Ultimate 2018 Vacation

You’ve decided on a vacation in the Smokies, one of the most beautiful and family-friendly places in the United States! Now it’s time to plan what you will do in these magical hills. Your time in our neck of the woods could include four distinct avenues of fun. The Gatlinburg-Sevierville-Pigeon Forge area is known for music, variety and magic shows and other performances, fabulous shopping (and dining), special attractions to visit and outdoor fun (both the kind that you pay for and the kind your drum up on your own)!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If anyone in your entourage likes shows, the Smoky Mountain Opry in Pigeon Forge is a great place to start! Enjoy the highest quality singing and dancing in a variety of musical genres. There are special shows to celebrate holidays, as well as a regular offering, The Smith Morning Variety Show, every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. You’ll enjoy high-quality comedy, impersonations and professional country and gospel music. The Country Tonite Theatre, also in Pigeon Forge, offers another highly-rated variety show that has been thrilling visitors for two decades. If comedy is your entertainment priority, check out The Comedy Barn Theater. The jokes are clean and the laughs are off the charts! You will also enjoy performances by magicians, ventriloquists and jugglers in this family-friendly venue. There are several magic shows in the area, including riveting performances by Darren Romeo.  Enjoy illusions that will keep your head spinning! Guaranteed to make everyone in your family say “How did he do that?” at least once! One show no horse or variety-show lover should even think about missing is the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show! Thirty-two beautiful horses and their talented riders serve up an impressive show while a scrumptious meal is served.

Once you’ve bought tickets to the best shows in the South, it’ll be time to hit the fabulous shopping venues the Smokies are known for. Tanger Outlets in Sevierville offer famous brands like Michael Kors, Vera Bradley and Coach. Grab exciting bargains in everything from jewelry to tools! Other great shopping venues include the Island in Pigeon Forge, where your family can eat at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, where small shops offer an amazing variety of souvenirs and gifts, all within walking distance of each other and some great restaurants (everything from pancakes to Italian cuisine).

A visit to the Smokies would be incomplete without tours of a few key attractions. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, located in the middle of the action in Gatlinburg, is a must-see. Watch sharks swim by overhead as you make your way through an underwater tunnel and pet a ray as it glides swiftly by in Touch a Ray Bay. Watch stunning penguins play, their antics charming the whole family. Afterwards, head over to the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge, where you will head back in time to that historic day when the mammoth ship sunk, plunging some of the country’s brightest and most successful citizens into a watery grave. The attraction is a replica of the giant vessel, and includes authentic artifacts. Dollywood, an epic amusement and water park, is famous for special events and musical and dramatic performances year-round in addition to thrilling rides and great food!

Once you’ve over indulged on the fabulous food, shopping and entertainment opportunities the area has to offer, put on your hiking boots and hit the trails! Hike down to Abrams Falls in Cades Cove after driving the loop in search of wildlife (the Cove is home to bear, deer and wild turkey), or head up to higher elevations to challenge yourselves a bit more (and get some stunning photos). Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s link on the National Park Service website for a list of great hikes and information about conditions in the area. If hiking’s not your thing, you can enjoy a unique outdoor adventure at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg. This attraction offers everything from ziplining to a tree canopy walk and much, much more!

There are many, many opportunities for family fun in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge-Sevierville area! Get out your planner and set up an agenda for your 2018 vacation that will ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck while you’re here!