7 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains for Large Groups

The Ole Smoky Barn at The Island in Pigeon Forge.
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The Smoky Mountain area is the best destination for a big group vacation! Whether you’re planning a church retreat, family reunion or a wedding, you’ll all have a great time in the Smokies. We want to help guarantee you have the best time during your trip, so we’ve made a list of 7 things to do in the Smoky Mountains for large groups!

1. Stay in a Cabin

living room in a large group cabin in gatlinburgOf course when you visit the Smoky Mountains with a group of people, you want a place to stay that can accommodate everyone. That’s why cabins are the best choice! Smoky Mountain cabin rentals come in all sizes and allow everyone in your group to stay under one roof. Large group cabins come with incredible amenities to keep you entertained, like home theaters, game rooms and even indoor pools! They also can be a big money-saver. Instead of each paying for separate hotel rooms, you can split the overall cost of the cabin among all your friends or family. To get the best deal on a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, check out our list of lodging discounts.

2. Explore the National Park

There’s never a limit on how many people you can bring to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with you! Experiences automatically become better when you get to share them with the people you love, so why not explore a place you love too? Go for a hike with each other on one of the many trails in the park. The best part is that there is something for every skill level, from beginners to expert hikers, so you can choose one that everyone in your group can do! Some of the most popular hikes are Laurel Falls, Abrams Falls and the Alum Cave Trail.

3. Go Ziplining

dueling zipline adventure at anakeestaAnother great way to explore the Smoky Mountains with your group is from the air on a zipline! Ziplining is a fun group activity that allows visitors to see the Smokies from new heights. Zip side by side the person of your choice as you take in the gorgeous views together. Many zipline tours include other exciting elements too, like aerial bridges and rappels. One of the top places to go ziplining is at CLIMB Works in Gatlinburg, which is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on three sides. Your zipline tour will include an ATV ride to the top of the mountain, sky bridges, rappels and more. If you want to visit Anakeesta during your vacation, this popular attraction also has its own Dueling Zipline Adventure where you can race against one of your friends or family members!

4. Go See a Show

If you want an evening full of laughter and entertainment, go see a show in the Smoky Mountains! One of the most popular shows is the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, which offers both an entertaining performance and a delicious meal. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast of fried chicken, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, homemade bread and more as you watch two feuding families try to settle their differences mountain-style. One of the most recent shows to open in the Smoky Mountains is the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, which also includes a delicious meal! You’ll watch as the two pirate crews battle on land, on deck, in the water and above their full-sized pirate ships. Other shows include the Comedy Barn, Lumberjack Feud, Country Tonite and Smoky Mountain Opry. All of these shows can accommodate large groups!

5. Visit The Island

Paula Deen's Family Kitchen at The Island in Pigeon ForgeFor some free and affordable fun with your group, visit The Island in Pigeon Forge. The Island has 23 acres of entertainment for people of all ages! Explore the shops, grab a bite to eat or gather around to watch The Island Show Fountain. The Island is also home to Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, a great spot for groups to dine because the all-you-can-eat meal is served family-style! Before you leave, be sure to ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel together. This 200-foot-tall observation wheel can fit 8 people per glass gondola, so you won’t have to wait long for everyone to have a turn. From the wheel, you’ll have beautiful views of Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains.

6. Go to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

If you have kids in your group, you can’t miss the chance to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. This award-winning aquarium has something for all ages, so even the adults will love walking around and interacting with the aquatic animals! See 12-foot sharks, stingrays and a green sea turtle as you walk through the underwater tunnel, or waddle with penguins in the indoor/outdoor penguin habitat. You can also touch a stingray and jellyfish, feed a sea turtle, and ride a glass-bottom boat into the heart of Shark Lagoon!

7. White Water Rafting

Yellow white water rafting helmets and oars in a raftIf you visit the Smoky Mountains during rafting season, you have to try a rafting excursion on the Pigeon River! Rafting is by far one of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains with a large group. You and your group will be accompanied by a professional guide on a thrilling trip down the river, hitting rapids ranging from class 1 to class 4. You can choose a more scenic float down the river or a thrilling trip that is sure to be a great time! One of the best rafting outfitters is Smoky Mountain Outdoors. You’ll even have the opportunity to purchase pictures of your group on the river so you can remember what a great time you had rafting together!

More Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains for Large Groups

These are just some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains when you visit with a large group. The truth is, there are what feels like endless opportunities for fun for everyone in the Smokies! Before your trip, learn more about the best things to do in the area.

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