We have so many popular and wonderful vacation destinations here in Florida, but if we want a mountain view, we have to travel. We recently Tennessee and Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with kids was amazing.
Gatlinburg is located at the entrance of the Smokey Mountain National Park. Just a short 10 minute drive away is Pigeon Forge, making it three destinations in one. Walking around downtown Gatlinburg there are many stores, restaurants and attractions calling to you. We took our girls to Anakeesta and I have to say, it was amazing.
Located at the top of a mountain, the location of Anakeesta is perfect. In the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, you can take a Chondola up the mountain to an area filled with stores, restaurants, an alpine slide, treetop rope bridge walk, gem mining, treehouse play area and even a zipline.
The highest point of the park features a Vista View gardens area. Here you can see to Kentucky on a clear day and test yourself with sections of the platform including a glass bottom to the areas below. Rocking chairs situated all around to take in the views, you can leisurely enjoy all the park has to offer and spend almost an entire day doing it.
Gatlinburg also has a variety of fun mini-golf and alpine slide places to entertain everyone. We did Hillbilly Golf which is perched on the side of the mountain and truly enjoyed ourselves (and I won).
Add Pigeon Forge to Your Trip
Just a short drive to Pigeon Forge will take you to Dollywood. Dollywood isn’t the only attraction in the area. You can also enjoy go-cart tracks galore, the awesome water show at The Island while you’re in Pigeon Forge. The Island also has a ropes course, giant Ferris wheel, 4D ride, mirror maze and more. Plus shops and restaurants giving a full day of fun.
Make sure wherever you stay, to set at least one day to hike in the Smoky Mountain National Park to the many waterfalls and old buildings throughout the park. Or do the drive through the park to enjoy the many stop points for views and just the natural beauty of the park. With so much to do, your entire family will enjoy a visit to the mountains.
Melody is a graduate of Jacksonville University, married a Jax Beach resident, moved away for 12 years, then returned to the area in 2016. Together they have two girls. Melody works as owner/photographer of Melody Coarsey Photography, she loves yoga, family, traveling, dining with a view and the ocean.