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sunrise in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Your Ultimate Guide to Planning a Smoky Mountain Family Vacation

There are few family bonding experiences that create as many treasured memories as taking a family vacation. But when it comes to planning a trip for your family, figuring out all of the logistics can get overwhelming! Where should you go? Where will you stay? What will you do? Fortunately, we’ve put together your ultimate guide to planning a Smoky Mountain family vacation, so you can save the hassle of figuring out the answers to these questions and get right to enjoying your trip! Read on for everything you need to know when planning a Smoky Mountain family vacation.

Where should we stay for our vacation?

cabin in seviervilleWhen planning a Smoky Mountain family vacation, there’s no lodging option better than staying in a cabin! Enjoy the aesthetic and comfort of a mountain lodge when you choose from our selection of featured cabins, from cozy 1-bedroom cabins to lodges that can fit an extended family. Many of our featured cabins boast luxurious amenities as well that will serve to further enhance your stay. Take a dip in a hot tub, enjoy the sights from a wrap-around porch, or engage in some friendly competition with your family in a game room — whatever amenities you’re looking for, you’ll find them in one of our featured cabins! Additionally, we know that lodging is one of the most expensive parts of planning a family vacation, which is why we have a list of featured cabin specials to help you and your family enjoy the best of the Smoky Mountains without breaking the bank!

What should we do while we’re here?

There are so many incredible attractions and activities to enjoy during your Smoky Mountain family vacation! From shows and shops, to rides and observatories, you’ll have no shortage of adventures with your family here in the Smokies. Here are a few of our favorite things to do when you visit:

Discover SkyLand Ranch

SkyLand Ranch in Sevierville TNThe whole family will have a great time visiting SkyLand Ranch in Sevierville. Featuring amazing views, exciting rides like their mountain coaster, and live animals, SkyLand Ranch makes for a day of adventure like no other!

See Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show

Chow down on some BBQ while enjoying the excitement and laughs of Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show. This affordable show comes with dinner so you’ll have everything you need for an evening of fun!

Play at Crave Golf Club

Candy Christmas at Crave Golf ClubEnjoy a friendly competition at Crave Golf Club when you play on one of their mini-golf courses. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy their rooftop course, and if it’s a rainy day or you want a break from the sun, head inside and play a round on their indoor course! No matter which course you pick, your family is sure to have a fun time competing!

Go Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Embark on a thrilling river adventure with Smoky Mountain Outdoors! Their rafting trips offer excitement for the whole family while presenting an amazing opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains from a new perspective.

When you and your family check out these awesome activities, you’re sure to have a blast and create unforgettable memories during your Smoky Mountain family vacation. Plus, we offer chances to save money on some of the area’s best attractions on our specials page, so you can have a great time on your trip while keeping to your budget. And if you’re looking for even more to do, view more area activities!

What are the best places to eat?

Whether you’re gearing up for an exciting day of exploration or winding down afterwards, your family will definitely want to visit some of the best local restaurants to taste the flavors of the region! These are a few of our favorite spots to grab a bite to eat here in the Smokies:

1. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

Crockett's Breakfast Camp in GatlinburgFor a home-cooked Appalachian-style breakfast, head on over to Crockett’s Breakfast Camp! Located along the Parkway in Gatlinburg, this family-friendly restaurant serves up delicious breakfast daily, including their famous giant cinnamon rolls.

2. J.T. Hannah’s Kitchen

Enjoy Southern hospitality and classic American food at J.T. Hannah’s Kitchen in Pigeon Forge! Chow down on a juicy burger or try a delicious steak — just don’t forget to save room for their famous strawberry shortcake for dessert!

3. The Park Grill

the park grillLocated just outside the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Park Grill serves a wide variety of fare in a rustic mountain lodge setting. Enjoy their award winning baby back ribs or try their BBQ sampler — no matter what you choose, you’re in for a tasty experience!

These great options are sure to hit the spot and leave you ready for more adventures in the mountains! If you’re looking for even more dining options, check out more restaurants in the area.

With amazing lodging options, exciting activities, and incredible restaurants, there are so many reasons to take a Smoky Mountain family vacation. We hope this guide has been helpful as you plan your next family trip and we can’t wait to welcome you to the beautiful Smoky Mountains! And if you’re looking to learn even more about the area with behind-the-scenes looks at top attractions, check out these Smoky Mountain Stories!