Gatlinburg, TN Adventures


View from Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Taking a break from marathon training allows me to venture off to other things. 

I rented a cabin from Aunt Bug’s over the Memorial Day weekend.  The cabin was fully equipped and located off Parkway light #3 in Pigeon Forge.


#120 Dream Maker

After we settled in and drove to The Island, we spotted a Paula Deen restaurant.  I loved her buffet at the Horseshoe Casino and this month old location did not disappoint.

Paula Deen’s serves family style dining which consists of 3 meat choices, 5 sides and dessert for the table.  They will refill any item, but you are not allowed to take anything home. 

If you plan to eat at Paula Deen’s, make sure you call ahead to get your name on a list.  They do not take reservations.  The food was so good that we went back the following night but the wait was 3 hours! 


Skip the bread and get full on the real food!

That lead us to Dick’s Last Resort restaurant.  My friend Brandi referred me to this place where service is with sarcasm.  The waitresses were entertaining.  This one lady almost bumped into me and excused herself.  This waitress was in my ear saying “She should’ve pushed ya!”

It was funny and so were some of their other antics.  The food gets a big fat F.  It’s overpriced, heat and serve food.  Never again.  They didn’t give us hats either.


Moonshine sampling & Dick's that should be your last resort.

Speaking of food, I would rank Big Daddy’s Pizza in my top 5 favorite pizza spots.  You know it’s good when you go back a second time over the all the other places to chose from.

Onto the adventure side of things, the Mountain Coaster at light #2 in Gatlinburg was a nice thrill.  Next time I want to ride at night.


Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

The Big Wheel gave a good aerial view of Pigeon Forge.


I don’t know why we went in the tourist trap of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.  The exhibit diplays are outdated and need a remodel. 


The only advantage was getting a deal on admission to the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.  The aquarium was awesome.



My favorite part about this road trip was making a left at light #8 and going into The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail




I was joking when I said I wasn’t leaving the park until I saw a bear.  Mama bear was hiding somewhere while her cub was lying in a tree.


Cub in tree on Roaring Fork drive

A long weekend was the perfect getaway, but not enough time to do everything.  I plan to white water raft and rent ATVs on the next trip.

Wait!  It’s not over!

I looked on for a race and I found one 10 minutes from the cabin in Sevierville!  It was the 2nd Annual Sevierville County High School Memorial Day 5k sponsored by DECA.

I wanted to win the overall female trophy.  I checked the times from 2014 and a young lady named Haley won with a 21:54. My personal record is 21:44, so it was possible to out run her.

Everyone was so kind.  A SCHS cross country Junior told me to save some for the end because there is an incline.

I wore some fresh out the box Brooks Glycerin 12s to replace the pair I tossed after the Derby Marathon. 


My first pair of shoes with reflective laces.

The starting gun blasted at 8:06 a.m. under a sunny 75°.  A pack of cross country students took the lead.  Haley was up there and another female.  I passed #2 and we exchanged motivational words.

There was no catching Miss Haley! 


That Smoot Stride

I finished 2nd overall woman and 12th overall.  I smashed my 5k PR with a 20:59.

I met a lady from Delaware who was on vacation and found the race like I did.  We were so giddy going up to get our medals.  There was also a man from Colorado, so I’m not the only crazy one racing on vacays. 🙂


There's Haley in the gray

Bye Y’All!

About Kelsie Lou

Teacher on the move.
This entry was posted in food, restaurants, running, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Gatlinburg, TN Adventures

  1. I am envious of your running, your speed…and I LOVE the aquarium in Gatlinburg too. I need to go back. I go back to the doctor on the 10th. But, after going off my anti-inflammatory so I could take allergy medicine, I know I’m not doing better.

    You…however…are killing it. Glad you had a great time. And congrats on continuing to be super-speedy!


    • KelsieLou says:

      I think all the Paula Deen gave me a boost. I never work on speed besides spin class, so for running it comes natural.

      You on the other hand have nothing to worry about with your injuries. Endurance running is your niche. Back to back marathons will be on your schedule in no time.


  2. Great Blog post. I am actually from Delaware and I own two cabins off of traffic light number eight in Pigeon Forge. Thanks for the reviews of the places to eat. You are right, there is never enough time to do all of the things in the area. That is awesome you got to race. Great time too.


    • KelsieLou says:

      Thank you for reading my blog! It must be nice to own two cabins in the Smokies. I’ve heard that Gatlinburg is nice during the winter. The problem is I hate snow. I wouldn’t mind going in the fall during peak foliage changes. I also check on some races along the strip. Maybe I will plan another trip around a race. Oh, I read great reviews about a restaurant called Old Mill. It’s supposedly on the level of Paula Deen’s, but with larger portion and carry out.


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