Yep, we went back to Gatlinburg. We go almost every year, usually staying at our Club Chalet/RCI unit… this time however, we did an in-house exchange and stayed with Westgate at their Smoky Mountain Resort & Waterpark.
It boasts beautiful views of the Smoky Mountain National Park from all sides, a Waterpark, a small playground for children, on-site restaurants, two outdoor pools, mini golf, and more!
Our unit was beautiful! We own a 2-bedroom that sleeps like ten people. Well, what Westgate does is they basically give you two 1-bedroom units that connect to form one giant 2-bedroom unit. This means we had two kitchens, two laundry areas, two and a quarter bathrooms, a nice balcony, and two livingrooms. Like I said, beautiful.
This is a “dog friendly” resort, which is great since this time we traveled with two German Shepherd puppies. That being said, it wasn’t really dog friendly. What I mean is that, yes dogs are allowed in units and on-site for an additional cleaning fee, but there isn’t really anywhere for them to be let of leash and run around on-site. Especially when there wasn’t many flat grassy walkable areas to take.
Sure, I could take my dog to a dog park in Pigeon Forge or the like, but to me that defeats the purpose of a dog friendly resort. It is also a long drive down the mountain, through traffic… and my dog gets motion sick. On-site would definitely be better. As an owner, this was something we suggested and they definitely seemed interested, even better since they are still expanding that was delayed from the Wildfire a few years ago. Maybe we will see some dog friendly areas in the near future!!
Last time we visited, we did a day at the Waterpark and the kids loved it, so we figured “why not.” Easy entertainment, on-site. They do close for a little bit from around 2:30-3pm to drain and clean the water park; as well as the outdoor heated pools on the property.
At the top of the property, currently, next to an outdoor pool, is a 9-hole mini golf course. I stayed back at the unit with the puppies, but my kids tell me “it wasn’t too challenging but still lots of fun… and short.” It was included in the stay and they could play as many rounds as they wanted so… you know.
We ate at the other on-site restaurant this time, Southern Comfort. It’s theme was based of the SoCo whiskey, gourmet meals with a southern country feel. The food was good, atmosphere was nice, but the prices were a bit outrageous for the portions on certain items, in my opinion anyways. If you don’t mind spending a lot on small meals then definitely check it out. You can order take out from the bar, but it is a really small menu and not worth it. At the time of our visit, the restaurant was “short staffed and didn’t have a phone” so they could not do to-go orders.
The small play area at the resort was nice as well. The kids had a good time and the area was clean and well maintained.
We checked out some of the usual haunts this time as well…
- Random Mini-golf on the strip
- The Waterpark
- The Outlets
- Monster Mash Burgers
- Mellow Mushroom Pizza – Pigeon Forge
There was a huge car show going on this week when we traveled down. A portion of it was held at the Leconte Convention Center, but you could not go down the main strip without seeing hundreds of cars lining the whole thing. It was awesome and totally took us by surprise. We were hoping to avoid the Spring Break crowd, and while the Waterpark wasn’t as busy as it could have been, we definitely had crowds from the car show. We loved it so much, we didn’t mind the extra traffic and time that it took to get anywhere!
I know it isn’t much, but I hope this, as well as our other posts regarding past visits to Gatlinburg, help you plan your next or maybe even first visit down. 🙂
Please note that everywhere we went there was social distancing, sanitize stations, and everyone wore a face mask; masks were only removed for short period when we were more than 6 feet from another family or for photos . Also, note that we are not being paid for this post. 🙂