Gatlinburg Family Vacation--- Day 4--Sharks, Cooter's, and swimming

Wednesday, July 15, we decided to brave the mountain and see if we could get down to town without killing our brakes! The man that fixed our brakes recommended that we down shift as we were coming down the mountain, and that is what we did and it worked beautifully. We made it down in one piece!

Our first stop was at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. I knew that the kids would love the aquarium and it did not disappoint. Their exhibits are great.

Their shark tunnel, in my opinion, is one of the best in the world. There were a lot more sharks in it than I remembered from when we were there in the past. They were especially active, we think because there were divers in the tank cleaning some of the coral...

 Benjamin really loved all the fish and he really loved the penguin exhibit. He kept calling them "birds."

After we left the aquarium, we headed across the street to “Cooter’s.”

If you have ever watched the “Dukes of Hazard” then you would recognize this store. With the recent uproar over the Confederate flag and it’s symbolism and the fact that Bill was a "Dukes of Hazard" fan, Bill really wanted to go to Cooter’s. So we did.

After we left Cooter’s we headed down the street to a mall type place that had several different stores in it and we looked around. Bill went to a hot sauce store and I stopped in at trinket type store and bought Christmas ornaments for the kids to hide until the feast of St. Nick.

After we left that complex, we decided to head off to lunch. We knew exactly where we wanted to go. When we were on our Honeymoon, we fell in love with a restaurant called Calhoun’s. We decided to go there for lunch.

The food again did not disappoint! Bill was able to get his Mountain Light beer, which is brewed next door to Calhoun’s and is only available in middle Tennessee. I had a bbq pork sandwich which was so good!

After lunch, we explored the little creek behind the restaurant, which was actually the same creek that Bill had walked in our honeymoon. There was a little swing set there and the kids had a blast. 

As the temperature was rising, we decided to head back to the condo and go swimming again. The weather was perfect for swimming and the kids again had a blast.

After swimming, we hung out around the condo and the kids played in the loft area.

Overall, it was a great day.


  1. Where did y'all park in G'burg?

    1. We parked at the aquarium first. Then for lunch we drove down the street and parked in the lot behind Calhoun's and Smokey Mountain Brewery. If you had a receipt from one of the places they let you park for free there. The first day we did that no one was at the gate so it was free anyway. We found out you could also buy beer to go at the brewery in bottles and that could count as your receipt.

    2. Last time we were there we didn't go to a place with actual parking so we got raked over the coals to park in a lot for $7. Next time we'll go out of our way to go to the to-go sounds right up our alley anyway. lolz

  2. So happy you are having a wonderful trip. It is such a beautiful area.

  3. Sounds like it was a fun experience! My husband would love to eat at Cooter's. He's Dukes of Hazard fan.


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