|Mountain Laurel Chalets Office|
Our family adventure in Gatlinburg began at the office of Mountain Laurel Chalets (www.mtnlaurelchalets.com) at 440 Ski Mountain Road. We decided on a two bedroom chalet called "Deer View Trail Chalet". Reserving a chalet online with MLC is extremely easy - they require a one-night deposit at the time of the reservation and then you finalize the reservation upon your arrival. The Mountain Laurel Chalets website is easy to navigate and provides many photos and reviews of each of the chalets (many have walk-through YouTube videos as well). Deer View Trail is actually the second chalet that we rented from MLC. We rented
|Driveway to Deer View Trail|
Upon our arrival at Mountain Laurel Chalets at about 6:00pm on Wednesday, we were cheerfully greeted at the front desk, paid our balance, and were presented with our key to Deer View Trail along with our pass to the Owner's Club. We didn't visit the Club on this trip, mainly due to weather, but we have in the past. The Club that we visited is very nice - 2 pools, tennis, and ping pong! We were told that bears were very active and to be on the lookout - oh, and make sure our trash was secure in the bear proof cages. We read in the literature that some bears had to be euthanized due to encounters with humans involving open trash. When you visit MLC, make sure to properly bear-proof your trash in the cages.
|Deer View Trail is on Wiley Oakley Drive|
|Deer View Trail Chalet|
We pulled up the driveway and immediately noticed a very nice single story chalet with an absolutely gorgeous view of the huge mountains behind Gatlinburg. There is plenty of room to park close to the chalet to make unloading the car a
|View from Deer View Trail Patio|
In the next room was the laundry room with full washer and dryer. You should bring detergent if you plan on doing laundry. Immediately adjacent was another large living room with a spectacular view of the rear patio and mountains. There is a dining table, and a very comfortable couch and chair. On both sides of this living area are the bedrooms. You descend a small set of stairs to either bedroom and each has a full bath. The master bedroom also
|The boys quickly found the hot tub!|
Every room has a door to the outside. The stone patio is very cool and has a stone ledge surrounding it. The patio essentially surrounds two sides of the house. The boys found the hot tub on the patio and immediately removed the cover in preparation of the night's relaxing soak.
There is nice patio furniture and a matching table to relax and enjoy your meals on the patio if you wish. On the first night, the sky was clear and we enjoyed a spectacular view of the stars and
|Back Patio Area|
|Front Living Area with fireplace|
The next morning, I awoke to a beautiful view of the Great Smoky Mountains as soon as I
|J on the zipline|
|Me on the zipline :)|
|Z on the zipline|
After ziplining, we headed to Food City and stocked up on lunch supplies. Then we headed back to Deer View Trail and enjoyed a family lunch. There were some afternoon storms and heavy rain, so the parents each grabbed a couch for an afternoon nap while the boys played pool. Life in the mountains .....
The skies were cloudy on the second night so no star gazing, but very enjoyable spending time with the family shooting pool and laughing.
On our second day, we took the boys into Pigeon Forge for a round of MagiQuest. This is a must-do if you have youngsters that are into wizards, dragons, and such. Fully interactive with a "magic" wand that keeps track of their progress in the game. For a nominal fee, the parents
|The boys at MagiQuest|
|Observation Tower at Clingman's Dome|
|Boys on the Appalachian Trail|
Back at Deer View Trail, we enjoyed a third evening of hot tub, shooting pool, and generally spending some great quality family time. On Saturday morning we had the unwanted task of packing the belongings and locking up Deer View Trail for the last time (this year). As I looked back at this great little chalet, I found myself already looking forward to our next Gatlinburg adventure!
|Side Patio with fire pit|
|Very comfy couch!|
|Fireplace area in rear living room|
|TVs in bedrooms as well as living areas|
|Only 1/2 mile to go!!|
|Dad at Clingman's Dome|
|Back Patio View|
|Me and the boys in the front living area|
|We loved the pool table!|