Pack Your Bags for Fun & Excitement in the Great Smoky Mountains

One of the most important parts of planning a vacation is remembering to pack the essentials: hiking shoes, camera, sunscreen...are we forgetting anything? Add a few extra "items" to your list and check your bags before your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. Our Xplore Expert, Summer, has some recommendations to add to your "packing list".

Sense of Adventure
With miles upon miles of trails and waterfalls to explore, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is brimming with adventure. Tour the park on foot, trail blaze on horseback, or rock climb to one of the mountain peaks. No matter what you choose to do, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park guarantees fun and excitement. For the best view, climb the Rocky Top trail. From the summit, you’ll be able to see for miles.

Need to Explore
Eastern Tennessee offers plenty of activities to satisfy a diverse variety of interests. Spend your days experiencing the 35,000 square foot, indoor WonderWorks museum or sampling barbeque to see which eatery has the best sauce. Top off your vacation with a night-time visit to the observation deck of the Gatlinburg Space Needle for a one-of-a-kind, panoramic view of the Smokies and downtown Gatlinburg.

Child-Like Nature
It’s all fun and games when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains. Experience the thrill of Dollywood, ride the Ferris wheel at The Island, and pig out on classic southern fare at the Dolly Parton Dixie Stampede Dinner Theater. Our Xplore team can book your Dollywood tickets and make your dinner reservations, so all you have to do is show up and enjoy your stay.

Love for Music
Nashville might get all the publicity, but there’s plenty of great, live music in Eastern Tennessee! Listen to Bluegrass while you’re on a moonshine distillery tasting at Sugarlands Distilling Company, or sing along to your favorite Southern Rock song at one of the local restaurants. With a healthy schedule of live music acts in the area, you’re bound to hear your favorite tune.

Ones you Love Most
Whether you’re exploring the trails of the national park, or riding the Alpine Coaster at Ober Gatlinburg, remember that it’s the people you’re with that will make your Great Smokies getaway special. Bring the ones you love most, and create memories that will last you a lifetime.

Great Smoky Mountain Favorites


Three Jimmy's

With award-winning wings, freshly-smoked meats, and a true down-home atmosphere Three Jimmy's will become your favorite spot to get a bite to eat and listen to some great, live music.


Rocky Top Trail/ Thunderhead Mountain

Start in the Cades Cove picnic area and make your way up for incredible views of both North Carolina and Tennessee. Though its a bit of a hike to get to the Rocky Top Trail, the views are well worth the trek! Pack a picnic and make a day of it!


Wonder Works Ropes Challenge

Climb four stories high and navigate through 50 obstacles on the world's largest indoor ropes course. To make it that much more interesting, it's a glow in the dark course! Take the challenge and experience this unique thrill.


Parrot Mountain

Found in the Island shopping in Pigeon Forge, Parrot Mountain offers guests the opportunity to say "Cheese!" with the most colorful, exotic birds in the world. Take a picture and keep it as a memento of your Smoky Mountains escape.