A towering ferris wheel beside a restaurant-adorned building, creating a vibrant scene of entertainment and dining.

Hiking is one of the best family activities for a lot of reasons. It lets you see interesting sites, indulge in new experiences, and boost your mood through exercise.

Whether you’re planning a hiking trip or want to open the doorway to other adventures, a Smoky Mountain family vacation is a memorable choice. Read on to learn some things you can’t miss when planning your next family adventure!

Glorious sunset paints the sky over majestic mountains, creating a breathtaking natural spectacle.

1. Exhilarating Hiking and Unforgettable Views

A hiking vacation lets you wander the Smoky Mountain paths and see all of the natural wonders the region has to offer.

Rugged mountain peaks and rock formations are beautiful and breathtaking, and they provide a picturesque backdrop for picnics and family photos. You’ll also see undisturbed forests and lush, scenic waterfalls.

Some of our favorite places in nature are:

There are a plethora of different natural wonders to behold, and all of them sit near gorgeous and distinctive flowers and wildlife.

Entrance to Mountain Coaster at Mountain Coaster Coffee Shop, surrounded by lush greenery.

2. The Wonders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the single most frequently visited national park in the US. 

But why, you may be wondering, is this the case?

Turns out, there are a plethora of answers to this question. Maybe it’s the 800 miles of nature trails beckoning families to hike and bike through a wide range of scenic areas. Maybe it’s the ample opportunities for scenic drives and wildlife viewing.

No matter what your preferred way to spend a day is, you’ll be able to enjoy your family adventure at this beautiful national park. Mountain coasters are another interesting way to experience the mountains, so take a ride out in nature for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Group of people in yellow helmets riding raft on river.

3. Invigorating Outdoor Activities

It’s important that family vacations feature activities that bring everyone together. One of the best things about a Smoky Mountains excursion is that there are many different outdoor recreation opportunities.

Hiking gets the blood pumping from both excitement and exercise, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Fishing is exceptionally fun when you can feel the wind in your hair and experience the surprised awe of a new species of fish biting down on your hook. The Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg have several unique species of fish you likely haven’t seen before, including Mountain Brook Lampreys and Whitetail Shiners.

If you and your family want a natural thrill ride, whitewater rafting is available in the Smoky Mountains. You can experience the excitement of cruising roaring rapids through the region’s beautiful natural bodies of water. A few companies to consider for your adventure include Smoky Mountain Outdoors, Rafting in the Smokies, and Big Creek Expeditions.

Two RV parks with people relaxing outside.

4. Smoky Mountain Family Vacation Camping Adventures

Camping is one of the most memorable Smoky Mountain family vacation activities. There are dozens of campgrounds scattered across the mountain range where you can set up a tent and sleep under the stars. Some popular campgrounds include Clabough’s Campground, Pigeon River Campground, or Camp Riverslanding. Camping lets families bond over campfire storytelling as well as hiking excursions and outdoor sports.

There’s no better way to get close to natural wonders like rivers and lush forests. Sleeping on a campground lets you experience nature after dark, which is a memorable way to have a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Two people performing on stage, singing passionately with microphones in hand.

5. Smoky Mountain Entertainment

The Smoky Mountains offer a wide range of entertainment options for you and your family to enjoy. While the great outdoors provide plenty of fun, the area also boasts a variety of indoor events and activities. One standout option is The Grand Majestic Theater in Pigeon Forge, which offers some of the best entertainment in the region. From concerts to dazzling productions to family-friendly magic shows, this venue has something for everyone.

In addition to The Grand Majestic Theater, the Smoky Mountains offer various other entertainment options. For a unique and thrilling experience, visit the Titanic Museum, where you can explore interactive exhibits and learn about the famous ship’s history. The Comedy Barn provides a night of laughs with family-friendly comedy shows that are sure to entertain. For an evening of high-energy fun, the Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show features impressive lumberjack competitions that will amaze audiences of all ages.

An aerial view of a bustling water park, filled with people enjoying swimming and various water activities.

6. Astounding Smoky Mountains Attractions

There are a lot of family-friendly activities that you can enjoy throughout the Smoky Mountains from Tennessee to North Carolina. Both children and adults can have fun exploring. Regardless of your age, it’s a great way to make lifelong memories.

Whether you stop in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, or a smaller town like Townsend, you’ll find shops and restaurants to remember for a lifetime. Plus, the heritage of the mountains lends well to authentic southern foods you’re sure to enjoy.

There are also beautiful amusement parks across the Smoky Mountains that are ideal for families with children. FunStop Family Action Park, Foxfire Adventure Park, and the unique and boisterous Dollywood (and Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark) are exciting. Rides and games are at every corner, and you can enjoy the sweet smell of funnel cake and cotton candy while experiencing entertaining thrills.

Scenic Views from the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

7. Superb Seasonal Situations

The Great Smoky Mountains contain seasonal attractions that can help you experience the best parts of every year. This is true both within the popular National Park and in other areas of the mountain range.

You’ll find fall foliage hikes across the entire mountain range. Since the natural habitats remain undisturbed, there won’t be anything to distract you from the iridescent warmth of fall leaves and the way that they crunch under your boots.

The springtime brings unique wildflowers and amazing fauna to life. The summertime is a great time to enjoy water-related attractions like rafting and boating.

You can even enjoy the Smoky Mountains in the crisp winter air. The Polar Express train ride in Bryson City, NC,  is an amazing way to bring movie magic to life. If you have children who enjoyed the wonder of the Polar Express movie, this is a must-see.

Pigeon Forge, TN welcome sign nestled amidst lush greenery, inviting relaxation and escape from the daily grind.

Start Planning Your Family Adventure

Now that you know some reasons to take a Smoky Mountain family vacation, it’s time to begin planning your trip. MobileBrochure gives you all the tips and pointers you need to make your family adventure one to remember.Whether you’re planning a hiking trip or want to enjoy the Smoky Mountain’s many seasonal and year-round activities, there’s a lot to enjoy. Check out our coupons to make the most of your trip!

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Sierra W.

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