Family-Friendly Vacation Ideas in the Smoky Mountains

Posted by Darryl Payne in Things To Do

The Smoky Mountains are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southeastern USA, and with good reason. They have some of the most beautiful views and scenery in the whole of the United States, and more than their fair share of history.

Better still, you can add the Smokies to your itinerary for all sorts of different travel plans, such as if you're looking at maybe taking a relaxing cruise from Ft. Lauderdale and want to plan some time in the Smokies once you're back on land. And why not? After all, it's a fantastic way to spend a little time with the family and get back in touch with nature.

Many hiking opportunities in the Smoky Mountains

Family-Friendly Vacation Ideas in the Smoky Mountains

1. Go hiking

The Smoky Mountains are a hiker's paradise, in part because there's so much to discover. You'll witness all of nature's beauty and diversity in a single place and go home feeling more in tune with nature than ever before. Remember, though, that if you're planning on going hiking then you're going to want to pack light and carry only the bare essentials. The more you carry, the quicker you'll tire and the less you'll enjoy the experience.

2. Go bike riding

Not all parts of the Smokies are easily accessible, but some places are better than others and some even make bike riding a part of their marketing. At Cades Cove, for example, they close the ride to cars on Wednesdays and Saturdays so that it's safer for cyclists to take the 11-mile loop.

Ride a horse in the Smoky Mountains

3. Go horse riding

If you don't want to go by bike or on foot, another option is to go on horseback. There's no shortage of riding schools in the area, and if you're not much of a rider then many places offer a horse-drawn cart service, too. If you've got a horse of your own, you're also in luck – over half of the trails in the national park allow horses, and many of them have resources such as stables on hand, too.

4. Go boating

The Smoky Mountains have so many different rivers, streams, and waterways that you could spend months exploring them and never have to retrace your steps. Just make sure that you're allowed to boat or swim in the area or consider playing it safe by going to one of the many tubing outlets along the trail.

Camping at Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains

5. Go camping

There's no better way to bring the family together while reconnecting with nature than to spend a few days camping in the Smoky Mountains. Just make sure that you clean up after yourself, following a “Leave No Trace” philosophy. Take your trash and gear with you to help to keep this beautiful piece of nature tidy so others can enjoy.

Need to narrow down your options on where to camp? Check out our campground overview on various campgrounds to be able to make the best decision based on what kind of camping activities you are interested in, from hiking to whitewater rafting.

Now that you know just a few of the highlights that you have to look forward to if you take a family trip to the Smoky Mountains, it's over to you to start planning your visit and working on an itinerary. Of course, there's so much to do there that even if you tick off everything on this list, you'll still only be scratching the surface of what the Smokies have to offer. Happy travels.



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