Soon winter will fade to spring and the region of the Smoky Mountains will start to bloom with vibrant colors of the season.  Celebrate the beauty of spring by attending the 67th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, hosted by The Great Smoky Mountains Association.  Join the pilgrimage April 11-15, 2017, for a variety of botanical and wildlife programs.
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
Attendees can look forward to upwards of 150 programs during the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.  The event, which began in 1951, will feature instructional walks and guided hiking tours. These are tailored to meet individual walking ability. These tours showcase the abundant varieties of wildflowers, plants, ferns, mosses, trees and shrubs, as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians, all native to the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition, there are demonstrations, guest lecturers, and a photography contest during the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.  Flora, Fauna and Landscape categories as well as a youth division will be open to the public. 
The event’s focus is on the great outdoors. As a result, most programs are held outside in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  However, a number of educational sessions and evening entertainment will take place in the W.L. Mills Conference Center and Sugarlands Visitor Center.  The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is the perfect way to connect with nature and experience all the glorious beauty of the Smoky Mountains. For a full list of all programs, with starting points, walking distances, hiking difficulties and registration limits, click here.
Need a place to stay during this special event?  Bearskin Lodge on the River and Historic Gatlinburg Inn are both convenient, budget-friendly options that will put you in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Reserve your rooms today for the guaranteed lowest rates available.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Biltmore Blooms

Biltmore BloomsExperience the beauty of Biltmore Estate gardens during Biltmore Blooms this spring. The event celebrates the legacy of Frederick Law Olmstead and his final project – George Vanderbilt’s gorgeous Biltmore Gardens. With a parade of nearly 100,000 tulips greeting guests at the estate’s entrance, visitors can look forward to an array of activities centered on spring. Biltmore Blooms is presented March 20 through May 25, 2017.

During your visit, you’ll be greeted by vibrant tulips at the entrance of the Estate. Then, your eyes will gaze at golden daffodils and forsythia in the gardens, an opulent display of tropical plants and flowers inside the Biltmore House winter garden, as well as an extravagant display of blooming tulips across the estate and multi-colored azaleas, rhododendron and roses in the Historic Rose Garden. At the conservatory, you’ll find orchids and other floral favorites in bloom. Many of the flowers are in peak form during mid to late April.

Biltmore Blooms Highlights

Biltmore Blooms

– On festival weekends, from 11:00am-3:00pm, guests may visit “Ask a Gardener” stations in the Walled Garden hosted by Biltmore’s horticulture experts.

– Free, daily horticulture seminars will be held at the Conservatory.
Schedule: 1:00pm – Enchanted Fairy Gardens; 2:00pm – Say “I Do” to Orchids

– Live music will be offered daily in the Conservatory (11:00am-3:00pm) and Antler Hill Village will feature music 2:00pm-6:45pm Sunday through Thursday, and from 4:00pm-8:45pm Friday and Saturday. A Grape Stomp is held at the at the Antler Hill Winery from 2-5pm Saturdays and Sundays.

– The Winery will offer daily tastings of a commemorative Biltmore Blooms wine and wine seminars.

– Admission to the limited-time exhibition Fashionable Romance: 60 Years of Vanderbilt Wedding Gowns.

Biltmore Blooms

Easter Egg Hunt

The estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt takes place on Easter Sunday, April 16, on the front lawn of Biltmore House. Hunts begin at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Registration begins two hours before each hunt, and closes 15 minutes before each hunt. Enjoy children’s music and stories, magic shows, games and take photos with the Easter Rabbit.

Biltmore Blooms Discount Admission

Reserve discount Biltmore Estate tickets to experience Biltmore Blooms. Admission currently features a $10 savings, and includes access to all the events mentioned above, as well as entry to the Winery, Antler Hill Village, Antler Hill Farm and Barnyard, and Biltmore House and Gardens.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

When the weather starts to warm up in Gatlinburg, flowers starts to bloom, the trees turn green and a whole lot of events spring up. During a Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring, visitors can enjoy an array of special events, unique things to do and plenty of activities the whole family can enjoy. Read on to find out what’s happening in April and May 2017.

Events included in Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Spring include:

Fishing in the SmokiesSmoky Mountain Trout Tournament
April 1-2
Attention all anglers! The 18th Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, open to both adults and children, is happening this spring. Challenging for locals and visitors, with multiple categories to be contested, this tournaments is the largest in the Smokies. All Gatlinburg and state fishing regulations will be observed. For information, call 865-661-3474 or email rockytopoutfit@aol.com.

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest
April 7-8
Attend the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts for the second annual Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest. More than 10 wineries from across Tennessee will offer samples of their best and most popular labels. The Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest will also feature food samplings along with educational talks regarding Wine Making, Pairing Wines with Foods, Cigar Appreciation, and more. This event is for those 21 years of age and older.

 

Butterfly on flower

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
April 11-15
This Smoky Mountain Spring event is perfect for nature lovers and hikers, especially as an abundance of wildflowers will be in bloom.  Hosted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the University of Tennessee Botany Department and the Gatlinburg Garden Club, the five-day Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage public program offers more than 150 different hiking tours of trails ranging from easy to strenuous, exhibitions, demonstrations, classroom lectures and delightful motor excursions into the wonderful season of spring in the Smokies.

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show
April 12-15
Unique handcrafted gifts and products produced by members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community are placed on display and offered for sale as they host their annual Easter show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

Gatlinburg Sunrise iStock_000001375259XSmallEaster Sunrise at Ober Gatlinburg
April 16
Join in the local tradition and attend Ober Gatlinburg’s 18th annual Easter Sunrise Service enhanced by the beauty of the Smokies. Free tram rides to the mountain top begin at 5:45 a.m. and continue at 15-minute intervals until the service begins at 6:30 a.m. Complimentary parking at the resort is provided for those who prefer to drive. A breakfast buffet is available and waiting at the Ober Gatlinburg Restaurant from 7:15am until 10:30am.

Earth Week
April 17-21, 2017
A week of family-oriented events created around Earth Day Celebration. The week features fun and entertaining community activities designed to educate people about adopting easy green practices.  The Earth Day 5K happens during Earth Week, on April 24 at 10:00pm. The night race departs from Nantahala Outdoor Center.

Gatlinburg Beans and CornbreadGatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Blast
May 11, 2017
During a Smoky Mountain Spring, Gatlinburg will celebrate its Appalachian culinary past with a new festive, fun-filled event – the Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Blast presented by Bush Brothers & Company.  The street festival in downtown Gatlinburg features a beans and cornbread cook-off, Smoky Mountain music, fun and games like Corn hole, and lots of beans and cornbread!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

It won’t be long before we say goodbye to 2016 and say hello to 2017. In Gatlinburg, they greet the New Year in grand fashion with the 29th annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks Show. To be a part of Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve celebration, plan to be at the base of the Space Needle on December 31 in Downtown Gatlinburg.

Get to Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve festivities early as live entertainment will be on hand creating a lively party atmosphere. Plus, party favors will be available so you can look the part with festive horn and hat. Highlighting the event is the ball drop from the Space Needle. Afterwards, there’s a spectacular fireworks display set to music. It all happens at the stroke of midnight when the red glow of the space needle is highlighted by an illuminating, musical fireworks show choreographed by Pyro-Shows.

Gatlinburg's New Year's Eve

Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations. Photo Credit: Gatlinburg Visitors Bureau

The entire city of Gatlinburg gets in on the New Year’s Eve fun, with restaurants and attractions staying open late and offering special celebrations.  Before the night starts have dinner at downtown Gatlinburg restaurants. Both Loco Burro and Smoky Mountain Brewery are excellent places to enjoy end-of-the-year drinks and a good-time atmosphere.  You could also stop in a some of the distilleries along the Parkway. For example, Sugarlands Distilliing Company and Ole Smoky Moonshine let you sip samples for only $5. Plus, the charge is good towards any purchase so you can get some ‘shine to go!

Gatlinburg hotels offer great views of the fireworks from their respective balconies. Just be sure you’re able to see the top of the Space Needle. If you can, you’ll be guaranteed a great view of the celebration. Make your reservations early, though, as hotels book up quickly on this holiday.

Visitors can all get a good vantage point from Park River Road, if the party atmosphere isn’t for you. No matter what you do, be sure to have a plan as prime real estate is occupied soon.

Make Gatlinburg a part of your New Year’s Eve plans to see why this event is voted one of the “Best New Year’s Eve Shows in the South!”


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Be a part of a grand tradition by celebrating Christmas at Biltmore Estate.  Located just an hour or so from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the estate is aglow with Christmas cheer, decorations and special holiday events during this special time of year. A Biltmore Christmas includes both day and nighttime activities, so you can experience the full spectrum of this holiday tradition. 

Biltmore Christmas FB2

Biltmore/Facebook

America’s largest home is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows and poinsettias, as well as miles of evergreen garland and thousands of ornaments. Furthermore, a massive 35-foot Fraser Fir tree is adorned beautiful ornaments and presents. All of this combines for a truly stunning Christmas celebration. 

Christmas at Biltmore is included with regular Biltmore admission and includes access to Biltmore House, the Gardens and Antler Hill Village and Winery. During your visit, take a complimentary guided tour. Afterwards, you can enjoy a free wine tasting. Keep in mind, The Antler Hill Village Barn hosts Santa and Mrs. Claus each weekend during the Christmas event. Visit with him from 1pm-5pm and be sure to bring your wish list.

Biltmore Christmas FB3

Biltmore/Facebook

Nighttime activities at the Biltmore House include a Candlelight Christmas Evening. With the purchase of a Candlelight Biltmore Christmas Evenings ticket, guests can enjoy a reserved evening visit of Biltmore House. In addition, enjoy daytime access to Biltmore Gardens and Antler Hill Village and Winery.

Your daytime visit to Biltmore House includes a self-guided tour. The tour features displays of vintage clothing and period pieces. Each showcases what it was like to live in America’s largest home. Of course, original art from masters like Renoir, 16th century tapestries, Napoleon’s chess set and a library with 10,000 volumes are highlights if the tour. Additionally, a banquet hall with a 70-foot ceiling , 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley and treasured antiques wow visitors as well. 

All things considered, a visit to this stunning estate is worth the drive time.  Take a day or an afternoon to revel in all there is to see and do at Biltmore Estate.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Thanksgiving is a holiday focused on a gratitude and grace, and of course, food. At Biltmore Estate Thanksgiving is steeped in tradition. Their holiday celebration is inspired by actual menus George and Edith Vanderbilt served circa the early 1900s. A Biltmore Estate Thanksgiving also features a dash of Christmas charm, so guests can experience a little bit of both of these heartwarming holidays.

Biltmore Fall_001_RSZ

You can dine at the following restaurants to participate in a Biltmore Estate Thanksgiving:

Deerpark
Hours: 11am-5pm
Extravagant Thanksgiving buffet. Reservations required (and books up fast). Phone: 828-225-6260.
Cost: Adults $54; ages 6-12 $25; children 5 and under dine free.

Bistro (at Winery)
Hours: 11:30am-9pm
Gourmet four-course prix fixe menu plus limited a la carte. Reservations highly recommended. Phone: 828-225-6230.

Stable Café (by House)
Hours: 11am-4pm
A la carte menu with blend of most popular lunch menu items, plus a number of holiday offerings. Best option if you tour Biltmore on Thanksgiving and don’t have a reservation.

Cedric’s Tavern (Antler Village)
Hours: 11 AM-9 PM
Regular lunch and dinner menus, plus three-course Thanksgiving menu served. Phone: 828-225-1320.
Thanksgiving menu cost: $40/adult, $19 children 15 and under.

Biltmore estate admission or a Biltmore dining pass is required to dine at any of the restaurants at Biltmore Estate.

During your visit, marvel at the magic of a Biltmore Christmas. Held November 4, 2016, through January 8, 2017, the extravagant celebration features dozens of Christmas trees, miles of ribbon, endless garland and twinkling lights. The best way to savor Christmas at Biltmore are Candlelight Evenings. With candlelight and firelight accenting America’s largest home, the nighttime tours feature a house aglow similar to how it would’ve looked at the turn of the 19th century. Tour the house and be swept up in the timelessness of it all. Then, return during the day to visit the gardens, Biltmore Wintery and Antler Hill Village. It’s a wonderful way to get into the spirit of the season.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

If you’re looking to get away for Labor Day, consider the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These two beautiful cities are tucked into the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each offers an exciting mix of indoor and outdoor activities. With a splendid selection of shopping, shows, attractions and outdoor adventures, a quick trip to the Smokies is the perfect way to enjoy your time away from work. Find out all that you can do during a Gatlinburg Labor Day Weekend.

Gatlinburg Sky Lift RSZ (7)

See a Show

When you first arrive in Tennessee, you’ll notice the rolling mountains and blue skies that go on forever. You’ll also notice several signs pointing your way to shows like the Dixie Stampede, Country Tonite and Smoky Mountain Opry. Shows in Pigeon Forge are very popular, and with good reason. Whether you enjoy dinner and a show, a little bit of rock ‘n roll or a bit of country, there is a show to fit your style.

Experience Smoky Mountain Attractions

Dolly_Parton_s_Dixie_Stampede_Dinner_Attraction_(012)

Dixie Stampede

Attractions in Pigeon Forge offer a mix of fast paced excitement and interesting exhibits. For those looking for speed this Labor Day, visit Lazerport Funcenter, NASCAR Speedpark and Speed Zone Go-Kart Tracks. A more leisurely way to experience the area is by visiting Scenic Helicopter Tours. This Pigeon Forge attraction takes visitors up, up and away. Soar above the clouds to beautiful areas such as Douglas Lake and the Foothills.

Gatlinburg is home to a myriad of Ripley’s Attractions. The full line-up includes Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium, Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Ripley’s Aquarium and Ripley’s Moving Theater. These exceptional attractions offer a little bit of something for everyone, and something no one will want to miss. Other things to do in Gatlinburg include playing a round of golf at Bent Creek Golf Course and a thrilling white water rafting adventure, courtesy of companies like Smoky Mountain Outdoors and Rafting in the Smokies.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Clingmans Dome ThinkstockPhotos-510724453_RSZ

Clingman’s Dome

With the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you’ll certainly want to explore your beautiful surroundings. Several outdoor activities and scenic spots are at your doorstep. Some of my favorite spots are Clingman’s Dome, Laurel Falls, Newfound Gap Overlook, Cades Cove and Grotto Falls. You can also go horseback riding in the Smokies and visit historic homesteads and mills.

Sleep Sweet

Of course, when you getaway for a Gatlinburg Labor Day it’s important to have a nice place to stay. With two great cities so close together, you’ll have your options wide open. Lodging in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg provide quality yet affordable facilities. There are motels, hotels, cabins and condominiums to choose from. RiverStone Resort, Park Place Condominiums, Old Creek Lodge and Quality Inn are just a few of the places to stay in the Smokies.

This Labor Day Weekend, treat your self to something a little bit country and a little bit city. With such a great combination of activities to choose from, you’ll be glad you visited the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains for your Labor Day Getaway!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

American HolidayCelebrate the 4th of July in Gatlinburg! For the 40th consecutive year, Gatlinburg kicks off America’s Independence Day celebration with the nation’s first parade, which takes place at 12am on Monday, July 4, 2016. More than 100,000 spectators are expected to attend.

The 4th of July Parade will feature a special tribute to our military personnel along with other patriotic salutes, as well as over 100 parade units that will make their way through Gatlinburg. Elaborately decorated floats, helium balloons, equestrian entries and a large number of our armed services will be included in the parade.

Then, on the night of July 4, Gatlinburg will host Fireworks Finale, a fireworks show that lights up the mountain skyline of Downtown Gatlinburg. The fireworks will appear around 10pm. The event is listed as a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society. The 100th Army Band will play prior to the fireworks in a free concert at 8:30 p.m. and then again following
the fireworks at 10:20 p.m. on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.

fireworks_gatlinburgAlso planned on July 4 is Gatlinburg’s River Raft Regatta. This popular event is open to anyone and takes place on the Little Pigeon River in Downtown Gatlinburg near Christ in the Smokies. The unmanned river raft race allows for anything floatable, except for balls and plastic eggs. In the past, families have entered boats made of matchsticks, rubber ducks and even floating rocks. Registration for the event takes place between 10am-noon on July 4, with the regatta beginning promptly at noon.

Reserve from our selection of Gatlinburg hotels and Gatlinburg condominiums for the guaranteed lowest rates available. Some of the top places to stay in downtown Gatlinburg include River Terrace Resort, Mountain Vista Luxury Condos, Bearskin Lodge on the River and Park Place Condos. These properties will give you convenient access to all of the 4th of July Gatlinburg events.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Greet the dawn of Easter morning during Ober Gatlinburg’s Easter Sunrise Service. Led by the Gatlinburg Ministerial, this will be the 19th year for the mountain top services at the resort. The 30-40 minute high mountain service is an inspiring event enhanced by the beauty of the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains. The service is scheduled for March 27, 2016.

Perched atop a mountain in downtown Gatlinburg, the location is a memorable one for a sunrise service and has been well-received by locals and visitors. Ober Gatlinburg provides a free tram service to attendees starting at 5:45am and continuing in 15 minute intervals until the service begins. Complimentary parking will also be available if you prefer to drive to the service.

The Ober Gatlinburg Restaurant serves a breakfast buffet from 7:15-10:30am. French Toast, scrambled eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon and other delicious items are included on the buffet.

Make a memory you won’t soon forget at Ober Gatlinburg’s Easter Sunrise Service.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread LogoGatlinburg Beans ‘n Cornbread Festival has been named one of Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events. The festival, which celebrates Appalachian culinary heritage through food and music, is slated for May 12, 2016.

“Gatlinburg is known for hosting crowd pleasing events,” says Chad Netherland, Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Marketing Director. “With the support of Bush Brothers & Company, the Beans ‘n Cornbread Festival brings to life Gatlinburg culinary heritage in an entertaining way that is a draw to visitors of all ages.”

Festival goers will be treated to a fun-filled Beans n’ Cornbread Cookoff in 2016, complete with foot-stompin’ mountain music, fun and games and, of course, lots of beans and cornbread. The street festival is on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg. Visitors can sample all the different recipes, while supplies last, for a small fee.

“The Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Festival and Event list is an excellent guide for the Southeast’s visitors and residents. Events selected represent the best, and often most unique, activities in our region,” said Bill Hardman, President and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society.

Events considered for STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.