Weekend Getaway: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

One of my favorite places to escape reality is Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It's the perfect destination for a girls' weekend, boys' trip, family vacay or even a romantic getaway. There is literally SO much you can do in these two towns, so planning ahead is a necessity if you want to make the most out of your trip.

Tennessee is known for their whiskey and moonshine, so I've got you covered on the three spots you don't want to miss. Best part of all? Most of them are free or under $10! Below I've outlined some of my favorite places to visit in the area to guarantee a successful weekend.

Ole Smoky Moonshine: Looking to have a good time and try some seriously good moonshine? With 3 locations (2 in Gatlinburg, 1 in Pigeon Forge), you can check them all out to get the full experience. For just $5 you get to enjoy 12 communion sized shots, which is just enough to get you hooked. Everyone that is participating in the sampling will stand at the bar as the bartender goes through the different flavors of moonshine. If you get to a flavor that doesn't sound good to you, you can simply pass. Bonus: Remember the $5 you paid to sample the shots in the beginning? It can be used after your sampling for a $5 credit towards the gift shop. And I'll warn you now - you'll be taking a jar (or three) home with you!

Old Forge Distillery: Another moonshine favorite located in Pigeon Forge, Old Forge offers some pretty unique tasting samples for free. Sitting directly next to the Old Mill Restaurant and General Store, you won't miss this rustic looking building as the look alone draws you in. Show your ID and you'll get to pick a select number of shots to try. The hardest part? Not wanting to sample them all. Oatmeal Cookie was one of my favorites and it definitely went down a little too easy. The weekend that I went, they were having a special event where they allowed you to sample their ice cream flavor inspired spirits in addition to the samples you receive automatically. Old Forge has a lot of pop-up events like this, so there's definitely a chance you'll get a little extra when you go!

Rocky Top Wine Trail: Not into whiskey or moonshine? The Rocky Top Wine Trail consists of 5 local wineries and 1 distillery that join together in order to encourage guests to visit them all. Again, you'll get 3 free samples at each stop and if you make it to all 6 places, you'll receive a free gift. At your first stop, you're given a card that you take along to get stamped at each spot - basically a passport for wine. Every place gives you a detailed history of the wine so you're able to learn a lot, too. I'm not a huge wine drinker, but they have such a variety across the different wineries that I was actually able to find a few that I really enjoyed.

Have you already been to these hot spots? Or are you now planning a trip? Let me know in a comments below!

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