I absolutely love visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a place that I have visited many times and I have never had a problem. Some of my friends even owned homes in the area. Having just been there a few times I have some great ideas for fun things to do.

First of all, if you are into nature you have to go hiking. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is incredible. You can hike through the lost Dutchman’s treasure that is in the Canopy Trees. You can also go biking through Cades Cove or you can do a backpacking trip through Bend Ash Meadows. If you are into the outdoors there are plenty of places to camp, hike, paddle boat race, go fishing, hunting or white water rafting.

Some great family fun is to be found at Busch Gardens. Each year they offer a different attraction and something new for the whole family to enjoy. You can go to the Carousel or even enjoy their skywalk. With all of these great places to visit I can definitely see why Busch Gardens is a must see.

Another great place to visit is the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community (aka the arts & crafts village). This is definitely a must see for any art & craft lover. Many shops have openings and you can spend hours searching for that perfect piece of art. In the shops you can actually purchase the art. The people that own the shops are very friendly and eager to help.

If you are into the Ouija spellings then you can attend a tarot reading. tarot readings are done in the evening. This is a very interesting way to learn about Ouija. tarot cards are known for their Triangle Magic making ability. tarot readers have been known to come across information about finances, love, career and health. tarot also makes a great talking stick.

During Halloween night, the streets can get quite quiet as the event turns into a needless commercial zone. But, by mid-August the streets are alive with jugglers, magicians and other Vigilante types celebrating the end of the summer season.

For a great family vacation, you should definitely consider making your way to the Great Smoky Mountains. The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Village can be found in the heart of the Smoky Mountains National Park. The park is located just outside of the village on about 1,000 acres. The whole area was formed in 1945 and is continuously growing and changing.

Once there you will find a plenty of accommodations, a stocked bar, great restaurants, a convenience store and lots of gift shops. To get to the Guildford hotel from the nearby exit 43 on HighwayGT there are about 45 handicap accessible parking spaces. The nearby shops include a bulk produce store, a local coffeehouse and fine gift store.

The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Village is also home to the only craft show in the South where crafts are made by the local artists. In 2004 the show took place just one month at the Ryman Auditorium. This year the show runs from January 20 to February 6.

Since the village was founded in 1945 it has been a place to find alternative art, locally and internationally. The original vision oficultural and visual artist Konstantin suffered cancellation due to failing health. In 1999 Konstantin was declared whole and returned to the soil to breathe and feed his beloved plants. He now spends all of his time on painting and holding court in the village.

While I was in the Guildford area I was amazed when I happened across a Munich tourist office that was in the process of preparing a documentary film on the town. Local citizens responded to a plea by Munich’s mayor to help prevent it from being succumb to tourism as it was seen as a money drainer and a loss to the economy. In 2004 the documentary won awards and Jono Oschter won an essay festival. The following year we met up at the Tribeca and still remember the enthusiastic portraits of each other painted on the outside of the Inn and the snow covered walkways inside.

2003 brought plenty of pleasure and surprises. We left the village and found our way back to the Ryman Auditorium and on to dinner. Finding a parking space at the edge of the lot made a short, easy, and inexpensive hike to Old Town. We enjoyed a rest from our long day of adventures. The Bardens Boudoir and French Country Market were just a warm up. We picked up tantalizing scrumptious snacks and enjoyed our remaining hours in this lovely “fragrant-sweet” town.



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