If you live in the South or have ever visited, you know that summers in the South can be hot. A Tennessee summer day is full of lush green trees, birds singing, blue skies, and nice breezes – but it also comes with a hot summer sun. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are no exception; thankfully, there are tons of fun things to do when the weather warms up in the Smokies. Whether you want to enjoy the warm weather outside or keep cool inside, you’ll find that there are endless opportunities for summer fun on a vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. Below we’ve listed 15 great ways to beat the heat (or embrace it!) in Gatlinburg this summer.
- Swim in your private indoor pool.
Some of our cabins boast private indoor pools, meaning you can beat the heat with a swim in the comfort and privacy of your own cabin! Talk about summer fun! Just bring your favorite floats and swimsuits for days of keeping cool. Many even have awesome mountain views, so you won’t miss out while you’re swimming inside.
- Have a movie marathon in the cabin.
Many of our cabins feature big screen TVs and DVD players or Blu-ray players, while some even have their own theaters! With theater-style seating or comfy sofas, huge screens, and more, these home theaters are the ultimate place to enjoy a movie marathon while staying cool and comfortable inside. Or choose a cabin with TVs in the bedrooms and everyone can have their own movie night in bed!
- Find a swimming hole.
Head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and find a swimming hole in one of the beautiful streams or rivers. These cool, peaceful spots are perfect for cooling off in the hot summer sun.
- Picnic in the shade.
There are lots of beautiful picnic spots in the Smokies where you can enjoy a nice meal on a summer day. Find a nice shaded spot beneath the trees for the perfect afternoon picnic. You can even get one of our gift baskets for the perfect picnic without the shopping.
- Touch an iceberg.
At the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, you can tour the RMS Titanic, learn about the passengers and crew members, and even touch an iceberg – what a way to cool off!
- Play at Dollywood’s Splash Country.
With a lazy river, rides, water slides, canopies, and water features for the little ones, Dollywood’s Splash Country has everything you need to stay cool on a hot summer day. Embrace the summer sun while splashing around!
- Enjoy a dinner show.
Dinner shows aren’t just for dinner. Cool off on a summer afternoon with a great meal at a dinner show in Pigeon Forge.
- Catch a show at Dollywood.
Dollywood features dozens of great shows throughout the year – held in the cool theaters throughout the park. Stay cool while watching some incredible performers or spend some time shopping or getting a bite to eat (including some ice cream) at one of the many great cafes and restaurants. There are also a few water rides that kids will love, along with shaded places to sit and relax.
- Keep cool in the Penguin Playhouse.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is top rated (and my personal favorite attraction in the area) for a reason. The aquarium in the heart of Gatlinburg is home to 10,000+ sea creatures, including penguins. You’ll stay cool inside while seeing what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.
- Go ice skating.
At Ober Gatlinburg, an indoor ice skating rink lets you stay cool year-round. Skate, grab a bite to eat, play in the arcade, or do some shopping.
- Ride the Alpine Slide.
If you want to enjoy being outside, take a ride on the Alpine Slide at Ober Gatlinburg. You’ll get a nice breeze while whizzing down the mountain!
- Do some fishing.
The cool waters and breezy shores of the rivers, lakes, and streams in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Great Smoky Mountains are perfect for fishing on a hot summer day. Stay in the shade as you cast a line and catch something to fry up at the cabin later!
- Try some local wine.
Step inside one of the local wineries in the Smokies for a relaxing glass of wine out of the summer sun. Check out Sugarland Cellars, Smoky Mountain Winery, Mountain Valley Winery, and Bootleggers Homemade Wine to name a few. If you want to enjoy your wine with summer breezes, be sure to try the 5 wineries along the Rocky Top Wine Trail – Apple Barn Winery, Mountain Valley Vineyards, Hillside Winery, Sugarland Cellars, and Eagle Springs Winery.
- Run from zombies.
One of the newest attractions in Pigeon Forge, Outbreak: Dread the Undead is horrifyingly fun. The indoor attraction is essentially a zombie haunted house, with live actors, awesome scenes, and terrifying special effects thrilling you until the last second. While it’s cool in there, you may work up a sweat from fear!
- Wind your way through the Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze.
Once you’ve finished the 2,000-square foot indoor mirror maze that will keep you guessing at every turn, stop in at Ripley’s Candy Factory for a sweet treat before heading back out in the summer sun.
Where to Stay
We have a large variety of cabins available for your summer travels to the Great Smoky Mountains, whether you’re coming for a honeymoon, anniversary, retreat, reunion, family vacation, girls’ getaway, father-son trip, holiday, or just a weekend away with friends. All the cabins are uniquely decorated, equipped with conveniences to make your stay more comfortable (including fully equipped kitchens!), and feature some great amenities. Browse online or give us call, and we can find you the perfect fit for your Smoky Mountain vacation!