How to Plan a Trip to Gatlinburg in 6 Easy Steps


Heading to Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains for the first time? It can be overwhelming at first. But you won’t regret it! It’s our absolute FAVORITE place to visit! There’s SO much to do! To help you, I’ll be walking you through six steps to planning your trip. Take it a step at a time, […]

Kid Testers Recommend Kid-Friendly Smoky Mountain Activities

The CabinConnection Kid Testers -- Kinsen, Parker, and Jaybin. Parker will be sharing his Smoky Mountain favorites in, oh, about 3 years.

We haven’t heard from the CabinConnection Kid Testers for awhile. So I thought it might be fun to interview them about their favorite things to do in the Smoky Mountain area. We’ve had these kids at restaurants, shows, in the mountains, camping, staying in cabins, in Gatlinburg, in Pigeon Forge, in caves — they’ve pretty […]

Everything You Need for a Family Cabin Vacation


My friend Andrea is working feverishly to book a huge cabin for a family gathering next summer. It’s a big job — finding the best cabin, making sure it has everything that you need, and then paying for it and getting other family members to pay their part! But what comes after is what people […]

11 Books about the Smoky Mountains


Since our kids are getting older, we’ve taken a different approach to travel. It used to be “go where we want to go and hope the kids can handle it and have fun and not make the trip miserable.” But now that they are in kindergarten and third grade, we have a new approach. It’s […]

10 Things to Take on a Hike with Kids


Our kids love a good hike. But we are, sadly, usually very under-prepared. We think, “Oh, it’s just 5 miles. No problem. We’ll grab a bottle of water.” What we forget is that 5 miles in the mountains is much, much different than 5 miles in Indiana. Don’t make the same mistakes we’ve made! Through […]

Where to Celebrate a Birthday in the Smokies

I’ve got a great story. My brother-in-law, Daniel, is the kind of guy that doesn’t call attention to himself. He doesn’t EVER take the last cookie on the plate. He has strong preferences about toppings on pizza, but you have to be listening really close to hear them. He’s generally laid back. So when we […]

10 Facts About Black Bears in the Smokies


Every time we’ve been to the Smokies, we’ve tried to see black bears. Doesn’t everyone? Well … not everyone. In fact, my friend Kim is taking her family on a trip to the Smokies soon. They’ve never been. They can’t wait to visit Ober Gatlinburg, and they have the perfect cabin all picked out. But […]

Smoky Mountain Cabins — What to Look For


So … what do you look for in a mountain cabin in the Smoky Mountains? For many first-time cabin-renters, that can be a very intimidating question. The fact is, you can’t have everything. At least, you usually can’t have everything. So you have to decide what’s most important to you. After all, it’s your vacation! […]

Cabin Vacation Packing List

Planning a cabin getaway? We love staying in cabins. It’s our favorite way to escape from daily life. Do you know what I hate? Planning and preparing for the trip. The last thing I need is to get all stressed out planning for a vacation when the whole point is to relax and let it […]

10 Reasons to Choose the Smokies for Vacation

1. The Great Outdoors. The Smoky Mountains are, by themselves, reason enough to head to the Gatlinburg area. There’s nothing like getting away from it all out in nature to relieve your stress. There are 70 different hikes in the National Park, so there’s something for every age and ability level. (Here’s a link to […]