It’s that time of year again…tax season! Okay, so we know tax season isn’t exactly the most wonderful time of the year. It’s often met with annoyance and lots of to dos. But if you’re lucky enough to be getting a tax return this year, you’ll probably be looking forward to April. If you haven’t already earmarked the money for savings or bills, we have some great ideas for how you can spend your tax return this year! With a little something fun to look forward to, you may not dread doing those taxes quite so much. Plan a getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoy some fun in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. From family-friendly attractions and outlet stores to delicious restaurants and dinner shows, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the Smokies and splurge with your tax return! Here are just a few great ways to spend your extra tax money this year…
Check out Ober Gatlinburg.
You could spend an entire day at Ober Gatlinburg year-round. You can ski, snowboard, and tube in winter, and you can enjoy indoor ice skating no matter the weather. When it’s warm, check out the Aerial Tramway, Ski Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, or the Chair Swing or mini golf for the kids.
Get great views at the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
With 360-degree views of Gatlinburg from the observation deck, the Gatlinburg Space Needle is one of the best places to get city and Smoky Mountain views. It stands 407 feet tall and features glass elevators, the 25,000-square-foot 2-story Arcadia arcade, and a restaurant. And at just $9.50 per adult and $5 per kid (3 and under are FREE with adult ticket), you won’t have to spend much of that tax return for some fun!
Rent a luxury cabin in the mountains.
Want to splurge this vacation? Treat yourself to a luxurious getaway at a gorgeous cabin in the Smokies! Loaded with high-end amenities – private indoor pools, home theaters, rec rooms with tons of games, stainless steel appliances in fully equipped kitchens, awesome bunk beds, king-size beds, incredible mountain views, and more – our luxury cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have everything you need for an awesome weekend (or week!) away pampering yourself!
Shop at the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.
The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America, located along an 8-mile loop that’s been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. You can pick up some amazing handmade goods, including baskets, candles, paintings, clothing, dolls, birdhouses, pottery, brooms, and beyond.
Pick up hiking gear and clothes at the NOC.
The NOC is always my husband’s favorite stop in downtown Gatlinburg. The massive retail store (18,000 square feet) is located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and features everything you could need for a day on the trails. You could spend your whole tax return loading up on gear here, but they also have some good sales and deals so you can keep more money in your pocket. Some top brands include Columbia, The North Face, Mountain Hardware, Osprey, Patagonia, Black Diamond, Keen, and Chaco.
Get a gift basket.
Want to add a little something extra to your Smoky Mountain escape? We have some great gift baskets that are the perfect addition to any vacation. Lavender Temptations is the perfect bathtime treat, the Honeymoon Basket is romantic and special, Java Time is perfect for coffee lovers, and Spirit of the Smokies features local treats that embody what the Great Smoky Mountains is about. Just give us a call at 800.684.7865 for more information or to order a basket to be ready in your cabin when you arrive!
Get great deals at Tanger Outlets.
Browse and buy clothing, accessories, sporting goods, electronics, toys, books, and more at great prices during a day at the Tanger Outlets. You’ll get brand name gear at great prices, so you can keep more of that tax return for other fun attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Rage down the river with whitewater rafting.
Whether it’s the nearby Ocoee River or the local Pigeon River, you can find fun on the water with whitewater rafting (or tubing, kayaking, or canoeing) in and around the Smokies. Check out Big Creek Expeditions, Rafting in the Smokies, or Wildwater Rafting in the area.
Play the day away in the arcades.
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are home to tons of fun arcades where you can play the classics – Pacman, Skee ball, and other favorites – and the newest games the kids will love. Arcadia Planet Fun, Big Top Arcade, Rockin’ Raceway, Lazerport, and Fannie Farkle’s are just a few great options.
Meet thousands of sea creatures at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Spanning 350 species, the 10,000+ sea creatures at this top-rated aquarium are a wonder to see. Sharks, penguins, puffer fish, stingrays, and more live in the Tropical Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Shark Lagoon, Coral Reef, Touch-a-Ray Bay, Gallery of the Seas, and the Penguin Playhouse where you can learn and explore!
Laugh ’til you cry at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre.
Sit back and enjoy Broadway-style entertainment at Gatlinburg’s only place to get live-on-stage original musical comedies! You’re in store for laughs, surprises, audience participation, and who knows what else!
Treat yourself to a massage.
There are some great spas in the area where you can get manicures, pedicures, hair treatments, and more, but you don’t even have to leave your cabin to pamper yourself. Stay in the cabin and book an in-cabin massage for a romantic and relaxing afternoon.