Great Family-Friendly Vacation Spots in Tennessee

Great Family-Friendly Vacation Spots in Tennessee

Whether you live in Tennessee or not, here are some spots in the state that simply offer a wonderful vacation for the entire family.


The name of the place is due to how the park’s owner is Dolly Parton. Unsurprisingly, the place also displays lots of memorabilia that commemorates the singing legend’s work.

But no one in the family has to be a Dolly Parton fan to enjoy a stay in Dollywood. After all, the place is located right by the gorgeous Smoky Mountain National Park. The views alone will be a welcome respite from the harshness of the urban landscape you came from.

And it’s not all about the views, either, as you have the Dollywood theme park to get your family vacation going. It’s actually been voted as one of the best theme parks in the world.

Among the more exciting rides you and your family can try include the Barnstormer, with enough seats for 32 in its 2 pendulum arms. The riders go higher on each swing, up to 81 feet in the air while they move as fast as 45 miles per hour. This ride is in a big, red barn, and that’s not the only feature there. You also have a water play area for kids, along with a huge, 352-square feet bi-plane play area.

With plenty of other rides up in the air that go really fast, kids will just have an exhilarating time here. That actually goes the same for the adults as well.

Pigeon Forge

This is a picturesque town that’s located at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Staying here is somewhat like going to Vegas, but it’s much more family-friendly.

Here you have plenty of hotels to stay in, and each meal can be an adventure with the many restaurants you can visit. But the kids won’t get bored here, since they can easily take some time go-karting, play miniature golf, and indulge in laser tag adventures.

As for the adults, other activities include some retail therapy with all the shopping outlets available. Plus, you can drive down your family to the valley at Cade’s Cove, where the gorgeous sights can have your social media posts causing lots of envy in your friends back home. And if that’s not enough, there are nearby beaches as well.

Mammoth Cave National Park

First you get a room in the Holiday Inn Express – Horse Cave. That means you’re only a 20-minute drive away from the Mammoth Cave National Park. This is the longest known cave system in the entire planet. Exploring this place is an incredible experience.

You can go with the Historic Tour, using the very same entrance that the first white settlers originally discovered. You’ll then go through many of the famous historic areas that made this place so renowned. These include going through tunnels that humans have used for thousands of years, and also the massive rooms that gave the place its name. In some places, however, you’ll have to go through some tighter spots.

This is another place that’s best for fit adults and older kids, as the tour involves quite a few steep inclines along with lots of ascending and descending stairs. But it sure is a grand adventure. It’s about 2 hours long, but you’re only actually walking a 2-mile hike.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

You can book a stay for your family in the Riverside Tower, and then spend your vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself. Here you can visit the Newfound Gap set high on the main ridge. Get up here, and you can take fantastic pictures of the colossal Rockefeller Monument and the rest of the Smoky Mountains. You can also access the Appalachian Trail.

Another literal high point is the Clingmans Dome, which is the highest mountain in the area as it reaches 6,644 feet in the air. Drive up to the top, and then you can take a short hike to an observation tower that offers magnificent views. When the day is clear, you can even see into areas in Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Charlie’s Bunion is a popular overlook that you can only reach if you can get through a 4-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. That’s not too difficult if you’re in good shape and you have teens for kids. While the spot itself is gorgeous, the views you get here are simple the best, and they’re truly worth the exhausting trip. 

The Chimney Tops Trail is another option, though it’s quite challenging and it involves a round trip hike of almost 4 miles. The Chimney Tops offers unique rock formations that look like the chimneys on a roof, while the hike offers great views throughout the journey.

Here’s a video review of the great Dollywood.

Category: Featured

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