Full disclosure… much to my regret and dismay, I have never visited the Smoky Mountains. My husband has been there (many times), my family has been there and my travel industry colleagues have been there. My kids’ friends have been there and several high school traveling groups I know have been there. I guess the “take away” from this intro is that everyone I know has visited and fallen in love with the Smoky Mountains. I seem to be the only one who has yet to experience the splendor of this magnificent spot tucked away in Tennessee. I plan to rectify that very soon so that I can write with first-hand knowledge and experience!
Based on discussions with these many and varied groups, it is abundantly clear that Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville are outstanding destinations for families, students, sports groups, performance groups and faith-based travelers. There really is something for everyone in this delightfully appealing region of the country!
Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Smokies is Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals, a leader in luxury cabins in Pigeon Forge. Cabins range from one to eight bedrooms, and are surrounded by shopping, shows and stunning vistas. Amenities can include jacuzzis, private indoor pools, game rooms, theater rooms or even rock climbing walls- there’s a cabin for every budget or group size! I love the outdoors but appreciate creature comforts when planning my lodging- Aunt Bug’s definitely unites the two in spectacular fashion!
DOLLY PARTON’S DIXIE STAMPEDE
If you’re looking for a break from the usual vacation dining experience, look no further than Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. It really is a dining experience! Horses, pageantry, trick riding and a good ole’ rivalry between the North and South, the Dixie Stampede will keep you cheering while enjoying a fabulous, southern-style meal. Bring a group and salute the red, white and blue!
There are two really cool opportunities to defy gravity while in the Smokies- Flyaway Indoor Skydiving and Outdoor Gravity Park. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving lets you experience the freedom of skydiving in the safety of an indoor wind tunnel. There is nothing more exhilarating than the moment you realize you are soaring through the air with nothing more than a flight suit (well, and an instructor, goggles helmet, gloves and earplugs!)
Roll down a 1000 ft. hill in a spaceship-like OGO (wet or dry- depending on the season). Outdoor Gravity Park is the only place in America where you can experience three, unique zorb experiences. Individuals or groups of 3 can roll along zig-zagging tracks or speed down the hill in a ventilated and sometimes wet giant plastic ball. This is extreme adventure like no other!
TAKE TO THE WATER (OR THE TREES!)
Whitewater Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors is a great option for groups or individuals looking to raft the scenic Pigeon River. Class III-IV whitewater for ages 8 and up or milder Class I-II river floats for ages 3 and up are available with a professional guide leading you all the way. Experience the splendor of the Smoky Mountains from an entirely new perspective. I will be choosing the “float” option… 😊
Start the day Rafting in the Smokies with Class I-IV rapids, or take to the tree tops with a zip line course. You can hike, complete a ropes challenge course, or cross a 150 ft. suspension bridge to a 10-acre Adventure Island and playground. This is family friendly fun at its best!
TITANIC ADVENTURE AWAITS
The ill-fated voyage of the Titanic holds a unique place in American history. It continues to intrigue and beckons us to explore the stories of its passengers. Now visitors can learn more about Titanic at the immense, ship-shaped permanent attraction in Pigeon Forge. Completely interactive and filled with artifacts, groups can investigate all the museum has to offer, even participate in the Titanic’s First-Class Dining Experience.
If this agenda doesn’t wear me out when I visit the Smokies, the next five awesome attractions will definitely test my travel mettle- read more in my next post about the dazzling and fun-filled Smoky Mountains!