If your summer travels find you and your family in Gatlinburg, TN then there is plenty you can find to enjoy the days! From exploring the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains to museums and attractions there is no shortage of fun. Here are five kid-friendly destinations not to miss!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The mountains that call this park home roll freely across the Tennessee/North Carolina border and provide Gatlinburg with its incredible views. Kids will enjoy looking for the wildlife who call the Smokies home such as black bears and deer. There are plenty of trails to hike and explore and kids will have a blast as they work towards becoming a Junior Ranger. No trip to Gatlinburg would be complete without a visit to the Smokies.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Take a trip to the depths of the ocean from the top of the mountains! Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a way to shake up your trip and see something you wouldn’t think to see in the mountains. Children will love finding sea creatures as you walk through an underwater tunnel. Sharks up to 12 feet long can be seen as well as sea turtles and other creatures of the deep.
WonderWorks Interactive Experience
Located in near-by Pigeon Forge is the upside down WonderWorks Interactive Experience, a museum and hands-on learning center for kids. Complete with a laser tag arena and space exploration exhibits children won’t find any amount of fun missing here. From experiencing hurricane force winds to the earthshaking movement at the Earthquake Cafe your family is sure to have a fun-filled day. For those who look to the stars a visit to the space discovery exhibit seals the deal!
Smoky Mountains Horseback Ride
Experience the Smokies as their early settlers did by spending an afternoon in the saddle. Smoky Mountain Riding Stables offers guided horseback tours for you and your family for an afternoon of fun. Kids will enjoy riding a horse and seeing the natural sights while parents can enjoy a bit of respite during the ride. The trails are located within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so expect to see wildlife as you ride the trails.
A long hike to see a beautiful mountain or waterfall is what makes visiting the Smokies worthwhile and Grotto Falls is a fine example. Children will enjoy arriving at the waterfall and being able to go behind-the-scenes to see what’s on the other side of the falls. After cooling off in the shade and water its time to hike back. Salamanders call the falls home and there is even the chance of a bear sighting along the way.
When vacationing in the Smokies there is no shortage of adventure to get into. From natural wildlife wonders to museums packed full of activities to tumbling waterfalls kids will remember their summer in Gatlinburg for years to come. Make it one stop of many during your time in the Smokies.