It’s about time for some light-hearted laughs here at Gatlinburg NOW. Well, you may not exactly laugh out loud, but this post is meant to be taken in a not-so-serious way. I’ve observed many things about tourists while visiting the Smoky Mountains, and being one myself, I can usually spot a tourist when I see one. However, there are normally times when there are some dead giveaways that scream: “LOOK AT ME, I AM NOT FROM HERE!” I am not much of a people watcher, but these are the things I find most egregious, even if you’re not trying to be a tourist.
- Go into a $5 T-shirt shop, buy one, and wear it down the Parkway- You know you want to. The $5 signs in the window lure you in. Clearance!, Blow-out sale!, Lowest Prices in Gatlinburg! You tell your significant other you have to check it out. After you buy your shirt, you’re so happy you got a great deal, you decide to wear it proudly and announce it to the whole…town, I am a tourist, and I am having a great time on vacation.
- Get in line for the Ripley’s Attractions- Look, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to visit the Ripley’s Odditorium, and especially the Aquarium—which is worthy of multiple visits, by the way. But here’s the thing: Most of them are great for just a one time visit. People that stand outside and are adamant about paying to go inside, are probably here for the first time, and if they return, they probably won’t visit again.
- Take a picture of your food- You got me; guilty as charged. I have done this many times, and I don’t care that it makes me look like a dork. I want to look back and show everyone why I love the food down here in the Burg. I simply cannot get food this good back home, so I need something tangible to get my mouth watering when I am craving some good southern cooking. I know most of you feel the same, so don’t laugh.
- Take selfies or ask a fellow tourist to take your family picture- Once again, you just can’t help it. We’ve done this too, and it actually is nice to strike up a conversation with someone you just met, who is experiencing a nice Smoky Mountain vacation, just like yourself. You have to expect this when you are walking down the Parkway. When you are in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains, there are so many things that are worthy of capturing, you can’t help but smile when you come across these moments. I hope you enjoyed my take on things tourists do while on vacation in Gatlinburg. If you thought I missed something — which I’m sure I have — feel free to add something else in the comments. Again, these are just my opinions, I am not an official spokesperson for the Smokies…not yet, anyway.