Tag Archives: vacation

Fall Trip in Smoky Mountains

Autumn is the second best season for me, summer being the best one. Every year I wait for the weather to sooth a little from scorching summer heat, just to enjoy temperatures in lower 60s (Fahrenheit)  and then in lower 50s, just perfect! Autumn weather brings the change in leaves’ colors all across the country. Fall times differ by about a month among different regions depending on the location of the state. 

So far, we’ve been to most of the north eastern states like New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania to see fall colors. But being at Smokey Mountains was the best experience of all. After al,l it is the most visited national park in the United States. 

The Great Smokey Mountains is a mountains range spread across the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. The smokey mountains range spreads across 187,000 acres which is equivalent to 141,418 american football fields. Yes, that big! The top of this mountain range is Clingmans Dome at elevation of 6643 ft or 2025 m.

During our stay there, we tried southern food which was off the chart when it came to taste and cholesterol. No regrets. The weather was just soggy and wet but, that brings all the coulds down. So people, go when it’s raining to actually see why they call it the Smokey Mountains. Check the photos below and you will know it. We were lucky enough to capture this great beauty of nature in our camera. Places get so much crowded from Thursday through Sunday when all the tourists come around. Our experience in southern states was very pleasent as people were sweet and helpful.

During this trip, we also visited The Rock City in Georgia and Ruby Falls in Tennessee which are just 3-5 miles away from each other.
Rock City: It is literally a city of rocks with well maintained trails and marked path ways. The place stands out and looks over the city of Chattanooga, TN and gives a spectacular view of seven states. Attractions take about 1 to 1.5 hour to complete and it’s worth it’s entry fees.

Ruby Falls: The attraction is located on the same mountain so it’s not that far from Rock City. With a small entry fee they provide a guided tour of about an hour inside caverns. The speciality is a water fall beneath the surface of the earth about 1000 ft deep. Tour is not tiring as visitors never climb up or down too much because, tour starts at the side of the mountain and proceeds towards the core of it horizontally so when visitors reach the waterfall they actually are about 1000 ft underground.

Staying at Smokeys is a beautiful experience. Nearby town of Gatlinburg in Tennessee is one of a kind. Gatlinburg is the home of Ripley’s attractions, a lookout tower and a gondola to reach nearby mountain top. Gatlinburg is the best choice to stay for travelers who are solely interested in the natural beauty of Smokies, as it’s very close to all the scenic routes in the mountains. Another closest town to Smokies is, Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge is about an hour away form Sugarlands Visitors Center but it feels like Vegas of the South.

Locations like Clingmans Dome, Newfound Gap and all the small dedicated scenic lookouts are simply gorgeous. Unlike New Hampshire, Smokies scenic drives have scenic overlooks about every half a mile. This is a huge for professional and hobbyist photographers because, they can take as many stops as they want, until they get their best shot.

Every bit of Smokies look different and beautiful at dawn, noon, dusk and night (which is nothing, you see nothing at Smokies at night… may be stars). If you want clouds beneath you, then try going atop early morning when winds are calm. Our overall experience was very memorable and gave us our best fall trip ever.

Please take look at some shots below I could manage to capture. Thanks for reading!

Lake George: Your next summer destination

Lake George Main PicOne of the most beautiful summer destinations in the east coast is The Lake George in NY state. Spanning staggering 32 miles from North-to-South this lake has earned a nick name of ‘Queen of American Lakes’. Lake is named after King George II after the French Indian war in August 1755. During our two days vacation in the lake area we did kayaking, jet-skiing, para sailing, touring and of course swimming. Two days is definitely not enough time at Lake George so we had to skip hiking and the long 2 hours dinner cruise.

Location: Lake as I said earlier stretches about 32 miles from North-to-South. Lake George Town, NY is the best place to start your trip. Use following destination in your GPS to get there. Lake George, NY 12845.

***Things to do***

wpid-Photo-Aug-28-2013-1106-PM.jpgKayaking: We did kayaking in the deep waters of Lake George on very first day of our two days vacation considering all the efforts required for the task. We rented a double kayak and enjoyed our ride around the island in Bolton Landing about an hour. There are many renting companies to rent kayaks and paddle boats from in the area. We rented our kayak at Lake George Kayak Co. in Bolton Landing for just $35.

Parasailing: Parasailing over the lake is a mesmerizing experience. Best place according to me is right from the Lake George Town. Activity only costs an average of $75/person around the area and extra to have your shots taken at your ascend. We did it though Pinky Parasailing at the pier close to the town hall. This particular location gave us a great and soothing view of southern part of the lake and surrounding area of Bolton Landing island. This ride took about an hour and we were in the air for nearly 15 minutes hanging under a huge green parachute. Parasailing experience not just includes parasailing but it include an amazing 45 min speed boat ride. A must go when you’re at Lake George.1077371_10151820337102803_750253384_o

Jetskiing: If there is any water sport that is full of adrenaline, it’s jetskiing. There’s only one place in lower Lake George area where you can rent a jetski ride for $85 for half an hour. Yes, it is a bit expensive but it’s totally worth it. The total time is not just half an hour as we thought in the beginning. They first took us towards the center of the lake on idle speed and then gave us total of half an hour to ride any way we want considering we follow basic water way rules and maintain our distances from other riders. The experience was totally worth it.

Touring: The Lake George Town has several touring options to experience breathtaking views of ever long lake shore and to learn some history about surroundings. Different types of tours last for one, two or in case of dinner cruise three hours. During summer time display of amazing fireworks takes place near the city hall every Thursdays at 9:30 pm. If you have enough time in your hands then the fireworks cruise on Thursdays is highly recommended. Find more information about these cruises here.Mini-Ha-Ha

Beach on the lakeSwimming: It’s a freaking lake, jump into the water anywhere you want. Of course at your own risk. But, if you are with your family or a little bit concerned then, Lake has many dedicated beaches open for public between 10 am to 6 pm. You can enter the beach for free if you are walking there from your hotel, If you are driving then you can park your car at beach parking areas for $2/hr or $10/day rates.Just like any other beach the facilities are equipped with changing rooms, lockers and bathrooms. One more reason for me to like these places is cleanliness.

Mini Golf: This is probably the only game played out of the water at Lake George. There are many Mini Golf courses around the area. Different courses here have different settings. We went to the closest one to our hotel as we went there late around 11 pm. Night life at Lake George is pretty happening and you will find a lot of places, bars and pubs open until and after mid-night.

The whole Lake George experience was amazing and as I mentioned earlier, two days are not enough.

Lake George Town