Las Vegas of The Smokies

Early morning drive in the Smoky Mountain foothills

Early morning drive in the Smoky Mountain foothills

Yep, the Route 66 strip running from Sevierville through Pigeon Forge and onto Gatlinburg reminds me of another famous strip we’ve visited. It has all the hype, hoopla, funny shaped buildings, and wedding chapels too. The only thing missing is the casinos. But even without the one-armed bandits and roulette wheels, a soul can go broke in this town. Don’s aunt Bev, who lives near here, told us about a favorite restaurant of hers in Pigeon Forge. The Old Mill & Restaurant. We checked out its website and it sounded so appetizing that we decided to go there for breakfast.

The Old Mill & Restaurant, Pigeon Forge, TN

The Old Mill & Restaurant, Pigeon Forge, TN

Don ordered The Old Mill Country Breakfast which consisted of 2 eggs, a stack of pancakes, grits, biscuits, home fried potatoes, sausage gravy and hickory smoked bacon. I had their very popular Cinnamon Raisin Pecan French Toast with country ham. The mill stone grinds the flour and grits on site. We agreed the food was absolutely delicious. Don said he’d not only had his breakfast but his lunch and possibly his dinner as well. After stuffing ourselves we thought a walk around town would be a good idea.  Since we had Tucker in tow we took turns going into a few of the shops. I did make a couple of early Christmas gift purchases from local artisans. We came across a nice walking path called Patriots Park that sits on the Little Pigeon River and spent some time strolling through and reading the memorials in honor of local veterans.

IMG_9426               IMG_9445

The crispness in the early morning air had us thinking of cider mills and Honeycrisp apples (Don’s favorites). Next stop, Sevierville and The Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store. The Apple Barn also has a winery, creamery, bakery, confectionary,  and restaurant that’s noted for its family-style fried chicken dinners. First stop, the winery where we sampled apple based wines made on the premises with apples from their own orchards. We each came away with a bottle of our favorite. We checked out all the other goodies, Don opted for an apple fry pie with vanilla ice cream while I chose a cinnamon apple doughnut. I haven’t eaten one of those since we lived in Michigan before 1988. It was just as good as I remembered the ones from the Northville Cider Mill being. We washed them down with fresh cold apple cider. An early sampling of Fall. Last stop on the premises, the general store and much to Don’s dismay, the Honeycrisp were all sold out. He couldn’t be cajoled into buying any other variety either. I suggested we come back Thursday before meeting auntie Bev for dinner at The Mill & Restaurant. Don was on board with that.

IMG_9444  Actual Businesses in Pigeon Forge  IMG_9435

IMG_9432                                                                      Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show

Yes siree, this is an actual building. It's the Titanic Museum

Yes siree, this is an actual building. It’s the Titanic Museum

On our way back to the campground we stopped in at the Heiskell post office to pick up our mail that comes general delivery when we request it. Upon our arrival back at Raccoon Valley RV Park, we found the pool had been covered and closed for the season. What a disappointment that was for us! The pool was the main attraction for us here since the temps have been in the 80’s. We’re discussing our options and leaning toward an earlier departure than we’d originally planned.

The Old Mill

The Old Mill

Here’s lookin’ at you kid…………………

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One thought on “Las Vegas of The Smokies

  1. WE loved the Old Mill Restaurant…best fried chicken I ever had! And ,we just discovered Hioneycrisp Apples last winter…by far our favorite. Bummer about the pool!

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