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The Smokies: 5 Things You Must Do

Your guide to making the most out of your trip to the mountains...

By Jaquelyn CannonPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
The Smokies: 5 Things You Must Do
Photo by Div Pithadia on Unsplash

The mountains have always been my happy place. I would take a trip to the smokies over a trip to the beach any day. So, as somewhat of a self-proclaimed coneissuer, I’m here to tell you the 5 things you must do if you ever find yourself in the Smoky Mountains (Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area).

1. The Anakeesta

This was one of the most fun days we had during my most recent trip to the mountains. The Anakeesta is a small theme park (with rides, shops, “tree houses” for kids to play on, beautiful sights, restaurants, and bars). It is off of the Gatlinburg strip and the actual park itself is kind of “hidden treasure” because you have to take a lift up to it. We were amazed when we got up there and saw just how much stuff is up there! In my opinion, what makes the Anakeesta a “must-do” (especially for families with younger children) is that there are plenty of activities for people of all ages. I view it as one of the more family friendly activities in Gatlinburg.

2. Ripley’s Aquarium

Here is another attraction for people of all ages! We spent our first full day at this aquarium and it was SO worth it. There are several different areas as it is an extremely large aquarium so prepare to spend most of your day here. My entire family was in awe as we walked through the aquarium (especially the shark tunnel) and it is an educational experience for the kiddos! It is a parenting win if your kids are still learning - even on vacation! The last thing I will say about the aquarium is that you will want to bring some money with you as they have a very cool gift shop that you will want to get some souvenirs from!

3. Ober Gatlinburg

This was another attraction that we made almost a whole day out of. Ober Gatlinburg has several activities that you can enjoy including ice skating, a small zoo-like area (with all rescue animals), a mountain coaster, bumper cars on ice, shops, food, a lift, and a maze. My favorite part was the bumper cars on ice and the maze. If you happen to be in the smokies in October then you can also go to Ober Gatlinburg and be there for Oktoberfest.

4. Sky Lift and Sky Bridge

Would I do it again? Probably not. Am I so happy I did it the first time? Absolutely. This was one of the most adrenaline filled activities we did while in Gatlinburg. The Sky Lift takes you up high into the mountains where you then have the opportunity to walk across the sky bridge that has a glass middle. It was terrifying but so much fun.

5. The Strip

When walking down the strip in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge - you can find endless activities - shopping, eating, bumper cars, indoor skydiving, laser tag, and so much more. Almost every night we were there - we ended our evening by walking down the strip and checking out all the shops.

Though all of these are amazing activities, perhaps one of my favorite parts about visiting the mountains is that you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. I am more of a hermit and my husband is outdoorsy and adventurous so a trip to the mountains is a win-win for us! He gets his adventure in and I get to be in a cabin, looking out at the mountains, and that is good enough for me. :)

Have fun in The Smokies! :)


About the Creator

Jaquelyn Cannon

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places." -Ernest Hemingway

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