On the must-do list is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Voted America’s #1 Aquarium by TripAdvisor, it is also a top destination for viewing penguins. Yep- right in the heart of Tennessee! Pet stingrays and horseshoe crabs, check out 12 ft. sharks and explore the aquarium in a series of clear underwater tunnels. The beauty of Ripley’s Aquarium is that it’s super family-friendly and groups can take advantage of education programs, tours or even music programs.
Wander over to WonderWorks for over 35,000 square feet of edu-tainment. The building itself is upside-down (the story behind it can be found inside) and within its walls are more than 100 hands on exhibits to intrigue and explore.
A Need for Speed
Race over to NASCAR SpeedPark for 22 race themed go-kart tracks, rides and attractions. The twists and turns are thrilling and the collection of NASCAR memorabilia is the biggest in the Smokies.
Zip over the to The Track Family Recreation Center for a fast ride on a three-story go-kart track or a crazy free-fall into oversized safety cushions. Bumper cars, bumper boats, mini-golf and bungee round out a full day of fun!
Goats on the Roof?
Here’s an attraction that’s sure to get your attention! The Coaster at Goats on the Roof is an alpine coaster, topping speeds of 30 mph and careening down a mile-long track. Follow your ride with homemade ice cream, gem mining and some quality time with the goats!
Shows, Shows and More Shows
While the Smoky Mountains offer a plethora of intoxicating adventures, I’m looking forward to kicking back in a comfy seat and enjoying one of the many superb shows available. Country Tonite, Magic Beyond Belief and the Smoky Mountain Opry are on my short list of energetic and engaging performances. There are so many fantastic shows that are family and group friendly country classics, comedy, gospel, Broadway, pop, dancing, singing- even live animals! Dazzling special effects and world-class performers make for outstanding entertainment.
When visiting a destination in the middle of a mountain paradise, the word island doesn’t quite fit. Unless, of course, it’s The Island in Pigeon Forge! The Island IS a destination, with eating, shopping, play and stay options in one exciting entertainment complex. Ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, get lost in the Mirror Maze or check out the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Use your wits in the Escape Game, jump into the Thunderdome, or take a ride that requires all senses at the 7D Dark Ride Adventure. Foodies (like myself) will love the restaurants, food carts and eateries while shoppers (like myself) will love the 35+ retail and specialty shops. There’s even a four-star Margaritaville Island Hotel where guests can waste away in complete comfort!
As stated at the outset of these posts, I have never been to the Smokies. As I finish writing this, I am making reservations for my great Smoky Mountain Adventure. I might even include my husband and kids in my plans!