After talking to my sister and sister-in-law, I decided I would venture east and visit Asheville, North Carolina, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Asheville was only about 3 hours away, and Gatlinburg was a short distance from there. Never being to either city, I thought it was worth checking out.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville has a lot to offer. There is the Biltmore Estate, built by George Vanderbilt, an art center, and the downtown area offers art festivals, cute shops and nice restaurants. Asheville is also renovating and gearing to the younger generation. This seems to be a trend in many of the cities I have been to.
You will need to purchase tickets for most of the attractions. I didn’t find the city to be to pet-friendly so CoCo, and I just walked around town and took in the sights and sounds.
Also offered in the area are hiking, camping, zip line, biking, tubing, and climbing, just to mention a few. You can see the city offers many things to do and I was told the city is beautiful to visit at Christmas time.
A night in Asheville
While walking through town, I came across some street musicians, and I stopped to listen. I also stopped for an ice cream where I was allowed to carry CoCo while ordering and paying. The Marble Slab Creamery has homemade and delicious ice cream. My choice was a lemon flavor, and I really enjoyed it.
I spent the night at LaQuinta Inn and Suites just outside of town. It had a fantastic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside the door. My first choice was to stay right downtown in an Airbnb place because it looked charming. There was a glitch in the system, and the reservation got messed up, so I had to make other arrangements.
I woke the next morning and drove to Gatlinburg, TN, which was about seventy-eight miles away. It was a beautiful drive through the Smoky Mountains. I passed a beautiful river where you could tube and raft. I also drove by campsites, and there were places you could pull off the road to check out the beauty.
CoCo and I arrived in Gatlinburg and spent the day walking around the town. There is so much to do in Gatlinburg; however, it is not a place you can do it with your dog. I managed to find a dog-friendly restaurant to have lunch at.
The Back Alley Grill
The Back Alley Grill was a restaurant at the end of one of the alleys. A sweet couple from Kentucky invited me to sit with them at their table in the shade, and I gladly accepted.
My meal was excellent, and the conversation I had with the couple was awesome. The waitress brought CoCo a bowl of cold water, and I had the Parkside Panini, which was terrific. The couple from Kentucky told me they visit there often and enjoy each time they come.
Things to do in Gatlinburg
There are plenty of things to do and see in Gatlinburg besides shops and places to eat. There’s a ski lift, a cable car that goes to the amusement park, the Space Needle observation tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Smokey National Park, a Sky Bridge and much more.
Unfortunately, I was unable to do any of them because of the dog. Had I known there was so much to do, I would have planned to stay longer and arranged for a dog sitter. I love my dog; however, I have discovered traveling with a pet can put a crimp in your fun. They dictate what you can and can’t do while visiting places.
If you find yourself staying in Gatlinburg for any length of time and run out of things to do, you can drive down the road to Pigeon Forge and enjoy the sites there.
Pigeon Forge is home to Dolly Wood, a grand place to see. The town itself has many shops, restaurants and other things to do.
If planning a trip to this area, you will enjoy adventure, good food, and fun!
Leaving Gatlinburg, I made my way north toward Michigan. I decided to stay in Georgetown, KY, for the night. Georgetown is just north outside of Lexington. I felt it be the best place to stop for the night and rest for the drive to Michigan the next day.
Arriving in Georgetown, I made reservations at the Best Western. It was a very nice hotel and reasonably priced. The staff was very friendly and the room clean and beautiful.
A hot breakfast served in the morning is an added bonus. The breakfast offers cheese omelets, sausage and biscuits, bacon, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, and much more.
Heading to Michigan
Michigan is where I was born and raised, so I’m not sure how much I’ll look to discover. I have set this time aside to visit family and long-time friends.
I will write on the changes I see, or if I find something of interest; however, it will be a time to catch up with others, to write and post.
One thing I found out was when you’re on the road, you can come across many challenges. Not only do you have to find pet-friendly things to do, but also the internet has been a challenge. I’m just going with the flow and figuring things out as I go along so stay tuned.
Your comments on places I’ve been too are much appreciated! Cheers!