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5 MORE Awesome Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

If the first five attractions dont keep me busy enough when I finally get to the Smokies, these next five certainly will! Here are five more awesome things to do with your group or on your own when visiting the Smoky Mountains
Family Fun


On the must-do list is Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies. Voted Americas #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 Ripleys Aquarium is that its 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?

Heres an attraction thats 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, Im 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 friendlycountry classics, comedy, gospel, Broadway, pop, dancing, singing- even live animals! Dazzling special effects and world-class performers make for outstanding entertainment.

The Island

When visiting a destination in the middle of a mountain paradise, the word island doesnt quite fit. Unless, of course, its 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. Theres 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 just might even include my husband and kids in my plans! When you are ready to plan YOUR group trip to Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or Gatlinburg, dont forget to check the Group Travel Odyssey page for a simple and convenient way to request group pricing at the best accommodations, attractions, entertainment venues or restaurants. If you prefer to let someone else handle the details, contact the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures at 800-774-7337 or info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com. Maybe Ill see you there!

 

 

5 Awesome Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

Full disclosure much to my regret and dismay, I have never visited the Smoky Mountains. My husband has been there (many times), my family has been there and my travel industry colleagues have been there. My kids friends have been there and several high school traveling groups I know have been there. I guess the take away from this intro is that everyone I know has visited and fallen in love with the Smoky Mountains. I seem to be the only one who has yet to experience the splendor of this magnificent spot tucked away in Tennessee. I plan to rectify that very soon so that I can write with first-hand knowledge and experience!

Based on discussions with these many and varied groups, it is abundantly clear that Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville are outstanding destinations for families, students, sports groups, performance groups and faith-based travelers. There really is something for everyone in this delightfully appealing region of the country!

Go “Glamping”
Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Smokies is Aunt Bugs Cabin Rentals, a leader in luxury cabins in Pigeon Forge. Cabins range from one to eight bedrooms, and are surrounded by shopping, shows and stunning vistas. Amenities can include jacuzzis, private indoor pools, game rooms, theater rooms or even rock climbing walls- theres a cabin for every budget or group size! I love the outdoors but appreciate creature comforts when planning my lodging- Aunt Bugs definitely unites the two in spectacular fashion!


Dolly Partons Dixie Stampede
If youre looking for a break from the usual vacation dining experience, look no further than Dolly Partons Dixie Stampede. It really is a dining experience! Horses, pageantry, trick riding and a good ole rivalry between the North and South, the Dixie Stampede will keep you cheering while enjoying a fabulous, southern-style meal. Bring a group and salute the red, white and blue!


Defy Gravity
There are two really cool opportunities to defy gravity while in the Smokies- Flyaway Indoor Skydiving and Outdoor Gravity Park. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving lets you experience the freedom of skydiving in the safety of an indoor wind tunnel. There is nothing more exhilarating than the moment you realize you are soaring through the air with nothing more than a flight suit (well, and an instructor, goggles helmet, gloves and earplugs!)

Roll down a 1000 ft. hill in a spaceship-like OGO (wet or dry- depending on the season). Outdoor Gravity Park is the only place in America where you can experience three, unique zorb experiences. Individuals or groups of 3 can roll along zig-zagging tracks or speed down the hill in a ventilated and sometimes wet giant plastic ball. This is extreme adventure like no other!


Take to the Water (or the Trees!)
Whitewater Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors is a great option for groups or individuals looking to raft the scenic Pigeon River. Class III-IV whitewater for ages 8 and up or milder Class I-II river floats for ages 3 and up are available with a professional guide leading you all the way. Experience the splendor of the Smoky Mountains from an entirely new perspective. I will be choosing the float option ????

Start the day Rafting in the Smokies with Class I-IV rapids, or take to the tree tops with a zip line course. You can hike, complete a ropes challenge course, or cross a 150 ft. suspension bridge to a 10-acre Adventure Island and playground. This is family friendly fun at its best!


Titanic Adventures Awaits
The ill-fated voyage of the Titanic holds a unique place in American history. It continues to intrigue and beckons us to explore the stories of its passengers. Now visitors can learn more about Titanic at the immense, ship-shaped permanent attraction in Pigeon Forge. Completely interactive and filled with artifacts, groups can investigate all the museum has to offer, even participate in the Titanics First-Class Dining Experience.

If this agenda doesnt wear me out when I visit the Smokies, the next five awesome attractions will definitely test my travel mettle- read more in my next post about the dazzling and fun-filled Smoky Mountains!