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As any parent can tell you, finding a family vacation destination with plenty of kid friendly activities is an absolute must. Fortunately, BuzzFeed is here to help! The popular website recently released its list of “10 Great Places to Travel with Kids”, and we’re excited to announce that Gatlinburg, TN made the grade.
To compile the list, BuzzFeed solicited travel advice from its many readers. Members of the BuzzFeed Community shared insider knowledge about cities scattered across the globe. After reading through the numerous submissions, BuzzFeed found that the top 10 family vacation spots in the world were as follows:
1. Gothenburg, Sweden
2. Los Angeles, California
3. Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio
4. Amsterdam, North Holland (the Netherlands)
5. Reykjavik, Iceland
6. St. Louis, Missouri
7. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
8. San Diego, California
9. Paris, France
10. Chicago, Illinois
As you can see, Gatlinburg took the #4 spot for destinations in the United States – not too shabby! BuzzFeed praised Gatlinburg as a fun place “where you can explore the beautiful Smoky Mountains on foot or by roller coaster”.
Kid Friendly Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN
To help you make the most of your next family getaway, Visit My Smokies has put together a guide to a few of our favorite kid friendly things to do in Gatlinburg TN.
1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is famous for its interactive exhibits. The aquarium’s popular Penguin Playhouse features a number of transparent tubes that children can crawl through in order to get a closer look at some friendly seabirds. Another highlight of Ripley’s Aquarium is Shark Lagoon, which can be toured via a moving sidewalk or a glass bottom boat ride.
2. Hillbilly Golf
Your kids are sure to love Hillbilly Golf! This one-of-a-kind putt putt course is located on top of a mountain. To reach the first hole, guests take a scenic tram ride straight to the mountain’s summit. Filled with tractors, moonshine stills, outhouses, and other hillbilly-themed obstacles, this unique course is a can’t-miss stop for mini golf enthusiasts.
3. Fannie Farkle’s
Perfect for a rainy day, Fannie Farkle’s is Gatlinburg’s most iconic arcade. This awesome attraction offers the ideal mix of arcade classics and modern video games. Instead of dealing with tokens and tickets, guests use a convenient card system that makes paying and playing a breeze. Of course, no trip to Fannie Farkle’s is complete without sampling one of their jumbo corn dogs or mouthwatering cheesesteaks!
4. Gatlinburg Trail
The Gatlinburg Trail is a great hike for the whole family. Stretching 1.9 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the outskirts of the city, this easy one-way trail is appropriate for even the youngest hikers. Visitors will enjoy a lovely walk along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River that is mostly flat. The Gatlinburg Trail is the only path on the Tennessee side of the national park that allows bicycles and dogs, so feel free to bring your bikes or your pooch!
5. Rowdy Bear Mountain
Thrill seekers will definitely want to pay a visit to Rowdy Bear Mountain! Located on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg, this awesome attraction features an exhilarating mountain coaster that offers twists, turns, and gorgeous views of the Smokies. The coaster is great for kids because passengers can control their own speed using a special lever on their cart. Children as young as 3 years old (38” tall) can ride Rowdy Bear’s Gravity Coaster with a parent.
Looking for even more kid friendly things to do in Gatlinburg TN? Check out our comprehensive listing of attractions in Gatlinburg!