Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Krenda Frushour and 13 other parents have been here

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  • Visited: October 2013
  • Submitted: Dec 11, 2013
  • Traveled with:
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Rd, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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Nature at its best

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Three waterfalls in the deep creek area (the southern part of the park) are easily accessed via strollers. Laurel Falls is a paved hike, but pavement is uneven.

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Amelia, Ohio

  • Visited: September 2011
  • Submitted: Sep 21, 2013
  • Traveled with:
    Big Kids (6-8) and Tweens (9-12)

Skylift Gatlinburg

765 Parkway Dr, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)

Top o' the world

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Staying close to the main strip can cut down on your driving time during peak travel season. You can walk to most places if you stay close to the strip.

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Plainfield, Indiana

  • Visited: April 2013
  • Submitted: Apr 8, 2013
  • Traveled with:
    Tweens (9-12) and Teens (13+)

Ripley Aquarium of the Smokies

88 River Rd, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)

Something we enjoyed but won't pay to do again.

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Tips for Families

Keep a close eye on little ones--it's very crowded and there was lots of pushing from older children who weren't being watched as carefully. If hungry, feeding frenzy, the restaurant at the aquarium, is crowded and expensive. They did have a special where you could buy a large pizza for $14...which is what we did. Kids meals, snacks, etc were very overpriced...but the drinks do get free refills. Gift shop--the only exit--is crowded and, as expected expensive. But right outside the entrance to the gift shop is a penny press machine. Makes for an inexpensive souvenir.

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Greenwood, Indiana

  • Visited: July 2010
  • Submitted: Mar 19, 2013
  • Traveled with:
    Little Kids (3-5), Big Kids (6-8) and Tweens (9-12)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Rd, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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Average user rating (3 Reviews)

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)

was a wonderful family vacation

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Tips for Families

have fun

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Destination Pro

Eminence, Kentucky

  • Visited: June 2012
  • Submitted: Jan 31, 2013
  • Traveled with:
    Tots (0-2)

Skylift Gatlinburg

765 Parkway Dr, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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Fun Weekend Getaway

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Tips for Families

So much to do, you have to pick and choose!

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  • Visited: June 2011
  • Submitted: Dec 26, 2012
  • Traveled with:
    Tots (0-2), Little Kids (3-5) and Big Kids (6-8)

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Rd, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

| Map More Info


Average user rating (3 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tots (0-2)
  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)

Outdoor fun for all!

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Tips for Families

Pack a picnic lunch and a swim suit. Chimney Tops picnic area or Little Greenbriar Picnic area are our favorites and have shaded picnic tables and a river to get wet in! Don't forget the sunscreen and a lawnchair, you will be there all afternoon! Visit one of the visitor centers on your first day to get maps and suggestions from the park rangers on what is appropriate for your group's skill level. You can also pick up information on the Junior Ranger Program and start working on a Junior Ranger badge. The Cades Cove driving tour is the most popular activity in the park. Plan to arrive early (by 10:00am) to avoid the traffic that builds as the day goes on. This will probably take most of the day so pack a picnic lunch. There are evening hay rides through Cades Cove which offer great wildlife viewing opportunities. Reserve your spot in advance. Be sure to read the park's newspaper which lists ranger led activities for the month. We have seen a school house presentation, been on salamader hikes, watched fireflies come out, and sat around campfires learning about the people who called the Smoky Mountains home.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

We like to rent a house with washer and dryer, full kitchen (for easy breakfasts), and hot tub. We can get enough bedrooms we can spread out and everyone can have their own bed. Lots of the homes have extra amenities, like pool tables, free internet, porch swings with a view, and more! I use Moutain Rentals of Gatlinburg, but there are many others out there.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

Don't miss the Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge for dinner one evening. Be sure to arrive early (by 5pm) or risk waiting an hour or more for a table. Great homestyle cooking with portions large enough for 2-3 people (or save the leftovers and have dinner the next night too!) The Smoky Mountain Brewery in Gatlinburg has awesome microbrews and is family friendly. They have coloring menus with crayons for the kids and kid friendly food too!

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Senior Traveler

Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Visited: July 2009
  • Submitted: Aug 26, 2012
  • Traveled with:
    Teens (13+)

Best Western Zoder’s Inn Gatlinburg

402 PARKWAY, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Sleeper sofa
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Outdoor pool


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Best Hotel in Gatlinburg

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Skylift Gatlinburg

765 Parkway Dr, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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A tradition I've kept since I could remember. Every time I go here -- I must ride the Sky Lift. No questions asked. I pay my dues ($11), ride up the rocky, barely holding onto the cable chair, and enjoy the view. Being one who tends to have a severe case of vertigo when I look down, this is one example where it doesn't really affect me except for the first part of the trip up. Once my eyes get adjusted to the route, all is well. If you have this same problem -- try this trick. Look straight in front of you or look up. Don't look down until you start ascending. Once you've started ascending, it really isn't that bad. Side note  - Wear closed toe shoes when you ride this. Unless you want to take off your shoes...

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum

800 Parkway Dr, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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In a tourist trap town hosting dozens of brightly lit, fantastcal attractions,  the Ripley's Museum was pretty par for the course. It was interesting enough, but di...

Ripley's Haunted Adventure

908 Parkway Dr, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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Kids went in and said it was just jump out at you robots, etc...said not one live person tried ...

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