Family on vacation in a Jeep in the Smoky Mountains
June 13, 2014

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are overflowing with gorgeous mountain and valley views, along with spectacular attractions, world-class theme parks and award-winning attractions. With that many options for vacationers, there’s no secret to having fun in the Smokies, but there are some things to do in Gatlinburg that aren’t regular tourist spots.

Here are some of our favorite spots and some secret tips to finding the most fun your family has ever had!

(See Also: 100,000 People Expected for Gatlinburg 4th of July Fireworks and Parade )

Roaring Fork Motor Trail

Although Cades Cove is one of the best known auto tours in the Smokies, the Roaring Fork Motor Trail is just as picturesque. The narrow, winding road is a 6 mile loop that offers views of mountain streams, historic cabins, preserved buildings and green forests.

This scenic drive is also a great spot for Smoky Mountain wildlife viewing. Guests have spotted bears, deer and turkey from the comfort of their cars! There are also pull-offs for photos and a chance to stretch your legs before venturing on.

There are also trails that lead to historic homesteads and waterfalls on the motor trail. One of our favorites is the Grotto Falls trail because it is a bit shorter with a stunning water view at the end.

With all the nature views and wildlife spotting, this drive could take up to a few hours.

Get directions to Roaring Fork .

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Did you know the longest downhill ride in the U.S. is the Smoky Mountain Alpine lady with childCoaster? This is a secret jewel of the Smokies. Located on Wears Valley Road, the coasters can comfortably hold two, so children can ride with a parent. Children over 38 inches tall can ride as a passenger, and anyone over 56 inches tall can ride alone.

One of the most exciting things about this one mile downhill adventure is the speed control. The driver is in charge of how fast the sled speeds downhill. With maximum speeds of 27 miles per hour, this keeps kids from getting scared if it seems too fast.

General Admission

Adult $15

Children 7-12 $12

Small Children 3-6 $5

Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community

This 8-mile loop in Gatlinburg features nearly 120 specialty shops with the largest group of independent artisans and craftsmen in the country. Inside the shops, you can find stained glass, leatherworking, pottery, ceramics, quilts and jewelry. There are also cafes and restaurants along the loop, including coffee houses and soda shops.

Only three miles from down, the arts and crafts community is easy to find. Turn left at traffic light #3, and continue three miles on Hwy 321N.

More Secrets for Finding Fun Things To Do

  1. Look For Coupons

To save money while on vacation, stop in at a welcome center, and grab some coupon books. There are coupons at area gas stations and restaurants as well, so you can find which attractions are offering special discounts during your visit.

Gatlinburg Welcome Centers

520 Parkway Gatlinburg,

TN 1011 Banner Rd. Gatlinburg, TN

  1. Take a Drive

One of the best ways to find fun things to do is to take a drive. There are so many things to see and do, and you can see more options if you take a drive through downtown and the National Park.

Your family might stumble upon the best part of the vacation, whether an auto tour, attraction or overlook.

  1. Find the Perfect Place to Stay

For the most fun things to do in Gatlinburg, there’s nothing better than a secluded Gatlinburg cabin from Parkside Cabin Rentals. We offer resort cabins for families who want luxurious resort amenities including swimming pool access and river views.

Many cabins include hot tubs, fireplaces and game tables. Families won’t have to worry about being cramped because all of our vacation homes feature spacious floor plans. If you get tired of being indoors, the covered porches and decks offer stunning views and seclusion.

For families who want mountain views and privacy, any of our log cabins are a great place to relax and enjoy. Call one of our friendly reservationists at (866) 808-7525 to begin planning your next getaway today.

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