Why you should Vacation in the Smokies!

Summer is finally here and for a lot of families out there, it’s the time to pick that perfect place to go on your annual Vacation in the Smokies. The Great Smoky Mountains have welcomed millions of people here from all different areas of the world. What makes tourists love this destination so much? It’s because you can find so many different activities to do that make each day of your vacation different and even more exciting than the last! With rich history and breathtaking sites, our Smokies are sure to bring the entertainment and our southern hospitality to your trip. Let’s take a look at a few of the different things to do while you’re here that are sure to make you want to hit that book vacation button right now!

Need to beat the heat this summer? The Smoky Mountains have got you covered! We’re home to numerous white water rafting companies that will definitely help you cool off while having an unforgettable experience at the same time. Feeling adventurous? Try rafting down some different class III and class IV rapids that are sure to give you an extreme adrenaline rush! Just want to relax while you cool off? Have no fear, there are plenty of spots to just lounge away in the water. No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, these companies will take care of you!

Don’t feel like conquering the rapids? Have no fear, Dollywood’s Splash Country is a great alternative and one of my personal favorite things to do here! Enjoy twisting and turning down multiple water slides or catching some waves (without even having to go to the beach!) at Dolly Parton’s very own family friendly waterpark. Need a break from taking a plunge? You got it, there’s a beautiful scenic “river” that you can float down all day long. With new attractions being added all the time, like the new TailSpin Racer, there is no better way to beat the heat than spending a day here!

In the mood to see some wildlife? Here in the Smokies, we have over 800 miles of trails, so you are sure to spot all different kinds of species on your journey! Have your camera ready to snap a quick photo of a black bear looking for some berries to eat when you’re driving through Cade’s Cove! The nice thing about this destination? You don’t have to walk it! Drive your car through this beautiful 11-mile loop where an abundance of wildlife is sure to be seen, and we’re not just talking bears! White-tailed deers and coyotes are just a few other animals that visitors have said they saw while here. Make sure you stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center to check out their planet and animal museum, it’s a good relaxation spot before heading back to town! Ready to get out of the car for a while? Want to feel like you’re on top of the world? I think that means it’s time for you to hike up to Clingmans Dome, it’s the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! At an astonishing 6,643 feet high, this popular site is one that just simply cannot be missed! One of the best parts? The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome, of course! Check out the breathtaking 360° views of our beautiful Smokies! If you’re lucky enough to catch it on a clear day, you will be able to see a view that expands for over 100 miles! With plenty of trails to explore, you’re bound to add this to your list of favorite things you’ve done while vacationing here.

Want to see the sites without hitting the road or the trail? Visit downtown Gatlinburg and climb aboard the aerial tramway to Ober Gatlinburg! You are sure to see some amazing sites when traveling on this ten minute ride to the top of Ski Mountain Road. Best part of it? When you get off, there’s an amusement park to explore! Visit the wildlife exhibit before you hit all the shops. Don’t forget to ride the skylift that takes you to the highest point of the mountain. Beauty will await you as you exit to hear a bluegrass band playing while you snap some scenic pictures before hopping back on to see our Smokies in all their glory! Ride the brand new ski mountain coaster or soar down the alpine slide before you go. No matter what you do, this little hidden gem of a park is sure to bring some new excitement to your day!

Now I’m sure you already know that a Smoky Mountains vacation wouldn’t be a real vacation if you didn’t visit some of the many attractions that we have here! From dinner shows to amusement parks to museums, you will never run out of things to do! Pigeon Forge is home to many different dinner shows like Hatfield and McCoy, The Dixie Stampede, and our brand new Smoky Mountain Adventure. With food that will have you coming back for more every time you’re in town and a show that is sure to make you smile, these events will be an instant hit for the entire family. As an added bonus, when you vacation with Resort Properties in Pigeon Forge, you receive FREE TICKETS to MANY of the shows and surrounding entertainment venues! Not really hungry? No problem at all, we have shows like the Comedy Barn that are here to bring some tears to your eyes because you’ll be laughing so hard! It is the cleanest comedy show around and one you won’t want to miss! Thanks to audience involvement, this show will be different every time you see it, so make sure you check it out whenever you’re in town! We are also home to many museum attractions. Take a tour of the Titanic when you climb aboard the replicate ship and find out your fate, did you survive or perish? With the walls oozing with history, this one is sure to be a hit with everyone in your party! Can’t make it to San Francisco this year? Well, we’ll bring some of it to you. Check out our brand new Alcatraz exhibit! See what went on behind those prison cells and maybe you’ll discover if any inmates really did escape! This new attraction is sure to be an adventure from beginning to end!

What could possibly be left to do? Dollywood of course! Check out the park that really brought Pigeon Forge to the map! Full of shows, animals, rides, and history, this park is one that just cannot be missed! With family friendly rides throughout the park, every member of your party is sure to find something to do here. The best part is, when it’s summer, you get to see a firework show every single night! Another added perk, if you go in after three, you get in free the next day, but ssshhh, don’t tell anyone that I told you so! Although there are so many more to talk about, I’ll just bring up one last one because it is my personal favorite! Make sure you visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, it just cannot be missed. Get ready to see so many different species that are sure to fill your day with excitement. Where else can you go where you get to look up above you and see sharks? That’s right, step aboard the shark encounter tunnel where there will be one coming your way in all directions! Are you a little afraid of sharks? Come and hang out with some penguins at the penguin playhouse! They are sure to bring a smile to your face when you see them goofing around in their icy cold habitat. All of this and more at the amazing aquarium!

And finally, I think we all know that this wouldn’t be complete without talking about food (one of my favorite things on the planet!) Here at the Smokies, we are home to some of the best local restaurants around. Got a big appetite? I think I know the place for you, head on down to The Old Mill Restaurant where you are sure to leave with a full and happy stomach. You can also enjoy some of their classic southern food like fried chicken, and the best part of all, it’s served family style with enough food to fill up the entire table! Here’s a hint: order the soup, you won’t regret it! No wonder this place has won Trip Advisor awards, it’s a crowd pleaser. Need to walk off that delicious meal? The Old Mill is right smack dab in the middle of a bunch of shops and our very own Patriot Park, so you’re sure to find something to do after your meal. No matter what time of day, this stop has you covered and will have you wanting to come back for more for years to come! Another personal favorite of mine is the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill. This restaurant has a cute cottage feel to it and is surrounded by orchards! In here, you’ll find meals that live up to their name! That’s right, apple is the real deal here. With apple cider smoked bacon, homemade apple butter, applewood julep, and applewoods apple fritters, this place is sure to make the family happy, and they’ll all want seconds! With shops also surrounding it and even a winery, you could spend an entire day at this amazing barn! With other delicious family restaurants like Hungry Bear BBQ, Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast, and Mama’s Farmhouse, we will all make sure you leave happily full when you visit! And don’t forget, after every meal, we definitely need a drink! Check out the numerous moonshine and wine distilleries that we have here. With free samples to go around, you’re sure to leave with a smile and a bottle when you go!

So what are you waiting for? The Smokies are calling your name! Come and join us for an unforgettable Vacation in the Smokies and remember to keep this article saved on your phone so you don’t miss out on all the happenings here! Let us bring the southern hospitality to your stay. It’s time to relax and smell the mountains! We look forward to seeing you!