While discussing her favorite vacation areas, a friend mentioned the Smoky Mountains. She told me how she loves the beautiful mountains in the area but at the same time there are so many attractions for her teens that want some man-made fun too.
The main towns that have many vacation rentals, and are popular places to stay in, are Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.
The town of Gatlinburg is very busy, very commercialized and literally at the bottom of the mountains. With hotels and attractions right on the main road, town is busy and happening.
Pigeon Forge also has a tremendous amount of attractions on the main street but is a little less busy than Gatlinburg. Access to mountains is a few-minute drive. Sevierville is the least commercialized area but is not as close to the mountains and attractions.
The Smoky Mountains area does not have a shul or minyan. The nearest minyan is in Chabad of Knoxville, an hour’s drive from the Smoky Mountains.
We decided to go last summer for a week when we heard that a boy’s camp we are connected to were going to be in Pigeon Forge for a week in August. In truth, I wanted to stay for two weeks but instead we flew into Nashville and spent a week there until the boys arrived in Pigeon Forge. What I was unaware of is that the very helpful Rabbi in Knoxville lends out Sifrei Torah to groups visiting the Smoky Mountains and connected people with groups in the area.
There are no kosher restaurants or stores in the area but Knoxville does have kosher sections in supermarkets. Food can be ordered for Shabbos to be picked up in Knoxville. We opted to bring our food with us.
There is so much to do in the area of the Smoky Mountains. There is The Great Smoky Mountains National Park an it’s magnificent mountains, hiking trails and views.
There is every sort of attraction in the area. Many options of mountain coasters, mini golf, go karts, amusement parks-both big and small, zip lines, whitewater rafting and so much more. It is a great balance for families with children of many ages or for families with diverse interests. There is definitely something for everyone!
Posted: May 2, 2023
Information, prices and hours posted here are current as of the posted or updated date. It is advisable to call ahead or check online to confirm hours and prices.
Chabad of Knoxville:
7148 Wellington Drive
Knoxville, TN 37919
Rabbi Yossi Wilhelm:
Kosher in Knoxville:
Food can be ordered for Shabbos: https://www.chabadknoxville.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3737865/jewish/Order-Kosher-Food.htm