5 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains for First-Time Visitors

5 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains for First-Time Visitors

Once you visit the Smoky Mountains, you’re going to wish you never had to leave! If you’ve never been to the area before, you’ll have so many options for things to do and places to visit. To help narrow down your long list of activities, we’ve made a list of the top 5 things to do in the Smoky Mountains for first-time visitors.

1. Dollywood

Of course you have to plan a trip to Dollywood when you visit the Smoky Mountains! This world-class theme park is home to incredible rides, award-winning dining, and entertaining shows. Spending time at Dollywood will be a one-of-a-kind experience. One of the reasons it’s so popular is because there is something for everyone, from kids to adults. If you’re looking for a thrill, try one of the coasters like Wild Eagle! For a more calming ride, go for a 5-mile journey on the Dollywood Express through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. If you visit during the summer, be sure to check out Dollywood’s Splash Country too!

2. The Old Mill Square

The Old Mill in Pigeon ForgeThe Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge is known for its dining, shopping and Southern hospitality. The Old Mill itself is one of the oldest continually operating grist mills in the country! It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once served as the main source for the area to get their flours and meals. When you visit, you can see The Old Mill, enjoy a delicious Southern feast at The Old Mill Restaurant or Pottery House Cafe, and so some shopping! Old Mill Square is home to The Old Forge Distillery, Pigeon River Pottery, The Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen, Sassafras Clothing, The Old Mill General Store, The Old Mill Creamery and The Old Mill Candy Kitchen.

3. See a Show

Seeing a show is one of the most popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains! Whether you’re in the mood for live musical performances or comedies, you can find it all in the Smokies. You can even enjoy both a delicious dinner and an entertaining show when you go see one of the dinner shows in the area! Some of the most popular are the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud and Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show! Other great shows in the area include Country Tonite, Comedy Barn and Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud.

4. Visit the National Park

Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National ParkOf course your trip to the Smoky Mountains wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t pay a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park is home to more than 850 miles of hiking trails, historic structures and wildlife. If you want to explore the park from the comfort of your car, you can go for a scenic drive! Other things to do in the national park include having a picnic, camping, fishing and so much more. You’ll love seeing the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains up close!

5. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

You may have been to an aquarium before, but we promise it’s nothing like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! This Gatlinburg aquarium has been voted the top aquarium in the country, and it’s not hard to see why. When you visit Ripley’s Aquarium, you’ll be able to see more than 10,000 exotic sea creatures! Be sure to try one of the aquarium’s unique experiences while you’re there. You can waddle with penguins, splash with stingrays, touch jellyfish, and even feed a sea turtle!

Get Your Smoky Mountain Souvenirs

My Bucket List pink t shirtAfter your visit to the Smoky Mountains, you’re going to want something to help you remember what a great time you had on vacation! We have a great selection of hats, clothing, mugs, tote bags, and so much more for you to browse through. You can even get something before your vacation so you can show off your love for the Smokies during your visit! Take a look at all of the great items on our Smoky Mountain online shop, then pick out your perfect souvenir today.