4 Can’t-Miss Gatlinburg Attractions for Families

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

4 Can’t-Miss Gatlinburg Attractions for Families

If you’ve ever been to Gatlinburg or even done a search online for things to do in the area, then you know that the number of attractions are endless! It’s a good thing, but it can also make it very difficult to put an itinerary together when preparing for a trip to the Smoky Mountains. We wanted to make things a little easier for you and share a list of 4 area attractions that families visiting with us won’t want to miss!

Take a Stroll Among the Sharks at the Ripley’s Aquarium

Did you know that one of the top aquariums in the world is located in downtown Gatlinburg? It’s true! And, it’s an adventure that families visiting the Smokies won’t want to miss! Children will love being able to touch stingrays, the horseshoe crabs and possibly even spot a mermaid or two swimming around. The entire family will enjoy exploring Shark Lagoon and other exciting areas of the property. Guests may also participate in other experiences like “Splash With The Stingrays”, a penguin encounter or even a ride on their glass bottom boat. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is also a certified autism center and offers relaxing and low key experiences throughout the building every day as well as scheduled Sensory-Friendly Nights at the aquarium. From infants to grandparents, everyone in the family will enjoy a visit to this sea in the Smoky Mountains!

Wander the Woods at Anakeesta

tree walk in Anakeesta in GatlinburgAnakeesta is one of the most loved attractions in Gatlinburg and after one trip up to the top of the mountain you’ll understand why! Guests have the option of reaching the top by taking a ride on the chairlift, the gondola or on their Ridge Rambler. Once you’ve made it to the summit you’ll find everything from a stunning Canopy Walk among the treetops to ziplining and dining. Children of all ages will have a blast in their Treehouse Village and parents will enjoy relaxing in their Vista Gardens while the kids visit with Willow Man, the keeper of the forest. You’ll also find options like gem mining and taking a ride on their rail runner. At Anakeesta, the possibilities are endless!

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When visiting Gatlinburg, there’s one place that every family must visit for at least a day! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just down the road from our hotel and is the reason that Gatlinburg is all that it is today. The beauty of the mountains have been attracting visitors for decades and the internal need to spend time in nature is weaved into both children and adults. Families can stop by Sugarlands Visitor Center and pick up a trail map, speak with rangers about any questions that they have and even participate in ranger-led programs that are offered seasonally. Take a drive through the mountains, explore Cades Cove, find a waterfall or just have a picnic underneath the trees. Just make sure that you add a visit to American’s most loved national park to your list of things to do in Gatlinburg!

Ober Gatlinburg – A Gatlinburg Classic

ober galinburg aerial tramwayOber Gatlinburg has been a favorite for guests for many years and will continue to be for decades to come! Tennessee’s only ski resort doesn’t just offer up fun in the snow but they also have activities to do year-round and during all types of weather. Shop and dine or let the kids run off some energy in their Kiddie Land. Drive to the top or take a ride on the aerial tramway! Ride the mountain coaster, ice bumper cars or go ice skating. You’ll find many other opportunities for fun at the top as well as many seasonal events! Bonus: Our hotel is just across the street from the entrance for the Ober Aerial Tramway!

Are you ready to start planning your next family vacation to Gatlinburg and the Smokies?

You’ll find many options when you Browse Our Guest Rooms that are perfect for families of all sizes! All of our rooms include a private balcony with a stream view and great in-room amenities! Our Location in downtown Gatlinburg is great being able to explore both the park and areas in town without needing to find parking along the way. Guests also have the option of riding the Gatlinburg Trolley that passes right by our hotel! During your stay with us you’ll receive a free breakfast daily and fresh baked cookies every afternoon. To learn more about our amenities, click here! → Our Amenities

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