Miniature horses at family-friendly Skyland Ranch in Sevierville TN
Photo Credit: Skyland Ranch

Plan Your Family Vacation In The Smokies

Plan your Smoky Mountain family vacation for adventure and fun.

Bring your family on a vacation they’ll remember forever in the Great Smoky Mountains. It's one of the best places to vacation with kids. World-class attractions, restaurants serving Southern classics and luxurious places to stay are all surrounded by the beauty of the Smokies. Take in nature and family-friendly fun on a Great Smoky Mountains family vacation.

Places for Families to Stay in the Smokies

Eagle’s Ridge – Pigeon Forge

Photo Credit: @theterrijohnson

There’s nothing more magical than staying in a cabin tucked away in the mountains of Tennessee. Book a cabin surrounded by nature, spacious enough for the whole family, at Eagle’s Ridge. Their many cabin options have 1-9 bedrooms with the largest property sleeping up to 30 individuals. Many have a game room, shuffle board, wrap around porches, complimentary WiFi and a pool table. Some cabins have their own theater rooms and swimming pool access. 

Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel & Waterpark Resort - Sevierville

Book a stay at Wilderness at the Smokies to wow your kids with a Tennessee family resort stay that includes Tennessee's largest indoor waterpark. The new Kaleidoscope Kavern Lazy River, indoor tube slides, surf rider, a 10,000-square-foot wave pool and a multi-level water play feature will keep the kids entertained for hours. Adventure Forest is a family-friendly adventure center with laser tag, a three-story ropes course, miniature golf and more. Suites feature one or two bedrooms and even bunkbeds. Your family will have plenty of space to relax after days filled with fun. 

Family-Friendly Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

Dollywood – Pigeon Forge

Heart-pounding thrills on rides and water slides can be experienced at Dollywood, Tennessee’s No. 1 ticketed attraction. With extended summer hours, you and your family can explore all there is to see and do at Dollywood. More than 40 rides, award-winning dining and entertainment will have you coming back for more. Kids will love Wildwood Grove, a collection of kid-friendly rides and attractions like the Wildwood Creek that winds through the area, the Wildwood Tree which features a collection of dancing butterflies and lights up at night. Cool off at Dollywood’s Splash Country with water slides and rides like Big Bear Plunge, Mountain Scream, Raging River Rapids, TailSpin Race and more. Please note, face masks and face coverings are required for all visitors ages 3 and up. 

Titanic Museum Attraction – Pigeon Forge

Step aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction to learn more about the world’s most famous luxury liner. You’ll receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger or crew member. Walk through the galleries where more than 400 artifacts are on display and discover your passenger or crew member’s fate at the Titanic Memorial where 2,208 names are on the wall. Touch a real iceberg and feel just how cold the water was that fateful night. Marvel at the Grand Staircase, an exact replica of the original. 

Tennessee Museum of Aviation - Sevierville

The Tennessee Museum of Aviation is a 50,000-square-foot museum filled with artifacts tracing the history of the military and aviation through uniforms, aircraft models, memorabilia and a 52-foot "Wave Wall" that traces aviation milestones throughout history. Enter the Aircraft Hangar and be awed by the collection of aircraft like the Douglas A-1H Skyraider and the P-47 Thunderbolts. 

SkyLand Ranch - Sevierville

Photo Credit: SkyLand Ranch

Take the chairlift up to SkyLand Ranch in Sevierville, a family attraction that offers gorgeous Great Smoky Mountain views, rides, shops, eateries, miniature animals and entertainment set on 100 acres. Ride the longest mountain coaster in the Southeast. Your kids will love feeding and petting miniature horses, donkeys, cows, goats and sheep. Grab a rocking chair for live entertainment including concerts, magic shows and lasso performances. 

Anakeesta – Gatlinburg

Enjoy playing, shopping and relaxing at Anakeesta as they’ve recently undergone their largest expansion ever. See the Smoky Mountains from new heights by climbing the AnaVista Tower where you can see as far as Kentucky. The Treeventure Challenge Course is now open with fanciful treehouses connected by a net challenge course, swings and slide. It’s a great challenge for children and adults. Enjoy the many shops offering sweet treats, memorable gifts and trendy fashion pieces. Breathe in fresh air along the 800-foot-long Treetop Skywalk, the longest tree-based bridge in North America. 

Ober Gatlinburg – Gatlinburg

Tennessee's only ski resort, Ober Gatlinburg provides skiing and snowboarding fun for all ages on their many slopes ranging from easy to black diamond slopes. Tubing and ice skating are also available. Spend your spring on the Ober mountaintop for summer tubing. Adjacent to the Ski Mountain Coaster, the Magic Carpet carries you and your tube to the top of the hill where you then slide down a 250-foot lane. Thanks to the lanes being made with synthetic materials, it feels like you are riding on layers of compact snow.

Family-Friendly Restaurants in the Smokies

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant - Sevierville

Let the smell of apple fritters guide you to the Apple Barn & Cider Mill’s Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant or the Applewood Farmhouse Grill, which serves the same beloved dishes as the famous Farmhouse Restaurant with some lighter meals as well. Enjoy every morsel of southern fried chicken, old-fashioned chicken and dumplings, sugar-cured ham or slow-roasted pot roast. Kids can order corn dogs, grilled cheese or chicken legs. They also serve breakfast like ham and cheese omelets, stacks of pancakes and French toast. After your meal, explore the general store, candy factor, creamery, winery and cider bar. 

Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill – Sevierville

If you want barbecue in the Smokies, head to Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill where barbecue melts in your mouth and the portions are large. Start your meal off with T’s Loaded Tater Chips topped with pulled pork, melted cheese and barbecue sauce. The beef brisket plate, tender pulled pork plate, hand-battered catfish and fried chicken are so good, you’ll want seconds. Be sure to try the sides, too, like baked beans packed with smoked pork, potato salad, green beans, baked sweet potatoes and mac and cheese.

Old Mill Restaurant – Pigeon Forge

The Old Mill has been a staple to the community since the 1800s as local families brought wheat, corn and crops to the mill for grinding and to pick up their mail. Today, the restaurant is a gathering place for families and friends over wholesome ingredients in meals like fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, ribs and other Southern classics. Dine in the restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

The Island in Pigeon Forge - Pigeon Forge

With a wealth of dining options, shopping at every turn and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, you can't miss The Island in Pigeon Forge. Enjoy classic family recipes at Paula Deen's Family Kitchen including fried chicken, southern meatloaf and chicken and dumplings. Tiimberwood Grill serves hearty food like ribs, juicy burgers and delectable salads in a lodge-theme setting for a cozy lunch or dinner. The Island also offers plenty of snack options from The Island Creamery where you can get a variety of ice cream delights, Kapop! gourmet popcorn and 2,500 square feet of candy selections at Sweet!. 

Let the beauty of the Great Smoky mountains surround you for a memorable family vacation. Plan your adventure to the Smokies.

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