When you are planning a family vacation to the Smoky Mountains, you have to find things that the kids will love. For a summer vacation, what could be better than a series of water activities? They’ll keep you cool while providing a ton of fun. Here are five of the best options!

1. Wild Bear Falls Water Park is a brand new way to enjoy the Smokies. Located in Gatlinburg’s Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort, it is the largest indoor water park in the South. Don’t worry, though—the roof is retractable, so you’ll still be able to get a tan if you visit in the summer months. There are wading pools, slides, rides and a tree house at this amazing amusement park.

2. We can’t forget about a favorite Smoky Mountains pastime—fishing! Fish one of the park’s many streams and rivers to catch Brown, Brook and Rainbow trout. You’ll have to choose if you want to fly or angler fish, so get your gear together and get ready for a great time.

3. Swimming in the fresh, mountain streams is another great way to commune with nature in the Smokies. Check with the park rangers to see which places are best.

4. Rent or bring your canoes and rafts to explore the park from a new angle. If your family is up for some white water rafting, check out the guides that offer their services. Rental is possible for many different kinds of watercrafts.

5. Get creative and rent a houseboat for your Smokies vacation! Take this floating home’s luxurious accommodations to one of the region’s lakes and insert yourself into the Smokies lifestyle.

No matter which way you choose and how you travel (*begin shameless self-promotion* we recommend Gatlinburg cabins of course *end self-promotion*), spending some time in the beautiful, clear waters of the Appalachian Mountains is not to be missed!

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