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Lions and Tigers and Bears!! Oh, My! Part 3

Posted by on Apr 25, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Lions and Tigers and Bears!! Oh, My! Part 3

One thing is for sure, when you enter the woods in East Tennessee during the warm summer months, you should expect to be sharing the space with black bears. They are there even if you don’t happen to see them. It’s very important that you know how to handle a bear encounter. You need to know the proper ways to ensure that both you and the bear remain safe and not harmed. It is well known that East Tennessee has the biggest population of black bears, so you are more than likely going to see at least one, even if from a distance.


What should you do or not do if you have a bear encounter? The very first thing you must remember is that when/if you encounter a bear in the woods, you are in the presence of a very powerful and wild animal. If you see a bear, remain watchful and do NOT approach it or allow it to approach you. If, when a bear sees you and it stops what it’s doing, you are too close. You need to slowly back away from it. Do NOT run from a bear, they are faster than you could ever hope to be. Should the bear begin to follow you, change direction. If it continues to follow you, stand your ground, make a lot of noise, wave your arms, try to look bigger than you are, shout at it, throw non-food items at it. If you are with a group, have all of them make lots of noise and do what you can to look bigger, move to higher ground but, do NOT run from the bear or throw food at it. Find a strong stick or take a walking stick with you, just in case you need to try to deter the bear. Should you feel the bear is after your food and it attacks, get away from the food and back away slowly. Now, if the bear isn’t interested in your food, it probably considers you prey. In this case, you need to NOT play dead, you need to fight back as aggressively as you can with any object you can get your hands on – a rock, a stick, whatever. Should you encounter an aggressive bear, please report it to the park rangers. The main thing you need to remember is keep your distance from the bears. They don’t appreciate your friendly gestures at all!! They are powerful wild animals that can kill you. They are NOT cute cuddly teddy bears.

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, my! part 2

Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, my! part 2

Let me tell you a bit about the bears. All the bears in East Tennessee are black bears. However, they can be found to be brown or even a reddish- brown color in other regions of the country. Accordingly, they vary in size and weight due to the sex of the bear and how well they have fed over time. Males are big boys weighing in as much as 250 pounds, females will be smaller at only 200 pounds. By the end of summer, a healthy bear can weigh as much as 600 pounds. By the way, there are records of bears of that size in East Tennessee parks! The black bears can be as long as 6 feet from nose to tail and as much as 3 feet from the ground to their shoulder. They aren’t something to be messed with by any means.

They can see color just like a human. Bears can run as fast as 30 mph! I think it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for a normal human to outrun a bear! They can also climb trees very well, they can swim, and their sense of smell is nothing short of incredible. As humans are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals, so are bears. But, thankfully, they mainly eat berries and nuts. Should they have a need for protein they will devour insects or animals that are already dead. Sounds like it’s not a good idea to ‘play dead’ if a bear attacks!! They are often found wandering around searching for food in the early morning hours and the cool hours of the evening in spring and summer. These are the months the bears mate and unlike most other animals, bears do not mate for life. In fact, they have several mates per mating season and many in their life span.

Did you know that garbage left in picnic areas, campgrounds and along hiking trails KILLS bears? A bear that has access to human food and garbage can cause all sorts of problems, it makes the bear change it’s normal behavior and they will lose their instinctive fear of humans. After a while, a bear will know that humans have good stuff to eat and may try approaching humans wanting that good food. They can become dangerous and their actions may be more unpredictable. Bears that get human food damage property and could easily cause harm to people. Momma bear can teach her little ones to get human food and that makes at least two dangerous bears and as many as five dangerous bears. When bears hurt people, they generally must be euthanized. Because of the problems human food and the bears knowing how to get it, park rangers can give you a citation for littering, feeding the bears, and improper food storage. That means fines of up to $5,000 and jail terms for up to 6 months. Keep your distance from bears and don’t litter. Garbage Kills Bears!

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, my!

Posted by on Apr 8, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, my!

NO, there are no lions or tigers wandering around in the woods in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee but, it’s springtime and that means bears are coming out of a sort of hibernation and the momma bears are having their little ones, which can be as many as 4 cubs or as few as just 1 cub. She will soon be taking them out of their birth den to show them the world and let them roam around a bit and learn to be a bear. Since their habitats are being claimed by humans, bears are now wandering around in the surrounding communities around the park in search of food as well in the park.

When the weather cools and it turns from summer to fall and winter, black bears will begin to search for a safe place (den) for the colder months of the year. Black bears usually pass the colder winter months sleeping for long periods of time but, it is not truly hibernation. They wake up and leave the den if the weather is warm enough or if they have been disturbed by something or someone. A den is usually a place high up in a hollow tree, just a hollow tree stump or really any place that will give them shelter from the cold, rain, or snow. In late January and early February, the miracle of birth occurs. The cubs are tiny weighing in at only 8 ounces. Momma and cubs stay in the den while she feeds them until they are big enough to leave the den with her. Momma will teach them the ways of the world and hopefully, that DOESN’T include how to obtain human food. Even so, they learn how to survive on their own without their mother by around 18 months. They go on to live a life of their own at around that time. If their momma mates again before they are 18 months, they better be able to live on their own by that time.
There are laws against leaving out food and feeding the bears. Sometimes, the bears can become dangerous when they find human food. This means that a bear will return again and again to the same cabin or restaurant looking for food. They destroy things they wouldn’t normally in search of food. While an ‘untouched by humans’ bear can live 12 to 15 years in the wild, the bears that have been around and fed on human food only have a life span of 6 or 7 years. That’s half the life span!

Because of the harm to bears interacting with humans and their food, there are now strict polices to protect the wild bears in the Great Smoky Mountain Park. Bear sanctuaries, national parks and national forests have been set up to provide the bears with safe and protected habitat. These laws are strictly enforced by the Fish and Wildlife employees and agencies.


Dave and Busters Entertainment Center

Posted by on Jan 9, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Dave and Busters Entertainment Center

Let me tell you a story about two young entrepreneurs and how they decided to join forces and become Dave and Busters. Back in the 70s, Buster had a restaurant with friendly service and really good food. Dave had opened an entertainment place for adults to have fun a few doors down from Busters. Over time, they noticed that their customers switched between their two establishments. Being as they were both smart young men with an eye for business, they thought of putting both under one roof! Imagine that! After finding a 40,000 square-foot empty warehouse in Dallas, Texas, they began construction on the new venture and opened the very first Dave and Busters in December, 1982. Now, today they have over 110 locations. Sounds like it’s going to be a perfect end to your day.

Each of the stores have more interesting and state of the art games than you can play in one night. There is a Million Dollar Midway with over 200 of the most fun and exclusive arcade games, or you may be in the mood for some of your old favorite and classic video games. There are many exceptional menu items – they have just

about anything that suits your style and appetite from wings to steaks with everything in between and their bar is stocked with whatever you might want for exceptional and outstanding drinks. What about sipping on a strawberry watermelon margarita or your favorite beer watching the game on the giant tv screens – could life get any better? Not in my book!! They have many one-of-a-kind signature cocktail creations that you won’t be finding anywhere else. there are also adult snow cones! can’t beat that on a hot summer day! With over 2 dozen beers on tap or in a bottle you can surely find your favorite.

It has been called the #bestsportsbarever! From professional football to college ball you’ll have a front row seat on the action. They have a large number of enormous HDtvs where you will hear incredible stadium sound and they always have the games you want to watch. There are game day drink and menu specials. What a great place to sit back and enjoy the game with your drink and delicious snacks after a long day.

They even have an event planner! A big company party where you want to impress? a small intimate group where you can get to know your new employees? a social event for the young people in a scout troop or at church? You can even get help planning a child’s birthday party. Or if it’s more in line with what you want, you can have an adult social event. You will need to call the event planner and set up what you want as the amount of space will vary with each establishment. But, if this is where you want to hold your event, it’s a good idea to be like the early bird and get your place reserved.

The newest Dave and Busters will be opening in Sevierville, TN at 1554 Parkway, US-441 S, with a tentative opening date of May 13, 2019. The phone number is 888-300-1515. As of now, that’s the best phone number available. I’m sure there will be a local number once Dave and Busters opens in mid-May, 2019.

Blake Shelton is bringing more country to Gatlinburg!

Posted by on Nov 27, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Blake Shelton is bringing more country to Gatlinburg!

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

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

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

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

Ole Red Restaurant and Entertainment Center
511 Parkway (currently the vacant Riverbend Mall)
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Opening February or March 2019

August Moon – Indoor drive-in theater in Pigeon Forge!

Posted by on Oct 30, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on August Moon – Indoor drive-in theater in Pigeon Forge!

August Moon Drive-In Recreates ‘60s Vibe Massive Indoor “Drive-In” Movie Theater Coming To Nashville August Moon Drive-In Opening in 2018 | Nashville Guru


Yes, you read that right! By the end of 2019, there will be an indoor drive-in theater in Pigeon Forge! It appears that August Moon will open first in Pigeon Forge before it will open in east Nashville, probably by the spring of 2020. August Moon in Pigeon Forge will be situated around the area of Teaster Lane and Wears Valley Road. That is where another new complex is being constructed – the new Mountain Mile.


Instead of searching for the perfect spot to watch the movie, you will be able to enjoy the movie from the front seat of one of a number of classic cars that will be in front of the movie screen. They are planning other luxury seating such as, private booths, tree swings and stadium seats. There will be restaurants with a menu of all-american comfort food. I’m guessing cheeseburgers and fries with milkshakes? There will also be a full bar.


August Moon will be showing new first-run movies and old movies that will take you back in time when there were drive-in theaters all over town. You can sit with your favorite girl, your arm around her shoulder eating popcorn and sipping on ice cold fountain drinks. Sounds like back when the two of you were dating, doesn’t it?



Attachments area

Preview YouTube video August Moon Drive-In

August Moon Drive-In


Pigeon Forge, TN

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Pigeon Forge, TN


Fall in Pigeon Forge is loaded with many events and activities. It will be hard for you to decide what to do first. You  certainly have a lot more options how to play than the five areas i’m telling you about now. so much to do, so little time!

Cabin Fever Vacations Announces 3 Celebrity-Themed Pigeon ... Pigeon Forge, TN Official Chamber of Commerce | Things to ...

  1. One of the best ways for you to enjoy Pigeon Forge is to get outside and play. The weather is gorgeous, the changing leaf colors will delight your eyes, and the magnificent mountain views will have you snapping photos all day. You can go fly fishing, you can take ATV tours, you can soar thru the trees on a zip line, or you could go horseback riding.
  2. Kyker Farms is a fun fall thing to enjoy. Take the whole family and just see how much fun you can have getting lost in one of the five corn mazes. They also have hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a zip line, a zombie paint ball adventure, corn cob swing and so much more. They have bonfire sites and concessions. All this fun is located 1.7 miles off TN Hwy 66/Winfield Dunn Pkwy. Their phone number is 865-679-4848. 4 Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Pigeon Forge TN
  3. As you can tell, fall is a busy time of year in Pigeon Forge. There is the Fall Harvest Festival at Dollywood and you know Dollywood knows how to celebrate autumn in the Smokies. There is live gospel music, thousands of illuminated pumpkins, and incredible fall decorations. There are also Smoky Mountain crafts demonstrations going on. Your children will enjoy getting candy in a non-scary event. There are interactive displays by local vendors who will hand out the candy to all the little super heroes and beautiful princesses. Take a ride to Wears Valley and attend the Fall Fest where you will see craft-making, art displays, live music and entertainers, story telling and some of the best southern food around. While you are there you can look into some of the Wears Valley real estate for sale. 7 Frighteningly Fun Ways to Enjoy Halloween in Gatlinburg ...
  4. Can you imagine October without a few spine-tingling thrills? You don’t have to here in the Smoky Mountains. You might be interested in Ripley’s Haunted Adventure or maybe take a tour of the Mysterious Mansion. You could even enjoy a Gatlinburg Ghost Tour. One of the new scary attractions in Pigeon Forge is OUTBREAK, a zombie adventure at the Hollywood Wax Museum. riplys
  5. So many Scenic Smoky Mountain Drives that it will be hard to choose just one. In the Smoky Mountain National park – On the Roaring Fork Motor Trail you will see historic home and beautiful waterfalls. You can see incredible mountain views on the way to the tallest peak in the Smokies on your way up Clingman’s Dome Road. There is the Cades Cove Loop which can become crowded but, you can see old historic homes and mountain views and maybe a bear. Outside the national park – try the Foothills Parkway – gorgeous drive with views of the mountains, the Dragon – a very interesting ride near Fontana Dam that’s a very popular motorcycle route, and there is the Gatlinburg By-Pass, a short scenic drive with views of Gatlinburg. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail | Photos & Insider Tips
  6. Over 100 years ago, the Old Forge Distillery was an old historic barn that housed a farm supple store. Now, moonshine made from mountain spring water and fresh-ground grains are turned into original moonshine and flavored moonshines. Some of the flavored moonshine are Chocolate, French Toast, and Coffee. The moonshine is made in small 80 proof batches. The Old Forge Tasting Bar is open daily. There is a gift store that has hand forged knives made by the resident blacksmith. You can also purchase moonshine jugs handmade by Pigeon River Pottery. The Old Forge Distillery is located at 170 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, Tn. As the hours may vary please call 865-774-4126 for the hours of operation. Old Forge Distillery - YouTube

Sevierville, TN and things to do in the Fall

Posted by on Oct 25, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Sevierville, TN and things to do in the Fall

Sevierville, TN

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

  1. There is the Apple Barn Cider Mill and General Store. It’s a very popular dining and shopping area. It sits beside a 4000+ apple tree orchard. The Apple Barn has some of the most delicious desserts such as fried apple pies, apple cinnamon donuts, and old-fashioned apple stack cakes. Besides the Cider Mill and General Store you will find a winery, a Christmas Shop, a creamery, a candy store and a couple of outstanding restaurants. The Apple Barn is a great place to rest and refresh yourself after a day walking around enjoying the city called Sevierville.Apple Barn Restaurant Entrance - Picture of Applewood ...
  2. You can take a walk around downtown Sevierville to the Sevier County Courthouse and take a selfie with the bronze statue of the one and only Dolly Parton, the Queen of Country Music. It was sculpted in 1987 by a local artist, Jim Gray. Jim Gray spent more than 2,000 hours working on this project. He used a steel skeleton and then about 300 pounds of clay. Once he finished with the sculpting of it, he shipped it from Knoxville, TN to the Wagner Foundry in Fredericksburg, VA. There it was cast in bronze.Dolly Parton Stock Photos & Dolly Parton Stock Images - Alamy
  3. At the Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo in Sevierville, you can pet and feed some of the animals there such as, deer, kangaroos, camels, wallabies, and zebras. There is also horseback riding with pony rides for your little ones. There are well-maintained trails for you to enjoy the beautiful mountain views. Admission for those 13 and up is $10.95 and children are $5.95. however, you do need to call ahead as prices are subject to change. 478 Happy Hollow Lane, Sevierville, TN.
  4. Would you like to walk the same area that was used by the Eastern Woodland Indians hundreds of years ago? You are in luck! There is a place just like that in Sevierville, TN. It’s called Forbidden Caverns. This cave was used by the Indians as a good source of water and a place to stay out of the winter cold so you may see some drawings engraved on the walls of the caverns. From around 1920 until 1943, the cave was used to house homemade moonshine operations. In June of 1967, after 3 years of development, a group of business men opened this natural attraction to the public. There are guided tours of the caverns that last about 55 minutes. You can take photos inside during your tour.  Parking is free for cars and buses, there is also a picnic pavilion, a souvenir shop and refreshments. Take a light jacket since it’s always at 58 degrees It’s open Monday – Saturday, April – November opening at 10am to 6pm. The last tour leaves at 5pm. Prices are adults $16. Children 5 -12 are $10 and children under the age of 5 are free. Closed Thanksgiving Day, December, January, February and, March. Forbidden Caverns is located at 455 Blowing Cave Rd in Sevierville, TN. Forbidden Caverns, Sevierville | Roadtrippers
  5. Smoky Mountain Knife Works is an interesting blend of old and new one of a kind store that not only has 120+ brands of knives but, also has a wildlife trophy display, Native American relics, and a Civil War display. In their relics area, there are several dinosaur bones, an antique non-working ‘pirate’ lock, and many arrowheads. It can take a while to see everything in this 55,000 square foot building. There are three floors stocked with thousands of knives, outdoor tools, martial arts weapons, and kitchen utensils. Approximately 1.2 million people visit the store every year from all over the world. They have clothing, belt buckles, money clips, kitchen accessories, kitchen gadgets, military surplus, firearm accessories, flashlights, lighters, axes and so much more. Located at 2320 Winfield Dunn Pkwy in Sevierville, TN you can call them at 865-453-5871 to get their hours. They are open different hours depending on the season. Smoky Mountain Knife Works | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Fall in the Smoky Mountains

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Fall in the Smoky Mountains

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

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

Record Breaking Number of Visitors in 2014

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Record Breaking Number of Visitors in 2014

IMG_0380 (1)Over 10 million visitors came to The Great Smoky National Park. That is a record and a 8% increase from 2013. The last time we had 10 million visitors was in 2000. With all those people coming to Gatlinburg,Pigeon Forge and Sevierville many will be renting a cabin from you. Get your investment property looking its best. There is a lot of
competition (cabins) make yours stand out. Remember first impressions are important. Let Vacation Property Monitors help get your cabin on the top and keep it there.