Kids hiking near streamWhere a kid can be a kid.

Whether your a kid from the country or from the city, kids will find plenty to keep them interested, engaged and entertained in the surrounding scenic mountains or in attraction-packed downtown Gatlinburg. We’re one of the best family-friendly vacation destinations for young explorers and outdoor-loving kids, with one of the largest natural playgrounds in America, Great Smoky Mountains National Park right at our doorstep.

Explore mountain trails, discover native wildlife, or find a swimming hole. Try fishing, camping, horseback riding or hiking on more than 800 miles of trails. Ski, snowboard, slide or tube at Ober Mountain. Zipline through the treetops right in town, or book an unforgettable rafting adventure on class-IV whitewater. Action-packed and always fun, family vacations are one of Gatlinburg’s biggest draws.

Although Gatlinburg is surrounded by the mountains and nature, downtown also offers its own variety of unique delights. Rev your engine and race a friend on a go-cart track. Find fun in a mirror maze or mysterious museum, soar to new heights at the sky lift or spy your surroundings from the Space Needle. Putt for par on some of the funnest mini-golf courses you’ll ever see, and don’t leave without visiting Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, voted the #1 aquarium in the nation by TripAdvisor.

family-picnic-gatlinburg-2Let loose like kids, relax like adults

Moms and dads can enjoy a lovely stroll along the riverwalk or in one of our three city parks. In the Smokies, there are paved trails at Sugarlands and Laurel Falls, and if you’re in great shape, it’s paved all the way to the top of Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the Smokies. Hop out of the car and absorb the breathtaking scenery. Don’t forget to pack your basket because there are perfect places everywhere to take a break and enjoy a picnic.

Downtown Gatlinburg’s quaint and plentiful art galleries and arts & craft shops are tucked away amid eye-popping attractions, shows and great family restaurants. With five malls and over 400 downtown shops, stores and galleries, more than a hundred more can be found on the Arts & Crafts Loop. Grab a bite at one of our world-famous pancake houses, or take the family for a fancy steak dinner. Wind things down by quietly witnessing a spectacular Smoky Mountain sunrise or sunset. Even the kids will appreciate the boundless beauty that nature provides.


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Fun for all ages

Active older adults love the warmth and walkability of Gatlinburg, not to mention the artists. The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community include the largest group of independent artisans in North America, and their shops are strung along a picturesque, eight-mile loop, just a short drive or trolley ride from downtown.

During your visit, the rich history of Appalachia is well worth discovery. Designated stops in Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are all part of the Tennessee Heritage Trail, which includes three pathways. The History Trail takes you to homesteads and historic buildings throughout the park, including the original homestead of Noah “Bud” Ogle, along with working mills, preserved cabins and churches from early-1800s settlers.

Accompany the grandkids to the shark lagoon or penguin playhouse at Ripley’s Aquarium for an exciting and educational experience. Stroll down memory lane at Hollywood Star Cars Museum or discover a fascinating collection at the one and only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. No matter where you go or what you do, Gatlinburg is an undeniably charming town with something for everyone, so bring the whole family.Family at Penguin Playhouse