Posted by Leif Palmer in Gatlinburg
You've worked hard all year, and now that the kids are about to head back to school, it's time for one last family vacation before the fall schedule heats up again. Gatlinburg, TN offers plenty to do and see for the entire family, whether you're looking for museums, sightseeing, or just relaxing in the beauty of nature.
First stop: the Space Needle. Towering high above downtown Gatlinburg is one of the area's most famous tourist stops, the Space Needle. From its 400-foot height, you'll have a view of the city and surrounding mountains that won't soon be forgotten.
Of course, no trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a visit to Ober Gatlinburg. This famous family fun spot is located at the top of Mount Harrison, and features year-round excitement for everyone, including an arcade, a local wildlife exhibit, and miniature golf. And, as they say, getting there is half the fun. The aerial tram, departing from downtown Gatlinburg throughout the day, lets you enjoy the scenery on your way to the top of the mountain without worrying about traffic or parking.
While you're downtown, be sure to check out Ripley's Believe It or Not! Kids of every age will love the more than 500 exhibits on display, including oddities of nature, gigantic (and tiny) man-made creations, and plenty of hands-on fun to occupy young minds.
If you're in the market for one-of-a-kind gifts, Gatlinburg has you covered. The area is known for its vibrant arts-and-crafts community, and quaint shops line the streets of downtown, featuring artwork, jewelry, and other handiwork you won't find anywhere else. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping while you're in town, or pick up a few items to decorate your home.
Gatlinburg is nestled in the heart of one of America's best-loved wilderness areas, and no trip to the area is complete without spending some time enjoying the great outdoors. Experienced adventurers can choose from a variety of activities, including ziplines, hiking, horseback riding, and more. Your adventure will take you deep into the backwoods to see the wonders of nature that few will experience.
If you're not ready for a strenuous hike or you have small children along, you'll find plenty of gorgeous scenery easily accessible by car. Cades Cove offers an opportunity to see some local wildlife, and if history is your passion, you'll see beautifully preserved homesteads, churches, and log cabins as well. It's a great opportunity to teach the kids about the early days of our nation, while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine only a national park can provide.
Looking for a great family getaway before the hustle and bustle of back to school and the holidays? Gatlinburg, TN has just what you're looking for. With a variety of attractions suited for all ages, stunning scenery, and lots of history, it's clear why the Great Smoky Mountains is one of America's favorite vacation destinations.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.