Close the Kitchen and Head to East Tennessee for a Smokies Thanksgiving
Let's be honest...Thanksgiving can be the greatest holiday of the year. And for some, it can be an event filled with lots of stress. On the one hand, you're excited to see family you may not have seen in a great while. On the other, if you're the one in charge of food preparation, it is not exactly a day off. And it's usually a day that begins before the sun comes up.
And let's face it, the whole family thing can go both ways. Plus, there are those who have MULTIPLE Thanksgiving celebrations they have to attend. Some have to do that on the SAME day. Goodness.
Listen, I'm hardly an expert; I'm just speaking from experience. I know plenty of folks who fit all categories.
So maybe it's time to do something you may never have done before. Maybe it's time to put a "closed" sign on the kitchen, skip the daunting supermarket visit, and head to the mountains. In my mind, I'm already there.
As someone who has never been out of town for Christmas and has only ever spent ONE Thanksgiving away from home, I relish the thought.
And if the Smoky Mountains don't scream "perfect for Thanksgiving," I don't know what does.
See? That looks like a blast, and we didn't even COVER the food.
While Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville have yet to reveal the restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving, you can pretty much bet that almost all of them WILL be open. Harpoon Harry's trotted out its awesome Thanksgiving dinner last year, and there's no reason to think they won't do it again.
And I can thank SmokyMountains.com for backing that up:
Nearby Pigeon Forge, itself a haven of family entertainment, is home to some of the finest restaurants in the state. Tons of them are open on Thanksgiving Day.
While many theme parks are in the off-season on Thanksgiving, Dollywood is open and ready for holiday traffic. Dollywood insider Angie Fischer wrote about her first Thanksgiving experience at Dollywood last year and gives it a big thumbs up:
First, the park opens up at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Getting up early on a holiday doesn’t excite me… not one bit. But knowing that I can sleep in, watch the Thanksgiving Day parade in my PJs, and still go to Dollywood, does! This late-afternoon open time makes for an easy and relaxed day. And if you still have an early dinner to attend, you can still make plans to visit the park.
Lucy Angelo must be a kindred spirit; as you'll see, she had a blast spending Thanksgiving at Dollywood:
To sum it up, Thanksgiving looks just as busy as any other day of the year in the Smoky Mountains, and why wouldn't it be? That region of the world knows how to celebrate, knows how to entertain guests, and knows GOOD FOOD.
Sounds like a PERFECT Thanksgiving holiday to me.