Travel writer and Knoxville resident Katy Koontz has been exploring and writing about the Smokies for more than two decades. She’s shrieked in their haunted houses, snapped up their Appalachian crafts, hit holes-in-one on their miniature golf courses (that’s putt putt to you fellow locals), hiked their peaks, biked their valleys, gone tubing down their cold mountain rivers, whizzed through their treetops on ziplines, rode horseback through their woods, and rolled down their slopes inside a giant Zorb sphere. (She’s even snorkeled the Smokies!)
Her research has taken her to every corner of the gateway towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Townsend, and Cherokee to regularly report on the newest and craziest attractions, the best places to stay (for romantic getaways as well as family vacations), and the greatest grub the region has to dish out. She also taps into the national park’s natural nirvana on a regular basis.
She is also the author of Family Fun in the Smokies: A Family-Friendly Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains, published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association in 2012, and is the Smokies correspondent for Cityview, Knoxville’s city magazine.