I hear the area around the park isn't that nice but are there any good places to eat near BGT? I'm looking for mostly seafood and the opportunity to try key lime pie in Florida (I make it myself at home with my own recipe but I'd like to see how it stacks up to the real thing), and any other good Florida food.
If you're going to Carowinds to ride their new giga in 2015, there's a good Mexican place called Azteca near the park that has some of the best shrimp enchiladas I've ever had and you can have guacamole made tableside and pick what you want in it. I've both eaten there and had my dad go out and bring it back to the hotel and my family ate it in the courtyard gazebo overlooking the pool at night and it was fab. There's also a German place called Waldhorn in the area that has amazing schnitzel and gulaschuppe.
And just in case you don't want pancakes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight "I can't sleep, to heck with it" snack, and afternoon snack at a pancake house in Pigeon Forge, there's a quite a few places around the park that are definitely worth trying. Huck Finn's Catfish has some pretty good fried seafood, especially in such an area where not much fresh seafood is available. I loved the catfish I had. There's thousands around the Smoky Mountains, but my favorite pancake house is Ye Olde Pancake Pantry. I had some pretty good peanut butter and chocolate pancakes there. Calhoun's has really good barbecue, but for some reason they felt the need to explain to me that the ribs I was about to order had bones in them. And as pricey as it is, if you have the time, I recommend doing Dixie Stampede. In addition to the show being incredible, the food is great. I loved the barbecue chicken I was served (I don't usually like barbecue chicken!) as well as the vegetable soup.
And it isn't really local, but the Famous Dave's at Cedar Point's marina (not sure if it counts as outside of a park, but you need a reentry stamp to leave the park like that) is my favorite place to eat when visiting Cedar Point because while there are other Famous Dave's around, this one's extremely unique due to its location. In addition to having the best barbecue I've ever had, you can get an incredible view of either Raptor/Blue Streak/GateKeeper or one of Millennium Force and the back of the park across the marina while you eat and watch the boats go in and out on Lake Erie. Only thing I don't like about it is that the walkway leading to the door has no railing to keep you from falling into the lake, and I'm a big klutz. Both of the following shots were taken from that Famous Dave's.
So yeah, that view + the best barbecue in the world. Why eat anywhere else?
Sorry for the long post; I'm a bit of a foodie.