18th International Workshop on Inelastic  Ion-Surface Collisions (IISC-18)

September 26 – October 1, 2010, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

Tourist Information

Plenty of information about what you can do in the area can be found in the web sites of  the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Cherokee. In these web sites you will find links for a variety of tours.  However, if you really wish to explore the area it is recommended that you rent a car.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.is America’s most visited national park and is renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life. The story goes that there are more species of plants/vegetation in this park than in the entire continent of Europe. The park is a hiker's paradise with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks that may require backcountry camping (Japanese hikers may be interested in the historical note at the bottom). Other popular activities are camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, auto touring, biking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting. Considerable infrastructure has been built around the park such as the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

Gatlinburg is a pedestrian friendly city with crosswalks everywhere (pedestrians have the right of way). The City is nestled at the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and there are plenty of choices for lodging and dining.  You can do some shopping in the city but most of the stores focus on tourist souvenirs. One of the most visited attractions is the Ripley's aquarium, which will be an optional outing for those participants who do not find hiking attractive.

Pigeon Forge is not a pedestrian friendly city and you will need transportation to go from one place to another.  The city offers lots of shopping opportunities including shopping malls where you can find designer clothes, athletic wear, luggage, home furnishings, crystal, china, tools, toys and more. The city also has endless entertainment opportunities from small to big amusement parks, theaters, dinner shows, helicopter rides, etc. Among the top attractions in the city are the amusement parks of Dollywood, and Splash Country and the dinner show of Dixie Stampeede.

If you wish to cross the park over the mountains (~1 hour drive), you can reach the city of Cherokee (North Carolina). The city is named after the Cherokee Indians who were the local inhabitants before the first Europeans came. The city of Cherokee belongs to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians which is a sovereign nation of 100 square miles. People in this area are the descendants from those Cherokees who were able to hold on to land they owned, or hid out in the hills, or were able to return after the government forced their removal of the Cherokees in the East to Oklahoma with half dying along the way of the “Trail of Tears.” In addition to historical interest, one of the main attractions is the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.

Historical Note about the Smokies: You can learn about the history of  the Great Smoky Mountains National Park here. You will find three outdoors friends who played a very important role: Horace Kephart, George Masa, and Paul Fink. Among them is George Masa (or Masahara Izuka) who was a Japanese immigrant from Osaka. He was a dedicated photographer and expert in the trails and the terrain (he did some of the early marking of the trails). You can find numerous links about him using any search engine. Here is a nice synthesis of his legacy.

- Last modified: October 20, 2009 -