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Top 10 Reasons To Visit The Smoky Mountains This Summer

Sunrise in the Smoky Mountains10. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

All riders on The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel have to do is sit back and relax as the modern day ferris wheel takes guests 200 feet up in the air. Guests will enjoy unbeatable scenic views from the comfort of a climate-controlled gondola. For an even more memorable experience, be sure to check out their VIP ride options.

9. Free Trolley Rides

Travel around Gatlinburg in style this summer by taking advantage of the city’s FREE Gatlinburg Trolley rides. Yes, free! The free routes begin June 17, 2016 through August 14, 2016, and the routes travel all across the city including to the Arts & Crafts community, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ski Mountain and more! These are open-air shuttles that operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

8. The Weather

One of the best parts about summer in the Smoky Mountains is the unbeatable weather. Most days the weather is warm and sunny with clear blue skies as far as the eye can see. However, even when it does rain it doesn’t tend to last very long.

7. Hiking

Speaking of weather, this time of year also makes for the perfect hiking season. You and your family will love exploring the hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer. There are easier treks for the more novice hikers such as the Gatlinburg trail and Clingman’s Dome, however there are also a variety of more strenuous hikes for the more thrill seekers.

6. Tennessee Smokies Baseball

The boys of summer are back at it again for another memorable season at Smokies Stadium in Sevierville. The Smokies baseball team is full of many talented athletes that sporting fans will love to cheer on. Be sure to check out their schedule when you are planning your trip to see if you will be in town for one of their spectacular firework shows.

family picnic

5. Picnicking

As we mentioned earlier, this is the perfect time of year to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and while you are there, your family will also love enjoying a freshly prepared picnic lunch at one of the many Smoky Mountain picnic areas located throughout the park. Many of the picnic areas also offer an outdoor grill and seating area, so your menu options are truly limitless.

4. Whitewater Rafting

Are you feeling adventurous? The Smoky Mountains have a ton of different whitewater rafting adventures for visitors to choose from. Whether you are looking for an easy day floating in the water or a more rigorous day conquering the rapids, add some spice to your next Smoky Mountain vacation by trying a whitewater rafting trip next time you are here.

3. Dollywood’s Splash Country

Looking for a way to cool down this summer? Be sure to add in a trip to Dollywood’s Splash Country to your family’s vacation itinerary this year. With thrilling water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river, Splash Country has everything your family needs for a memorable day in the Smokies.

Grassy view of Cades Cove2. Cades Cove

Cades Cove is hands down one of the most beautiful areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are old home sites, open fields and beautiful mountains as far as you can see. Expert tip: be sure to get there either really early in the day or later in the evening. These are the two times of day where you are most likely to spot wildlife.

1. Scenic Views

The Smoky Mountains are beautiful all year round, however there is just something a little more magical about the area this time of year. The flowers are in full bloom, the leaves in the trees are a vibrant green, and all the wildlife come out to play. Be sure to bring your camera during your trip this summer because you are going to want to capture all your family’s new favorite memories.

Looking for other exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains this summer? Be sure to check out our Smoky Mountain events calendar for the best things to do during your vacation. There you can find a full list of all the thrilling things going on in the area at the same time of your family’s summer adventure.



  • Avatar for Diane

    The trolley rides are not free. 50cents to 1$ per person.

    June 23, 2016 at 5:40 pm
    • Avatar for Emily Wolff
      Emily Wolff

      Hey Diane! Each summer there are free trolley rides available! You can ride the open-air shuttle trolleys from June 17 through August 14 (2016) and take advantage of free rides around the area! We hope you’ll come visit us soon!

      June 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm

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