Family Vacation in Gatlinburg

Families have flocked to Gatlinburg for years because of the myriad activities and attractions available to keep every member pleased and occupied. Both adults and kids can never claim boredom with the nature, amusement parks, museums and food all at their Gatlinburg cabin doorstep. Only in Gatlinburg can the entire family find such a wide variety of ways to enjoy vacation—together!

The Great Outdoors: For incomparable fishing, hiking, and breathtaking views of nature not found anywhere else, spend a day (or camp overnight and make it two!) together in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Inside the park, families can hike to Cade’s Cove and see 150-year-old, preserved settler’s cabins and churches. Afterwards, walk, bike, drive, or take a hayride around the valley and through the intricate trails. Pack a picnic lunch before you leave, and at the “Y” meeting of two rivers, take a break and then go for a dip in the refreshing water.

Food and Shopping: If you treasure family-friendly dining, get your taste buds ready, because in Gatlinburg, or nearby Pigeon Forge, there’s a pancake waiting for you. Tennessee’s very first pancake house, The Pancake Pantry, which opened in 1960 and hasn’t stopped serving all-day breakfasts since, is a family-owned tradition that creates everything from scratch. Also, the many local tea and coffee shops want to help you start (and refuel) your day. For lunch and dinner dining, the various Gatlinburg restaurants offer everything from down-home cooking to fine dining, whether the menu calls for a family gathering or social rendezvous.

As for the sprawling shopping experience for the family, everybody, bring your lists and get prepared for discounts. No matter what souvenir, item you forgot to pack, or handcrafted artwork you seek, one of Gatlinburg’s specialty shops has it. Take your time and peruse the malls and shops, such as the Mountain Mall or the Smokey Mountain Outfitters.  Furniture, jewelry, homemade candy and fudge, fishing gear, collectibles, and of course, a grocery store, all can be found within walking distance of downtown Gatlinburg.

Entertainment and Attractions: Depending on the time of year, some of the best seasonal events and shows not found anywhere else in the world perform in Gatlinburg. Check out the calendar of events to purchase tickets for live music, magic, craft shows, and even all-you-can-eat contests!

To fill up the hours in other ways, several one-of-a-kind museums, like the Hollywood Wax Museum, give you a chance to escape for a bit and perhaps learn something new. For a twist on the traditional day at the museum, try one of many Ripley’s iterations that call Gatlinburg home. With more than 500 exhibits, the museum that inspired the hit TV Show “Ripley’s Believe it or not!” has all the strange, shocking, unexpected, and absurd sights you could think of. Or, check out Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, a 1.4 million gallon aquarium filled with thousands of exotic sea creatures, complete with a Shark exhibit and underwater tunnel.

And, of course, in nearby Pigeon Forge, everyone can find something to love at Dollywood, an amusement park, museum, nature sanctuary, and fried cooking emporium all rolled into one.

So, parents, kids, pets; pack your suitcases and check out the brochures. Gatlinburg is prepared to serve and entertain you all.

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