For the past few years my go to fall/winter vacation has been the Caribbean. We hop on a cruise ship and go to weather even warmer than Florida!
Well not this year, we are totally flipping the script and heading to Gatlinburg, Tennessee!
We are super excited to have a real WINTER vacation! My Florida girls were jumping with joy when they found out we were going somewhere with cold weather, you know that requires all kinds of winter accessories for those divas!
I have not been to Tennessee since I was a little kid but I do have some very distinct memories of a family vacation or two in Gatlinburg. Oh course I remember the mountains and the Ski Lodge and even a mini golf course but one strange thing that sticks out in my memory is a little friendly looking ghost that was on the side of the road in town. I have no idea where the ghost was exactly but for some reason I remember him or at least I think I do! I am so excited to take my family so they can create their own memories of Gatlinburg to cherish forever!
Although we will not be going for a few months I wanted to share our plans with my readers since there is still plenty of time to book your own fall or winter vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! I have done a lot of research and this town looks PERFECT for families traveling with kids, couples looking for a romantic getaway or even a fun girls weekend away! Check out some of our plans and favorite places we have come across while researching our upcoming vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee!
Where are we staying?
We will be staying at Bearskin Lodge! This hotel is on the trolley route as well which will make getting around town without driving pretty easy! They also have a fitness center, free wifi and free customer parking! You know I am always a big fan of breakfast included! As a mom I feel like this is such a big part of booking a hotel room. One less meal I have to worry about for the kids is a win in my book! Bearskin Lodge also has outdoor fire pits, which we are very excited to relax snuggled up by the fire pits! I mean seriously look at how beautiful this lodge looks and the river that runs along side of it! We cant wait to arrive and explore Bearskin Lodge!
Now that I had a hotel booked I needed to start researching things to do to keep my monsters busy! Yes I know vacation should be relaxing but I am that mom who likes to see and do as much as we can. Keep the kids busy all day type of motto! Here are some of the attractions we booked that I think would be perfect for families traveling with children of any age!
We may have to visit again in warmer weather to test out this relaxing lazy river!
What will we be doing in Gatlinburg?
Ripley’s Gatlinburg -We have all heard of Ripley’s and we have probably all been to some sort of aquarium right, but than Ripley’s and Auqaiurm collide for the #1 aquarium in the United States! There was no doubt we HAD to put Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies on our to do list! They have touch tanks, a penguin exhibit and you can even walk through a shark tank!
Ripley’s had numerous attraction in Gatlinburg such as a Haunted Adventure, Mirror Maze, two mini golf courses, a 5D Theater, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and even a Guiness World Records Museum! We are excited to visit all of these Ripley Locations! Ripley’s also offers combo passes which make visiting all of the attraction even more affordable!
Smoky Mountain Coaster – This alpine coaster is the longest downhill ride in the united states! Fun for both adults and children and smoky mountain coaster is open all year round! We watched a few youtube videos on this place and my kids were jumping up and down with excitement! We can’t wait to try the coaster!
Anakeesta – This brand new attraction in Gatlinburg is full of all kinds of Smoky Mountain Magic! They have Ziplining, a Magical Firefly Village, Scenic Chondola Rides, a Tree Canopy walk 40′-60′ above the beautiful forest and even a children’s tree House! We are excited to check out Anakeesta during our trip not only to play but to taste the smokehouse BBQ as well, yummy yummy!
Ober Gatlinburg – Another place I remember as a child is Ober Gatlinburg! I remember the tram ride up and the fun indoor ice skating, skiing, arcade games and so much more! When we go this year we will be testing out Snow Tubing! I won’t lie, I may be even more excited than the kids to try the snow tubing! Looks like the perfect winter fun activity!
Rowdy Bear Coaster – This attraction offers both a gravity coaster and a mountain glider! The kids are excited to try both of these fun looking rides! They love thrill rides as do I. The new glider opening this fall will be the first of its kind, gliding riders through the tree tops! Sounds like a real unique experience to add to our family vacation memories!
Gatlinburg Space Needle – The space needle takes you 400′ in the air for a 360 degree view of Gatlinburg and the beautiful Mountains! I think this attraction would be fun to do both in the daytime and at night to check out the city all lite up!
Want to Learn more about Gatlinburg? Things to do, Places to eat and much more?
Than Check out Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau!
Have you been to Gatlinburg, have any tips for us?
We want to hear about your experience in the comments section below!
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**Disclosure – This post may contain Affiliate Links! All Pictures were provided by Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and/or each individual attraction/hotel! A Big thank you to Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Bearskin Lodge and each listed attraction who will be hosting/sponsoring our upcoming trip**