sunrise over Gatlinburg, Tennessee

5 Tips on What to Do in Gatlinburg on Your Family Vacation

Beautiful photo of the downtown Gatlinburg skyline.
April 3, 2018

Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for a family vacation! There are so many family-friendly activities to enjoy and memories to be made. When you stay at Sidney James Mountain Lodge, you’ll love our incredible amenities and being close to all the best things to do in the area. To help guarantee you have an amazing time, we’re sharing 5 tips on what to do in Gatlinburg on your family vacation:

1. Swim in Our Pools

When you stay at our Gatlinburg hotel, you’ll have access to both our indoor and outdoor pools. That means rain or shine, you can still go for a swim! Our outdoor pool is a great place to soak up the sun on a warm summer day or enjoy a delicious lunch from our poolside cafe. Indoors, we have a heated pool and a Kiddie Pool so the children can have their own space to splash around! Going for a swim in our pools is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Gatlinburg!

2. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

family hiking in Smoky Mountains

It wouldn’t be a complete trip to Gatlinburg if you didn’t visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When you and your family visit the park, you can go for a hike on one of the many kid-friendly hiking trails and see gorgeous views of mountains, waterfalls and more, or take the little ones fishing in one of the mountain streams! You can even pack a picnic to enjoy in one of the picnic areas in the park. It’s a wonderful outdoor adventure for the family to experience together!

3. Dine at Family-Friendly Restaurants

Deciding on places to eat during your vacation is easy with all of the family-friendly restaurants in Gatlinburg. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has an adult menu with mouth-watering options like Bourbon Street Mahi Mahi and the Grilled Seafood Trio, and a menu just for the kids with all their favorites, like mac and cheese and popcorn shrimp. Other restaurants that are great for families and close to our Gatlinburg hotel are Calhoun’s, Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que and Pancake Pantry.

4. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

kids at aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a can’t-miss family attraction in Gatlinburg! It was voted the top aquarium in the country by USA Today, and you have to see why for yourself. Not only will you be able to walk through an underwater tunnel and see a sea turtle, sharks, stingrays and more of your favorite sea animals, but you’ll even get to interact with some! The Gatlinburg aquarium has unique experiences that allow you to touch jellyfish, swim with stingrays and even waddle with penguins! The interactive aspect of Ripley’s Aquarium makes it great for families.

5. Ride the Gatlinburg Trolley

Riding the Gatlinburg Trolley is not only a great way to see all the sights in Gatlinburg, but it’s a money saver too! There is a trolley stop right outside our hotel, so you won’t have to worry about driving to any of the attractions and can save money on parking. The Gatlinburg Trolley offers a route to all the main attractions! For your convenience, we have an interactive trolley map for guests that tells you all the arrival and departure times of the trolley.

Where to Stay

trolley stop in front of gatlinburg hotel

Our Gatlinburg hotel is the best option for where to stay on your family vacation. We have affordable accommodations that provide you the comfort you need for a relaxing stay. All our rooms come with a mini refrigerator, a coffee maker, a flat-screen television and free wireless internet. Browse all of our hotel rooms and find the best one for your family.

When you follow all these tips, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful family vacation. Learn more about what to do in Gatlinburg, and start planning your trip!