The school holidays are a great time for families to take some time off from their daily routines and reconnect with each other. There is nothing better than going on a family trip to Gatlinburg.
The world is your oyster, so the possibilities are endless when planning a family trip. But if you’re looking for a fun and unique experience, nothing beats a mountain getaway.
The crisp mountain air, cascading waterfalls, and serene landscapes create a wonderful exploring environment. There are plenty of activities that the family can do in the mountains, ranging from hiking to skiing and snowboarding.
Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, is worth considering if you’re looking for one such spot.
Make your family trip to Gatlinburg an extraordinary one with these few tips.
Decide the Time of the Year
While the Smoky Mountains are always beautiful, every season offers something unique. In spring and summer, you can hike, explore the trails, and take in the stunning view of the landscapes. Autumn brings gorgeous foliage, perfect for some Instagram-worthy shots. While in winter, you can ski, snowboard down the slopes, or even ride a sleigh.
But there’s more that you must consider when deciding the time of year to visit. For example, depending on how far you are traveling, the weather can be a critical factor in deciding when to go. Also, you may have to consider the crowds. Oh, and your children’s school holidays.
Find the Perfect Lodging
Where you stay can significantly impact your trip. Gatlinburg offers a wide range of lodging options. But nothing beats the comfort of the lavish Gatlinburg hotels that offer various services. You can look for amenities like a well-equipped kitchen, in-house laundry, and complimentary breakfast. Plus, if you can find one with access to a fitness center and swimming pool, it’ll become the ultimate family accommodation.
You must also consider your group size to evaluate the options. Some of the hotels have larger rooms that can accommodate a family comfortably. Pricing being a crucial factor, search for the best deals that fit your requirements.
Look for the Best Seasonal Festivals and Events
Gatlinburg is always bustling with activities. From music and art festivals to comedy shows, you can find plenty of events for the entire family to enjoy. Make sure to check out the schedule of events before you plan your trip so that you can make the most of your stay.
The Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run and the Synchronous Firefly show in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are some of the most awe-inspiring festivals. So, do check out the local listings and plan your trip accordingly.
Pack the Right Gear
No matter the season, bring along some essential items for your family’s mountain trip. Depending on the activities you intend to do, you may need to bring along a few items, like hiking shoes, winter gear, and sunscreen.
Don’t forget to pack a first-aid kit, snacks, and extra water bottles. And while outdoor activities can be fun, safety should always be your priority. So, sunscreen and insect repellants should be among the items you pack.
Relish the Local Cuisine
Nothing connects you to the culture of a place better than its food. So, once you arrive in the Smoky Mountains, take some time to explore the local eateries. The region offers some of the best Southern cuisines, with plenty of options for vegetarians.
From BBQ feasts to moonshine tastings, you can taste it all. Also, sample the local desserts like apple fritters and fried pies. And if you’re an early bird, go for the traditional Appalachian breakfast. The pancakes and bacon are out of this world.
Make a List of the Must-Do Activities
There are plenty of activities to do in the Smoky Mountains. You can choose from various fun adventures, from hiking trails to horseback riding and zip-lining; Gatlinburg has a lot to offer. If you’re looking for something more thrilling, the white water rafting and kayaking spots will be a great addition to your itinerary.
Don’t forget to add some unique attractions like Ober Gatlinburg and Dollywood to the list. The charming town of Gatlinburg also offers plenty of entertainment for the entire family; you can laugh your heart out at the Comedy Barn or take a scenic ride on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift.
Shop at the Right Places
The best part about the Smoky Mountains is that you can buy souvenirs at a fraction of the cost. You can find everything from handcrafted jewelry to quality leather goods, all at great prices. So, don’t forget to shop around the area and snag some unique souvenirs. The jams and jellies, pottery, and homemade quilts are some items you must bring back home.
Luckily, haggling works in most shops, so don’t forget to use your bargaining skills wisely.
Know How to Save Money
While family vacations can get expensive, there are a few ways to save money. Book budget-friendly accommodation and pack your own meals instead of dining out too often. Plus, if your lodging is equipped with a kitchen, you can save even more money by cooking your meals.
It’s also good to check for discounts and coupon codes for attractions before visiting. Group discounts are mostly offered for families, so try to make the most of them.
We also highly recommend using the public transportation system. If your resort is located within the town, you can opt for buses or trains to get around.
Plan Game Nights
Finally, don’t forget to plan some game nights with your family. Whether it’s a round of Scrabble or an intense session of Monopoly, game nights offer a chance to bond and have fun together. You can also try out a few outdoor activities like bocce ball, horseshoes, or cornhole. And let’s not forget the stitches of laughter you’ll share when playing classics like Charades and Pictionary.
Since the Great Smoky’s offer an expansive playground in the heart of nature, you will never be short of fun activities. Just make sure you bring your game spirit and let the fun begin.
The Smoky Mountains offer an incredible opportunity to have the ultimate family vacation. There’s something for everyone, from outdoor activities to local eateries and shopping. But even if you plan on visiting another destination, the same tips apply to make your family vacation more enjoyable and memorable. With a little planning and preparation, you can relax and enjoy an incredible family vacation.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for a fantastic holiday!