It’s never too soon to start thinking about spring vacation. Where should you go? What should you do? At Cabins for YOU we recommend a spring getaway to the Smokies! That’s because these mountains are not only packed with fun and affordable things to do, but they offer an unforgettable beauty with the Smoky Mountain’s wide variety of springtime flowers!
According to the National Park Service, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is actually “a world-renowned preserve of wildflower diversity”—boasting a collection of more than 1,500 kinds of flowering plants. It’s no wonder, then, that this park has been nicknamed the “Wildflower National Park.”
So don’t miss the unique beauty this part of the world has to offer, and while you’re in town, check out these 10 ideas for where you should go and what you should do during this year’s spring getaway to the Smokies!
- A drive through Cades Cove. One of the most popular destinations inside the national park is Cades Cove, a broad valley known for its excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Plan for a leisurely drive around this 11-mile loop road with plenty of time to stop and stretch your legs at various historic sites along the way. In fact, this area offers the widest variety of historic buildings in the national park.
- A day at The Island. On one of those perfectly cool spring days, bring your crew to The Island in Pigeon Forge. Take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel for amazing views of the city and the mountains beyond. Try some down-home country cookin’ at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. Try to break out at The Escape Game Pigeon Forge. And stay for live bluegrass music at Ole Smoky Moonshine. This is just the beginning of the fun in store at The Island!
- A day at Ober Gatlinburg. Another all-in-one attraction in the Smokies is Ober Gatlinburg, where you’ll find restaurants, shops, and a variety of family-friendly attractions. These include a ride on the Aerial Tramway, a ride down the Alpine Slide, ice skating (open all year), a visit to their Wildlife Encounter, a visit to Kiddie Land, and so much more!
- A picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the many convenient amenities offered by our Cabins for YOU rentals is a full-size kitchen in each cabin, which means you can easily plan for your very own family picnic in the national park this spring. Need ideas on where to go? Try Cades Cove, the Chimneys, Greenbrier, or Metcalf Bottoms. All these popular picnic areas provide outdoor tables, outdoor grills, and unforgettable springtime scenery.
- A nature walk during the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. An annual event in the Smokies for the past 60-plus years is the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. This year, the event is scheduled for April 11–15, 2017, and joining one of their guided nature walks is the best way to see and learn about the park’s wildflowers this spring. This event also offers motorcades, photographic tours, art classes, and evening seminars throughout the week.
- A Funyak ride down the Pigeon River. Springtime also marks the beginning of whitewater season in the Smokies, so don’t miss your chance to raft down the Pigeon River with Smoky Mountain Outdoors in Gatlinburg. But not everyone is looking for big thrills. If that’s you, try their Funyak boats instead. These are designed to be incredibly stable and are geared toward non-boaters and families with kids.
- A ziplining adventure in the Smokies. Another exciting way to experience the outdoor beauty of the Smokies is with a canopy zipline tour! You’ll find several ziplining attractions to choose from, including Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley Zipline Adventures in Sevierville, and Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Gatlinburg. Each offers their own spin on a high-flying adventure through the Smoky Mountain trees!
- A visit to Ripley’s Aquarium. You know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers.” If you happen to have one of those rainy afternoons during your springtime visit, don’t worry. There are still tons of exciting things to do like visiting Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! This world-famous aquarium in Gatlinburg features 12-foot sharks, penguin encounters, and even Touch-a-Ray Bay, where you can touch stingrays.
- A visit to the Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show. The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America, and every year they offer 3 special craft free to the public. This year’s Easter Craft Show will run from April 12–15 and will feature the handcrafted work of wood carvers, potters, painters, weavers, jewelers, and so many more!
- A walk through Parrot Mountain and Gardens. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn’t the only place to experience breathtaking beauty this spring. For another outdoor attraction that’s full of flowers, plants, trees, and tropical birds by the hundreds, visit Parrot Mountain and Gardens in Pigeon Forge. This unique attraction is like walking through a live scene from one of Thomas Kinkade’s paintings— they even offer a replica of his “Stairway to Paradise”!
For wildflowers, Easter crafts, and endless options for outdoor fun, plan your visit to the Smokies this spring!