a minimum rider age of seven years old and takes riders weighing from 45 to 265 pounds. In addition to zip lines, the park features the longest swing bridge in the country, and aerial adventure course, and an ATV tour. Fox Fire Mountain is located in Sevierville, just a quick 30-minute drive away from Gatlinburg, TN.

 

Anakeesta

 

Anakeesta is located in downtown Gatlinburg right on the Parkway. The park features a gondola ride and a long canopy scenic trail made up of 16 bridges. You’ll be able to relax in landscaped gardens and enjoy several dining options. There is an excellent treehouse playground for the kids to burn off energy. Who doesn’t love a perfect treehouse? Uniquely, their treetop zip line adventure features dual lines so that you can zip side-by-side with your family and friends.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Ride a Zipline?

 

Zipline adventures in Tennessee usually average between $30 and $80 per person, dependent on the complexity and length of the zip lines. Experiences typically last approximately between thirty minute and two hours, but this varies greatly depending on the length of the course and the way the facility is laid out. Many adventure parks charge admission to the park and have an extra fee for the zip lining course, so be sure to research the exact policy at your chosen destination.

 

Most zipline facilities combine zip lining with other activities, so an all-day admission will cover games, nature trails, rock walls, and other fun activities. Check with each provider to see what admission covers. Most have set times for each zipline adventure. Be sure to double check your reservation and arrive one hour early in order to find parking, orient yourself, and store your belongings.

 

Favorite Outdoor Activities in Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountains National Park

 

Of course, zip lining isn’t the only eco-tourism activity that is popular in Gatlinburg. ATV trails, whitewater rafting, and guided nature trails are all offered by outfitters right in town. If you drive into the park, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, and even overnight backcountry camping are options to get closer to nature. Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular park in the United States. Crisp and clean mountain air, panoramic views, and native Appalachian flora and fauna attract visitors from all over the country. The area is the perfect place to get away from it all and to reconnect with nature.

 

Gatlinburg Vacation Rentals

 

Zipline adventures are just one of the many reasons that Gatlinburg makes the perfect destination for a summer getaway. Whether it is a summer family holiday or a romantic weekend in the mountains, the Smokies make the ideal place to experience it all. With fine dining, lively entertainment, outdoor activities galore, and tons of fantastic rental and lodging options, Gatlinburg is America's vacation hotspot.

 

There are many lodging options in Gatlinburg, but the most popular by far are cabins and chalets. Available in any size for any size of group, cabin rentals offer the maximum value for privacy and convenience. A cabin allows you to come and go as you please, with your own place to lay your head at night and dream of the adventures to come the following day.

 

Conclusion

 

Zipline adventures are popping up all over the Smoky Mountains and have become a favorite way to enjoy the mountain scenery. A popular eco-tourism excursion all over the world, Gatlinburg now joins the ranks as a top zip lining destination. Come experience the thrill of zipping in the Smokies this summer. From one of the many cabin rentals available from pioneerrents.com, you’ll be able to set up a base camp and discover the many ways to spend time outside and reconnect with nature in Gatlinburg. How is your family going to get their outdoor time this year?

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The place for Honeymoons and Romantic Getways

Posted on 08/10/2018 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

Love is always in the air in Gatlinburg. The stunning mountain views, numerous gorgeous ceremony venues, and varied entertainment options for all of your guests make a wedding in the Smoky Mountains a fairytale come true. Instead of stressing over a local wedding site or traveling internationally for a tropical destination wedding, discerning couples are choosing Gatlinburg as the perfect welcoming city to start their lives together.

 

Organizing a wedding ceremony, reception, catering, music, photography, and inviting and managing all the guests can be stressful and overwhelming. If you are from out of the area, consulting with a Gatlinburg area wedding planner or coordinator might be well worth your time. They will have the low-down on all of the local venues and can assist you with the different services you will need from catering, photography, flowers, and accommodations. Don't stress over all the details of your wedding. A wedding planner can organize everything to be the perfect celebration you have always dreamed of.

 

If you are considering a destination wedding, Gatlinburg should definitely be on your short list. The city is bordered by Smoky Mountains National Park, and nearly everywhere in town has a fantastic mountain view. Gatlinburg and its surrounding towns abound with venue, dining, and lodging options. Even your new mother-in-law will love Gatlinburg!

 

When compared to more distant destinations, your guests will enjoy how easy it is to get to Gatlinburg yet how much there is to do and see. Gatlinburg is a few hours drive away from millions of US residents all along the east coast. Quick domestic flights arrive into McGhee Tyson Airport, a little less than an hour out of town. Traveling to the Smokies is quick and easy for everyone.

 

A Mountain Wedding

 

To help you pin down the venues of most interest, begin by considering the type of ceremony you want. People come to and enjoy Gatlinburg for many reasons, from enjoying the outdoors to the fine dining and nightlife.

 

Neighboring Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country. While there are many great spots to get hitched in the park, the popular ones are sure to be busy during the peak times of the year.

 

If you are looking for a more secluded and private ceremony, many private venues offer stunning mountain views and are set up for weddings both small and large. And don’t forget, if you have a favorite destination in town, many local businesses and facilities offer special events like weddings and receptions. From the Aquarium of the Smokies to the space needle, the perfect venue is likely just a phone call away.

 

Another excellent option for couples looking for small and intimate ceremonies are rental cabins. Many cabins feature private yards with patios and decks. Most offer great mountain and forest vistas. Larger properties are perfect for ceremonies, receptions, or even just to use as lodging for the bride and groom or the wedding party.

 

When is the Best Time of Year to Get Married in Gatlinburg?

 

The timing of your ceremony is a personal choice. Weddings take place during all 4 seasons, each with their own very distinct feel. The snow-capped peaks and the quick ride to Ober Gatlinburg make skiers and snowboarders happy during winter months. A white wedding is the epitome of elegance. Warm, twinkling lights and a vibrant fire in the fireplace speaks of cozy romance. Gatlinburg goes all out with holiday cheer. The Parkway is decorated with millions of lights, creating a magical Christmas-time location for newlyweds and their families to enjoy.

 

Spring is a favorite time to get married in the Smokies. Wildflower season begins, and trees flourish. The hills are alive with new life and abundant joy. What better time to start a new life together than during spring?  As the higher elevation snow and ice melts, the waterfalls peak and become spectacular.

 

Your guests will love Gatlinburg during the summertime when the mountain air offers a refreshing oasis compared to other parts of the country. The wildflowers are still blooming, and outdoor activities abound. Your friends and family will love the whitewater rafting and hiking opportunities all around Gatlinburg and the Park.

 

Of course, autumn in the Smokies is all about the changing fall colors, which make a magnificent backdrop for your ceremony and for your timeless wedding photos. This is a favorite time to visit the mountains, so make sure to check all of your reservations and allow extra travel time.

 

Wedding Venues in Gatlinburg

 

You won’t worry about the lack of choices for places to tie the knot in Gatlinburg. There are literally dozens of great sites offering venues for your big day. All vary in price point, amenities, and options. Consider your desired location. Do you envision a ceremony in the mountains, a field of wildflowers, a cozy log cabin, a traditional church, or a large, climate-controlled auditorium? How many guests will you be inviting? A local planner or coordinator can help you find a photographer, a caterer, and a florist. They will work with your budget and bring your dream to reality.

 

1. Cades Cove and Cataract Falls — Smoky Mountains National Park

 

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the area’s largest tourist attraction. There are many spots in the park that are perfect for an intimate ceremony. Waterfalls, open valleys and meadows, wildflower fields, and mountain overlooks abound.

 

    The wide open spaces of Cades Cove make a great wedding venue. Cades Cove is accessed by a loop road that started just a few miles south of Gatlinburg. Along the loop, there are several historic structures, including historic churches, and many beautiful settings for a ceremony. Specifically, the Methodist Church, the Missionary Baptist Church, and the Primitive Baptist Church are all available for photography and weddings. Other historic buildings are allowed to be used on a case by case basis.

 

    The beautiful waterfalls of Cataract Falls are another favorite spot within the park for couples to tie the knot. No setting is more fairytale-like than a beautiful mountain waterfall. The Cataract Falls area also features a historic covered bridge. Cataract Falls is a quick and easy walk from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

 

These weddings are not as private and quiet as other local venues as these two areas of Smoky Mountain National Park are also a favorite for park visitors. Due to the popularity of some of these spots and accessibility issues, the Park Service puts limits on party sizes and requires a Special Use Permit (SUP). Contact Smoky Mountains National Park for more details and see their website for a complete list of available venues within the Park boundaries.

 

Besides the historic structures, overlooks, and waterfalls, the Park also has several cabins and picnic pavilions that are available for gatherings. The Appalachian Clubhouse can accommodate up to 96 guests. This was the meeting spot of the famed Appalachian Club, a group of Knoxville businessmen who would meet in the 1930’s and stay in cabins nearby. The group was instrumental in the formation of the Park. The Clubhouse has been restored and is a beautiful facility of over 3,000 square feet, featuring exposed wood beams and two massive stone fireplaces.

 

2.    Flower Mountain Weddings and Receptions

 

Known for its 25 acres of seclusion and privacy, Flower Mountain is a perfect Gatlinburg, Tennessee wedding venue for couples who want a simple, small, intimate wedding. Flower Mountain provides couples both outdoor and indoor wedding ceremony and reception options as well as a wildflower meadow that offers a spectacular backdrop for wedding photos.

 

An outdoor wedding on Flower Mountain’s large, elevated deck that overlooks the Smoky Mountains is sure to please. Afterward, the wedding party and guests can enjoy an outdoor reception on Flower Mountain’s wraparound porch. Should it be raining on your chosen day, you can quickly and easily move the ceremony under cover of the porch. Hopefully, that won’t happen, but it is nice to have your bases covered.

 

Flower Mountain also offers professional wedding photography and dressing rooms for the bride and groom an hour before their wedding. They offer a more stress-free alternative to organizing all of the who, whats, and whys yourself and they are experts at what they do. Whether you are looking for a small elopement or a huge blowout ceremony, check out Flower Mountain and their all-inclusive packages.

 

Flower Mountain is located in Sevierville, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Gatlinburg.

 

 3.    Bluff Mountain Inn Chapel

 

The Bluff Mountain Inn is a five-acre estate in Sevierville. At Bluff Mountain Inn Chapel, couples can have an intimate wedding of up to 75 guests in a charming, old-time mountain chapel. The chapel has been modeled after the historic chapels you will see along Cades Cove in Smoky Mountain National Park. Adjacent to the chapel, you will find an antique looking red barn that makes the perfect site for a reception for up to 200 people. Depending on the weather, this pavilion can be opened on three sides revealing forest and mountain views. Small groups may be more comfortable in the Garden Reception Room, which can hold up to 50 guests and has an elegant look for any event.

 

 

4. Vacation Rental Properties

 

The smaller your ceremony, the more numerous your venue choices become. Elopements and small wedding parties have the added benefit of being able to use smaller spaces that are more intimate and out of the way. There are lots of parks and outdoor spots near creeks and waterfalls where you can share your vows. Creekside ceremonies with the Smoky Mountains as a backdrop are especially romantic!

 

Private rentals are also an option for smaller ceremonies. Cabin or chalet rentals come in all shapes and sizes in the Smokies. Depending on the size of your service, you are sure to find the perfect place to get hitched. Many properties feature stunning mountain views, patios, and wooded yards. Some cabins lie overlooking the city, the mountains, or creeks and streams. Cabins and chalets offer the maximum privacy for small ceremonies.

 

Places to Stay for Romantic Getaways and Honeymoons

 

Of course, after your wedding comes your honeymoon. What better place to spend it than in Gatlinburg? With an infinite amount of choices of things to do and see, the area is perfect for newlyweds to enjoy a little rest and relaxation after their big day. Whether you want to disconnect awhile and go hiking in the mountains or treat yourselves to romantic dinners and wine tastings, Gatlinburg has it all waiting for you.

 

After your mountain wedding, enjoy a romantic honeymoon getaway in a Gatlinburg cabin rental. At Pioneer Vacation Rentals, we have a large selection of private mountain cabins with spectacular views, all in Gatlinburg and right next to the Smoky Mountains National Park. We have small and large cabins that can sleep anywhere from 2-12 people. Cabin rentals are perfect for both newlyweds and for their families and wedding parties. Contact us today for more information, pricing and availability.

 

Conclusion

 

If you have ever dreamed of a wedding in the mountains, Gatlinburg needs to be on your short-list. Serene waterfalls, fairytale-like settings, and clean mountain air will make the perfect setting for your perfect day. Check out Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. What sort of ceremony have you been dreaming of?

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Weird and Wacky Tourist Attractions near Gatlinburg

Posted on 07/17/2018 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

Top Weird and Wacky Tourist Attractions near Gatlinburg, TN

While Tennessee is home to natural wonders like the Great Smoky Mountains, it is not without its share of kooky and crazy tourist attractions too. You can spend plenty of time mesmerized by the natural beauty that surrounds you, but you occasionally might want to take a break and explore other oddities Tennessee has to offer. Gatlinburg is home to a variety of curious attractions, so much so that you might need to extend your vacation to enjoy them all. Check out a few of the peculiar points of interest you'll find when you plan a vacation in and around Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

 

The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

You can't visit the Great Smoky Mountains without a stop at the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg. Whether you are looking for a Tennessee keepsake or a memento that reminds you of a simpler time gone by, this pit stop has what you need. Spend a lazy afternoon browsing through the museum and chat with shop staff about their incredible array of salt and pepper shakers.

thesaltandpeppershakermuseum.com

 

Cooter's Place

You can't visit Gatlinburg without stopping by Cooter's Place. Built as a tribute to the famous Dukes of Hazzard television show, this fun family attraction features everything from mini-golf and go-karts to souvenirs and television props. Catch a glimpse of Cooter's via their virtual tour (youtube.com/watch?v=_RfkcvVzMRw) so you'll know what's in store for you when you visit Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains. Even if you didn't grow up watching the Dukes of Hazzard, you will find this immersive piece of American history enchanting.

https://cootersplace.com/cooters-gatlinburg/

 

Ripley's Believe It or Not Mirror Maze

Part of the Ripley's Believe It or Not family of attractions, the Mirror Maze is one of Gatlinburg's must-see attractions. Spend an hour exploring the Mirror Maze before making your way to Ripley's Candy Factory. You can work up your hunger trying to find your way out of the maze and then treat your family to an amazing array of tasty candy treats. Be sure to pick up a family pass to make the most of your visit!

https://www.ripleys.com/gatlinburg/mirror-maze/

These are a few of the weird and wacky tourist attractions awaiting you in Gatlinburg. The accommodations (pioneerrents.com) are awesome and the sightseeing is unlike anything you'll find while exploring Tennessee. Spend an extra day or two so you don't miss a thing.

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A Romantic Weekend Getaway to Gatlinburg

Posted on 07/20/2017 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

You’re in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. You can see the beautiful backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains in all of their glory. It’s air so that’s so fresh you can almost taste it, and southern hospitality that warms the heart and sooths the soul.

 

While it’s great for holidays, family reunions, and any kind of visitation, really, what makes it such a great romantic getaway is the nice location you’ll be staying at. Hotels are great with providing you fresh linen, clean rooms, and room service, but do you really want that intruding on your special getaway? Take a break from the regular hustle bustle of a hotel room and make your vacation even more special by renting out a romantic Gatlinburg cabin!

 

Romantic Gift Package of RosesIn this part of Tennessee, there are a number of different kinds of cabins to choose from. If you and your partner like camping, you can rent one of the authentic older cabins that are available. If you prefer your romantic vacation to be a more private version of a hotel, then there are plenty of modern, up-to-date cabins for you to choose from. This is where you’ll find that despite the modern conveniences, such as a dishwasher, the old world charm of cabin living still prevails and will enhance your romantic time together. Picking a cabin is so easy! Most people plan their vacations now using the Internet, and they can find something that suits them, their budget, and their expectations. There are cheap Gatlinburg cabins, luxurious Gatlinburg cabins, and everything in between.

 

If your romantic getaway also includes the option not to have to cook for yourself, don’t worry. There are lots of different places to eat in Gatlinburg. So whether or not you have the most luxurious cabins in the area, you aren’t stuck eating there. You can work your down a list of restaurants, each of them listing the best southern food there is! From breakfast buffets to steak suppers in a relaxed atmosphere. There are even a few supper shows such as Dixie Stampede which will provide entertainment alongside a good meal!

 

Ober Gatlinburg is a great place to check out on your romantic getaway. If you decide to come near the end of September all the way up to the end of October, you can experience Oktoberfest. This is an annual tradition, where Ober Gatlinburg honors some of the traditional activities in Munic, Germany. Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, you’ll see that there’s something for everyone!

 

One of the best parts of Oktoberfest is the variety of food you’ll be able to try! Have you ever had German food? Now is your chance! Everything from pretzels and sauerkraut to turkey legs, bratwurst, and schnitzel will be on the themed Oktoberfest menus!

 

Take your partner out to Oktoberfest if only to enjoy the beer that’s offered alongside the food. If you’re 21 and older, definitely plan on taking a visit to the Outdoor Bier Garden. You can try all the different samples that are offered in order to best pick out a flavor you like! On Saturdays, you can meet representatives from different breweries; different ones are featured each weekeend.

 

Even if your romantic getaway is not planned around Oktoberfest, you’ll still find plenty to do in Ober Gatlinburg. There’s a year round skating rink that acts as a centerpoint for the huge mall; where you can find anything from gift shops to custom leather working shops! Does your romantic get away include a child you must entertain? There’s plenty for kids to do. They can ride the carousal, ride in the awesome alpine slide, and play in bumper cars!

 

Luckily, you won’t have to worry about all the calories you’re consuming during this visit because with a romantic getaway in Gatlinburg, you’re sure to burn them all… and maybe then some! There are so many exciting adventures for you to have. There are plenty of things for you to start together so you can spend as much time with one anther as possible. A good activity to learn together is rafting! Whether you’re relaxing on the calmer waters, or getting caught up in the fun that’s white water, you’re sure to enjoy yourself. Just make sure that you’re with a guide when white water rafting. If you prefer for your activities to be out of water, there are some great options. You can hike and bike up many trails. You can also take the time to go fishing. Whether you decide to do this together, or whether you want to get up early in the morning for some good trout fishing, you can certainly find some relaxation near the streams and ponds.

 

You can also ski if you come during the winter; there are enough slopes for everyone from beginner to expert! Most of these slopes you can even ski on at night! Imagine the romantic evening that would make! Skiing with your partner by the light of the moon…

 

If you come during the spring or autumn, however, you can see the flora and trees of the Great Smoky Mountains in all their glory. If you’re there in the spring or all through the summer, you’re most likely going to see a myriad of beautiful, deep greens, and mesmerizing pastel greens. A really romantic time of the year though is Autumn; the temperatures are lowering just slightly, and nature is taking an artistic turn. The greens fade away, replaced by yellows, golds, and reds. You and your partner can enjoy hiking with a light breeze to cool them, and you can pose in front of a beautiful backdrop of multi-colored mountains and valleys.

 

Whatever you and your partner choose to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you’ll have a great time, partly because the area has so much historical, artistic, and activity-based aspects, but also because the only thing you really need for a great romance is yourself and your partner. So come to the Great Smoky Mountains and make sure you bring a camera. You want the memories you make to last a lifetime.

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Your vacation awaits, in Pigeon Forge

Posted on 06/16/2017 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

Looking for a great place to vacation as a family? Or a place to hold local events? All of this and more can be found while lodging in one of Pigeon Forge’s Cabins in Tennessee. Fine dining, theaters, shopping malls, golf courses, and other attractions all lay within walking distance in Pigeon Forge. Accommodations provide everything from luxury suites to standard rooms. There are also meeting facilities, convention centers, and business centers. Family oriented vacations or friendly getaways are ensured with shaded campsites, and rustic to modern cabins that most find charming and cozy. So whether you are on a vacation to the Smoky Mountains, honeymooning, or traveling on business, finding the perfect place to stay in Pigeon Forge is never an inconvenience. So rent a cheap cabin today and enjoy all Pigeon Forge has to offer.

 

Do you want a vacation beyond your expectations? Why not enjoy Pigeon Forge and everything the surrounding area has to offer. Enjoy the beautiful scenic backdrop of the Smoky Mountains, while allowing everything that country life has to offer. Your stay will be full of laughter, music, and fun from start to finish. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is the perfect place to make your dream vacation a reality.

 

If you are planning to vacation in the south, Pigeon Forge has become one of the best vacationing spots there is. With it’s location right at the base of the Smoky mountains, it is encircled by natural beauty. It also has a wealth of historical locations just waiting to be explored. Take a trip to the iron forge that gave Pigeon Forge it’s name. Or you could visit the fort that sits on Walden Creek. Pigeon Creek was a center of activity when Tennessee was first settled and is also home to the Indian Gap Trail, one of the first traversable routes from North Carolina. Pigeon Forge offers up other historical sites, such as Dollywood and a health spa that was established near Henderson Springs. Why not rent a cabin at Pigeon Forge and visit all the local history that is waiting to be explored.

 

Pigeon Forge isn’t just a home to national history, it is also home to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This is the only remaining natural Black Bear habitat, and therefore is a protected forest. It has also been designated by the United Nations as a Biosphere reserve, as it has a diverse variety of flora and fauna. This park attracts the most visitors in all of the United States. Pigeon Forge lies only five miles from this beautiful range of forested mountains. For anyone who loves wildlife, a cabin in Pigeon Forge provides you with everything you need to enjoy the prefect vacation.

 

Most people who visit Pigeon Forge can’t leave without enjoying everything the mountains have to offer. It’s not very often, that you can travel a nature trail and soak in the surrounding beauty or ride in a helicopter and enjoy a birds eye view. This is one of the main reasons that tourists visit Pigeon Forge. It is one of the few locations that offer natural as well as modern activities.

 

Of course, Dollywood is one of the main attractions that draws people to Pigeon Forge. The family amusement park is settled on 125 acres and was originally owned by a pair of brothers before becoming attached to Tennessee’s most distinguished citizen,Dolly Parton. Dolly is the driving force behind the amusement park that offers a wide variety of family oriented fun. Shopping, rides, even a water park provide endless hours of entertainment. Heritage craft demonstrations provide historical insight to the lives of the people who originally lived and settled in Pigeon Forge. Dolly Parton often performs live concerts along with other renowned performers. The park draws more than 2.5 million visitors each year.

 

Looking for theatrical entertainment while vacationing? Pigeon Forge has every style of theatre, from comedies to musicals, to magic and illusions. There is something for everyone. Local talent is abundant for anything musically theatrical. Country, bluegrass, and even mountain music are the most dominate in this mountain community. So enjoy an evening out and everything theatrical that Pigeon Forge has to offer.

 

Looking for a great place to eat traditional food and enjoy unique architecture? The historic Old Mill Restaurant is the perfect location to visit. Out door activities abound for anyone with an adventurous soul. Tubing, swimming, rafting, golfing, horseback trail rides, fishing, and even horse riding shows provide many options to fill your day. Not an outdoorsy person? No problem! There is plenty to occupy even the most avid shopping buff. Pigeon Forge is popular for the availability of factory priced, brand name products. There are even local crafts and arts that are available to purchase throughout the city. Take home a piece of local heritage.

 

Looking for easy ways to get around Pigeon Forge? There are a wide variety of options available to you. Strolling is a great way to to experience the culture and life of the city. You can drive around too in a personal vehicle. Overall, though, the best for of travel is the Pigeon Forge Trolley Ride. This provides an old-style commute throughout the entire city.

 

Pigeon Forge Cabins provide the perfect location to stay as you enjoy all the opportunities that Pigeon Forge has to offer. No need to worry about accommodations. The city can host 50,000 visitors at one time and all sorts of Pigeon Forge Cabins are available to rent. For those wanting to be close to the outdoors, campgrounds and rustic log cabins are the prefect destination. No matter your preference, there is something for everyone. Hotels, chalets, bed and breakfasts, condos, or even motels, there is something for any budget and style.

 

Pigeon Forge has something for everyone. No matter what you are traveling for, take the time to visit this tourist destination that provides a myriad of activities and historical wealth for anyone interested. Pigeon Forge Cabins are available for anyone ready to hit this vacation destination that is just waiting to make your trip a relaxing and enjoyable get away.

 

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Is there a difference Between a Cabin and a Chalet?

Posted on 04/13/2017 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

What's the difference between a Cabin and a Chalet?

 

Cabins were and are sometimes still thought of as a no frills place to spend the night away from the outside elements. They also used to be known as being rugged with just one main living area. The rustic amenities of a cabin would put you “out of the house” to do your daily business. That's not how it's done here in the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The amenities will amaze you.

 

The definition of a cabin from dictionary.com:

[kab-in] A small house or cottage, usually of simple design and construction

A chalet in Gatlinburg and shows the smoky mountains in the background

Cabins in Gatlinburg are now much more modern than a simple design. You can find them as valuable as any home. They include all the modern luxuries. Movie rooms, game rooms, multiple bathrooms, and most all have hot tubs. Some are now being built with enclosed pools. Of course you can still find a rustic cabin, but competition to rent them has brought about newer updates and additions with all of the amenities that come with a popular destination such as the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

 

Chalet Shaˈlā/ is defined as wooden house or cottage with overhanging eaves, typically found in the Swiss Alps synonyms:lodge, cabin, cottage"an A-frame chalet in the Adirondacks"

 

A chalet was known to be more luxurious.

 

Here in Gatlinburg, Cabins and Chalets are almost synonymous. The two terms merge together and neither have qualities that make one better over the other.

 

As an opinion of the author of this blog, who has been in many dozens of different cabins and chalets, both have their places. If you are looking to the Smoky Mountains for vacation views, you can find them via a cabin or a chalet. The overall factor is then location of the rental. The same goes for amenities.

 

You may find you like the look of one cabin over the other and vice versa.

 

So when you are searching you may find the qualities you are looking for in both a cabin or a chalet.

 

If you are traveling in a different country throw these definitions out the window and start over. The words take on a new meaning overseas.

 

Comparing a chalet to a cabin would be similar to comparing the difference between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Again, both different, but both fabulous in their own ways. That's for another blog. Follow us on Facebook for more posts or call us 865-684-4680 to book a cabin with a view of the smoky mountains.

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Cades Cove Loop Video

Posted on 04/01/2017 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

If you've never been, this video is just a brief sample of the beauty around us. Wait till the leaves fill in. This is a one hour drive condensed to 12 min video. You can hike, bike, camp etc. There are also stop offs including old cabins, barns, a working grist mill, and multiple old churches. All restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. We will include the stop offs in another video.

 


Come stay with us, and visit Cades Cove!
Call now at 865-684-4680 to book a cabin in Gatlinburg.
The smokies are magical, and a visit will be an experience you will never forget.

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Driving through Gatlinburg

Posted on 03/22/2017 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

If you have never been through Gatlinburg, then check out this video. It will show a brief glimpse of Gatlinburg Tennessee.

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The Great Smoky Mountains - Best Time to Visit

Posted on 02/18/2017 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

If you’re planning a trip to Tennessee, chances are you’re going to make visiting Smoky Mountains National Park one of your to-do items. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts millions of visitors each year with its abundant wildlife, majestic views and wide variety of activities.You may be wondering when the best time to visit Smoky Mountains National Park is.

 

Like many national parks, it is busiest during the summer months when school is out and families are enjoying their annual family vacations. However, there is not a bad a time to visit Smoky Mountains National Park. It is a fun and majestic place to visit all year round. You’ll have a unique experience depending on when you go. In the spring, visitors can take in the abundant colors of blooming wildflowers and trees, the summer months offer beautiful scenery with various pine trees, fresh mountain air and refreshing creek and waterfalls. Visitors can take a scenic hike or drive in the fall to see vibrant fall foliage and winter offers majestic snow-covered mountaintops and winter sports.View of the Great Smoky Mountains

 

If you are planning a trip to Tennessee, chances are you’re going to make visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park one of your to-do items. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts millions of visitors each year with its abundant wildlife, majestic views, and the wide variety of activities.

 

When is a Good Time to Visit Smoky Mountain National Park?

 

Like many national parks, it is busiest during the summer months when school is out, and families are enjoying their annual vacations. However, there is no bad a time of the year to visit Smoky Mountains National Park. It is a fun and majestic place to visit in every season.

 

You’ll have a fabulous experience regardless of your timing. You’ll be sure to enjoy the welcoming hometown vibe, diverse restaurants, and endless activities. Each season has its own unique flavor. You’ll want to enjoy them all!  In the spring, visitors can take in the abundant colors of blooming wildflowers and trees. Springtime snow melts are the best time to take in the majesty of thundering waterfalls. The summer months offer beautiful scenery abundant with pine trees, fresh mountain air and refreshing creeks and waterfalls. Fall visitors can take a scenic hike or drive to see vibrant fall foliage and enjoy the crisp air. Winter offers a perfect excuse to fire up the outdoor bonfire or cozy indoor fireplace after skiing or snowboarding all day. Gatlinburg is very festive during the holidays and visitors will love decorated streets and twinkling lights. The scenery is gorgeous too with majestic snow-covered mountaintops.

 

Things to See in the Smokies

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains and sits on the borders of Tennessee and North Carolina. The mountains themselves are impressive, with the highest peak being Clingmans Dome rising up to 6,643 feet above sea level. The Smokies are named for the distinctive haze that forms over the mountains, the result of moist, humid air condensing as it cools at the higher altitudes.

 

The Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an international biosphere reserve. The Park contains the only intact old growth forest left to the east of the Mississippi River. Eco-tourism has driven the economy of the area since the turn of the century when homesteaders and local business leaders realized that preserving the regions natural resources would provide more economic gain in the long run than selling out to logging interests that were getting closer and closer to the mountains.

 

The area is especially known for its waterfalls. Hundreds of waterfalls dot the landscape, from small trickles through huge boulders to ripping and roaring fast flowing deluges. The mountain creeks and streams are also picture-perfect and are popular with anglers looking for trout.

 

Some folks call Smoky Mountain National Park “Wildflower National Park.” From spring all the way through fall, wildflowers liven up the already beautiful landscape. Migrating birds, insects of all descriptions, and wildlife make appearances too.

 

Speaking of wildlife, one of the Smokies’ most famous residents is the black bear. Sightings are common in many areas of the Park. Conservation efforts have made significant strides in stabilizing the populations of these beautiful creatures in recent years, and there have even been a few sights around town in Gatlinburg. Along with bears, you might see deer, elk, wild turkeys, and other native inhabitants on your visit to the Smokies.

 

Things to Do in the Smokies

 

The Smoky Mountains are all about outdoor activities and adventures. From relaxing road trips to strenuous hikes, the Smokies have an adventure waiting with your name on it!

 

Take a Scenic Mountain Drive in the Smokies

 

By far one of the most popular activities is also one of the easiest ways to see the park. Scenic drives wind their way through nearly every part of the majestic Smoky Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches through the Smokies, northbound through Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia before ending at Shenandoah National Park. The road is famous for its winding curves and spectacular mountain overlooks. Motorcycle clubs and sport car enthusiasts often do outings on these roads to enjoy the fun driving and spectacular scenery.

 

A favorite scenic drive very near Gatlinburg is the popular Cades Cove loop. Here a car tour will take you past several stops including historic structures. A working grist mill, several homesteads, and churches have been preserved by the Park to show what day-to-day pioneer life was like in Cades Cove. From the road, you can also hike several nature trails and see several of the Park’s famous waterfalls.

 

Hiking

 

There are too many hikes available in Smoky Mountain National Park to list in one place. Along the many highways and roads that criss-cross the park, you will find numerous pull-offs for scenic overlooks and hikes. Many of the waterfalls require some amount of hiking to reach them, from a few minutes from your car along the pavement to a few hours of steep, rough mountain hiking. Be sure to pack some good shoes, dress appropriately, and stay hydrated. The Park’s website has some great information about planning the perfect hike for you and your family.

 

Skiing and Winter Sports

 

During the colder months, winter sports are a great way to beat cabin fever in Gatlinburg. While some of the trails and roads through the Park itself are closed during the winter, the area around Gatlinburg and the surrounding towns comes alive. Don’t miss Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort. The resort features a freestyle area for flips and tricks, several intermediate ski slopes, and a tubing area offering fun for all ages.

 

Some hiking trails remain open throughout the winter in the Smoky Mountian National Park. You can still visit waterfalls, which are frozen over in winter in a spectacular gravity-defying show of sparkling snow and ice. The Cades Cove loop trail is often open during winter. Access may be limited by the roads leading to and from it, however, so check conditions and plan accordingly. The visitors' centers are usually only open during the weekends during wintertime.

 

Mountain Vacations for the Adventurous

 

Mountain biking is another great way to see the Smokies and get some exercise at the same time. There are numerous trails available for biking. If technical off-roading isn’t your thing, the Cades Cove loop road in the Park is closed to vehicles two mornings every week until 11 a.m. for “Bike Days.” This is a beautiful way to see Cades Cove, get some exercise and fresh air, and move at your own pace.

 

Horseback riding is another example of a great way to see the Park. Several stables and outfitters in the area offer guided trail rides varying from half an hour to several hours. Favorite spots include the stables at Cades Cove and at Sugarlands. There are also several stables in Sevierville. Many folks enjoy riding into the backcountry for camping and relaxing far away from the roads and the hustle and bustle of town.

 

Whitewater rafting is popular from the spring through summer. There are outfitters in town offering transportation and equipment. There are guided tours for the more exciting rapids, and there are relaxing, lazy river-style rides through babbling creeks.

 

Camping and Backpacking

 

If you are looking to unplug and disconnect from the world for a little while, consider backcountry camping or backpacking trip. The Appalachian Trail runs through the Park on this 2,000 plus mile trip from Georgia to Maine. Of course, there are numerous other trails, paths, and routes that wind their way through Smoky Mountain National Park that offer a quick taste of life on the trail. Check with the Park for exact requirements and permits that may be needed.

 

If you want to try something a little more civilized, there are ten front-country campgrounds accessible easily by car or RV. Frontcountry campgrounds in the park take online reservations through the Park’s website.

 

Museums and Tours

 

Inside the Park, you will find many interpretive activities so that you and your family can learn more about the history and culture of the Smokies. At the Mountain Farm Museum in Oconaluftee, you can see a collection of historic buildings to get a feel for how people lived 100 years ago. Locations include a smokehouse, a barn, an applehouse, and a log-built house. The Oconaluftee area is about a 30-mile drive outside of Gatlinburg. The area is also home to a Park visitors’ center and several hiking trails.

 

No matter what your activity of choice is, there is guided tour option so that you can get the most out of your visit to the Smokies. If you’d like to hike but want to know more about the ecology, flora, and fauna you are seeing, consider a guided tour. Guides are friendly and knowledgeable, and programs usually focus on small groups that make the trips relaxing and fun. Many tours begin at the entrances to the Park and are put on by local outfitters. Check around town to find tours that might interest you!

 

Many guided tours and hikes are offered right from the rangers that work at the Park. From classic campfire programs and walks in the woods to coffee with a ranger and junior ranger programs, the Park has a lot going on. Check the Park calendar for special events and programs you can participate in while visiting the area.

 

If you are looking for a higher perspective on things, another great way to the see this beautiful area is from up above. Several helicopter tours operate out of the Sevierville area. You will fly over downtown Gatlinburg, the Douglass Lake and Dam, and many of the area's attractions. You’ll have a beautiful view of the rolling hills and mountains that few people get to see.

 

Historic Sites

 

The national park preserves not only the land, forests, and wildlife but also the history of the region. Many historic buildings and structures have been maintained throughout the park, including homesteads, churches, and even a still-working grist mill. Each preserved structure includes a history lesson so that you can learn about the early pioneers and homesteaders that called this area home.  The Cades Cove, Oconaluftee, and Cataloochee areas of the Park are all home to numerous historic buildings available to tour.

 

Places to Stay While Visiting the Park

 

With the endless year-round activities available at Smoky Mountains National Park, it is hard to do it all in a day or two. Many visitors choose to stay in the mountain town of Gatlinburg, known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg is home to top-rated restaurants, shopping, and other attractions and events. The Gatlinburg area offers many cozy and scenic cabin rentals to choose from.

 

Eastern Tennessee is both scenic and historic, and it is full of activities for any time of year. If you are planning a vacation to Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy your stay in one of Pioneer Vacation Rentals cozy cabins. We have a wide selection of cabins that are available all year round. Find the perfect cabin rental for you and book online today.

 

Conclusion

 

There are many great reasons why Smoky Mountain National Park is the most popular and the most visited national park in the United States. Easily accessible by a huge portion of the population, the Smoky Mountains and the Gatlinburg area are a quick drive away for millions of Americans. The Smokies provide an excellent escape from day-to-day city life; they are an oasis of the natural world. Crisp mountain air and a slower pace await you as soon as you step out of your car. For the ultimate in private relaxation, rent a mountain cabin and spend some time exploring all that these mountains and the Gatlinburg area have to offer. What does your perfect trip to the mountains include?

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Best Wedding Venues in Gatlinburg, TN.

Posted on 02/18/2017 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

Congratulations on your engagement! You and your partner are about to enter into a new and exciting chapter of your lives. Wedding planning can be both exciting and stressful and it usually takes months to even a year to fully plan. There are a lot of factors to consider when planning a wedding. It all, however starts with a date, time, and, of course, wedding venue.

If you’ve ever dreamed of getting married in the mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee is somewhere to consider. The wedding venues in Gatlinburg, Tennessee offer breath-taking views of the majestic Smoky Mountains, which provide serene beauty all year round.

Top Wedding Venues in TnGatlinburg has many different wedding venues available so you can be rest assured that you will find the perfect venue for your special day. While they may vary on size, price points, and available amenities and add-on options, they all offer breath-taking mountain views and private, intimate settings.

Here are the three of the top wedding venues in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

  1. Cades Cove and Cataract Falls in Smoky Mountains National Park

Those who want a little more pomp and circumstance for their wedding, there is no better place to say “I do” than in the area’s largest attraction: Smoky Mountains National Park. The wide open spaces of Cades Cove and the beautiful waterfalls of Cataract Falls are the most popular places within the park for couples to tie the knot.

These weddings are not as private and quiet as at other local venues as these two areas of Smoky Mountain National Park are also a favorite for park visitors.

  1. Flower Mountain Weddings and Receptions

Known for its 25 acres of privacy and seclusion, Flower Mountain is a perfect Gatlinburg, Tennessee wedding venue for couples who want a more relaxed, simple, small, intimate wedding.

Flower Mountain provides couples both indoor and outdoor wedding ceremony and reception options as well as a rolling meadow of wildflowers that offer a spectacular backdrop for wedding photos.

Most couples opt for an outdoor wedding on Flower Mountain’s large, elevated deck that overlooks the Smoky Mountains. Afterwards, the wedding party and guests can enjoy an outdoor reception on Flower Mountain’s wraparound porch.

Flower Mountain also offers professional wedding photography and dressing rooms for the bride and groom an hour before their wedding.

  1. Bluff Mountain Inn Chapel

At Bluff Mountain Inn Chapel, couples can have an intimate wedding of up to 75 guests in an antique looking chapel with their choice of a reception in either a refurbished barn, or garden-inspired reception room.

After your mountain wedding, enjoy your honeymoon in a romantic Gatlinburg cabin rental. At Pioneer Vacation Rentals, we have a large selection of private, Gatlinburg mountain cabins with spectacular views, right next to the Smoky Mountains National Park. Our cabins sleep from 2-12 people which make them perfect for both newlyweds as well as families and wedding parties. Contact us today for more information, pricing and availability.

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After the Devastation

Posted on 12/08/2016 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

The Wildfires of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg

 

2016 has already been a year for the record books in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Drought and wildfires in the area have been making national news. Fires have been burning throughout the southeastern United States in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. Dry conditions and a record drought have caused the fires to be much more widespread and dangerous than any in recent memory. Massive wildfires are uncommon in this part of the country, where plenty of moisture and rain usually keep the environment damp. After all, the Smoky Mountains are named for the low clouds that form from high humidity air that is cooled at the higher altitudes. 
   

 

Gatlinburg Fires

 

On November 23, 2016, a wildfire broke out in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Chimney Tops area. Initially, the Park Service hoped that natural barriers would keep the fires contained, but the wildfires have spread faster than anyone ever imagined possible. We don’t know exactly what caused the first fire, but the fire spread in a very short amount of time.

 

In an effort to reduce the spread of the fires, helicopters have been dumping water on the flames. Unfortunately, due to exceptionally low humidity and an ongoing severe drought in the area, the fire continued to spread. Forecasters estimate that the area has received about 20 inches of rain less than it usually receives. In addition to the drought, temperatures are high and above average for the area. It’s truly a horrible situation and very unfortunate that these negative factors have been working together to create conditions that have allowed the fires to grow and spread at exponential rates.

 

By the evening of November 28th, these wildfires began spreading into the Gatlinburg and Cobbly Nob areas. Winds as high as 87 mph caused numerous trees and power lines to fall, igniting many more fires in the area. The usually pristine and quiet area has been taken over by unforeseen and unimaginable forces of nature. Our beautiful trees and forests and acting like a tinderbox and threatening thousands of homes and properties. It has been unthinkable that Gatlinburg would be affected by wildfires. Usually, high humidity is the area’s focal point as fog gathers on the mountains. However, unusually low humidity has left Gatlinburg exposed.

 

The worst drought in a decade, coupled with these high winds created a disastrous chain of events that will change many lives in the area forever.  While we have been waiting for much needed and forecasted rain, the rain has not started, and we are all just hoping for the best. All of these events have combined to make a very devastating event for this quiet little mountain area.

 

Previously, it has been unthinkable that a fire like this would spread. Mayor Mike Werner said that this fire was one for the history books. The Mayor’s home is just one of the thousands of homes that are at risk. Concern for property is high, but right now the focus has been on saving lives.

 

Evacuations and Firefighting Efforts

 

Due to the speed with which these fires started and the rate at which they spread throughout the area, evacuations have been ordered for Gatlinburg, Cobbly Nob, Pinnacle Vista, and parts of Pigeon Forge. Over 14,000 people have been told to evacuate. These evacuation orders for downtown Gatlinburg are unprecedented. Moreover, the evacuation orders came through in the evening, forcing terrified residents onto packed streets at night. Traffic is terrible as whole neighborhoods and areas try to flee the wildfires. Nearby evacuation centers are being set up to house people while they wait for news.

 

Firefighters have been brought in from the entire surrounding region to help extinguish the blazes and to help protect properties. Even areas not immediately threatened by the fires are experiencing choking smoke. Traffic is bumper to bumper, and the roads are congested as folks are heading evacuation calls and pulling out of town.

 

Although most of these fires have now been extinguished or at least brought under control, there are several fires still in progress around the Cobbly Nob area. Earlier today, during the official press conference given by city officials from Gatlinburg and the National Park, it was announced that there were still 14 separate fires burning. Fire crews continue battling to get these final blazes under control and contained.

 

Assessing the Damage

 

As soon as it is deemed safe, homeowners will be allowed back into the area to analyze damage. While it has been a rapidly moving and panic causing event, we are hopeful that many homes were spared. Regardless of the outcome of the property damage, we know that our community is strong and we will rebuild as necessary and continue to love and enjoy this special area.

 

All owners who have cabins with Pioneer Vacation Rentals, please bear with us, and as soon as we can physically see each of the properties, we will be contacting the cabin owners to notify them about the state and overall condition of their cabin. We know that concern is high and we want to begin documenting the state of each property as soon as we can.

 

If you own a cabin in the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or the Cobbly Nob/Pinnacle Vista area and are not on the rental program with Pioneer Vacation Rentals but would like to have someone check your cabin and notify you about its state or condition, please contact Pioneer Vacation Rentals.  We will do our best to assist in any way we can as soon as we can. We know that this has been a difficult and incredibly stressful situation and want to alleviate the uncertainty for as many owners as we can, as soon as we can.

 

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and support. It is greatly appreciated.

 

 

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The wildfires of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains

Posted on 11/29/2016 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

Chimney Tops II in the Smoky MountainsPhoto of Chimney Tops II

On November 28, 2016 fire broke out in Gatlinburg surrounding area's. These wildfires were the result of a chain of events which began with an already burning wildfire in the Chimney tops area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A severe drought which is the worst in a decade, coupled with high winds, which had gusts recorded as high as 87 MPH, caused the Chimney tops area wildfires to traverse into the Gatlinburg and Cobbly Nob area's and even parts of Pigeon Forge were hit with fires due to the high winds. In addition, the high winds brought down power lines, tree's and all of these events combined to make a very devastating event for this quiet little mountain area.

Due to the speed with which these fires started and spread throughout the entire area, evacuations were ordered for Gatlinburg, Cobbly Nob, Pinnacle Vista and Parts of Pigeon Forge. Although most of these fires have now been extinguished or at least brought under control although there are several fires still in progress around the Cobbly Nob area. During the official press conference by Gatlinburg and National Park officials earlier today, if was announced that there were still 14 separate fires burning which crews were battling to get under control and contained.

All owners who have cabins with Pioneer Vacation Rentals, please bear with us and as soon as we can physically see each of the properties we will be contacting the cabin owners to notify them about the state and overall condition of their cabin. If you own a cabin in the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or the Cobbly Nob/Pinnacle Vista area and are not on the rental program with Pioneer Vacation Rentals but would like to have someone check your cabin and notify you about it's state or condition, please contact Pioneer Vacation Rentals and we will do our best to assist in any way we can as soon as we can.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers and support. It is greatly appreciated.

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Before your guests arrive

Posted on 11/21/2016 by Pioneer Vacation Rentals

10 Tips for Setting Up Your Vacation Rental Property

 

Getting a property set up as a vacation rental is more involved than you might realize at first. Many rentals begin as personal vacation homes. If you have a second or third home and aren’t using the property all the time, renting it out as a vacation rental makes economic sense. But it isn’t as easy as throwing it up on a website or handing the keys over to a rental company. In order to make guests feel welcome and want to come back year after year (and of course tell all their friends what a wonderful time they had) you’ll want to stage the property professionally.

 

Staging the property is a term used in real estate to describe the process of getting it ready for mass appeal. Whether renting or selling a property, staging is a critical component to making the sale. Your goal: make anyone walking up to your house and through your door want to live there. For the most part, that means avoiding personal items that only have meaning to you or your family, making sure that the property is completely furnished with nice items and a complete look, and making sure that the decor is comfortable and neutral.

 

Here are ten tips from the pros to help you stage your cabin rental.

 

1. Decorate to Please the Crowd

 

Decorating our own palace is easy: you only need to please yourself and make yourself feel comfortable. Decorating a vacation property requires a mix of tact and thoughtfulness. Neutral colors and mellow decor are foundations to build upon. Your goal is to make anyone feel welcome and relaxed in your rental property. Try not to make personal choices based on your tastes or your interests. Instead, focus on what looks good and sticking to your theme. Remember, this is about receiving fantastic reviews and making tons of money!

 

Having a theme that is appropriate to your region is also a good idea to help you decorate your property. For rentals here in Gatlinburg, choosing a mountain cabin motif is a no-brainer. Just be sure not to go overboard.

 

This isn’t to say that a splash of color is a bad thing. If the task of getting your property ready to please the masses seems daunting, consider hiring the services of a local interior decorator who can help guide you and make your property truly outstanding.

 

2. Make Sure It’s Completely Furnished

 

When you set up your cabin rental, you may be tempted just to get the basics and call it done. Again, you want the home to be comfortable and welcoming. Not having enough furniture or not completing “the look” will make the rooms feel incomplete. You don’t want to go all out with expensive brand name items, but you want to make sure that it is all there. You also do not need to make the rooms appear cluttered with stuff, just make them look complete.

 

Some items that are typically forgotten include rugs in rooms with hard surface floors, art on the walls in each room, and books on bookshelves. If you can decorate with things that will be of interest to visitors to your area, all the better. Consider framing some excellent photographs of the local attractions or getting artwork created by local artists and craftsmen. For books, look into regional favorites, local authors, or local guidebooks. Search for coffee table books with photographs and history of your area. Since you are putting things on the shelf for your guests, try to make it work double-duty and make it something they might pick up and read. Your guests are visiting your area for a reason, so you know they’re already interested.

 

3. Do Not Include Personal Effects

 

Your goal is to make guests feel welcome and at home. The quickest way to make guests feel like they are not in their home is to put photographs of people they don’t know around the house. A vacation rental is a neutral territory where everyone should feel relaxed, so it is no place for personal effects that have meaning to only the owner.

 

We realize that you may be using your rental for personal stays from time to time. Regardless, it’s very important to remove all of your personal items from the home when you aren’t there. If you want to have family photographs, just take them down and store them out of sight when you are not around. Remember to remove all toiletries, all clothing and shoes, and anything you would not want a renter to use.

 

4. Make Sure You Have Great Lighting

 

Lighting is another often overlooked element of decorating a property. Make sure that you have lighting throughout the house, including reading lights and desk lamps over nooks and work areas. Make sure that the cabin is as welcoming at night as it is in the day. Remember, some guests may be arriving late, and their first impressions will be made in the dark.

 

When preparing your property for visitors, be sure to visit the property at night and analyze the lighting situation from the moment you pull into the driveway. Subtle landscape and exterior lighting will help create a welcoming appearance. Once inside, accent lights and indirect lights can be used to add warmth and comfort.

 

5. Think of What Your Renters Will Need for Their Stay

 

Many of your guests will be traveling light and are getting a cabin rental to feel at home while they are away from their home. Try to step into the renter’s shoes and think about their needs. Make sure you have included everything they will need for their daily activities that they aren’t likely to bring with them.

 

Here’s a list of just a few items that are often overlooked that would be a good idea to have in your property:

• Alarm clocks next to all beds

• Stereo or entertainment system with CD player and auxiliary jack inputs for visitor's phones and music players

• TV with HDMI input for their computers

• Wi-Fi access

• Kitchen essentials like pots, pans, dishes, flatware, and glasses

• Easy to follow instructions on how to operate things like the hot tub or pool and the entertainment system

 

6. Hot Tubs

 

Hot tubs are a popular addition to rental properties in Gatlinburg. You will see many of your competitor cabins have hot tubs, and we think yours should have one too. Hot tubs are great for guests as it is an item they might not have at home and something that folks are much more likely to use during a vacation. The other advantage of hot tubs is that they are great year-round. They are enjoyable on chilly fall and winter evenings as well as relaxing on spring and summer nights under the stars. Sipping drinks while lounging in the tub, looking out at the mountains, and enjoying the fresh air is the experience your guests are looking for.

 

A hot tub on your property does require a little bit of thought and planning, however. Please be sure there are sturdy steps to get in and out of the hot tub easily. Make sure there are handrails, grips, and that the flooring nearby is not slippery. You will also need a good quality cover to help keep unwanted “critters” out. The cover also helps keep the hot tub clean and maintenance free while keeping out debris. Covers are also great since they hold in the heat allowing the tub to heat up faster.

 

7. Choose Sturdy Furniture

 

The furnishings in a vacation rental see much more use than those in a private home. Since the property is cleaned at every turnover, upholstery is vacuumed more often, and the carpets and rugs deep cleaned more often. Spills and stains are more likely to happen in a rental property. Unfortunately, while uncommon, some renters are less likely to treat the furnishings and property like their own. Or maybe they treat their stuff just as bad, we don’t know, but let’s just say your stuff is going to get a lot of use!

 

Rental owners need to walk a fine line between the cost of items and the quality of items. In many cases, the cheapest items from big box stores are probably not going to cut it. On the other hand, excellent quality furniture could really cut into the bottom line of your budget. Second-hand furniture stores can be a great source of good quality, lightly used items. Make sure to set your budget and do your homework to find the best deals when furnishing your rental.

 

Pay particular attention to sofas, dining tables and chairs, and outdoor furniture. These are items we have found to sometimes be much too flimsy for rental property use.

 

8. Window Coverings

 

One of the first things most guests will do upon arrival is open the curtains or blinds. They want to enjoy the scenery the view. They want to see the mountains. That’s one of the reasons why they are here.

 

Many cabin owners use basic window coverings (blinds, curtains, drapes) in their cabins, which may be perfectly fine. We would suggest an alternative to using basic window coverings and ask that you consider buying slightly better quality. While we can certainly appreciate saving money and thinking that “it’s just blinds,” many guests would be unhappy with bent, broken, or patched up window treatments.

 

9. Should I Leave Valuables, Antiques, or Collectables in the Cabin?

 

In a word, no. We strongly discourage cabin owners from putting these items in their rental cabins due to possible damage or even theft. Although such an event may never happen, the possibility of such an occurrence is genuine and may one day happen. Although your cabin in the Smoky Mountains may be a second home for your family, we would recommend keeping these personal and family items at your primary residence and not using them to decorate your cabin in the mountains.

 

10. Don’t Forget the Yard

 

We all know the importance of first impressions. The first impressions of your property are made when the guests arrive in the driveway and walk up to the cabin. Landscaping and gardens should be neat and tidy. Consider using native plants and a simple layout to keep maintenance to a minimum. If you have a lawn, make sure it is healthy and well cared for. Contact the management company for recommendations of local landscapers that can help you get the yard in tip-top shape.

 

Conclusion

 

Setting up a cabin rental does not need to be a monumental task, but it does require careful consideration and planning. Your vacation property is a business, and you want to market it well. Part of this marketing comes down to the property and how well it is presented. Staging the property to be welcoming and comfortable will put your guests at ease right away and will make them want to come back year after year. Contact us at Pioneer Vacation Rentals if you have any questions about furnishing and setting up your property.

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