Travel Tips: Family-Friendly Trips to the Smokies

Summertime means it is time to plan for the family vacation. If you’re considering a trip to the Smoky Mountains, you’re in for an unforgettable adventure! Our beautiful mountains offer an abundance of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and family-friendly attractions. To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve put together a list of essential tips for traveling to the Smoky Mountains with kids during the summer season.


Plan Your Trip in Advance

Before embarking on your Smoky Mountain adventure, take some time to plan your itinerary. Research family-friendly hikes, waterfalls, scenic drives, and other attractions that suit your children’s age and interests. This will ensure that you have a well-rounded plan and can maximize your time exploring the area. It’s impossible to do everything during your stay, so narrowing down options will erase the stress of trying to choose in the moment. If you need help planning, check out the businesses below:

Great Smokies Tour & Travel 

Smoky Mountain Navigator



What To Do Guide 


Your Ticket to Travel 


Stay Near the Mountains

Consider staying in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, or Gatlinburg, towns situated just outside the national park, which offer tons of family-oriented accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment options. From cozy cabins to budget-friendly hotels, campgrounds, and even resorts, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your preferences and budget. If you are currently looking for accommodations, make sure to check out our lodging page!


Hiking Adventures for All Ages

The Smoky Mountains are a hiker’s paradise, and there are trails suitable for all ages and skill levels. Choose family-friendly hikes that are not too strenuous and offer captivating scenery, such as Laurel Falls, Grotto Falls, or the short (but steep) walk to Clingmans Dome observation tower. Remember to pack comfortable shoes, bug repellent, and plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated. Buy your kids digital cameras so they can capture their own memories on the hikes as well!


Explore Dollywood

For a dose of family-friendly amusement, head to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. This renowned theme park offers a variety of thrilling rides, live entertainment, and interactive experiences that will delight children and adults alike. From roller coasters to carnival games, there’s no shortage of fun-filled activities for the whole family to enjoy. The County Fair area of the park is especially popular with small children, since it has a carousel, tall swings, bumper cars, and spinning teacups!


Cool Off in the Creek

The summer heat can be intense, but the Smoky Mountains offer refreshing solutions. Seek out the region’s crystal-clear mountain streams, where your kids can splash around, skip stones, and cool off in nature’s playground. Popular spots include the Little Pigeon River, the Oconaluftee River, and the Deep Creek area. If the little ones aren’t strong swimmers, prioritize safety first and bring life jackets and arm floaties.


Traveling to the Smoky Mountains with kids in the summer promises an unforgettable family adventur. By planning your itinerary, choosing family-friendly activities, and incorporating some of our tips, you can ensure an enjoyable and memorable stay. If you are still looking for things to do, check out our things to do page.

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