I have conducted (between myself and my brain) some reviews of various places where we slept/ate/wandered around looking at stuff while we were in Gatlinburg. We drove through Pigeon Forge before getting to Gatlinburg, and all I could think was "Holy Cheesy Attraction, Batman!" With some things you can only pray you are getting your money's worth since everything is so expensive being a tourist city and all. I am happy to report that there was nothing we saw that was horrific and made us feel cheated out of our money.
One star is terrible, five stars is awesome
All images are from a Google search and are not personally mine.
Sidney James Mountain Lodge ****
It took us forever to find the place but once we did we realize it was in pretty good walking distance from the main strip. Perfect! Due to a reservation mix up they offered to upgrade our room which was great! The only thing I would not recommend is the breakfast. The free continental breakfast was kinda pathetic. I just say skip that and go out to one of the many, many pancake houses they have! We never ran into a bad one, and prices were not bad!
Ripley's Aquarium ***
Very kid-friendly and pretty cool going through the tunnel where the sharks were, but fish can only be so interesting. That's just my opinion. There are some who just loooove aquariums, but I would not put this is one of the top "must sees" of Gatlinburg.
If you guess where this is from you get
Hollywood Star Cars Museum ****
Admission is $10 each, and this is actually a pretty interesting attraction. All the automobiles were actually used in the specified movies and TV shows such Bumblebee, General Lee, and Kitt. I found the 1961 police car from Andy Griffith pretty interesting myself. :) This is definitely worth checking out! I'd give 5 stars if we were allowed to sit in the cars for pictures. :-p
Bubba Gump Shrimp ***
Great food and loved all the oldies music playing! The tables were a bit overdecorated with odds and ends w
hich didn't leave very much room to eat. Prices were a bit extreme for the amount of food they give you, but the service was great. The servers will do Forrest Gump trivia with you, which was fun. Hard Rock Cafe ****
Obviously everyone who does not live with their head in the sand knows what the Hard Rock is. This was the first time I had ever been to one! Definitely a place for those who are into all aspects of music and rock history (they had a handwritten letter from Paul McCartney!) If you are looking for a nice quiet meal this would not be the place. :-p We had awesome service and the food was great. The bartender messed up on Ryan's drink, and they were totally cool about it. We don't like making a fuss and being "those" types of customers, but you have to figure this is your money you're giving them.
Sky Lift ***
The view was awesome, and I really wanted one of those pictures they take of you when you get to the top. Unfortunately, it was so foggy that's all you couldn't see the view behind us. :( You can't help but be a tad nervous as you're traveling over a river and busy street several feet in the air. If you have any problem with heights this is not recommended. I'm hoping to someday get a picture with pretty fall colors behind us. :)
Guiness Book of World Records *
Admission was only $10 a person (we got 50%! Military discount!), but I would say take that money and invest in the book. Look at it with your friends and it will be a better time than this museum. Don't know why you would refer to it as a museum since there were no actual artifacts. Just a bunch of pictures and exhibits looking like they were put together by a bunch of middle school students. I just wasn't impressed, but I guess it's something to do if you have to kill some time.
Titanic Museum *****
Go! Now! This was the most we paid for any attraction, but it was soooooo worth it! You know most people have some sort of fascination with the Titanic, and this is a great way to learn more about it! The recreation of different parts of the ship (3rd class rooms, The Grand Staircase!) were amazing! You were also able to go out onto the "deck" and feel the 28 degree water, which was how cold is was when the ship went down. Wow, and that was cold! I can't even begin to describe how amazing this was! Makes me want to go back just writing about it! The only complaint is that they don't allow photos or video inside due to copyright. :( Bum deal.
Just the sight of this building was pretty cool! I was unsure of what it actually was, but it's pretty much interactive museum. Very kid-friendly. I think one of the few times I wished the kids were with us. ;) Since we went during the weekend it was very crowded and we stood in line more than actually checking out the exhibits. This is worth going to definitely, but more so during the week.
Tony Roma's ****
It's in walking distance from WonderWorks, so it was perfect for lunch! The food, atmosphere, and service was great! Another chain restaurant I had never been to! :-p Prices were a bit high, but I suppose that's not a huge surprise.
If there's one thing I learned while in Gatlinburg it was always ask if they have military discount! We got some awesome deals!!