We understand there are an abundance of things to see and do in the Smoky Mountains.  But, there are a few things that are definitely should not be missed!  We’ve made a list of five great attractions you need to visit on your Smoky Mountain vacation.

1. Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Amusement Park

Believe it or not, there is a ski mountain in Tennessee!  This top-of-the-line ski resort offers eight scenic trails to explore in the winter, as well as an amusement park that is open year-round. Winter time is a great time of year to visit Ober Gatlinburg.

Not visiting in the winter months? Fear not!  You’ll find a year-round ice skating rink indoors, along with ice bumper cars.  The alpine mountain coaster and alpine slide will have you zipping through the trees and along the Smoky Mountain hillsides.  Three waterslides and the Amazing Maze round out the outdoor fun in summertime.  Of course, American Patriot Getaways offers cabins and chalets close to the action and excitement of Ober Gatlinburg.

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Here’s the reason you came to visit in the first place.  The incredible Appalachian Mountains are the oldest mountains in the world and home to some of the most beautiful scenery in America.  Traveling with kids? Try a fun game of wildlife bingo while you make your way around Cades Cove.  Looking for some more advanced hiking?  Check out our list of fun walks you can take in the Smoky Mountains.

3. Dollywood

If you have heard of Dolly Parton, you should definitely check out her amazing amusement park, Dollywood.  In addition to a functional replica of her family’s one-room cabin, there are tons of rides and live-action musical shows to see.  Consistently a winner of awards for being a clean and friendly park, Dollywood is a great place to visit for adults and kids alike.

For a unique souvenir, check out the amazing shops in Craftsman Valley.  Glassblowing, blacksmithing, and homemade soaps can all be found here.  Gorgeous hand-dipped and hand-crafted candles, hand-thrown pottery, and hand-tooled leather all make for a personal and touching gift for loved ones at home.

Don’t forget about the food!  Homemade candies, stone ground cornmeal goodies, and funnel cakes will all satisfy your sweet tooth.  Aunt Granny’s all-you-care-to-eat buffet will have you stuffed and fueled for a fun afternoon in the park.

4. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Did you know that Gatlinburg, Tennessee is home to the world’s biggest underwater tunnel? It’s true!  Glide through the tunnel on the 340-foot moving walkway.  Watch the endangered green sea turtle glide through the water.  See piles of nurse sharks napping on the “ocean” floor. Gaze in wonder at the 400-pound Sandtiger Sharks – the largest species in the aquarium.

For a hands-on experience, head to the lower level.  Jellyfish and stingrays are in large tanks staffed with educators to help you learn how to safely interact with these creatures.  See the proclaimed “living fossil” horseshoe crabs and puffer fish here, too!

Learn about life deep in the ocean, and get to know some of the aquarium’s inhabitants up close and personal!  This will be a vacation memory you won’t forget.

5. Trolley Tours

A Parkway staple since 1980, riding the trolley is a classic Gatlinburg activity! Like a traditional bus service, various lines are offered with the Trolley.  Ride the Red line in Gatlinburg for a chance to see the town with many stops available along the way.  Check out the amazing Arts and Crafts Community on the yellow line.  Enjoy the sights of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Tan Line.  The Tan line makes stops at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Laurel Falls Trail, and Elkmont Campground.

In the summer months, free trolley rides are available!

With so much to see and do, what are you waiting for? Book that family vacation to the Smoky Mountains!  American Patriot Getaways offers cabins and chalets for every vacation budget.  Whether you’re a small family or you want to bring the entire family for a reunion, we can help.  Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

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