Family Vacation Smoky Mountains

Summary: Smoky Mountains in Tennessee is one of the favorite family vacation destinations in the United States. This mountain range, situated in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, offers plenty of opportunities for families to explore hiking trails, waterfalls, historic towns, and stunning views.

1. Outdoor Activities for Families

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a top destination to enjoy outdoor activities with your family. You can choose among several hiking trails that lead you through towering trees, past waterfalls and alongside streams. The park offers trails for all levels of expertise, including some easy walks that are perfect for young children. You can also enjoy nature photography, wildlife viewing, fishing, and picnicking in the park. If you want a more challenging hike, the Chimney Tops trail is perfect for adventurous families.

Another great outdoor activity is rafting in the Pigeon River. The river offers both exciting rapids and calm pools for those who want to take it easy.

If you are looking for an adventure, you should try the zip line tours offered in the area. Zip lining gives you a bird’s eye view of the mountains while providing an adrenaline rush.

2. Educational Opportunities

The Smoky Mountains offer plenty of opportunities for educational experiences. The national park has a variety of ranger-led programs that are suitable for families. These programs include guided hikes, nature walks, and campfire talks.

If you are interested in history, visit Cades Cove, an 11-mile loop road that takes you through pioneer cabins and churches. The park has several other historic buildings that showcase life during the late 1800s in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The Smoky Mountains are also home to the renowned Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show. The show combines a delicious dinner with an entertainment extravaganza that includes horseback riding, singing and dancing.

3. Accommodations

The Smoky Mountains have several accommodation options for families. You can choose among luxurious cabins, cozy cottages, traditional hotels, and camping sites. Many of the cabins offer stunning views of the mountains and come equipped with modern amenities such as hot tubs and pool tables. The campgrounds inside the national park are ideal for families who want to experience the great outdoors. They offer both RV and tent camping options.

If you prefer a downtown experience, book a hotel room in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. These towns offer a host of attractions such as restaurants, shopping, and museums. Staying in a hotel also gives you easy access to attractions such as Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show and Dollywood.

For families who love the charm of B&Bs, there are several options available. These provide a quieter environment away from the bustle of town.

4. Local Cuisine

The Smoky Mountains are renowned for their Southern cuisine. You can try authentic dishes such as BBQ ribs, fried catfish, and country ham. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have plenty of restaurants that serve these dishes. Do not forget to sample the local moonshine, which is distilled in the mountain region.

If you prefer something sweet, try the famous apple pies that are readily available in the mountain region. You can pick your apples from the orchards and enjoy the locally made pies and ciders.

The area also has several breweries and wineries that offer tastings. A visit to these places is a great way to sample the local beverages and learn about the brewing process.

5. Festivals and Events

The Smoky Mountains have several festivals that are perfect for families. The Dollywood Harvest Festival is a fall event that features live music, food vendors, and artisans who demonstrate their crafts. During the holiday season, Dollywood hosts the Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival that features a spectacular light show, Christmas music, and holiday-themed entertainment.

If you visit during the springtime, do not miss the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, which offers guided walks to see various plants in bloom.

The Smoky Mountains are also home to several arts and crafts shows. These include the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Easter Show, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, and the Christmas Craft Show.


A family vacation in the Smoky Mountains offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, learn about history, savor delicious cuisine, and attend festivals and events. With a host of accommodations that cater to families, you can choose what suits your interests and budget. Make sure to plan ahead and pack accordingly, and your family will have a memorable vacation in the Smoky Mountains.

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