DH (hubby) and DS (23-yr old son) and I decided to visit the Smokies before the heat and crowds rolled in. Great idea! We've been to G'Burg quite a few times, so were familiar with the lodging, restaurants, etc. We opted to stay at the Edgewater, due its central location in town. We arrived last Sunday the 21st, around 4:00 p.m. (a 5-hour drive from where we live in SC).
The Edgewater might have a good location, but it does have issues. I found some red sticky substance (like hard candy) on one of the bedspreads, and a long hair on one of the bath towels. Ewww. Plus overall, the whole place could be cleaned better. The fridge in our room made so much noise that we ended up unplugging it. And every morning around 4 a.m., the garbage trucks made so much racket on the street below it woke us up. Our last night there (Thursday), the pub down the street apparently had let out a bunch of drunks, who were whooping and hollering in front of our hotel, at 1:30 a.m. Charming. And the continental breakfast didn't consist of much, not even bananas. Can't complain about the price we paid for the room (2-room suite) as they cut us a deal due to the off-season, but we most likely won't be staying there again.
Anyhow ... after checking in we strolled up the parkway to the Rock Shop so our son could browse and decide what to add to his "collection". Then we walked over to Bennett's BBQ, a first-night tradition for us. Unfortunately I think their food quality has gone downhill over the years, as it was just "okay" for me. They still get a lot of people in there though. Afterward I headed back to the room to unpack, etc., while DH and DS went to Star Cars (they said once was enough). What was nice was that the weather was just right; we wore long pants, but had no need for a jacket.
Next morning we got a late start, and went to Alewine's Pottery (love that place) so I could get a couple items. Then we browsed another couple of shops on the way to the Wild Plum Tearoom, until they opened at 11. We were the first ones there, and were seated on the screened-in porch. Even though their food is scrumptious, DS was never thrilled to eat there due to the limited menu selections ... until they started serving the salmon burgers. He had it last trip and fell in love. This time though it came with a breadcrumb coating on the salmon. While he preferred it to be plainly grilled like before, he still enjoyed it. I had a cheesy-tomato melt with citrus salad, which was delish. And their desserts, as always, are to die for. Chewy hot fudge brownie for DS and me, and bread pudding for DH. Along with the Wild Plum iced tea - heaven.
Afterward we decided to drive the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, which with the budding bushes and trees was so gorgeous. We parked the car along the way to take a path or two, get some photos and enjoy nature at its finest. When we were done we went to Hillbilly Golf, which is our fave - so unique. Not cheap for mini-golf though, at $12.99 per person, but we love it. Then we drove over to Pigeon Forge so I could browse the Apple Barn gift shop (actually in Sevierville), and a couple other places.
By then it was time for an early supper, and we went over to one of our new favorite places to eat: The Old Mill Pottery Cafe. Their food is soooo good; much better than the Old Mill, in our opinions. The weather was still gorgeous, so we asked to sit on the outdoor patio, and were seated beside the goldfish pond. Beautiful! All three of us ordered some type of sandwich, which came on sourdough bread. Along with the excellent side dishes - yum!! Too bad we were too full for dessert!
After that we headed back to G'Burg, where DH and DS strolled the parkway while I returned to the room for the evening. Noticed that the tip money I had left on the nightstand for the housekeeper was still there, so made sure I left a note indicating it was for them the next morning. (To be continued.....)