Gatlinburg LookoutGatlinburg HikingOber GatlinburgAbrams FallsAlum Cave BluffsAndrews Bald Azalea HikerClifftops SunsetDowntown Parkway

Families will love:

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Affordable accommodations and attractions
  • Dollywood amusement park

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, the most popular Tennessee gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, connect like a string of brightly colored pop-beads stretching about 20 miles from exit 407 on I-40 near Knoxville all the way down TN-66/US-441 (known locally as "the Parkway") to ... more
Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, the most popular Tennessee gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, connect like a string of brightly colored pop-beads stretching about 20 miles from exit 407 on I-40 near Knoxville all the way down TN-66/US-441 (known locally as "the Parkway") to the national park itself. While each of these three communities has a slightly different atmosphere, they are all brimming with affordable family-friendly accommodations, attractions, and restaurants that make exploring the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains a ton of fun.

Sevierville, the Sevier County seat, has an iconic historic courthouse and a small-town ambience mixed in with a growing tourism trade. Pigeon Forge has the kind of wide-open space along its broad thoroughfare for attractions like go-cart tracks, major outlet malls, miniature golf courses, large music shows and dinner theaters. It's also the home of Dollywood, an amusement park named for hometown honey Dolly Parton. Gatlinburg, snuggled up tight against the national park itself, has a more compact and walkable downtown with a real mountain-community feel to it. All three extend a genuinely warm welcome to the 11 million visitors who venture this way each year.

Lodging options in the area vary widely and include log cabins nestled in the woods, water park hotels, upscale condominium resorts, the usual selection of national chains, and plenty of mom-and-pop motels. Likewise, the ample list of attractions will leave your kids dizzy with desire. Some are designed to alter adrenaline levels (zip line courses, indoor sky diving, helicopter tours and even rolling down a hill inside a giant plastic sphere). Others give you plenty to gape at (a world-class aquarium, a scenic chair lift, a recreation of the Titanic displaying hundreds of artifacts, several spooky haunted houses and a bunch of zany museums kids will love). And some, like an upside-down mansion housing a funky science museum or a magic castle that invites you to go on a quest that resembles a video game come to life, are seriously interactive. This just barely scratches the surface of everything that's available here. The bottom line is this: If you vacation in the Smoky Mountain region, your kids can never truly say they're bored.

Written by Katy Koontz less

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by alr9242
My family and I went to Gatlinburg TN last year for spring break. My husband and I have been to Gatlinburg several times but did not take our ... read more
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