6 Most Popular Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

If you’ve never been to the Smokies, you have so many fun activities you’ll want to try. You won’t want to miss out on any of the popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains. You can see all kinds of animals, experience a fun theme park, or explore the national park. Here are the 6 most popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains:

Flowers in the shape of a butterfly at the entrance to Dollywood.

1. Dollywood

Dollywood is the local theme park everyone wants to experience when they come to Pigeon Forge. You can ride roller coasters, other thrill rides, kiddie rides, and so much more. If you don’t enjoy rides, you can watch concerts and other kinds of shows that feature music and dancing. There’s all kinds of food for you to enjoy, and you’ll find several shops throughout the theme park where you can pick up souvenirs. Plus, there are a ton of festivals and events throughout the year.

The Ole Smoky Moonshine Barn at The Island in Pigeon Forge.

2.Island in Pigeon Forge

This entertainment complex at the Island in Pigeon Forge has rides for the kids to enjoy, from The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel to bumper cars. There’s even an arcade where you can play games and win prizes. You’ll find several restaurants and snack shops, as well as several other shops you can browse through. Many people enjoy watching the Island Show Fountain or just relaxing in the area. Want to know where else you should go if you love shopping? Check out these shopping centers in the Smoky Mountains

3. Gatlinburg Skylift Park

If you plan on spending time in Gatlinburg, you have to go to Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. The chair lift is one of the most popular activities in the area, and now, it takes you to the SkyDeck where you can enjoy incredible views of the Smokies you won’t find anywhere else. The observation deck has all kinds of places where you can take pictures, stop and enjoy the views, and there’s even a bridge you can walk across with glass panels in the middle. You can also look through the gift shop and grab a drink at the bar.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg

4. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

If you’re looking for family friendly things to do in the Smoky Mountains, you should go to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. You’ll see all kinds of unique creatures at this aquarium, from frogs to penguins to fish. There’s a tunnel that goes under a huge enclosure with sharks, fish, eels, and many other creatures. You can even get hands on with many of the animals. Kids, teens, and adults all have a great time at this aquarium in Gatlinburg.

cades cove road

5. Drive Through Cades Cove

Since you’re visiting the Smokies, you probably want to spend some time in the national park. One of the most popular activities is to drive through Cades Cove. There’s an 11-mile paved loop that goes through a valley surrounded by mountains. This is a popular place to take pictures, possibly see wildlife, and learn more about the history of the area. Did you know you can also go horseback riding in Cades Cove?

6. Go on Hikes

Another one of the most popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains is to go hiking. It’s free, and you can do it any time of the year. Plus, there are hikes for everyone: easy, short hikes for beginners or long, difficult ones for seasoned hikers. You can hike to waterfalls, beautiful views of the mountains, or take a nature walk through the woods. Whatever you want to see and do, you’ll find at least one hiking trail you’ll want to go on! A great trail to start with is the Gatlinburg Trail!

If you like popular things to do, you might like to try something different! Here are some unique restaurants to try in the Smoky Mountains!

These are just some of the most popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains. Want to know what else you should check out when you stay with us? Here are other area attractions in the Smoky Mountains you should try!