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ripley's aquarium of the smokies

5 Family Activities in Gatlinburg You Can Do This Summer

You and your family want a fun, action-packed vacation in the Smoky Mountains, but how do you know what to do? We’re here to help you plan an itinerary with these top family activities in Gatlinburg you can do this summer:

1. Experience thrilling rides and mountain views.

sky bridge gatlinburgThere’s nothing better than a burst of adrenaline from a soaring zipline or twisty mountain coaster! The Dueling Adventure Zipline at Anakeesta offers a thrilling side-by-side zipline with multiple rappels that will have you begging for more! If a mountain coaster is more your speed, we recommend Moonshine Mountain Coaster. Choose from single or double seat cars and control your speed as you zip along the track. Another place you must visit is Gatlinburg SkyPark! Ride the SkyLift up to the top of the mountain, where you can cross the record-breaking SkyBridge. All of these attractions provide incredible views of the Smoky Mountains and a unique experience adults and kids alike will love. 

2. Go shopping along the Gatlinburg Strip.

In between fun attractions, take a little shopping break and look for unique gifts and souvenirs! Baskins Square and The Village have some of the coolest shops to browse, from boutiques to toys and everything in between! There are also plenty of snack shops and candy stores if you happen to need a snack. 

3. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park sign

Just beyond downtown Gatlinburg is the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stop and take a family photo next to the large sign before heading in to explore! If you’d prefer to stay in your car, take the scenic loop through Cades Cove or the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. You’ll be able to see the sights and look for wildlife, and there are plenty of pull-off areas to get out and explore the many historic buildings. Let the kids burn off a little energy by taking them on a short hike, such as the half-mile Sugarlands Nature Trail or the 1-mile roundtrip to Cataract Falls. The Gatlinburg Trail is also a great trail for kids, and it’s also one of the only dog-friendly trails in the national park!

4. Tour a museum or indoor attraction.

Some of the most popular family activities in Gatlinburg are attractions such as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and Believe It or Not! Odditorium, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of family-friendly things to do! Play a round of mini golf or laser tag at Gatlin’s Fun Center or participate in one of their many escape room games! The Mysterious Mansion is another family favorite, as well as the Hollywood Star Cars Museum, which has tons of famous cars from movies and TV! 

5. Eat a delicious meal at our restaurant. 

rack of ribs, mac and cheese, green beans, rolls, and a drink from cumberland jack's in gatlinburgAt Cumberland Jack’s, you can enjoy a delicious meal with your family in a unique atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else. Our menu features Southern classics such as fried chicken, meatloaf, and pulled pork with all your favorite side dishes like real mashed potatoes, fried okra, and mac and cheese. You’d better come extra hungry because we serve up hefty portions! We also offer free refills of water, coffee, tea, and soft drinks, so you get plenty to drink before heading out. 

Now that you know about the best family activities in Gatlinburg, find out where to eat for a day in Gatlinburg. We hope you’ll visit us and the beautiful Smoky Mountains very soon!