It’s still winter time, but Spring Break will be here before you know it. I know that many of you think of the beach for Spring Break, but I want to challenge you to consider a mountain trip this year.
Although you won’t get a sandy beach in the Gatlinburg area, you can easily find boardwalk style attractions and shopping. The traffic isn’t nearly as bad, and the weather is divine. You know you want to try something different…be brave and just do it. Here are a few of our favorite ways to spend Spring Break in the Smokies:
1. The Strip. We know that wandering “the Strip,” wherever it may be, is one of the biggest attractions to heading to the beach during Spring Break. The Gatlinburg area offers “The Strip” in more than one location! You can wander the Strip in Downtown Gatlinburg to take in cool attractions like the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum or stop for a corn dog at Fanny Farkles Arcade. Or, you can head to Pigeon Forge and find the perfect Smoky Mountain T-shirt, stuffed bear or souvenir for the friend or family member that couldn’t make the trip. If neither of those options suit you, give the Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts District a try.
2. Go Karts. There are plenty of go kart tracks to choose from in Pigeon Forge, but we are particularly fond of The Track. Race the Wild Woody track–their three-story spiraling wooden track, or take a spin on the classic track with overpasses. With single and double-seated karts, everyone in the family can get in and go! The Kiddie and Rookie Karts are great for youngsters starting out. You only have to be 4 years old to drive!
3. Bungee Jumping. Are you or your kids looking for an unforgettable thrill on this year’s Spring Break?
While you are at The Track enjoying a ride on the Wild Woody go kart track, make sure you put on your brave face and take the 65-foot bungee jump plunge!
They guarantee it is the fastest ride in town!
4. Lazer Tag. Here’s a fun idea for the whole family. At Lazerport Fun Center, they offer the largest laser tag arena in the Great Smoky Mountains area. There are two arenas at over 7,000 square feet that offer the best, most exhilarating and heart pounding fun and excitement that Pigeon Forge has to offer! Each game lasts for a period of 15 minutes, and they run back to back games starting every 20 minutes! Whether you choose to play one, two, three or unlimited games, take the challenge today – test your skills against your friends and family alike!
5. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. This vertical wind tunnel that allows you to experience the freedom of human flight is located at traffic light #5 in Pigeon Forge. As a flyer, participants attend a 20-minute training class, receive a suit, helmet & other safety equipment. Following a short review of the basics, a group of 5 flyers enters the wind tunnel with their instructor. Almost anyone can fly as long as you weigh at least 40 lbs. Watch this video for a preview of kids in flight. Link to pricing & coupons.
6. Roller Skating. When is the last time you went roller skating? If the idea conjures awkward images of retro fashions and braces, maybe it is time to try again. Spin City USA, the newest indoor Pigeon Forge attraction for family fun, is a state-of-the-art roller skating rink located in downtown Pigeon Forge. Spin City USA offers theme nights including retro skate and live entertainment by their own DJ for affordable fun, with holiday special events held throughout the year. When looking for fun things to do inside on a rainy day, try Spin City Roller Rink.
7. Shopping. Interested in Outlet Malls? Try Tanger Outlets of Pigeon Forge for “Brands You Know. Choices You Want. Prices You’ll Love.”
I have a soft spot for a few of the Tanger Stores like Calvin Klein and Jones New York, but there is a little something for everyone from the kids (OshKosh B’gosh) to the teens (Aeropostale and Rue 21) to the man of the family (Brooks Brothers and Nautica). There is even a great selection of lunch and dinner options.
8. Mini Golf. Hillbilly Golf is one of dozens of miniature golf options in the Gatlinburg area. Hillbilly Golf is the world’s most unusual miniature golf course. Ride the Incline 300 feet straight up to the mountain top above the city. Two challenging 18-hole courses await you. Both are riddled with mountaineer hazards from outhouses to stills, rocky walls and lush native plants. It’s great fun and excitement for the whole family. A truly unique adventure you won’t forget.
9. Pancake Houses. Pancake houses are to the Smoky Mountains what seafood shacks are to the the beach. You can find pancake houses everywhere, and the choices are endless. My favorite…the Pancake Pantry.
Since 1960 when the Pancake Pantry became Tennessee’s first pancake house, visitors to Gatlinburg have made dining with them a tradition. What keeps them coming back? It’s the real butter, the honest-to-goodness fresh whipped cream and everything made from scratch. Maybe you’ll select the Austrian Apple-Walnut Pancakes covered with a rich apple cider compote made with melted butter, black walnuts, apples and sweet spices and then topped with powdered sugar and real whipped cream. Want a sandwich instead? Try a Polish Aristocrat, Polynesian Delight or British Dipper among other distinctive choices.
10. Rent a Cabin. What could be better than the room to stretch out, a gameroom, indoor whirlpool tub, outdoor hot tub and the cool breeze of the Great Smoky Mountians?
How about getting it all in one place. Rent a family vacation cabin like At Trail’s End and enjoy the convenience of a home away from home while relaxing in comfort and style. The kids will love the gameroom–you’ll love having them hidden away IN the gameroom. Give it a try, but beware, you’ll never want to go back to staying in a hotel room again.
This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.