We LOVE the Smoky Mountains! However, we know that each guest and potential guest has a different idea of what the perfect vacation looks for. Below are seven reasons a vacation to the Smoky Mountains might be a HORRIBLE idea for you and your group:
Traffic, which is not a factor during low seasons like January, can be a big factor at certain times of the year. The dreaded Exit #407 off of I-40 can back up for miles! The reason for all this traffic? The amazing towns of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park attract millions of people each year – 10,099,275 in 2014 to be exact. During peak seasons and major holidays, it can take 30 minutes or longer just to get off I-40 and another hour (or longer) to get to your cabin, condo, or hotel.
Lady Bugs (Asian Lady Beetles) Invading Your Home
At certain times of the year (the exact dates are impossible to forecast in advance) Asian Lady Beetles impact the majority of cabin rentals in the entire Smoky Mountains region. A cabin that is spotlessly clean on a cold day can be invaded within a matter of minutes by an army of Lady Beetles – this typically happens immediately after the sun comes out for a few hours on a cold day (several times annually).
The invasion will usually take place on the Southern side of the home. Having dozens (or in some case even 100s) of dead Lady Beetles in a property DOES NOT mean that the property was not cleaned. All of our cabins are treated once per month for bugs/insects, but the sprays and foggers offer little relief for these invaders. Unfortunately, residual chemicals do not work on Asian Lady Beetles and the chemicals must be applied directly to them in order to be effective.
The best way to deal with them is to simply vacuum or sweep them up in a plastic bag and remove them from the cabin. Here is the official information from the National Park Service regarding this common nuisance.
Restaurant Wait Times
Although there are ways to minimize wait times, visiting the Smoky Mountains during a busy season likely means restaurant waits of 30 minutes to an hour. Dining at off-peak hours, take-out, and even fast food are a few ways to reduce or eliminate wait times. Some local favorites include grabbing Bennett’s BBQ to go or ordering a take out pizza from Best Italian.
Also, if you rent a cabin or condo, consider utilizing your full kitchen or the grill to simultaneously save money and avoid the frustration of long wait times.
If curvy roads and mountainous terrain scares you, careful planning is necessary to prevent future discomfort. While we do have plenty of properties that are at lower elevations and easy to reach, we also have some properties that are at higher elevations with windy roads leading to them. In order to make sure you are booking the right property,
Although power outages are far from common, they are approximately 2-3 times more likely here in the mountains than they may be in your metropolitan area. This is due to the large number of trees (fall on lines during storms) and the location of cabins usually being more remote than houses in most cities. The power outages, which occur on average several times per year, will typically last 2-3 hours. While the automated system does not allow us to contact a representative at the power company in the event of a power outage, the county does have a helpful Power Outage Viewing Map with Updates.
Carpenter Bees (Wood-Boring Bees)
These bees, which look almost identical to a bumble bee, appear intermittently each year and stay in the area from springtime until mid-summer. Although these insects look very similar to bumble bees, they are not aggressive and very rarely sting people. In fact, the males do not have stingers and the females normally only sting when you are swatting at them or they feel their eggs are threatened. The males are more aggressive, but cannot sting you. The wood-boring bees have never stung one of our guests – they are simply trying to make a nest to lay their eggs in.
Although the cabins are regularly treated for insects, those treatments don’t help with carpenter bees. Unfortunately, the only spraying that is effective is treating the logs. In addition to being cost-prohibitive and unnecessary, this type of treatment actually make the swarming worse because the insect can’t land on the wood logs.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to approximately 1,500 black bears – this makes it one of the largest protected areas for these wild animals in the entire United States. These furry creatures may seem cuddly and friendly, but be careful! The black bear may view you as a threat and these animals are not pets. Each black bear, which may view you as a threat, weighs up to 600 pounds and can run 30 miles per hour. If the idea of seeing one of these wild animals terrifies you, you may want to vacation elsewhere. During certain times of year and at certain properties, bear sightings are likely. We recommend reading the official National Park guidance on black bears prior to your visit.
The list above is some of the top frustrations and aggravations experience when visiting the area. If you have booked a property with us in the past 24 hours and something on this list is causing you to have second doubts, give us a call or reach out via email and we will help you find a suitable property or refund your money.
We want you to enjoy your time here in the mountains as much as we enjoy living here!!!