My mom’s family lives in Knoxville, Tennessee and we try to visit at least once a year. Last week we spent our Spring Break traveling to the town and I thought it would make the perfect post to share things we did. So if you ever visit Knoxville, here are ten things you must do while you are there.
- Ripley’s Aquarium – We love visiting aquariums. The one in Gatlinburg is about 45 minutes from Knoxville. There is an area where the kids can pet Sting Rays and Horseshoe Crabs. There is an area that you walk through that is an aquarium tunnel filled with various fishes and sharks that seem to be swimming around you. It’s pretty neat. I was able to take photos of the sharks from underneath them which is a view you don’t normally see. This was Noah’s favorite part of the trip.
- Pigeon Forge – When driving from Knoxville to Gatlinburg up into the Smoky Mountains you drive through Pigeon Forge. There are a million things to do in Pigeon Forge, it’s basically a tourist attraction filled town. The little kids love riding rides at various amusement centers. When driving down one long strip you pass Go Kart tracks (which the big kids loved), kiddie rides, laser tag and even arcades. If the weather is nice you can stop and do fun things outdoors or you can find amusement inside if it’s raining.
- Bungee Sling Shot or Bungee Jumping – Several places in Pigeon Forge offer bungee jumping, bungee swinging and even a bungee sling shot that my oldest and her cousin did. It was pretty crazy but they thought it was exciting.
- Indoor Water Parks – There are two indoor water parks in the Smoky Mountains. We stayed two nights at the Wild Bear Falls Westgate Resort in a gorgeous cabin. It was a very nice one bedroom with full size living room that included a pull out couch, full size kitchen where we were able to fixed dinner one night and a hot tub that was indoors. The rate was reasonable as well. The kids loved the water park, especially the lazy river and big water slides. Even though it rained one day of our trip they got to enjoy swimming indoors. The other indoor water park that we heard was nice is called The Wilderness at the Smokies.
- Shops in Gatlinburg – In the town of Gatlinburg you can pay to park your car and just walk. There are hundreds of shops to visit. Candy making stores, purse and jewelry shops, country shops, dog themed stores and even souvenir shops with magnets covering the walls. They have the standard tourist shops and even custom shops you can’t find anywhere else. I especially like the shops where you can watch them making the candy in the store or sample all the different dips and spices that are made by the owners.
- Border of TN & North Carolina – The border of Tennessee and North Carolina is not far from Gatlinburg at all. So if you are someone who just loves visiting more than one state or if you are like me with the goal of visiting all 50 states, then this is a must stop. You might get a kick out of standing on the border and being able to tell your friends you were in two places at once. You can even take a photo with the border sign to prove it.
- Smoky Mountains – Driving through the Smoky Mountains is just beautiful. I recently shared a gorgeous sunset we enjoyed on our trip. We always stop to take photos, especially near the natural springs. If you go when the weather is nice there are several areas you can go for a bike ride or hike on trails. There are also very nice places to have a picnic.
- Ski Lift – In Gatlinburg there is a ski lift that you can pay to ride up a mountain, have your photo taken and ride back down. Our family enjoyed it because during the day you can see the whole town on the way back down and while you are at the top you have a very beautiful view. Being up high on the mountain gives you a nice way to see everything. You can also ride the sky lift at night when the town of Gatlinburg is lit up bright, this can even be romantic.
- Dollywood – The famous Country Music star Dolly Parton has her own theme park. Dollywood has rides, shows, shops and all. This amusement park is filled with fun for the whole family.
- Dixie Stampede – This dinner attraction is fun for the whole family. The Dixie Stampede is a place where you get seated to watch a live show that includes horses, so of course Gab loves it. You are served a four course meal, drinks and excitement. You are seated in sections that are categorized in different teams. So if you are in the red area then you are on the red team. During the show the teams compete and everyone is waving their flags to cheer on their teams. It’s actually a lot of fun.
We always take a ton of photos on each of our trips. I share my photos on Flickr so if you’d like to see our Spring Break trip to Tennessee through photos feel free to browse there. We also captured many videos that I plan to share soon in up coming posts. If you ever visit Knoxville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg then don’t forget to tell me all about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.