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Celebrate Father’s Day in the Smokies with a Guy’s Weekend or Family Outing.

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Whether it’s your dad or you are the dad you’re celebrating, the Great Smoky Mountains has everything you could possibly want for a guys’ Father’s Day weekend or a family weekend celebrating Dad. This year, Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18. Let’s start planning the fun.


Golf in the mountains is definitely doable with excellent courses in Gatlinburg and Townsend.

Gatlinburg Golf Course is an 18-hole course designed by noted golf course architect William Langford. In 1993 and again in 2007, the course underwent major renovations by Bob Cupp & Associates of Atlanta. Today, the completely rebuilt greens and reworked fairways offer seasoned duffers as well as beginners a challenge on every hole.

As the Web site says: “Teeing off is a little different in the mountains. The natural landscape in Gatlinburg makes for quite a few uniquely designed holes. Grab your clubs and test your skills on the beautiful Gatlinburg Golf Course, situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The course features some of the most picturesque rolling hills in the area.

Located just five miles from downtown Gatlinburg, the course lies adjacent to Dollywood at 811 East Parkway. Call for more information, tee times and fees (865) 436-4178.

Bent Creek Golf Course

Also in Gatlinburg is Bent Creek Golf Course – a par 72 course designed by three-time Masters and British Open Championship Winner Gary Player. Opened in 1972, Bent Creek was named one of the “top 50 golf courses in the south” by Southern Living Magazine. The front nine runs along the valley floor, while the back nine is a challenging mountain course.

Check out each hole via the course website and check out tee times and fees. Bent Creek is located at 3919 E. Parkway in Gatlinburg. Call (865) 436-3947 for more.

In nearby Townsend, Wild Laurel and Laurel Valley Golf and Country Club near the Laurel Lake Nature Preserve and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is “the charming and scenic views of gorgeous natural artistry change beautifully with the seasons.”

Laurel Valley Golf

Laurel Valley Golf comprises 18 holes make up the golf course designed by Edmund B. Ault. There also is a fitness center and swimming pool at the clubhouse accenting the entire area.” Visitors often seen a bear or two or some white-tailed deer while out and about on these courses.

Wild Laurel’s 18-hole course is the crown jewel of Wild Laurel. The club is working toward its Audubon Certification to ensure the conservation of the wildlife’s habitat. It too was designed by Edmund D. Ault and features Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens.

There’s also a full-service tavern with an ever-changing seasonal menu and catering available for any celebration. The bar has an extensive and well selected wine list, cocktails and the ice-cold beer.

Wild Laurel Golf Course, 702 Country Club Road, (865) 738-3134. Laurel Valley Golf, 702 Country Club Drive, (865) 738-3134.


Year-round fly fishing is permitted in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  You can start fishing thirty minutes before official sunrise but must finish up no later than thirty minutes after official sunset, either way, it’s a sure way to avoid crowds in the Smokies.  Here are a few other fishing facts worth knowing:

Fishing is allowed in all streams in the Tennessee section of the Park, except for Lynn Camp Prong upstream of its confluence with Thunderhead Prong. Detailed information, including a complete list of regulations and a map of fishable park waters, is also available at any visitor center or ranger station.

You will need a valid fishing license or permit from either Tennessee or North Carolina to fish in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  No trout stamp is required.  While licenses and permits are not available for purchase in the Park, they can be obtained in many nearby towns or online. Special permits are required for fishing in Gatlinburg and Cherokee.

Douglas Lake is a beautiful, 30,400-foot lake with a maximum depth of 140 feet. The fishing is grand here – just ask my nephew Alex and my brother-in-law Matt. There’s room to play, boat, swim. The lake extends 43.1 miles upstream from Douglas Dam and only has about 17% of the shoreline developed. Rolling hills of farmland and residential areas surround the lake.

Check out these guided fishing tours Guided fly fishinganglers trip, and more about fishing in the Smokies here.


Skybridge, white water rafting, hiking, helicopter ride and lots of  outdoor activities await you in the Smokies.

Ziplining has become big business in the Smokies with Zipline establishments popping up all over the area.  So, if you haven’t been ziplining yet, it is a must for all ages. Zipline companies include Legacy MountainWahoo ZiplinesSmoky Mountain Ziplines & Canopy ToursFoxFire Mountain and Climbworks Smoky Mountains.

Also, Outdoor Adventures of the Smokies in Sevierville is a one stop shop. The company provides monster truck rides, helicopter rides, ATV rides, horseback rides, Jeep tours, whitewater rafting, river tubing, guided fishing trips and plane rides.


Billed as North America’s largest pedestrian suspension bridge – Sky Bridge is 680 feet from tower to tower. There are long-term plans for some attractions on the other side, but for now, the bridge in Gatlinburg is an experience all its own – with fantastic views.

To get to the Sky Bridge, take the Skylift up to Skylift park. The lift takes visitors up and down the mountain for spectacular 360-degree views. Visitors get off at the new Skydeck, where they can sit outside, buy a beer and do some shopping – Dad needs his tie!

The SkyCenter at the SkyDeck on Crockett Mountain, overlooking Gatlinburg offers up “sweeping panoramic views” of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

White Water Rafting, Tubing

White water rafting in the Smokies takes place on the Pigeon River, which is dam controlled, which means when the water is released from the dam, crashing waves and many rapids appear. The rapids have fun nicknames you’ll learn about on your tours such as Too Late, Vegamatic, Razor Blade, After Shave, and Lost Guide.

With the Great Smoky Mountains National ParkCherokee National ForestMartha Sundquist State Forest and the Appalachian Trail as the backdrop, the Pigeon River and its rocky riverbed through some of the most dramatic country in East Tennessee.

Check out our blog post for our favorite places to raft, tube, kayak and more in the Great Smoky Mountains.


Whether you want to stay inside and experience freefalling or try a tandem adventure high above the earth, both can be found in the Great Smoky Mountains.

At Flyaway Indoor Skydiving in Pigeon Forge, visitors get the experience of flying without having to jump from a plane. Break the bonds of gravity and body fly at America’s first vertical wind tunnel.

Located at 3108 Parkway, Pigeon Forge. Reservations required by calling 1-877-293-0639

Next, you want to jump out of a plane (it’s so much fun – I have done it twice), check out Skydive East Tennessee. Located about an hour north of Gatlinburg, Skydive East Tennessee offers tandem skydiving where you’ll jumping from 11,000 feet, enjoy a 20-minute scenic flight, up to 60 seconds of freefall, and five to six minutes under the parachute taking in the magnificent views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Douglas Lake. What a thrill!

Located 1640 W Dumplin Valley Road in Dandridge. Call (865) 223-5155.

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Helicopter Tour

Want to stay inside the vehicle but still take in those spectacular views from the air? Perhaps a helicopter ride is the thrill you’re looking for.

Soar over the Smoky Mountains and look at the beauty below.

At Scenic Helicopter Tours in Sevierville, tours range from 8 to 100 miles starting at $29. Explore the lakes, mountains and all the cities within that range.

Scenic Tours is located at 1949 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Sevierville, Tennessee, 865-453-6342

Smoky Mountain Helicopters has been offering scenic helicopter tours of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and surrounding areas since 1964. With three locations and a variety of tour packages, Smoky Mountain Helicopters also offers customized tours for special events.

Three locations: 1101 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Sevierville, (865) 429-2426; 380 Rainbow Road, Sevierville, (865) 429-2426; and 264 Casino Trail, Cherokee, North Carolina, (828) 497-5797.


Gatlinburg is home to so much beauty and unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else. The national park is rich with natural beauty and features elevations ranging from 876 feet near Abrams Falls to about 6,600 feet at the peak of Clingmans Dome.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across more than 800 square miles of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. The park is home to amazing wildlife, breathtaking views all year long and some of the oldest mountains in the world.

Gatlinburg is home to so much beauty and unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

The park welcomed a record 12,547,743 visitors in 2019, which is 1,126,540 more visitors than in 2018 – making it the most visited national park in the United States.

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The Top 10 Peaks (elevation in feet)
1. Clingmans Dome – 6,643
2. Mount Guyot – 6,621
3. Mount Le Conte (High Top) – 6,593
4. Mount Buckley – 6,580
5. Mount Love – 6,420
6. Mount Chapman – 6,417
7. Old Black – 6,370
8. Luftee Knob – 6,234
9. Mount Kephart – 6,217
10. Mount Collins – 6,118

Check out our blog on our favorite hikes and how to navigate them safety.

Whether you choose adventures or chilling, you’re going to need food and a place to stay!

There are so many great places to eat in the Smokies. Check out our blog posts on Outdoor diningNew restaurants and Lunch spots. While you’re at it, check out the live music in the area.

Book a Cabin TODAY!

No matter what fun you choose, you’ll want a fabulous cabin to return to after all the adventures. Or maybe, staying in and hanging with the guys IS the plan for the weekend. Watch movies on a big screen, eat great meals, play cards, smoke cigars in the hot tub.

Choose from big cabins and small, specialty cabins with movie theaters, pools and game rooms. Check out our blog posts for Cabins with spectacular viewsTheater cabinsLuxurious cabins in Wears Valley. 

Ready to book? Give our Reservations staff a call at 800-204-5169 or check out our website.  No matter your group size or budget, American Patriot Getaways has a cabin for you!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest area information.  Check us out on Pinterest for easy recipes to cook in your cabin, décor inspiration, and more!

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