Summertime in the Smokies

Summer in the Smokies is truly beautiful. The trees are lush and green, the wildlife is stirring, the wildflowers are in bloom, and everything is alive. As you explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you'll drive along tree-arched roads, wind past rushing waterfalls, and maybe even spot a bear! In town, the summer calendar is packed with events – from races and fishing tournaments to barbecue festivals and parades! Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or you love the excitement of a bustling city, you'll love spending summertime in the Smokies!

As you plan your summer vacation to the Smokies, be sure to check in advance for the upcoming events. There may be a race, parade, or family-friendly event that you'd like to plan your trip around! Check out these fun annual summer events in the Smokies!

Annual Events

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales
April – August
Enjoy costumed musicians, storytellers, and artisans performing along the Parkway during this summer-long event.

Gatlinburg Farmers Market
May – October
Pick up fresh produce, local jams and jellies, and homemade treats every Saturday from 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at 849 Glades Road.

Free Parkway Trolley
June – August
Explore downtown Gatlinburg and the Parkway on a comfortable and fun trolley – free during summer months!

Fourth of July Parade
July 3-4
Celebrate our military men and women at the “first July fourth parade in the nation” – beginning at the stroke of midnight on July 4!

Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta
July 4
Test your boat making skills at this fun race for all. Kids and adults can place their unmanned floatable devices along the Little Pigeon River to compete for the fastest and most creative raft!

Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair
Dates vary each year
Check out more than 150 booths featuring the one-of-a-kind work of local artisans and craftspeople. Artisans will demonstrate, showcase, and sell their work, as well as answer any questions you may have!

Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival
Dates vary each year
Celebrate Gatlinburg's rich musical roots in Appalachian history as you listen to the toe-tapping sounds of local musicians and songwriters!

If you want to get your adrenaline pumping, burn some calories, or just stretch your legs in the great outdoors, you'll love the huge variety of outdoor activities at your fingertips. In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited in the national park system, you'll find more than 800 miles of trails. Whether you want to explore on your own or take a guided tour, you can go hiking, biking, or horseback riding in the park.

Hiking, Biking & Horseback Riding

You don't have to be a seasoned pro to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With trails from easy, wide, and flat to challenging, narrow, and steep, people of all ages and skill levels can find a beautiful trail to stroll or climb. There are lots of great trails that lead to waterfalls and lead past wildflowers – try Gatlinburg Trail, Alum Cave Trail, and Rainbow Falls Trails, among many. Or hop on a bike and hit the trails at a faster pace. You can ride the Cades Cove loop or check out some of the backcountry trails (if you're up for the challenge!). Another great way to explore the many trails and historic buildings in the park is by a peaceful horseback ride. Several stables in and around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer rides for many ages. Some guided horseback rides even include a lunch, snacks, drinks, and s'mores!

For a more quiet and peaceful summer afternoon in the Smokies, you can enjoy a round of golf or spend the day casting your line in one of the many cool mountain streams in the Smokies. Not an avid golfer? Think outside the box! The Smokies are also home to many miniature golf courses! Putt around or test your skills at 18 holes.

Golfing & Fishing

Featuring some of the most pristine courses in the country, the Smokies is a great place to golf. Several courses were designed by world renowned golfers, offering a challenge for beginners and pros. The gorgeous trees, mountain streams, wildflowers, and rolling hills set the perfect backdrop for a peaceful and relaxing day on the course. If you prefer to get your waders wet, head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a day of fishing. There are lots of beautiful, clear streams running over smooth river rocks, stocked with plenty of fish for a fun day! On a hot summer day, enjoy staying cool by the water as you fish. Have a peaceful afternoon to yourself or bring along the kids for some quality time in the great outdoors. We even have several cabins with easy access to fishing. Sit back and enjoy river or lake views before heading down to the water to fish. If you're heading to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for fishing, don't forget to pack a lunch. You can take a break from fishing and enjoy a picnic by the water!

If you want to see what all the towns in the Smokies have to offer, there are plenty of great summer activities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. From zip line tours and go karts to waterparks and arcades, you'll find plenty to do in the middle of it all.

Activities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are home to dozens of fun summer activities – you'll never be bored on your summer vacation to the Smokies! Get a rush as you race go karts on one of the many tracks along the Parkway or stay cool inside as you play laser tag and arcade games. Some area attractions even have bumper boats – perfect for cooling off on hot Tennessee afternoons. Zip line tours are also a great way to cool off, and the lush trees of summer will be truly beautiful during your tour! Of course, one of the best and most popular summer attractions is Dollywood's Splash Country in Pigeon Forge. The attraction features rides, slides, and water features for people 1 to 100! You can tube down lazy rivers, swirl down towering water slides, or let the kids splash around in the kids' area. There are even retreat and canopy rentals where families can relax, eat, and stay in the shade when they need a break!

While there's plenty to do in town, you'll want a cool place to stay and play when you vacation to the Smokies. We have many cabins to choose from – all featuring comfortable spaces and great amenities. We even have a number of cabins with pool access, private indoor pools, theatre rooms, and game rooms. All are perfect for staying cool on hot summer days in the mountains.

For more information about our cabins that are perfect for summers in the Smokies, call 1.800.684.7865! Our reservation specialists will help you find the cabin with the summer-friendly amenities you want!