Recently we took a look at some of the best places for travelers to check out fall foliage around Sundance Vacations properties, one of those destinations that certainly stands out is the Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee.
While we know that a lot of travelers enjoy experiencing everything that the fall season and nature has to offer, other travelers don’t mind coming out of the woods every once and a while. The Sundance Vacations properties in the area — located in the towns of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, from north to south, respectively — are located within driving distance of not only the amazing natural wonders of the Smoky Mountains, but the attractions in the nearby towns as well!
As always, Sundance Vacations wants to make sure that all travelers are prepared with some ideas of things to do while in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Check out our list, watch the video and feel free to let us know some of your favorites in the comments below!
Get back to nature
With over 150 trails and nearly 800 miles of trails inside of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, getting back to nature will be made easy! And considering that the park is just about 30 minutes from our farthest property, it will make it even easier on Sundance Vacations’ travelers.
Travelers can hike, or bike, through the largest national park east of the Rocky Mountains and see dozens of waterfalls and a wide array of wildlife like Black Bears, rabbits, wolves, foxes, deer and more.
Did we mention that it’s free to get in?
With over 244,000 acres of land in the state of Tennessee, and another 276,000 if you cross the border into North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most-visited national park in the United States, seeing approximately nine to 10 million visitors annually. To see a map of the park, click here
If you’d like to view nature, but not actually get into it, there are multiple stretches of road that will allow you to still get a feel for all of the beauty that the Smokies have to offer. Consider the 32-mile stretch of US 441 that features some picturesque overlooks and, of course, picnic areas to enjoy a meal along the way. Along the way you’ll see the Rockefeller Memorial which marks the spot where President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 1940.
To get an idea of the beauty of this area, consider this quote from the day that FDR dedicated the park in 1940.
“There are trees here that stood before our forefathers ever came to this continent; there are brooks that still run as clear as on the day the first pioneer cupped his hand and drank from them. In this Park, we shall conserve these trees, the pine, the red-bud, the dogwood, the azalea, the rhododendron, the trout and the thrush for the happiness of the American people.”
During the fall, one of the major attractions of the park includes fall foliage. A hike, bike ride or drive though the park offers some amazing views as the mountains of the park are set ablaze in many colors. To get an idea of the best time for fall color change, refer to this page on the National Park Service website.
When looking for some family fun for the day, consider a trip to the nearby Dollywood Amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Although summer days are over for 2016, and the onsite waterpark is now closed as of Labor Day, the theme park will remain open for the rest of the year and offer some fun events for fall as well as the upcoming Christmas and winter season. During the month of October, hours in the park are between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. with the exception of Saturday which is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. At this time, Dollywood advises travelers that the best time to avoid larger crowds is during the weekdays. For a full listing of the parks hours, click here.
Aside from the thrill rides and shows inside the park, there is also the National Southern Gospel Harvest Festival, going on between September 30 and October 29, which features singers, music and more! Travelers can also take a ride on the Sky Zip Zipline — which is also open until Oct. 29 — for an even more thrilling ride. Tickets are separate for the zipline and will set you back $39.
To get a full park map of Dollywood, click here.
Shopping, attractions and more
Travelers that love to find those amazing deals, no matter where they are, can hit the Tanger Outlets in Sevierville, Tennessee as they are a perfect place to expand your wardrobe. Treat yourself to something new or buy something for someone special. With over 50 major brands and stores, travelers will be able to shop till they drop and find those must-have items. Consider saving a little extra space in your luggage as you may be coming home with some new items from the outlets! To view the hours as well as a directory of stores at the outlets, click here.
Near Pigeon Forge, history buffs may be interested in visiting the Titanic Museum. Billed as the world’s largest Titanic museum attraction, travelers can learn all about the fateful voyage of the large ship and visitors can take part in a number of interactive exhibits and see nearly $4.5 million worth of Titanic artifacts. Also, in Pigeon Forge, consider stopping at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Show for feast accompanied by a high-spirited show filled with music, horse-riding stunts and more! Both attractions are just minutes away from all of our Sundance Vacations properties in the area!
Downtown Gatlinburg is also a hub for attractions and things to do within the Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee. Home to the Ripley’s Aquarium and Believe It Or Not Museums, families can enjoy a day and then grab something to eat in one of the many local restaurants. Travelers should also be sure to check out the Gatlinburg Space Needle, a 407-foot-tall observation deck that offers 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains. Although the Gatlinburg version of the Space Needle comes in at about 200 feet shorter than the one in Seattle, the structure is still nearly 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty!
For something a little different — and perfect for the Halloween season — consider a trip to “The Captured” interactive live escape game. Set with a spooky plot that is perfect for this time of year, travelers will need to race against the clock to find a way out of this rather peculiar situation. Best of all, it’s located in the building right at the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle!
Grab a drink, or two
With several local breweries and wineries in the area, travelers will have no problem finding a place to wet their whistle.
Places like the Smoky Mountain Brewery, located in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, offer both delicious eats as well as crafted beer selections that will have any enthusiast happy.
If you are looking for a more authentic feel for your Tennessee trip, make a stop at the Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery. Like the Smoky Mountain Brewery, Ole Smoky has locations in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, making it easily accessible for travelers. Take a tour of the facility, learn more about how they make their moonshine and taste a few of the many flavors too! With many events as well as live music, be sure to put the Ole Smoky Distillery on your list of many things to do in the Smoky Mountains!
To find out more of the many awesome things to do in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee, check out the Things to Do page for the Smoky Mountains on the Sundance Vacations website!
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