Struggling to claim a spot to park your beach umbrella, catching a sunburn after only 30 minutes by the sea, finding sand everywhere for years to come…we’ve got a better idea — plan your next summer trip to the Great Smoky Mountains! Okay, there might be some obvious perks to visiting the mountains, but how does summer in the Smokies beat summer at the beach? From live performances on the streets and delectable dishes around every corner to exciting local events, a stunning natural landscape, and top-notch cabin rentals, we’re more than prepared to answer that question!
#1 | The Music
Sure, you might hear iTunes playing from several beach dwellers, but nothing compares to live music in the Smokies! Summertime bluegrass beats and clogging feats fill the streets along the Gatlinburg Parkway for Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales (June 21 – July 31). As the name suggests, storytellers can also be found sharing fascinating tales in full 1800s dress, bringing characters to life.
During this season, the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival fills the summer air with FREE musical performances in downtown Gatlinburg (August 11-18). Not only is the music raw and beautiful, hit songs are performed in their original form, giving your ears a whole new experience. Plus, you’ll hear the lovely stories behind the lyrics from the writers themselves.
#2 | The Food
Seafood, seafood, and more seafood awaits at the beach, while a wide variety of dining options are waiting for you in the Smokies! Do we have seafood? Of course! What about pancakes, burgers, pizza, steak, barbecue, Southern, German, Asian, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, and Brazilian? Absolutely! When visiting the Smokies in summer (or anytime for that matter), choosing where to eat is the hardest — and best — part of the day.
Oh, and let’s not forget about all the homemade fudge, succulent candy, and sugary sweets shops found…well pretty much everywhere! Try pulled and cut taffy, chocolate-covered cherries, and bear paws (milk chocolate, fresh caramel, and pecans) from The Old Mill Candy Kitchen. Or opt for made-from-scratch gelato, fudge, caramel apples, and gourmet popcorn from Big Rock Candy Kitchen. Better yet, stop at every candy shop in town for a sweet-tooth sampling!
#3 | The Events
Love living life like the locals and getting involved in the community when you travel? Maybe you like visiting places when there’s an event in town. Well, the beach may have a few tricks up its sleeve, but the Smoky Mountains has events galore in summer! With so many exciting things to do in such a small area between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, events here are quite convenient and family friendly to boot! And getting around is easy too, especially with the FREE Gatlinburg Trolley (June 15 – August 10).
A Taste of Summertime Events in the Smokies
- Titanic Father Daughter Dance | June 22
- Dollywood Summer Celebration | June 22 – August 4
- First Independence Day Parade in the Nation | July 4
- Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta | July 4
- Picnic Wine Trail | July 13
- Bigfoot Conference | July 27
- Gatlinburg Summer Craftsmen’s Fair | July 12-21
- Veterans Homecoming Parade | August 10
- Bubba Fest | August 23-25
- Tennessee Smokies Beerfest | August 25
- Sevier County Fair | August 27 – September 2
- Comedy Barn Kickin’ Chicken 5K Run & Fun Walk | August 31
#4 | The Landscape
Sand everywhere or rolling lush hills, mountaintop views for miles, valleys teeming with wildlife, and dazzling rivers rushing through the forests? Yeah, the Smoky Mountains are Great for a reason! Home to the most visited national park in the country, the Smokies boasts prime hiking and biking trails as well as scenic drives that will etch beautiful scenery into your memory for a lifetime.
Ah, still debating over the ocean aspect, yes? Well, the Smokies may not have salt water…wait, there is the famed Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, so that’s not entirely true. Anyway, there are plenty of natural lakes and rivers, ready for water fun, like swimming, tubing, rafting, boating, and fishing!
#5 | The Cabins
Featuring breathtaking mountain, wooded, city, or river views and housing tons of amenities a typical beach house just doesn’t offer, another way summer in the Smokies beats summer at the beach has to be the log cabins! Get ready for splashes in a private indoor or community outdoor pool, lemonade in the rocking chairs with songbird melodies, homemade meals from a high-end kitchen, games (including pool, air hockey, foosball, shuffleboard, and arcade) in the rec room, soothing soaks in a bubbly hot tub, and sweet dreams in a king-size bed.
Offering 340+ cabin rentals ranging from 1-16 bedrooms in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN, Cabins for YOU is ready to host your unforgettable summer stay in the Smokies! Book online or call 1.800.684.7865 today.
How does summer in the Smokies beat summer at the beach? The music, food, events, landscape, and cabins just — can’t be beat!