There are adventures year-round to be discovered, the key is to know where to look. Families looking for high levels of activity in the warmer months might look for bolder, more daring excursions such as Rafting in the Smokies or ZipGatlinburg, and Wildwater Zipline & Rafting. Take in the beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery in one exhilarating, action-packed adventure! Rafting in the Smokies allows participants to admire nature at its finest, while passing through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Martha Sundquist State Forest, Cherokee National Forest, and the Appalachian Trail. This unique location has the longest operating season and plenty of amenities on site to give you the best experience possible. ZipGatlinburg offers a variety of outdoor thrill-worthy activities including zip lining over scenic Gatlinburg, a twenty-seven obstacle treetop adventure, and kids net course!
Autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains provides a sense of wonder and artistic admiration from travelers of all ages. Experience the height of the season as you tour the bold colored valley and hidden trails. Explore at your own pace with a guided Horseback Riding tour. This is a great option for families with a love for both animals and nature! Trek through wooded trails and mountain streams with Smoky Mountain Riding Stables. A visit to Big Rock Stables at Ponderosa offers horseback riding, gem mining, a petting zoo, and A.T.V rides for visitors looking for an alternative way to explore nature.
As Autumn approaches in the Smoky Mountains, nature’s colorful artistry inspires creativity for local artisans and craftsmen. Improve your creativity skills by joining a class offered at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. This national art education center offers week long or weekend workshops for beginner to advanced level artists. Classes offered include ceramics, fiber, metals and jewelry, painting, drawing, photography, warm glass, woodturning, and woodworking. For both the art hobbyist and collectors of art looking for the local charisma of the Smoky Mountains, you should take a visit to Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. This historic 8-mile loop of artists and craftsmen has been named as the largest group of independent artisans in North America. In addition to Arts & Crafts, our loop also includes lodging, restaurants and cafés, candy shops, and more. As an added perk, there’s plenty of free parking and it is open all year round!
Fun in the Smokies doesn’t stop even as Tennessee’s black bear hibernates through the cold, white winter. A wide assortment of indoor and outdoor activities await at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area & Amusement Park. Whether you’re looking to play in the snow or explore Gatlinburg from afar, this park provides a variety of available family activities such as ice-skating, ski and snowboarding, and tubing. Activities and attractions are also available that are flexible for both colder and warmer months such as an outdoor water park and alpine slide. Fly across Gatlinburg on the scenic Aerial Tramway and possibly even spot a snoozing black bear during the Wildlife Encounter. Looking for something closer to town? Experience the seven-time award winner for America’s Best Christmas Event at Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood. This features over 4 million holiday lights, with performances including Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol. Watch beautifully lit Christmas trees synchronize with seasonal music; and even get to meet Santa himself in his very own workshop!