11 Compelling Reasons to Choose Gatlinburg, TN for an Unforgettable Family Vacation

foreign [Music] if you're the type to go head over heels ban...

foreign [Music] if you're the type to go head over heels bananas over breathtaking views have we got the perfect getaway for you fall in love with the vibrant magic of fall go Gaga over the gorgeous Greenery in summer and enjoy the fantabulously frosty winter with your family Gatlinburg offers a bombastic mix of outdoor escapades with child-friendly attractions welcome back to wonderfully lost where we rattle off all the reasons you should travel let's dive straight into 11 reasons why Gatlinburg Tennessee is an epic family vacation idea number 11. kicking it off with Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies when you've got your farm in tow your best bet is to hit a vacay spot that'll be a Surefire hit with everyone and no one can complain when they offer tasty tidbits to Exotic marine animals gawk at a giant sea turtle or get an eye full of 12-foot sharks whoa treasure these cherished and Unforgettable memories with your Junior Clan as you embark on a marine Odyssey like no other Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies offers the best of the very best you and your family can have a whirl by touching Stingrays and even jellyfish hop aboard a glass bottom boat and prepare to get gobsmacked in the super thrilling shark Lagoon wanna hit the green then head right over to the Discovery tree house and play center you can thank us later number 10. next up the Gatlinburg Space Needle take the fun quotient out of your vacator new heights by Soaring to the very top of the phenomenal Gatlinburg Space Needle Feast your eyes on the dazzling and or inspiring beauty of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg from a 407 foot observation tower hitch a ride on the great glass elevators and take in the spectacular panoramic view fantastic once you and your fam hop off at the observation deck you can immerse yourself in an educational experience via Higher Learning which is a pretty solid learning initiative free viewfinders are also part of the Epic experience and if you're done with the brain train then you and your kids can hang out at the 30 000 plus square foot arcade that offers an Out of This World ride of simulators Amusement Games and recreational activities let the fun and festivities begin number nine moving on to Hollywood star cars Museum Tinseltown fans this one's for you get ready for a turbocharged ride as you Coast through the Hollywood star cars Museum with some of the most famous vehicles on four wheels in Hollywood on display if you and your Bambinos are Hollywood Buffs then you're in for a stupendous treat as cars from Smash Hit movies and shows along the likes of the Batmobiles from the Batman TV show and Batman Returns are displayed then there are cars from hits such as the Fast and the Furious the monsters as well as the Cadillac that belong to music great Sir Paul McCartney you will not be disappointed by this amazing collection of cars the museum is every car Lover's Dream number eight revving up the fun quotient at Ripley's horn Adventure warning there are some major creepy Vibes up ahead if you want to contract a major case of the Spooks then you'll hit the jackpot with Ripley's Haunted Adventure at Gatlinburg boo welcome to this frightfully fun place where you just don't know which terrifying surprise is gonna knock your socks off this suspenseful and spine tingling sojun is perfect for a family seeking Thrills The Haunted Adventure is not open to children under six so if your kitty by grade is underage you might want to take a rain check on this one prepare to Journey to the Land of the Dead where the undead will welcome you with not so open arms and definitely not a friendly smile so step into the murky fog to embark on a dangerous Journey but only if you dare number seven strutting on over to sugarland's Distilling Company when we say Gatlinburg has something for everyone to have a good time we truly mean it the next attraction is for you if you're 21 or older receiving a grand rating of 5 from TripAdvisor this attraction has made it to the number two spot of tripadvisor's list of 91 things to do in Gatlinburg you can't skip on this experience at sugarland's Distilling Company which amps up the fun by titillating your senses with an offering of its award-winning Spirits tantalize your taste buds with the best seasonal Spirit samplings accompanied by a seasoned taste maker soak up the Bliss as this experience is topped up by Fun details like tasting notes and ideas for cocktails that'll leave you Spellbound and enthralled this is a stop you need to make if you're stopping by in Gatlinburg number six grabbing an artistic eyeful at the Great Smoky arts and crafts Community any culture vultures here if you've been bitten by the art bug then you might want to drop by at this colorful Community Center which is a hub of The Eclectic Arts every artistic artifact under its creative umbrella has been fashioned and handcrafted with love be it a ceramic mug or a dulcimer you'll absolutely love it how Ally with the artists behind the crafts and discover the unique history behind each Masterpiece straight from the horse's mouth you'll be blown away by the Magnificent array of handmade items to pick and choose from everything from candles to glassware Fine Art to photography is available to inspire and enchant there are Woodworks and breathtaking sculptures to fire up your creative juices so go ahead and dive deep into gatlinburg's treasure chest of artistic Delights number five over to the Gatlinburg Sky Bridge who could have imagined that Gatlinburg is oozing with options to make your family's holidays truly One of a Kind here's another slice of paradise that you need to include in your Gatlinburg Adventures the postcard perfect views afforded by this gorgeous region are a Site for Sore Eyes more so if you view them from The Soaring Heights of a chair lift wow scale dizzying Heights through the stupendous Skylift your next stop is Crockett Mountain where this record breaking beauty is located it happens to be the longest pedestrian bridge located on North American soil the bridge is simply monstrous in size for scale you can imagine its length which exceeds two football fields that's crazy so take in the Magnificent Vistas while you're in town you'll definitely give it a big thumbs up number four hopping over to Hillbilly Golf have a heck of a lot of fun putt-putting as it's called locally Hillbilly Golf is giving all Hillbillies a good name because of the rare and one-of-a-kind experience that it offers your golfing experience will include obstacles with an unmistakable country touch such as outhouses and hills and the cherry on top all this fun takes place Atop A Mountain it's fun for the whole family as the incline rail that takes wannabe golfers up the side of the mountain is a treat in itself so put those golfing skills to good use at the two 18-hole courses offered by this tourist attraction happy golfing number three moving on to the Moonshine Mountain coaster what's better than a roller coaster well a roller coaster that lets you ZIP down a Scenic Mountain that's exactly what this next amazing attraction at Gatlinburg offers so get your clan ready to ZIP down a mountain for a marvelous adventure the fun part you and the kids are definitely in charge here as the single or double Rider coaster cars let you guys decide how you want to control the coaster to enjoy the ride at your own sweet Pace this one will leave your entire Junior Clan quaking in delight and anticipation so Live Life in the Fast Lane for a whole hot minute and take a tour of the Smoky Mountains on your wild roller coaster ride for an amazing thrill this one will leave everyone smiling from ear to ear just make sure you observe the height restrictions number two anakista wanna pump your adrenaline then head over to this humongous Hub and get surprised by its awesome array of activities that include zip lining your family get to experience the thrill of a lifetime with a anakista's dueling ziplining Adventure imagine you and your family zipping alongside each other through the picturesque Smoky Mountains this is as good as an Adventure theme park can get want some old-fashioned fun with the kiddos then head over to the anarchista gem mine and let your kids embark on a gem hunt with the added awesomeness of an interactive waterfall this isn't where the fun ends though you can even have a nighttime walking Adventure shadowed by the light of glittering Stars via astral Lumina an experience of the Lumina Enchanted nightwalk series number one Dollywood located at a mere 10 miles from the heart of Gatlinburg is the indomitable Dollywood that was ranked as the number one theme park in the U.S by TripAdvisor last year so enjoy a day of Frolic and fun with your family with the Park's 50 rides that are absolutely Worlds Apart in terms of their fun Factor head over to Dollywood's Splash Country for some Summer Fun in the Sun take a rumble at the Raging River Rapids grab the little ones for a soak under the creek falls and splash past each other on the tailspin racer this one is a winner hands down hey are you a Wanderer yet if not head on over to our travel blog at wonderfully losttravel.com

Are you ready for an epic family adventure? Discover the natural beauty of Gatlinburg with your entire family. Today, we bring you an exciting family vacation idea in the heart of the Smoky Mountains.

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1. Spectacular Views

If you’re someone who loves being enveloped by mountains everywhere, this one’s for you!

Gatlinburg itself is rife with opportunities to see the grandeur of the Smokies. Travel 407 feet up the Gatlinburg Space Needle for panoramic views of the city and mountains. You take an elevator to the top, so strollers and kids are welcome on the observation deck.

The Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway are excellent options if you’re seeking breathtaking views. The Sky Lift offers chairlift rides, while the Aerial Tramway provides an enclosed gondola experience ideal for families.

Let us help you find all your FAMILY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS!

2. Whitewater Rafting

YES! There is rafting here.

Whitewater rafting along the Little Pigeon River in Gatlinburg is a thrilling experience not to be missed – to say the very least. With a range of rapids from Class I to Class IV, there’s something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned rafters.

Whitewater rafting allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of greater Tennessee. As you paddle down the river, you’ll be surrounded by stunning landscapes, dense forests, and towering mountains. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the riverbanks, too!

Love the idea of a family vaca? You don’t want to miss our 6 Family Vacation Ideas Your Kids Will Love!

3. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat Adventure allows you to sail over the Shark Lagoon, with just three inches of glass separating you from the awe-inspiring predators of the deep. There’s also the Penguin Playhouse, where a colony of African penguins showcases their perfected parade.

As you explore the diverse exhibits of the aquarium, prepare to be amazed by the moving glide paths that allow you to soar alongside graceful rays and majestic sea turtles, meet exotic fish, and come face-to-fin with barracudas, sharks, jellies, eels, and a plethora of other fascinating marine creatures. The knowledgeable animal experts at Ripley’s Aquarium are passionate about both entertaining and educating visitors, providing hands-on experiences like touch tanks and behind-the-scenes encounters.

Walk through the underwater tunnel as sharks gracefully swim overhead and learn about their importance in marine ecosystems. You can even touch a variety of marine creatures, such as jellyfish and horseshoe crabs, at the interactive touch pools.

Need a place to stay? Browse these family friendly vacation rentals!

4. Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Let us say this: Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone visiting Gatlinburg.

With its vast expanse of over 800 miles of hiking trails, the park offers a wide range of options for hikers of every skill level. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging adventure, you’ll find something to suit your preferences.

Beyond the scenic wonders, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife. From black bears, white-tailed deer, elk, and numerous bird species, this is one of the state’s biggest wildlife arenas.

For an ideal hiking experience, check out our HIKING MUST HAVES!

5. Gatlinburg Sky Lift

You can take your Gatlinburg experience to new heights with a ride on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. This iconic attraction offers breathtaking views of downtown Gatlinburg and the majestic Smoky Mountains. During the day or at night, this wonder is one of a kind.

As you ascend on the Sky Lift, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the surrounding natural beauty. And don’t forget to take a souvenir photo at the top!

The Gatlinburg Sky Lift provides a unique and enchanting perspective of the area, allowing you to appreciate the charm and beauty of downtown Gatlinburg from a whole new vantage point.

6. Ober and Anakeesta – The Crown Jewels of Gatlinburg

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure at Ober Gatlinburg and Anakeesta, two must-visit destinations in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Ober Gatlinburg offers thrilling activities year-round, including rides, a mountain coaster, and a rock wall. During the winter months, you can hit the slopes for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. The exhilaration and stunning mountain views make Ober Gatlinburg a favorite among visitors of all ages.

For a different kind of outdoor experience, head to Anakeesta, where you’ll find a magical mountaintop playground. Take a scenic Chondola ride to the summit and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. Explore the treetop canopy walk, zip line through the forest, or relax in the tranquil gardens. Families with kids will also enjoy the whimsical Treehouse Village Playground, where little ones can climb, slide, and play to their heart’s content.

Both Ober Gatlinburg and Anakeesta capture the spirit of adventure and the natural splendor of Gatlinburg, unlike any other place in the city. These fascinating family-friendly attractions in the city’s heart will create lasting memories for kids and adults alike.

Find more Family Vacation Destinations you don’t want to miss!

7. Mysterious Mansion

Step into a self-guided tour of a three-story haunted mansion. Navigate through secret passageways, winding staircases, and eerie dark corridors, never knowing what terrifying surprises await you in each foreboding room.

For over 35 years, Mysterious Mansion has been delighting and terrifying visitors to the Smoky Mountains. As you make your way through the shadowy depths, be prepared for unexpected scares and hair-raising encounters that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

8. Stroller Accessibility

One of the great advantages of visiting Gatlinburg with your family is how stroller-friendly it is. You can easily take your stroller to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle or on a gondola ride to Anakeesta. Sugarlands Visitors Center can provide guidance on stroller-accessible trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, ensuring everyone can enjoy the beauty of nature.

9. Easy Transportation and Accessibility

This is what makes Gatlinburg the perfect family vacation destination. Getting around Gatlinburg is a breeze. The entire city is within walking distance, making it especially favorable for families with strollers and little legs. Enjoy leisurely strolls through the charming streets as you explore the various attractions and shops.

Additionally, Gatlinburg offers a trolley system that provides an affordable and convenient mode of transportation. With affordable fares, the trolley stops at major attractions throughout Gatlinburg, allowing you to easily navigate the city without the hassle of finding parking. (And parking is not easy here!)

If you’re looking for equally affordable and comfortable accommodations, consider staying at the Greystone Lodge on the River. Situated in an ideal location across from Anakeesta and next to the aquarium and trolley stop, it provides easy access to the city’s main attractions.

10. Rich in History and Culture

For more curious adventurers, Gatlinburg is also known for its rich history and culture. If you go on the Tennessee Heritage Trail, you’ll encounter old cottages, schoolhouses, and homesteads that tell the stories of the area’s earliest settlers.

During Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales, a summer celebration of Appalachian culture and history, street performers entertain with storytelling, singing, dancing, and traditional music. It’s a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn and appreciate the heritage of the region.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, natural beauty, or family-friendly attractions, Gatlinburg, TN has it all. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your unforgettable family vacation today!

Stay tuned for the best travel tips and hottest destination recommendations here on Wanderfully Lost – including more family travel guides.

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