A Short Trip to TN – Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

Last year, we took a week long vacation, in the middle of Christmas break, to Destin. While I love the beach AND Destin, it was just too much packing for a longer trip and making a 12 hour car ride. So – this year, we decided that a short weekend getaway to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge would be just enough…it was!

First of all, I don’t stay in cabins or chalets. It smells musty and woodsy and it takes 30 minutes, each way, just to make it into town. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Plus, I wanted my boy to have an indoor pool. So, we stayed at a hotel, right off of the strip and I saw this right outside of our window…

King Kong better

Seriously – does it get better than that?

I love Destin but it’s for the beach and the slow, leisurely life. Activity-wise, not a lot going on.

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are action packed! Our first night in, we checked in and drove into Gatlinburg. Our first dinner stop was the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. I’ve been there before – the food is average but I just really like the movie Forrest Gump. 😉 And, it’s fun playing trivia with the servers.

We started off with some Seafood Hush Pups

Bubba Gump Hushpuppies

They seemed so promising but were a fail. Just average hushpuppies with a teeny bit of crab and a below average dipping sauce.

My boy got Mama’s Southern Fried Chicken (can you believe no cheeseburger or steak?)

Bubba Gump Fried Chicken

He ate about half – but, he was struggling with the crunchy breading and braces. 🙂

The husband got the Steamed Shellfish

Bubba Gump Shrimp Pot


He was disappointed in its size and was eyeballing mine the whole time.

I got the Shrimper’s Heaven

Bubba Gump Shrimp mine

The best one was the tempura – I had issues with their ramekins, too. Super short and made it impossible to actually DIP your shrimp into.

A fun experience but…food-wise, it’s just okay. (But, I knew that going in)

We shopped in Gatlinburg for a couple of hours (such good shopping and I got to spend forever in a Tervis store!!!) and went back to the hotel.

For breakfast, the next morning, we went to Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin. If I never see the words pancake, moonshine, hillbilly or dixie stampede again, I’ll be okay. We were just going to eat the free breakfast at the hotel but the boys were disappointed in the choices. I didn’t really care as long as I got coffee.

Which, I did…

Flapjacks coffee

Here’s what everyone got…

Egg White Omelette (the husband was attempting to be healthy, I guess)

Flapjacks omelette

My boy got some scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes.

Flapjacks mikey

Flapjacks pancakes

I got French Toast

Flapjacks french toast

I didn’t like it. It didn’t taste like anything – and it, definitely, didn’t taste like their description! Whatever, I got coffee.

We went to the outlets, raced at the track, played mini-golf, went to the winery and took on Christmas Land. Lots of fun and lots of things bought.

About that time, it was time for lunch. The one place that we HAVE to go when we’re in Pigeon Forge is Mel’s Diner. Told you I’m easy to please. Give me really good diner food and I’m happy.

We sat at the bar – kind of cool to be able to watch all the food go out and chat with the servers.

Both the boys got burgers…

Mel's burger

Mel's bacon burger

And, Mikey got a chocolate shake

Mel's milkshake

And they give you all the extra yummy goodness still in the metal tin, too!

I got a Fried Bologna sandwich – yeah, culinary snobs, take that! You can take the girl out of the west side but you can’t take the west side out of the girl. 😉

Mel's me

It was damn delicious, too. The fries were okay but the onion rings were awesome!!!!

Please note – this was my favorite meal of our short trip. 😉

After lunch, we went to the arcade and did some more shopping – trying to kill some time before we went to a magic show in the evening.

We had a really LATE dinner, that night – hence, no pictures – at Calhoun’s

The husband and son both got steak – prime rib and a sirloin. I got chicken fingers (hoping that they would be as good as Longhorn’s) – nope. Just okay and horrible honey mustard.

After a long day of lots of activities, we went back to the hotel to pass out from exhaustion.

Sidenote: They have a freestanding Krispy Kreme in Pigeon Forge. When that hot light now button comes on, watch out! There was a line, at all times, around the building and about 6 cars onto the street. It was madness. Even more madness that we waited in that line so Mikey could feed his Krispy Kreme addiction.

The next morning, we packed our bags and headed out. It was a perfect short trip and just enough to escape “normal” life for a couple of days.

You know what I had on the way home? Krystal. Lord love the south.

…And, I’m back on Weight Watchers. 😉





3 thoughts on “A Short Trip to TN – Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

  1. We went to that same Bubba Gump Shrimp in Gatlinburg when we were there last year on vacation. My kids love seafood so had to try it being related to Forest Gump. Of course I as well was unimpressed with the food. Ordered the fish and chips which was ok. On the plus side I did get to take home a ‘Momma Says I am Special’ cup.

  2. Pingback: 24 hours in Gatlinburg, TN- Concise City Tour Guide | Unveil THe World

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