Are you ready to soak up the sunshine? This is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy all the beauty that’s surrounding you. We’re talking flowers blooming, cool water calling, you know, the whole fun shebang! This is what Summer in the Smokies is all about! If you haven’t visited our magical area before, this is one of the best seasons to do so. You won’t believe all the amazing things we have in store for you and the family. There won’t be a dull moment during your entire getaway, is there really anything more you could ask for? So what do the Smokies really have to offer? What would the perfect summer vacation look like? Keep on reading to find out how to plan the ideal itinerary to make sure you take advantage of all the excitement when you come to see us!
Budget Friendly Activities
We know that vacations can get quite expensive, so there’s nothing better than finding some things to do that won’t break the bank too much. In Gatlinburg, you can stop by Ole Smoky Moonshine and hear some complimentary bluegrass music that is performed by four piece ensembles almost every hour! Grab a rocking chair and enjoy tapping along and snapping some photos. You can also visit the Arts & Crafts Community and see our local artisans show off their crafts. Take a stroll throughout, it is absolutely free to browse! During the summer months, you can also take a trolley ride at no cost along the parkway and see what places you’ll want to visit during your time in town. In Pigeon Forge, you can visit the Island to see their Show Fountain. Watch as the colors and lights dance around to a bunch of hit songs, you can grab a rocking chair and relax. Next up, you can visit the horses at the Dolly Parton’s Stampede, you’ll love getting to take some photos of these beauties. And finally, you can pack up a picnic and enjoy it at Patriot Park located inside of the Old Mill. There’s a picnic pavilion, a huge open field, and more. It’s a beautiful park and you’ll love getting to spend some time here with your loved ones.
This is one of the best times to do some of the driving tours in the National Park. One of the most popular ones to check out is the Cades Cove Loop. It is eleven miles long and it offers some of the most beautiful views of the mountains as well as the valley. You may even get to see some of our amazing wildlife including deer, black bears, and more! There are a bunch of pull offs and even some picnic areas to stop at if you want to get out and stretch your legs. Another fantastic driving tour to go on is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This one is located at traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg and it’s a bit shorter than the one we just mentioned. Along your journey you’ll see lush greenery, mountain streams, grist mills, and even historic log cabins that you can tour. The best part of all is the gorgeous waterfall called the Place of a Thousand Drips that you’ll also get to view. You are sure to fall in love with these tours after you see all the beauty they possess.
Fun in the Sun
With the beautiful sunshine finally arriving, this is the time when you’ll want to be outside. The Smokies are home to numerous hiking trails to take advantage of. Some of our personal favorites include: Grotto Falls, Alum Cave, Porters Creek, Abrams Falls, Gregory Bald, Laurel Falls, Rainbow Falls, and the list goes on! We also recommend visiting the river whether you go to the Old Mill (throw around a ball or pack up and feast on a picnic and more on their big open field) or check out Metcalf Bottoms – one of the best spots in Wears Valley. There are picnic tables with little charcoal grills to cook up some delicious barbecue. We know it isn’t a trip to the Smokies if you don’t visit Dollywood. You’re going to love the new expansion – Wildwood Grove – which includes new rides and plenty of other exciting activities for the family. We can’t forget the new shows and their summer celebration which includes nightly fireworks. Get ready to cool off and play in the water at our favorite family friendly waterpark – Splash Country. These outdoor parks will help you soak up the sunshine and have a good time doing so. You can also enjoy the Little Pigeon River and an outdoor pool at our property! Get the fishing rods or tubes and get ready for some fun at the river.
We know there are way too many amazing attractions to list, but we figured we’d narrow it down to some must do’s for the family. Here’s our essential list and a short description of each!
- Ripley’s Aquarium – Located in Gatlinburg, this family friendly attraction will make you feel like you’re taking a journey through the ocean. With all kinds of incredible sea life (sharks, jellyfish, stingrays and the list goes on) to check out, you get up close views of even some species you may not have seen before. Don’t forget to check out the penguin playhouse!
- Anakeesta – Also in Gatlinburg, this outdoor amusement park features beautiful mountain views, ziplining, restaurants, gem mining, a mountain coaster, treehouse playground, canopy walk, and so much more.
- Forbidden Caverns – Located in Sevierville, this is a must during the summer and one you’ll never forget. Enjoy your tour through the caves where you’ll get to see formations, natural chimneys, grottos, and even a stream! With special lighting techniques, you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful and unique scenery in the Smokies. Remember they are closed on Sundays and the last tour daily is at 5 pm. You can ready more about Smoky Caverns here.
- Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo – Here you will find an amazing petting zoo, pony rides, riding stables, and more. You’ll love getting to see all the beautiful animals and even get to spend some quality time when you hand feed them.
- Titanic Museum – Climb aboard for your journey on the Titanic in Pigeon Forge. You will see exact replicas of the parlors, hallways, cabins, grand staircase, artifacts, and more. You may even get to touch an iceberg and see how cold the water was on that fateful night.
- Wonderworks – It’s time to visit the upside down house, we know you didn’t miss it. You will find thrilling hands on exhibits, virtual reality rooms, rock climbing, an exciting ropes course, laser tag, and plenty of other things to make for a fun day.
- Pirates Voyage – This new dinner show has gotten stellar reviews! Get ready to see blackbeard, mermaids, and more as the crimson and sapphire crews take off for a journey at sea. Make sure to come hungry, their four course feast will satisfy the whole family.
Shop Til You Drop
And finally, the part you’ve all been waiting for! Let’s talk about the essential shopping spots that we know you’ll want to visit.
- The Village – This quaint area in Gatlinburg is one of my personal favorites. With 27 unique shops, boutiques, and eateries, you will be able to find a gift to take home for the entire family.
- Arts & Crafts Community – If you’re looking for one of a kind pieces and hand crafted items, this is just the place for you. Our local artisans are truly so talented and getting to see the love and care they put into their crafts is the best part about visiting this little loop.
- The Island – This one stop shop has plenty of cute boutiques as well as out of the box shops like puzzled and the kryptonite character store. It’s also home to Emery’s 5 & 10 which, according to their website, is the oldest family owned five and ten in the United States.
- Tanger Outlets – We know this one is a must when you’re visiting our area. You will find so much of what you’re looking for and then some. From clothing to kitchenware and everything in between, you will fall in love with this shopper’s oasis.
- Great Smokies Flea Market – This one is only open on the weekends but it’s still a great one to visit. This is the most visited flea market in Tennessee and you will see over 1,000 vendors here selling their fantastic items. They have some of everything and it’s an afternoon well spent.
We hope you’re as excited as we are about your Summer in the Smokies! There will be so many things to do, you won’t know where to start, so hopefully this read has helped out your itinerary. Are you ready to come see us? Book Your Vacation Rental Online or give us a call at 1.866.453.9696 and we’d love to assist you with finding the perfect condo for your stay! It’s time to get ready for one unforgettable Summer in the Smokies!