I’ve been taking Trips To the Smoky Mountains for as a long as I can remember. As an adult, I’ve been taking my family there fairly frequently since 1993. I’ve been there many times and been all over the area. I love it. The beauty of the mountains and the plethora of things to do makes it a great destination for any age or economic demographic. From cheap restaurants and motels to gourmet experiences and gorgeous/expensive resorts. Live music, great craftsmen showing how it was done hundreds of years ago. Science, go carts and bungee jumping plus lots of food. Some cool bars for night life if that’s your thing. Great shopping and unusual items. Did I mention lots of moonshine stores and tours? Very cool.
I could list so many great things about the area but you can easily look up what you are interested. One of the best parts is being able to see and learn about the history of the area. Being of proud Native American heritage and being raised in both native and white culture, it is a fantastic place for me. You can see and learn much. Again I could go on forever, rafting, fishing hiking and water parks. Food !!! OK no let’s move on to lodging, specifically cabin rental this time around.
There are so many different choices for lodging in the area. Motels, hotels cabins and condos. Timeshares and complete resort communities. The list is endless and the prices range widely. You can still find a motel room in the area for under $50 a night. Or you can spend over a thousand a night. I’ve stayed in hotels, time shares and cabins here. Most were great and some, wellll lol. I want to talk about this last trip though. Let’s go through who I used, how it works and then a bunch of pictures ! Remember, I’m a fighter/trainer that travels often and writes a bit but not a travel writer or photographer! Please bear with me and enjoy my amateur status !
This time we went through a rental management company called Aunt Bugs. There are many like this in the area. People build or buy investment/vacation cabins in the area and put them in rental with a company to help cover costs. In the case of Aunt Bugs they are all in various gated properties. Large areas that are open, feel like you are in the middle of nowhere but have security as you come in. At ours, we drove up a tiny mountain road, straight up, for a solid 15 minutes after going through the gate to get to our cabin. Be aware that it can be like that. I loved it, but if you fear heights or tough driving you might want to rethink this.
We made our reservations and paid through AuntBugs.com. I travel often so I’m picky, but I will say for a small operation they did a great job. On check in day, we drive to their office in town, picked up the security pass and key and then headed off to our mountain home for the week. The one we were staying at was quite a ways from the town where the office was but that was great with me. See the cool tourist stuff in town and then drive out through the beautiful Wears Valley and up a mountain to our hideaway. Perfect.
The cabin we had was gorgeous, and remote. Standing on the beautiful deck the first night, having a beer and looking at the mountains a small black bear joined me. Didn’t really join me, he stood down in the yard and looked for food while I watched him. Great experience, but know that you will possibly come in contact with bears. Learn about what you need to do and how to act. There was also a great hot tub on the deck. We were there in March this time. One evening my wife and I stayed warm in the hot tub looking at the mountains, while snow flurries came down and we enjoyed a great bottle of wine. Truly as great as it can get.
I’m just going to let a group of random pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy and see if this might be the relaxing adventure for you.
Find all kinds of great things here especially travel gear.My personal picks. Bob’s Picks Check out AuntBugs.com to see all the different options. The people there were helpful and it was all quite simple in a complex age. As somebody who gets to travel often, I really enjoyed this one. By the way, I didn’t hire the beautiful models in the pictures. That’s my wife and daughter. Martial arts has been good to me lol.
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I’ve been fortunate to travel quite often and all over. From fights in my younger years and training and coaching now. Plus my time in trading as well as current promotional work. These things have allowed me to stay in all sorts of places. Rural to urban. Super cheap to very expensive. I enjoy it all. That said, I love the Wynn. Love it! I love Vegas, and I’m not really a gambler. I enjoy casino resorts in general as they are usually well run and often quite beautiful. In the case of Vegas you can find world class food, shopping and people watching! What little time I did gamble, I liked the casino in the Wynn and the accompanying Encore next door. Cool energy and view without the excess noise.
The Wynn is elegant and hip at the same time. Not Palace of Versailles type elegant just a more modern elegance. I like both of those, but this was nice. Spending my days working with fighters and nights going to eat and sight seeing with my wife, the quiet elegance of the place was nice. Vegas energy but nice and not over the top. One of the things I loved was all the artwork. I am a huge art and architecture fan. I’m not overly knowledgeable about either, but enjoy both immensely. Maybe it soothes getting hit in the head often! As you will see when you get to the pictures, the Wynn has great art pieces throughout the resort, and the Esplanade shops that are attached. When I was writing bits for promo pieces while I was there I could always find a nice area to sit with a coffee or cocktail in a secluded area. Beautiful art in an elegant space helps my creativity. Surprisingly for a casino resort, the Wynn had a great number of places just like this. I loved it.
I am going to drop some random pictures of the resort here. Read on after you look at the as I’ll hit on the restaurants and amenities a bit after that. I know I’m random, but I’m a blessed travelling fighter, not a robotic travel writer lol.
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Before putting up a few more pictures, let’s talk about restaurants and amenities. The resort has a ton of food choices. From casual to elegant. Pizza to incredible seafood and steak. From Zoo Crackers deli to SW Steakhouse and of course a buffet. A great experience we had one night was at Costa di Mare in the attached Esplanade shops. The service was phenomenal and the place was beautiful. It was an unusual experience, the explanation of how the cooked and presented your dish was like going to a museum. Not cheap but an experience you can have in very few places. The next set of pictures has a bit of our destroyed plates lol (sadly missed a shot of the salt encrusted whole fish!)
The pool area is stunning. Multiple connected pools. An Italianate look for the cabanas and nice bar. Relaxing and beautiful. Yes there are even a few gaming tables by the bar. I actually enjoyed being out there in the morning. Sitting by the pool doing ad work and writing before heading out to work with fighters. Peaceful and beautiful. Take a look at My Personal Picks
While I was often headed out to different facilities to work out with fighters, I did check out the fitness center in the resort and used it. As someone who sweats for a living, it’s a good one for a hotel! Great staff as well. That is one thing I forgot to mention. The staff at the Wynn is world class. I really mean that. In decades of travel it is truly one of the best overall crews I’ve seen.
One last set of pictures starts with the Lake of Dreams. One of the coolest things I’ve seen. Multiple different shows each night, all through the evening. Between watching it from my room and the show terrace, I was amazed. One evening late after dinner, my wife and I went out on the show terrace and watched. Nice small bar cart there, the wind coming in as a storm moved in. Beautiful and romantic. I know, I’m a fighter so what do I know about romantic? A lot! It’s how I got my wife! Enjoy the random pictures of this place and a few others. Back with a few words after the jump.
Again, after being fortunate enough to stay all over the world, Wynn is high on my list. This whole trip was great, as you will see in future pieces. If you get a chance, stay at the Wynn. Not cheap, but awesome. The only real complaint I had was that the coffee was not at the level that the rest of the resort was. Small complaint ! If you want to know and see more go to the website http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you.
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