Spending your summer vacation in Gatlinburg offers many opportunities for fun, outdoor, summer time activities. After spending a day exerting yourself on a white-water rafting adventure or hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, recovering in a cozy, comfortable cabin rental with a hot tub will be the perfect end to your day. Or spend a fun-filled day zip-lining and spend your evening exploring the downtown Gatlinburg strip. The warm, sunny weather will leave your family ready for some excitement and you will enjoy exploring Gatlinburg in a whole new way!
It’s no mistake that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the United States. Drawing more than 11 million visitors annually, the park is home to more than 800 miles of hiking trails, breathtaking views and hosts a hefty black bear population. When you and your family come to visit, make sure you check out the hiking trails and bicycle paths, as many of them are short, non-strenuous and perfect for children who are ready to explore! Take a walk to Laurel Falls, a 2.3 mile round-trip hike. An easy climb, you and your family will be captivated by the 60 foot waterfall, but remember to bring your camera – the waterfall is beautiful and you’ll want to take a scrapbook picture in front of it!
If you and your family aren’t quite ready to take on a hike, consider having a picnic lunch at one of the scenic picnic pavilions in the park. Or, take a drive through Cades Cove, which offers great opportunities for viewing white-tailed deer, black bears, turkeys and other indigenous animals. All maps and guides can be picked up at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center.
After all that hiking and time in the sun, you and your family may be ready for a refreshing dip in Gatlinburg’s Big or Little Pigeon River! Check out Rafting in the Smokies, a white-water rafting expedition company that has been thrilling its customers since 1978. If your children are more than 8 years old or weigh more than 70 pounds, consider taking a rafting trip that will take you through Class III and Class IV white-water rapids! With professional river guides, you will travel through five miles of exciting rapids and get a great view of the breathtaking scenery surrounding the river. If you and your family prefer a more relaxing water excursion, take a float trip down Little Pigeon River! Accommodating all numbers of groups and children more than three years old, the six-mile trip is beautiful and will serve as a refreshing experience for your Gatlinburg vacation.
If you and your family are ready to take in the sights of Gatlinburg in an exciting new way, consider taking a zip line adventure! Gatlinburg, Tennessee is home to hundreds of zip lines that will take you through beautiful views and breathtaking scenery. Gatlinburg Zip Line Adventures , that has served more than 35,000 excited zip liners, offer tours with wonderful guides and one-of-a-kind views. As you zip through the treetop canopy, you and your family will be escorted by a professional and trained guide who will ensure you and your family’s safety every step of the way. Take in views of downtown Gatlinburg, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Gatlinburg space needle as you fly through the trees. Most trips are an hour to an hour and a half long, and children of nearly all ages (5-65) will love this adventure!