Planning a vacation to the Smoky Mountains? No doubt you have a list of things you’d like to do and see, from Dollywood to a zipline tour. But don’t forget to take time to enjoy the stunning scenery that surrounds Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. With hundreds of square miles of pristine wilderness, the Great Smoky Mountains offer many opportunities for the whole family to relax in nature.
Enjoy the Mountain from a Different Point of View
Just outside Gatlinburg in historic downtown Bryson City, NC, you’ll find a fully restored 1920s passenger train waiting to take you through the mountains on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure the whole family will enjoy. Climb aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railway and enter a world where life is more leisurely and you can really take time to enjoy the scenery. And in the Smoky Mountains, spectacular views greet you around every bend in the tracks.
Choose an open-air gondola to experience the fresh, clean air of this vast desert, or relax in the luxurious style of aristocrats in first class. Day trips include the Nantahala Gorge Tour, which features a 44-mile trip along the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers, a Fontana Lake crossing, and a one-hour stopover at Nantahala Gorge. Enjoy a picnic by the river or just relax before heading back to Bryson City.
The Tuskasegee River Tour is the perfect combination of sightseeing and shopping, and includes a stop in the historic city of Dillsboro, where more than 50 quaint shops beg to be explored. Enjoy lunch in a laid-back cafe before boarding your train back to the depot, your shopping bags and hearts full of memories of your unique getaway.
Fun for all the family
Throughout the month of October, join Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy on a hike to the famous pumpkin patch. Along the way, you’ll enjoy listening to the story of the Great Pumpkin, and once you arrive, the whole family will be entertained. Kids will be clamoring to get into the bouncy house, collect a slew of candy on an early trick-or-treating outing, and toast some marshmallows around the campfire. Plus, each child can choose their own pumpkin to take home and carve. Don’t forget to wear your Halloween costume for this fun-filled family outing.
Or hop aboard the Polar Express in November or December for a round-trip ticket to the North Pole. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate while you listen and read this charming story. Upon arrival, you will meet Santa and each child will receive a silver sleigh bell. The return trip is filled with joyful carols and laughter, making this train ride the perfect way to start a wonderful holiday season with your little ones.
In today’s fast-paced world, where getting from place to place has become the norm and vacations are judged by the number of activities they include, why not take a day just to relax? Spend the afternoon aboard a restored passenger train and take in the scenery from a luxurious dining car, just as leisurely travelers did a century ago. You will remember many things about your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, but your favorite memory will be the time you spent watching the world go by.