Pigeon Forge Honeymoon Ideas

The summer wedding season is upon is. It is the perfect time of year for weddings as nature is coming out of hibernation and the grass, trees, and flowers are bursting with beauty. The wedding day is a very special time but enjoying each other and making memories together during the honeymoon is also special. Pigeon Forge is the perfect stop for making those special memories.

First off, you can soak up the true mountain feel of relaxation by staying in one of the many area cabins. It is the perfect way to enjoy each other’s company and do a little relaxing after all the stress from wedding planning. Whether you are enjoying the mountain views from the rockers on the front porch or chilling in the hot tub, you are sure to make some special memories. If you would rather have a mix of the mountains and the islands, a stay in one of the first class rooms at Pigeon Forge’s newest hotel, the Margaritaville Island Hotel, would be a great choice. It is located deep in the heart of the Island. You can hang out on your own private balcony or walk down and sit by the Island fountains. The chill atmosphere is a great beginning to your new life together.

During the day, head over to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Make memories while hiking up to the waterfalls, strolling down the nature trails, or exploring Cade’s Cove. You will never forget those first days together as husband and wife. Dollywood is another great option. From the thrill rides to the first class shows and craftsman in the park, you are sure to share some fun times together.

At night, you can catch a show and some laughs at the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show or sit back and be entertained at Dolly Parton’s famous Dixie Stampede.  Afterwards, take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and enjoy the breathtaking views of the area.

Don’t forget to do a little shopping and take back some special souvenirs so that you will always have a little piece of your honeymoon with you. Pigeon River Pottery is a perfect stop. Their hand made pottery is a unique and special way to cherish those memories. Or, you may want some beautiful cowboy couture and Stages West has you covered for that. With over 10,000 pairs of boots in stock and the latest and most up-to-date fashion, you want have to look far for something special.

Wedded bliss, honeymoon, Pigeon Forge…it is the perfect combination!!

What’s Fun for Those Challenging Teens?

Let’s be honest, teenagers are a challenge. They can bring lots of joy to our lives but also lots of headaches.  Sometimes, they go with the flow and agree with the family and other times, not so much.  So, planning a vacation that makes everyone happy is not always easy. Pigeon Forge has those teenagers in mind and will make sure they have fun too!!

Some tried and true stops for those teens:

  1. Dollywood- This place makes for a happy family all around. We have 2 adventurous divas, one of them being a teenager. They are all about the thrill rides. From the Barnstormer to the Wild Eagle to the Thunderhead and the FireChaser Express, they love them all! However, there are also some great rides for those that are less daring and don’t like the flips and crazy heights (like this momma), the Blazing Fury and the Scrambler or even the Mountain Slidewinder will get the job done. Our teen gives us a “Parents of the Day” award after a visit to Dollywood!!
  2. Splash Country- Summer, water, vacation, does it get any better? Here, they can have some fun running around and splashing the rest of the family as well as riding the Mountain Waves in the wave pool and plunge down the Fire Tower Falls. A day in the sun and water should boost their happiness level right up to the top!!
  3. Hollywood Wax Museum- Teens love selfies!! This is the perfect stop for them to get their selfies on with the stars. Wax models of current as well as past stars and even a gigantic King Kong are the perfect backdrops for them to share photos with their friends and let them know just how much fun they are having!!
  4. The Track- This a great place for a little gaming, a little go-kart fun, and a few thrill rides. They can test their luck in the arcade with some great video games, race the family around the go-kart tracks, or go for the thrill of bungee jumping or skyflying all in one stop. This is a thumbs up kinda place!!
  5. The Forge Cinemas- Sometimes we all need a little down time and a movie on the big screen is the perfect choice. This state of the art cinema has stadium seating and 5 theaters. Grab a snack, kick back, and enjoy the show with your teen!!

Thankfully those quirky teen years don’t last very long, but while they do…vacations in Pigeon Forge can still be fun for the whole family!!

2015 National Travel and Tourism Week

National Travel and Tourism Week kicked off on May 2nd and runs through May 10, 2015. This nationwide celebration was established in 1983, and gives markets across the country the chance to promote this industry and their contribution to it. This year’s theme is “Travel is______.” This theme encourages the travel and tourism community to reflect on all of the different ways that this industry contributes to “the fabric of America” by filling in the blank.

The Smoky Mountain Tourism and Development Council kicked off National Travel and Tourism Week at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Headquarters on Monday, May 4th. This was the 31st anniversary that celebrated the partnership between the park and surrounding counties, as well as the park employees.

The Park’s 2014 “Employee of the Year” was named at this celebration. Dana Soehn, Management Assistant at GSMNP, was the well-deserved recipient of this award. Dana began working at the park in 1989 as an intern, and has held many positions since then that have contributed greatly to the park’s success. To add to the celebration, the Simpson family from Ohio was chosen as the “tourist family of the day.” They were recognized at the celebration, and awarded a basket filled with local favorites.

All week long, expect to see representatives from all over Tennessee in the state’s Visitor’s Centers promoting their area. Each city and town has their own appeal that draws in an array of travelers and tourists to this great state. Look for what is unique about each and help fill in the blank of what travel truly means to America!

Extreme Adventures in Pigeon Forge

As we begin to plan our summer vacations, it is always fun to sit down as a family and make a list of what activities everyone would like to do. It is like a game for us…..each one of us thinks hard and comes up with our top 2 choices. Sometimes, one or two of our choices are the same, but we usually come up with several different activities for our trip. As the little divas have gotten older, they have also gotten more adventurous. The nice thing is Pigeon Forge still has us covered in that department too!!

There are some great options for extreme adventures. Indoor skydiving has been at the top of both girls’ list since they have been old enough to do it. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving is located midway down the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Not a time goes by that we pass it and the girls don’t beg to stop! They usually win and in we go for them to practice their flying. As a mom, I am always very nervous for them but dad joins in on the fun. I love that the Flyaway instructors are all about safety. The first stop in the process is a safety class. Here, you learn about the hand signals the instructor will use and the proper ways to fall. Next, they gear you up in your flight suit, helmet, and goggles. Then, it is off to the wind tunnel with your instructor. I usually anticipate at least one of the little divas backing out before they get to the wind tunnel, but it hasn’t happened yet!! They have always done extremely well. They quickly learned to relax and have soared to the top of the wind tunnel with the instructors. On a couple of occasions, the instructor has even let go and they get to fly by themselves for a few seconds. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving gets an A+ from our family in all aspects!!

Some other extreme adventures that we have tried on our visits have been Wonders of Flight, the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, and the Xtreme Racing Center. Wonders of Flight is a hot air balloon ride that is located at WonderWorks. The whole family partook in this adventure. Our 400 ft. soar into the air offered a magnificent view of the city and the surrounding mountains. Riding down the side of a mountain on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster was also a lot of fun. The girls loved it, especially since they had complete control over their speed. It is an adventure that you can’t just do one time! The Xtreme Racing Center was the most fun for dad. We all like to drive go karts, but he is the one who took it to the xtreme speeds!!

There are still a few other extreme adventures that we want to try such as, whitewater rafting, rolling down the hill in a sphere of water at the Outdoor Gravity Park, and horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Let the summer vacations and adventures begin!!!

30th Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade

Pigeon Forge’s most attended parade will celebrate a mile-stone this year. On Friday, May 1st, the 30th Annual Dolly’s Homecoming Parade will be rolling through town. The parade will begin at 6:00 pm with Dolly Parton herself as the Grand Marshall. As tradition will have it, she will be preceded by the marching band from her alma mater, Sevier County High School. It will start at traffic light #6 on the Parkway and end at traffic light #3. The parade is expected to last approximately two hours and will include more than 125 participants and over 50 different festive floats.

This year’s parade will display a variety of participants from majorettes to military veterans, and everything in between. Live performers from the local theater shows will have you dancing, singing and laughing as they make their way down the parkway. Other musical talents include the Pigeon Forge High School Marching Band, and the Page County High School and Middle School Marching Band from Shenandoah, Virginia.

Dolly’s Homecoming Parade is a great opportunity to pay honor to our country’s military veterans. Look for them walking alongside two different submarine replicas stretching 65 feet long!

Another super-sized display will be the 30-foot long motorized Food City Big Buggy with riders in tow.

And we can’t forget about our furry and feathery friends that will be making appearances. Parrot Mountain and Gardens will brighten the parkway with their display of tropical birds and Garden of Eden float. Even rarer than tropical birds in the Smoky Mountains is Little Joe, the World’s smallest horse. The Living Treasure’s Little Joe is back for another year to join Dolly and all of the other parade participants in the fun-filled march through Pigeon Forge.

Make plans now to join us and thousands of other spectators in welcoming Dolly home, and share this exciting display of creativity and fun with your whole family!

Ways to Save on Your Trip to Pigeon Forge

Summer is quickly approaching and the planning process for family vacations has already begun. Let’s be honest, vacations can get pricey!! Planning ahead and finding ways to save is a must for many of us. Here are some helpful tips on making that trip to Pigeon Forge not break the piggy bank.

  1. Order a Pigeon Forge Travel Guide. You can order this from mypigeonforge.com and it is a great resource tool for information on things to do, where to eat, and places to stay. There are also coupons and discounts as well as maps. The travel guide is a great place to start your planning process.
  2. Stop by the Welcome Center located at traffic light #0 on the Parkway or the Visitor Information Center located at traffic light #5 when you arrive in town. You will find friendly faces to offer helpful information and advice along with brochures and coupons.
  3. Don’t pass up those brochure stands located at most area restaurants, hotels, and attractions. Many of them have coupons in them. Even those $1-3 off coupons help out when you are buying for a family!
  4. With the current trends of social media, you might check out your attraction, restaurant, or lodging choice’s Facebook page. They may be offering coupons or deals that are mentioned on their page.
  5. Order your show tickets online. Also, many of the shows offer combo tickets that will allow you to buy tickets to several shows at a discounted rate and some even have deeper discounts on the kid’s tickets.
  6. Dollywood’s “Arrive after 3 pm, and the next day is free” is a great way to get in a little extra time at the park. It is like getting a day and a half at the park for the price of one day. If you are looking to spend several days at Dollywood or Dollywood’s Splash Country, upgrading your ticket to a season pass may be a cheaper option. Plus, you can go back on the next vacation too!
  7. Save time and money on parking by riding the Fun Time Trolley to Dollywood. This is one of Pigeon Forge’s best kept secrets. The cost is 50 cents each way/per person and they drop you off and pick you up at the front of the park!
  8. Dinner shows are a great way to combine dinner and entertainment. 2 for the price of 1!!! Believe me, you get plenty to eat at these shows too.
  9. Choose a cabin or condo for lodging, this way you have a kitchen to cook meals in so that you don’t have to eat out the whole time you are gone.
  10.  Do some research online, some of the cabins and condos have special discounts with the more nights you stay, i.e. book 6 nights and get 1 additional night free.

Enjoy your next trip to Pigeon Forge and still have money left over in your wallet. Do a little planning ahead and watch the savings add up!

Interior Department Seeks Public Dialogue on Reform of Federal Onshore Gas and oil Rules

WASHINGTON &ndash Secretary from the Interior Sally Jewell today introduced the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will open an open dialogue on potential changes to federal onshore gas and oil rules included in Leader Obama&rsquos technique to support a well-balanced, prosperous energy future. The BLM is giving funding Notice of Suggested Rulemaking (ANPR) to find public discuss potential updates to BLM rules regulating gas and oil royalty rates, rental obligations, lease purchase minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances.
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&ldquoIt&rsquos time to possess a candid conversation about if the American citizen gets the best return to add mass to gas and oil assets on public lands,&rdquo stated Secretary Jewell, who lately talked about the Administration&rsquos energy reform agenda in remarks in the center for Proper and Worldwide Studies. &ldquoThe BLM&rsquos rules haven’t stored pace with technological advances and market conditions, making this an essential information-gathering step once we aim to improve how a authorities does business.&rdquo
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Modernizing the BLM&rsquos rate structures can offer critical versatility, Jewell noted, especially because of the dramatic development of oil development on public and tribal lands, where production has elevated in each one of the past six years, and combined production was up 81 percent in 2014 versus 2008. Potential changes to BLM&rsquos rules would also react to concerns expressed through the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Interior&rsquos Office of Inspector General, yet others the BLM&rsquos existing rules lack versatility and is leading to the U . s . States to forego significant revenue towards the hindrance of citizens.
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The GAO has frequently came to the conclusion the BLM&rsquos rules don’t give a reasonable assurance the public gets appropriate great amount from the revenue from all of these assets.&nbsp The BLM&rsquos current rules don’t have the versatility to provide new competitive rents at greater royalty rates.
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&ldquoAs thing about this process, the BLM and also the Department will conduct an intensive research into the
price of conducting business on federal lands, so we welcome input all parties how citizens could be better assured sufficient compensation from gas and oil production on public lands,&rdquo stated Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider. &ldquoWe should also ensure individuals assets are developed faithfully and sensibly which financial assurances and penalties reflect the real costs of contemporary day gas and oil development and reclamation.&rdquo
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Presently, the royalty rate for competitive gas and oil rents on public lands is 12.five percent of the need for production. Current regulation locks that rate at least permitted legally, despite the fact that many states and landowners assess greater rates to gas and oil developed using their lands. The ANPR seeks discuss potential changes that will supply the BLM using the procedural versatility to alter the royalty rate as a result of market conditions in conjuction with the technique of offshore gas and oil rents.&nbsp Tribal lands wouldn’t be affected.
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The ANPR also seeks discuss the adequacy of connecting needs and civil penalty checks. The present minimum bond amounts — $10,000 for any lease-wide bond, $25,000 for any state-wide bond, and $150,000 for any countrywide bond — haven’t been up-to-date in 2 decades. The present lease-wide amount reflects a little fraction -Body-fifth of 1 percent — from the average price of drilling a contemporary well and could not adequately reflect the possibility cost to citizens should a business neglect to adhere to lease terms.&nbsp Similarly, existing rules cap the quantity of civil penalties that BLM can assess at levels that might be lacking to supply sufficient deterrence for potential violations.
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&ldquoOur current minimum connecting rates and maximum penalties are ripe for any fresh look,&rdquo stated BLM Director Neil Kornze. &ldquoToday&rsquos connecting rates were set when Dwight D. Eisenhower was leader. We’re lengthy past due to think about an update that can help us make sure that gas and oil sites are correctly handled and reclaimed which citizens aren&rsquot left obtaining the tab.&rdquo
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The ANPR furthermore addresses the need for these assets by inviting discuss the way the BLM might update its rules concerning the minimum acceptable bid that must definitely be compensated by parties seeking a lease at auction, and also the annual rental obligations which are due following a lease is acquired. The present minimum acceptable auction bid is $2 per acre, that is well underneath the rate where most parcels sell, recommending the rate might be greater. After acquiring a lease, a lessee is presently needed to create annual rental obligations before the lease begins creating oil or gas. These rental rates presently are $1.50 per acre for that first 5 years and $2.00 for a long time five through 10.&nbsp The ANPR invites discuss how rental obligations may be better structured to incentivize diligent growth and development of leased areas.
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&ldquoThis process won’t assure broad public input and thorough review and analysis but in addition helps build the general public confidence essential to sustain our energy revolution,&rdquo stated BLM Director Neil Kornze. &ldquoThis dialogue might help make sure that American citizens get a fair return from energy assets developed on their own public lands, offer companies incentives to quickly explore and develop their rents, and supply real-world assurances and preventives that address the potential risks connected with exploration and production.&rdquo
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The ANPR is yet another part of probably the most ambitious reform agenda within the Department&rsquos history to bolster, update and modernize energy rules. For gas and oil procedures offshore, Interior makes sweeping reforms to maintain safe and responsible development, overhauling federal oversight by restructuring to supply independent regulating agencies which have obvious missions and therefore are better-resourced to handle the work they do, whilst keeping pace having a quickly changing industry.
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Within the wake from the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion and oil spill, Interior increased drilling and emergency response standards for gas and oil companies, and elevated the bar for procedures via a comprehensive rule to explain and enhance well-control needs for drilling, workover, completion and decommission procedures around the Outer Continental Shelf.&nbsp Interior also launched robust suggested standards for Arctic gas and oil exploration and development, particularly customized towards the region&rsquos challenging conditions.
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Onshore, the Department lately introduced common-sense initiatives, according to extensive public comment and industry guidelines, for controlling hydraulic fracturing.
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The ANPR invites the general public to submit comments throughout a 45-day comment period, that will start following the ANPR is released within the Federal Register in a few days.
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For any draft from the notice, that will publish April 21, click http://on.doi.gov/1ONPcxj.

Pigeon Forge TN Food Tour

On your next trip to Pigeon Forge, make sure to pack your appetite! This city is not lacking in the “good food” department. With so many great options, you can try a different place for each meal as well as each day you are visiting. Although, I must admit we usually only get 2 meals in a day because we are still full from the previous meal. It is kind of like a game for us to see how many new menu items we can try on our trips but yet still get to eat our favorites.

Here are some of my family’s favorites:

For Breakfast: 

Log Cabin Pancake House- This hidden gem has been around since 1973. It is located at the end of the Parkway, just as you are leaving town to head towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They offer great service and good food. One of our favorites here is the Pancakes Royale.

Mama’s Farmhouse- If your tummy is really empty and you are looking for a meal that will last you for quite a while, then head here. There family style breakfast is sure to fill you up. Our little divas love the variety of food that comes to the table. For those traveling with kids 5 and under, they eat for free!

Old Mill Restaurant- This place has a rustic log cabin feel to it and actually has a working gristmill next door. It is the perfect place for good Southern comfort food. I love their grits and fluffy biscuits.

Red Rooster Pancake House- We are pancake lovers in our household. Their chocolate chip pancakes get two thumbs up from us!

Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast- This place is newer to Pigeon Forge and is named after Mark Twain’s novel. We are excited to try it on our next visit. It is getting good reviews and their bananas foster french toast looks amazing!

For Lunch:

Pottery House Cafe and Grille- You can’t go wrong here!! Their fresh baked breads, quiches, and soups are a great lunch choice. Although, I must say that every menu item we have tried is 5 star. We like the beautiful pottery dishes that they serve their food on which are handmade next door at the Pigeon River Pottery.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza- The little divas love this place. You can’t go wrong with pizza anytime of the day for us. Their unique crust and pizza options are a hit. We love the Kosmic Karma pizza and Greek salad.

Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que- They offer some great pulled pork, a nice salad bar, and their fried pickle chips are yummy too. This is usually a stop on each of our visits because Tennessee BBQ is like no other!!

Mel’s Diner- This is a 50′s style diner with a fun family atmosphere. It is the perfect place to go for classic American food. Burgers and banana splits is a good lunch for us!!

Hard Rock Cafe- You can’t miss this fun place as you are coming into town on the Parkway from Sevierville. It is a rock & roll good time with all of their great music memorabilia and great American food menu.

For Dinner:

Alamo Steakhouse- They are locally owned and operated. This is a great place for a nice evening out. It offers a nice atmosphere and big portions of food. There is a full kids menu and kids get a set of wikki sticks to entertain them while they wait for their meal instead of the usual crayons and coloring sheet. Their steaks are mouthwatering!

Calhoun’s- This place has a cool mountain lodge atmosphere with a neat fireplace inside. Their specialty is their award-winning ribs. Although their hickory smoked chicken and pork is good too!!

Bullfish Grill- The name in itself is unique but they also serve up some unique menu items. They offer great seafood items, which is what we usually order when we visit, but also, some great salads and Angus beef items. “No bull, just great food” is correct!!

Margaritaville- This great place is located on the Island. They have an outside deck that overlooks the Little Pigeon River and it is a great place to unwind. We love their Volcano nachos. A laidback atmosphere and good food equals a happy family for us!

Timberwood Grill- This is another great choice if you are hanging out at the Island. The servers are dressed like lumberjacks and they offer a great mountain themed menu. Their Campfire Queso and Trail Boss Chicken Tenders are pretty yummy.

One place that is not opened yet but has our family anxiously waiting is Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. This will be a must “stop” place for us. My little divas are obsessed with cooking shows and love to see the yummy creations of Paula Deen. So as you can tell, Pigeon Forge has you covered in the “good food” department. Make sure to visit each of these great places and come up with some favorites of your own!

BLM Announces Three Choices for National Wild Equine and Burro Advisory Board

The Bureau of Land Management introduced today the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture make choices for 3 open positions on its nine-member National Wild Equine and Burro Advisory Board.&nbspJune Sewing of Cedar plank City, Utah, continues to be re-hired for that group of wild equine and burro advocacy Jennifer Sall of Lander, Wyoming, continues to be hired for that group of public interest (with special understanding about protection of untamed horses and burros, control over wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resource management) and Dr. Julie M. Weikel, DVM, of Princeton, Or, continues to be hired for that group of veterinary medicine.&nbspEach individual assists a 3-year term around the Advisory Board.

Ms. Sewing may be the Executive Director and Secretary for that National Mustang Association, that she’s labored since 1985 undertaking various duties, including controlling the association&rsquos wild equine sanctuary.&nbspMs. Sewing has additionally offered because the leader of local charitable organizations &ndash as trustee around the Cedar plank City hospital board for 25 years, as well as on a committee coping with the endangered Utah prairie dog.&nbsp Ms. Sewing has gotten a Citizen Volunteer award in the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Real estate agents, and Southern Utah College. &nbspShe was initially hired towards the Advisory Board this year and will also be serving another term.