I have been wanting to go to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for YEARS. Every March when my family starts planning our summer vacations, Dollywood is always my suggestion.
Unfortunately, my suggestion is always met with “the look.” You know “the look” when your family thinks you just said something ridiculous but they are too kind to actually say it out loud.
Yeah, that look.
So one night I was out with girlfriends for dinner and they were asking me what I was planning this summer. I mentioned the obligatory beach trip and Roni’s 40th birthday bash in Jamaica. And then it happened. One friend said; “No Dollywood?” I turned to her with “the look” and told her that no one would ever go with me. She instantly chimed up and said, “I will. Book it!”
So I did.
I cannot tell you how happy I was to go. I LOVE the mountains and the country and it certainly lived up to my dreams. We decided to go for 4 days and drive. We took the convertible Bug and started on our road trip! But first I had to get my nose pierced…#thisis40
After a long 8-hour drive we arrived in Pigeon Forge and settled into the Econo Lodge right in the center of everything. There are plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you busy. This one was our first stop and a great choice!
The next morning, we had our free breakfast and decided to do some moonshine tasting. What else should we have done at 10 a.m. when it is already HOT and HUMID?
No regrets — this stuff is AMAZING!
I bought some to bring home.
And then it happened….We arrived. Dollywood! This park is fantastic. It’s perfectly country chic.
We had an AWESOME day walking around and riding rides.
But, it was hot.
I think next time I’ll visit in February.
Here’s Dolly and I in the Museum that held all her dresses, awards, childhood photos, and most importantly was air conditioned!
It started raining while we were there so we decided to head back to the hotel. That evening, I caught Katelyn googling the life of Dolly Parton while we were relaxing in the room. I’m pretty sure she was having a good time.
The next day we decided to head to the Smoky Mountain State Park, which was a 10-minute drive from the hotel. We used the GPS to get us to the beginning of the park and ended up in Gatlinburg!
They had boot stores, many boot stores. I was in heaven!
Gatlinburg was great. We walked for about 3 hours just popping in and out of shops and going to some more moonshine tastings and wine tastings.
Travis was our bartender. The. Best. Moonshine. Expert.
More wine tasting.
Finally, we made it to The Great Smoky Mountain State Park — what an amazing place! Breathtaking.
I definitely had some blissful moments driving in a convertible and listening to country music.
We stopped and decided to take a hike up a path to go and see a waterfall. The “hike ” lasted about 20 minutes before the lack of water and the heat got us. We still had a great time walking and enjoying the sights.
This trip was a dream come true. It was everything I thought it would be. If you have the time, make the trip to Pigeon Forge with your family even if they give you “the look.” It will be well worth it.