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Take The Kids On A Family Vacation In Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a family vacation
Family vacation in Gatlinburg [Image by Fernando González from Pixabay]
For nature lovers, Gatlinburg has three entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, found in the heart of downtown. For this reason, the Tennessee town is a major hit with families who love being out in nature. Miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails surround the town, along with historical exhibits and cabins as well as the opportunity to spot wildlife. Here, the family can see black bears, deer, elk and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Meanwhile, the kids can admire this from some of the town’s best attractions, like the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway and the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Read on to find out more about this beautiful town and its major attractions for the whole family.

Family vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies [Image @ripleysaquariums/Instagram]
In Gatlinburg itself, there are plenty of fun attractions for the family, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the fun Sweet Fanny Adams Theater. Meanwhile, families can experience the local culture and visit the local galleries, including the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. Here, the whole family can watch local artists and craftsmen at their creative work, with paintings and pottery, jewelry and handmade brooms.

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park close to Gatlinburg
Great Smoky Mountains National Park [Image by Thomas H. from Pixabay]
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of few that do not charge an admission fee, making it convenient for families. The sprawling park is shared by Tennessee and North Carolina and offers hiking biking and horse riding trails. Moreover, it also has the original Appalachian cabins, and the chance to drive to popular locations like the waterfalls on Roaring Fork Motor Trail and Cades Cove, with its deer and black bears.

Start your visit at the Sugarland Visitor Center to get an idea of the area’s history and to pick up trail maps. Head out on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail and head to Grotto Falls. Alternatively, take the Cades Cove loop to view plenty of wildlife.

Ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway on a family vacation

Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway in the fall
Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway in the fall [Image @obermountain/Instagram]
One must-do attraction in the town is the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. You can catch the tram in downtown Gatlinburg and take a 2.1-mile ride up the mountain to its peak of 11,088 ft. Meanwhile, at the top there is plenty of fun for the kids, including an ice skating rink, an amusement park and a small zoo. As for parents, there is plenty of shopping and dining to do besides enjoying the spectacular views from the top.

Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre

Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre [Image @sweetfannyadamstheatre/Instagram]
Heading back into town, make sure to spend an evening at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theater. This is one of those places that are an instant hit for parents and kids alike. Meanwhile, the vaudeville theater pays homage to the music halls of the past. It does so by putting on variety shows including magic, singing, dancing and audience participation. Bear in mind that the two-hour shows at the theater are the ones that are suitable for all ages.

Have a fun family vacation with the kids in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The kids will love it so much, you will likely be nagged for a repeat visit. Find out more about the town and its many attractions on the official tourism website here.


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