When you see photos of White Oak Lodge and Resort cabins and condos, they almost look too good to be true. But all it takes is one visit to learn even those pretty photos don’t do this rustic paradise justice.
Take it from Global Connections’ own employees. Chris C., Corporate Resort Liaison, recently celebrated a special occasion by taking full advantage of everything White Oak Lodge and Resort and the surrounding area has to offer.
When Chris found out he was scheduled to visit White Oak Lodge and Resort on business, he decided the beautiful Smoky Mountains would also be the perfect place to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary and a renewal of vows (a surprise to his wife).
“The Gatlinburg area is really popular with people getting married so there are a lot of options, but we wanted something simple, scenic and less commercial,” Chris said. He did a Google search and found Pastor Rob, a local retired pastor who performs ceremonies on his scenic property close to Downtown Gatlinburg.
Chris certainly made the most of his White Oak Lodge and Resort stay. Here it is in his own words.
We went white water rafting. Erin, the concierge at White Oak, put us in touch with a really good place to use for this called Raft Outdoor Adventures. The adventure was about three hours, but it went by really fast. Most of the rapids were class two and three, but there were a couple fours.
We went shopping in beautiful downtown Gatlinburg and went to Pigeon Forge for a couple of shows, including Hatfields & McCoys. Again, we got great suggestions from Erin at White Oak on what to do in the area.
I think the most fun thing we did was ziplining. There are many companies to choose from, but we used AdventureWorks which is just three miles west of the resort. They were a little more expensive, but definitely had the coolest ziplines.
There were some beautiful views off the platforms and the guides are very knowledgeable about the area. We figured out a lot of what we wanted to do by their recommendations.
I also went out on my own to do some trout fishing. I didn’t know where to go, when or how, so I hired a guide. [There are several fly fishing shops in Gatlinburg, but The Smoky Mountain Angler is the oldest and best known for providing expert guides with specialty in trout fishing].
I definitely recommend, when you’re going to a new area, hiring a local to teach you how, when and where to fish. It was completely different from how I fly fish in Missouri, for example.
If you want to see the National Park, you can drive to various spots for views or hiking. There are hundreds of hiking trails throughout the mountains if that’s your bag.
We drove through the National Park, over the top of the mountain, into Cherokee, North Carolina. It’s about a 42-mile drive from downtown Gatlinburg. You can pull off for scenic views and see why they call them the Smoky Mountains – the clouds are so low it looks like a chimney.
I also wanted to take the gondola up to Ober Gatlinburg, but we couldn’t fit it in our schedule.
If you’re looking for a great place for outdoor adventure, Gatlinburg has way more than you’ll even fit in one visit!
If you’re looking for something more laid back, there’s always shopping in downtown Gatlinburg or seeing a show in Pigeon Forge.
As for the resort itself, Chris had one word: Beautiful.
It was always on my bucket list to go to White Oak. In person, the cabins are not only great looking, they’re well- appointed with quality items. The pool tables [available in some cabins] were specifically designed for the resort and are well-made and play well.
The outdoor pool was the first saltwater pool in Gatlinburg and guests love how it actually makes your skin feel softer after being in the water.
The hot tub on the back porch was incredible to have, especially after we flew into Nashville and had a long drive to the resort. We basically put our bags down and got right in the hot tub to relax our backs after the drive.
Even as a Global Connections resort expert, Chris remains particularly impressed with White Oak Lodge and Resort for its beauty, comfort and endless possibilities for fun. He plans to go back again, and maybe this time strictly for pleasure.
There you have it – even our own Global Connections professionals can’t say enough about how great White Oak Lodge and Resort is.
Have you visited yet? If you have, what were some of your favorite things to do? If not, what are you waiting for?