Alaina O'Neal

Paula deens and her biscuits

20 Restaurants Open on Christmas in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg (2023)

If you’re spending Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, you’re in luck! In my very biased opinion, it’s one of the best places to be during the holidays. And if you’re looking for places to eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, look no further. Several local restaurants are serving up delicious meals and Southern hospitality this holiday season. And so,

water performers in the background, the tommy bartlett water circus sign in the foreground

Remembering the Lost Tommy Bartlett’s Water Circus Act in Pigeon Forge

While short-lived in Pigeon Forge, Tommy Bartlett’s Water Circus is fondly remembered by those few who attended It took ten years to find the perfect land for Tommy Bartlett’s Water Circus in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. In 1976, 110 acres of farmland were finally purchased with 450 feet of US Highway 441 frontage. A 20-foot-tall dam was built to hold 8.5

Scenes from magic world

6 Lost Attractions in the Smoky Mountains That Will Make You Nostalgic

Remembering attractions that no longer exist in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Maggie Valley The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, with an estimated 12.5 million visitors annually. So it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs come to the area with high hopes of building the next big attraction to entice visitors on their way to

dollywood entrance

7 Hilariously Accurate Signs That You Might Be A Dollywood Addict

A Smoky Mountain native shares signs that you, like she, might be addicted to Dolly Parton’s namesake park Dollywood is known as the friendliest theme park in the world, and for those of us who grew up with the park practically in our backyard as I did, visiting Dollywood feels like coming home for the holidays. Of course, there are

swiss chocolate chip pancake platter

6 Top Restaurants With All Day Breakfast in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg

A Smoky Mountain local shares his favorite spots for all-day breakfast and brunch Folks at the Pancake Pantry struck gold in the form of flapjacks when they came to the Smokies in the 1960s, and then pancake houses began popping up like weeds … if weeds were buttery and delicious, that is. But what’s that? You want to eat breakfast

bote mountain tunnel along laurel creek road

The Real Reason People Honk in Tunnels is Not What You Think

Why do people honk in tunnels? A Smoky Mountain native weighs in Growing up in East Tennessee and in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, I’ve noticed that tunnel honking is quite common. I’ve also noticed that for some of my family members, it’s so Pavlovian that they don’t even realize they’re doing it anymore. For example, one time

The moss-covered troll bridge can be found near the Little River Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Whimsical Troll Bridge in the Smoky Mountains You Need to See

This hidden moss covered bridge in the Smoky Mountains looks like something out of a fairy tale The Great Smoky Mountains are rich in history and full of hidden gems. Through the sands of time, these lost landmarks become something of whimsical fantasies. An old spring house becomes a fairy house. A trail connection becomes a hidden, abandoned tunnel. And

Blurry shadow in the mountains and fog

5 Mysterious Smoky Mountain Disappearances That Remain Unsolved Today

Smoky Mountain native recalls some of the biggest unsolved mountain mysteries over the years As someone who has lived in the foothills of the Smokies for a number of years, I’ll be the first to tell you that the mountains are as vast as they are beautiful. But they can also be deep and unforgiving. There are hundreds of thousands

woman poses with dollywood photo op wearing tn t-shirt

9 Things Not to Do While Visiting Dollywood, From a Local

Dollywood fan offers tips on what not to do when visiting the Pigeon Forge theme park I love going to Dollywood. As a kid, I was lucky enough to grow up within an hour of the theme park. Nostalgia and bias aside, even as a now-adult I must admit – Dollywood still holds its own even when compared to some

mystery mine at dollywood

11 Scary Dollywood Rides That Thrill Seekers Need to Experience

A Dollywood pro shares her ranked list of the scariest rides in the park I’m always amused watching first-time Dollywood-goers explore Dolly Parton’s namesake theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It always reminds me how, as someone who grew up with the park practically in her backyard, I often take things for granted. I think people expect Dollywood to be