The Gatlinburg area is a great place to visit, especially for families. Family friendly activities are numerous; read on…
Gatlinburg is located in East Tennessee adjacent to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These mountains contain over 500,000 acres of forests which have many different plant and animal life. Children and adults will enjoy beautiful views and many trails available to navigate by car or foot.
History buffs can learn much about the history of the area online and on the many trails available in the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg. The visitor’s centers and roadside exhibits help visitors better understand the area as well as the need to preserve it. It took a lot of money, time and manpower to create this park. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has the highest number of visitors each year compared to other national parks according to www.gatlinburg.com.
There are just so many activities to do including shopping, miniature golf and numerous restaurants in addition to the many nature trails in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a short drive away and also provides family-related activities such as helicopter rides, family dinner theaters, go-kart rides and amusement parks, was museums and of course more shopping and restaurants.
Our family recently took a trip to the Gatlinburg area for four days and three nights. We met friends who also had two small children under eight and made plans to visit, explore the history of the area, and do other “fun” activities. Our goal was to visit our friends in this beautiful area of the country and introduce our children to the nature and wildlife as well.
Our Accommodations. We stayed at a cabin provided by Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg called Cloud Nine. This cabin had four bedrooms, a full kitchen, a fireplace, two porches with a great view, a pool table, a hot tub and a jacuzzi. This cabin easily accommodated the two adult couples and four children. The company, Moutain Rentals of Gatlinburg, was easy to deal with and the cabin met our expectations as described on the website.
The children were easily entertained with the pool table and hot tub. They also enjoyed exploring around the cabin and collecting fallen leaves and rocks. We talked about the different types of trees and about the mountains.
Nature and Wildlife. We were actually able to view plant life and wild life from our cabin’s porch in Gatlinburg. Since it was October, the trees were beginning to turn, adding to the beautiful view.
One night, we discovered there were two raccoons on our porch! The children were ecstatic and we could hardly believe our eyes.
We also enjoyed our trip by car on a nature trail through The Smoky Mountains National Park of Gatlinburg. The view was incredible and we were all able to walk on trails and climb on rocks. When planning a trip to Gatlinburg, you should definitely include a trip to The Smoky Mountains National Park.
Shopping. The shopping opportunities in the Gatlinburg area are plentiful. If you are looking for arts or crafts from local artisans, be sure to visit the Arts and Crafts District. You can take a trolley to the area and walk to many shops that include jewelry, furniture, pottery, paintings and many other items.
The shops in downtown Gatlinburg offer a wide array of items including handicrafts as well as gifts and souvenirs. There area also many restaurants as well.
Attractions. As mentioned, there are many attractions to choose from in the Gatlinburg area. As I mentioned, be sure to take a trip through The Smoky Mountains National Park while you are visiting the area.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is very enjoyable for the children as well as adults. A wide variety of aquatic life can be seen in large aquariums, as well as dive shows. This Gatlinburg attraction is a must-see.
We ended our four day trip with go-kart rides in Pigeon Forge. The kids (and adults) enjoyed the rides and it was a great way to end the trip.
Overall, I highly recommend Gatlinburg for a family destination. If planning a trip, a great place to get started is to visit www.gatlinburg.com as well as refer to links and information in this article to make a list of what you want to see and do while in the area.