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Aerial view of Gatlinburg TN in the spring

9 Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge That Are Perfect for the Entire Family

As you know, there is nowhere like the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Unlike any other vacation destination in the US, the Great Smoky Mountains are enjoyable no matter what season it may be. With plenty of activities to enjoy year round, there is something for everyone. Take a look at all of these great family friendly and fun things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for your next vacation:

  1. Go for a Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National ParkSpruce Falls Flat waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains

One of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy the Smoky Mountains is by simply walking through them! With plenty of hiking trails spread throughout the mountain range, there are trails for any level of hiker. There are so many different types of trails including those with view of the  mountaintops, beautiful overlooks, and even magnificent waterfall hiking trails.

  1. Take a Bicycle Ride along the Cades Cove Loop Road

Cycling is a growing sport and hobby across the nation. Cades Cove is an excellent place to cycle through the park. While riding through the loop, one will enjoy the luxurious views and maybe even catch a glance at some wildlife! It is a great way to get outdoors and experience what the Great Smokies has to offer.

Tour of Cades Cove map

  1. Visit the Lakes

During the summer, the weather is beautiful and makes swimming an absolute must! With multiple lakes in the area, one can easily enjoy a relaxing day on the lake. Whether you are in to swimming, fishing, water skiing, or even water tubing, there are plenty of ways to have fun.

  1. Spend Time at a Dollywood Festival

Amusement parks are an American pastime. Not only is Dollywood thrilling, it offers a variety of entertainment from theater performances to hands on arts and crafts. Dollywood is a must visit when touring in the Smoky Mountains! Click here for more information about Dollywood festivals, so you know which one you’ll be able to attend!

  1. fun things to do in Gatlinburg during a Gatlinburg family vacationWalk the Gatlinburg Parkway

Want to enjoy the great outdoors while still exploring all of the fun things to do in Gatlinburg? A walk up and down the Parkway is an excellent way to get a taste of the Smoky Mountain culture. While strolling along the sidewalks, there are plenty of historical buildings and villages, as well museums and art galleries to explore. Gatlinburg is beautiful whether the sky is blue and the sun is warm, or the moon is glowing and there is snow on the ground.

  1. Go Skiing or Snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg

For those families who love the snow, Ober Gatlinburg is the place to go. From skiing to tubing, Ober Gatlinburg has something for everyone. For those who have never skied before, they offer starter slopes so that one can gradually learn to ski and fall in love with the slopes.

  1. Taste Authentic Tennessee MoonshineClear mason jars of moonshine

One thing Tennessee is famous for is its Smoky Mountain moonshine. There are moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, with the most well-known being Ole Smoky Moonshine.Tourists can easily buy a glass or two of the multiple flavors there is to offer. While enjoying some of the famous moonshine, workers unfold the stories behind the famous men and women who made moonshine in the depths of the mountains.

  1. Mother and son looking at tiny yellow fish in an aquariumExplore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Who said you could not experience ocean life in the Smokies? Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a family favorite in the Smoky Mountains. They offer a variety of ocean life creatures from sharks, to jellyfish, to penguins, to even mermaids! There are plenty of hands on activities, including petting stingrays. It is an experience that the whole family can enjoy.

  1. Take Panoramic Pictures of the Scenic MountainsView of a field overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the spring

One of the prime reasons that the Smoky Mountains national park is the most visited national in the world is due to the changing of the leaves during the months of September to November. Tourists come from across the nation to watch the mountain ranges turn from green to a fiery blaze filled with yellow, orange, and red leaves. It is a sight that is cherished every year and certainly not one you will want to miss!

Even though there’s so many fun things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, nothing beats spending time at a cabin in the Smokies. There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and watching the sunrise over the mountains. No matter what the season, cabins are available for your vacation year round.

Special thanks to Aaron Chasteen for submitting this article for publication.