Summer, fall, winter or spring, the Smoky Mountains offer an almost endless array of activities and adventures the whole family can enjoy. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a 7-day vacation, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Here’s a list of just some of the things available to you, from A to Z:
A | Arts & Crafts
Gatlinburg, Tennessee is home to the largest group of independent artists and craftsmen in North America. Many are located along the 8-mile Arts and Crafts Loop located on Route 321. Many of these talented people create one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by techniques handed down through generations.
This Pigeon Forge restaurant prides itself on serving locally sourced and sustainable meals made from scratch. Bar selections include craft cocktails along with beers from local craft breweries. In keeping with the local theme, all of the artwork on display was created by area artists and craftsman.
C | Clingmans Dome
At 6,643 feet, this high elevation spruce-fir forest is the highest in the Great Smoky Mountains—and the state of Tennessee. Walk up a half-mile to the top of the Observation Tower for a 360-degree perspective of the Smokies. Under perfect weather conditions, views can extend beyond 100 miles.
D | Dixie Stampede
Enjoy a four-course feast inside a 35,000-square-foot-arena. The Dixie Stampede and Dinner Show features 32 horses, stunt riders, pyrotechnics, light show and a dazzling 12.5 million LED wall. Perfect for large groups and family gatherings, it’s “The Most Fun Place to Eat.”
Brace yourself for a live action subway ride through a simulated earthquake. During this hair-raising adventure, you’ll experience swaying sidewalks, collapsing ceilings, tracks caving into the ground and wailing sirens—plus a slew of gut-wrenching sights associated with destruction.
F | Fishing
Fishing is permitted year-round in the 2,900 miles of streams that flow through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Anglers can reel in trout from headwater streams and smallmouth bass from coolwater streams. Fishing licenses issued in Tennessee or North Carolina are required.
Go for a spin on one of the tallest attractions in the southeastern United States. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel stands 200 feet tall and is located at the Island in Pigeon Forge at the foothills of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Witness spectacular views from the comfort of stylish glass gondolas.
Feudin’ and feastin’ and good times for all are always served up at The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show™ in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Heaping helpings of country favorites like fried chicken, corn on the cob and mashed taters are perfectly paired with sides of singing, dancing, comedy and stunts.
I | Iris Theater
Located at the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, this venue showcases unique performances like Impossibilities—Magic, Mindreading & Mayhem—Gatlinburg’s hottest new show. Straying from hillbilly themes and bluegrass music, entertainment at Iris Theater is all about wonder and amazement.
J | Jams and Jellies
Fruits like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and pawpaw thrive in the Smoky Mountains. Once ripe and ready to be picked, they make the perfect ingredient for variety of jams and jellies. The Old Mill pantry has a tasty selection to take home from your vacation in the Smokies.
K | Kan Am Fun
Go off-roading in the all terrain Maverick Max 1000. Drivers will cruise around with 101 horses under the hood and a comfortable cockpit. Passengers will enjoy side-by-side stadium rear seating and individual grab bars for enhanced security. This is a fun-filled adventure the entire family can enjoy.
Fluffy stacks of pancakes are a breakfast staple in the Smoky Mountains. At this nostalgic-themed restaurant, you can order them made with buttermilk, cornmeal, whole wheat or buckwheat. Whipped margarine and hot syrup or honey come standard or you can try a specialty like Orange-Pineapple Supreme.
M | Mini-Golf
There are lots and lots and lots of mini-golf courses to choose from in the Smoky Mountains. So many, in fact, the area could easily hold the title of “Mini-Golf Capital of the World.” Some of the best places to putt around include Bear Country Fun Park, Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf and Firehouse Golf.
N | National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the American Park System. Established in 1934, it is the largest protected land area east of the Rocky Mountains. Explore maintained trails that sprawl more than 900 miles to discover lush plants and diverse animals.
O | Ober Gatlinburg
This mountainside amusement park and ski area is home to an exciting array of fun filled activities to enjoy during your Smoky Mountains vacation. Ride the Aerial Tramway for breathtaking views of the landscape or race down the rails of the Ski Mountain Coaster. You can also go ice skating or take part in a wildlife encounter.
P | Poyner’s Pommes Frites
Savor the flavors of Germany with a piping hot Bratwurst served on a Brötchen roll. Top with your choice of mustard then add a side of Belgium Fries cooked, crispy and golden brown with dashes or coarse ground Kosher salt. Make your meal complete with a side of warm cheese, garlic or horseradish dipping sauce.
Q | Quirky
It’s easy to do something uniquely different during your Smoky Mountains vacation. Play a round of mini-golf where the hazards include an outhouse and still. You can also watch a synchronized firefly light show or visit a salt and pepper shaker museum. And, if you dare, roll to the bottom of a 1,000-foot hill in ball.
Leave it to Ripley’s to bring a Tropical Rain Forest, coral reef and underwater ocean realm to the Smoky Mountains. This educational aquarium is ranked #5 in the United States. Families can take part in interactive experiences that include touching a jellyfish, sleeping with sharks and penguin painting encounter.
Saddle up and enjoy a guided horseback ride through the Smoky Mountains. This is a scenic experience with plenty of opportunity to see wild turkey, deer and black bears. Due to varied terrain, all horseback rides are at walking pace, allowing riders of all skill levels to feel comfortable on the backs of the horses.
T | Tribute Theater
Wax nostalgic with performances that pay tribute to artists such as Patsy Cline, George Jones, Conway Twitty and Frank Sinatra with the Rat Pack. Each set features more than 20 songs and lasts for 90 minutes. The show stars Carol and Mike Cooper, whose flawless voices are sure to astonish.
U | Unbelievable Resorts
Bluegreen Vacations has two resorts located just minutes from area entertainment, shopping and dining. Laurel Crest™ in Pigeon Forge is located at the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. MountainLoft™ in Gatlinburg sits at an elevation of 2,200 feet and provides unmatched scenic beauty.
Shop until you drop in a quaint European village just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Old world charm will draw you into stores like Alwine Pottery, The Silver Tree and Lazy One of Gatlinburg. You can have a snack and take a break from shopping at The Donut Friar.
W | White Water Rafting
Shoot the rapids on one of the many challenging rivers flowing through the Smokies. Take your vacation to exciting new heights during a guided adventure on the Big Pigeon River. Rafting in the Smokies is one of the top outfitters in the area known for providing safe and comfortable experiences.
X | Xtreme Racing
Rev your engines and put yourself in the driver’s seat for an extreme go kart experience. Race along winding tracks with sharp turns and narrow straight stretches toward the finish line. There’s also an elevated track that allows kids to ride along with their parents.
Y | Year-round
Four seasons of spectacular beauty and adventure await you in the Smoky Mountains. Plan a getaway and enjoy everything this area has to offer with a special vacation package from Bluegreen Vacations® that includes discounted tickets to popular attractions as well as a dining certificate.
Z | ZipGatlinburg
Take the Tree Trek challenge to experience the thrill of traveling through a tree canopy maze. You’ll cross bridges, climb ladders, swing on trapezes and walk along logs to get around obstacles. For a nominal fee, you can capture everything you conquer during this self-guided tour on GoPro® helmet.
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