Are you still trying to find the perfect location for this summer’s family vacation? It can be hard to find one place the whole family agrees on.
If your family loves the great outdoors, the Smoky Mountains makes the perfect vacation. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are two of the most popular cities to stay in to experience the wonders of mother nature along with plenty of other activities.
There are tons of things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg that will ensure your stay is jam-packed with entertainment. From riding roller coasters to floating down the river, there something for everyone in your family.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover the top 10 things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN.
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
No trip to the area would be complete without spending a day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park is so huge it covers 522,427 acres over two states – Tennessee and North Carolina. Of course, you won’t be able to explore even a fraction of this on your vacation, and there is so much you can do here.
Hiking is perhaps the most famous thing to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can see various forms of wildlife and a couple of beautiful waterfalls. Are you’re worried your summer vacation might turn into an autumn vacation? Well, you’re in luck! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is gorgeous in fall when the leaves start to change.
2. Horseback Riding
If you want to experience the wonder of nature, but aren’t a huge hiker, don’t worry! Horseback riding is a can’t miss activity in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. You’ll get the opportunity to connect with one of the world’s most majestic animals as you trot along the Smoky Mountains, taking in all the scenery.
3. Stay in a Cabin
If you’re going on vacation to escape the city, then staying in a cabin is one of the top things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. What better way to soak up all the nature surrounding you then by staying in the heart of the Smoky Mountains?
The location of cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are perfect. You’ll be able to fall asleep to the sounds of nature, but spend your days exploring the town and all the activities it offers.
4. Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram
Once you’re done exploring the Smoky Mountains from within, hop on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram for a bird’s eye view of the park. The tram ride lasts about 20 minutes, giving you the most breathtaking views. It’s also handicapped accessible, so everyone in the family can enjoy it!
5. Ripley’s Aquarium
Do you like animals? You’ll probably see your fair share of woodland critters during your stay Smokey Mountains. But, what about ocean-dwelling animals? The Ripley’s Aquarium is one of the top things to do in Gatlinburg, TN.
What makes this aquarium stand out from the rest is the chance to take part in one of their unique activities, like sleeping with the sharks, penguin encounters, or behind the scene tours. Booking one of these activities can really take your aquarium visit to the next level.
6. Dollywood Tennessee
Do you have a thrill-seeker in your family? Well, Dollywood is full of rides and rollercoasters that will get everyone’s adrenaline pumping. But, Dollywood is so much more than rollercoasters. In fact, it was voted one of the top 25 amusement parks in the world! And there’s a reason why.
In addition to top-notch rides, Dollywood also offers unique shows and delicious southern style food. Of course, there’s also a water park to help you cool down from the intense summer heat. There’s something here for every age group to enjoy.
7. Whitewater Rafting
If you’re looking for a thrill without leaving the wilderness, why not try your hand at whitewater rafting? There are different rapids, offering different levels of difficulty. If you want some heart-pounding rapids, head to Upper Pigeon River. If you want a calmer trip (or you have young children), head over to Lower Pigeon River.
Both rivers will give you a scenic trip through the mountains. The best part is that the water stays cool, even in the midst of summer, so you’ll feel nice and refreshed when you leave.
Are you looking for something even calmer than rafting on Lower Pigeon River? One of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge is tubing on Little Pigeon River. You’ll get to enjoy all the beauties of nature on a calm river, so the whole family can take part.
9. Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show
No trip to Tennessee is complete without a dinner show. While there are a few to choose from, Hatfield and McCoy is one of the best. You’ll get to try quality southern food while enjoying a show. Comedy, stunts, dancing, and singing make up Hatfield and McCoy’s famous show.
10. Titanic Museum
Are you fascinated by the Titanic? It’s one of those stories that pulls on your heartstrings as you imagine the last moment for those passengers in the icy water. One of the most unique things to do in Pigeon Forge, TN is a trip to the Titanic Museum.
This museum has everything, including an interactive display that lets you touch 28-degree water (the same temperature as the water the night the Titanic sank), and a section dedicated to learning how they sent SOS signals in 1912. You even get a boarding ticket upon entry complete with a story of a real-life Titanic passenger.
Best Things to Do in Pigeon Forge
If you’re planning a summer vacation for your family, the Smoky Mountains is a great choice. There are so many things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN, from horseback riding to the Titanic Museum, that will make this an unforgettable trip.
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