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Planning a trip to the beautiful Smoky Mountains and looking for some fun things to do in Pigeon Forge? Then you are in the right place. Whether you’re a small group looking for some family-friendly fun, an adventurer seeking thrills, or just hoping to relax and enjoy some breathtaking views of nature, you will find it here! Get ready to make some memories that will last a lifetime with unbeatable Gatlinburg attraction packages on your next trip to the Smoky Mountains.

mist over the green trees of the smoky mountains

Zipline Canopy Tour in the Smoky Mountains

With its mountaintop zipline tour offering 360-degree views across six dual ziplines, CLIMB Works is the best place to zipline when visiting the Smoky Mountains. Your feet won’t touch the ground for 2 hours! CLIMB Works is located right across the street from The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The experience is one of a kind and many agree.

“My husband and I visited the Smoky Mountains location for the first time. It was the best experience we had…We will definitely be going back. Seriously worth it you will have no regrets!!” – Kelsey S.

person riding a zipline in the smoky mountains from behind

At CLIMB Works, you will be provided with top-notch safety equipment. Your three guides will help you into the helmet and harness, and then your journey will begin with an ATV ride up the mountain, where you will gain 400 vertical feel over half a mile! Your highly trained guides will then double check all of your gear and provide you with safety instructions. The tour consists of six dual ziplines varying in height and length, four sky bridges, and it ends with you rappelling down the final platform. During your ziplining experience, you will not need to worry about “hand braking” or stopping yourself in any way—your guides will do all of that and all of the clipping and unclipping for you.

The views at CLIMB Works are unbeatable. With the first line just being meters from the border to the national park, you are surrounded by breathtaking views of multiple different mountain ranges the entire trip. Your guides will share interesting facts about local fauna and flora and educate you about the mountains around you, adding an educational element to your journey. Plaques on each line offer those who are interested in learning more that option. Your guides will also take photos of you throughout the course that will be available to purchase or as an add-on when you book the tour. You are also welcome to bring your own phone or cameras, as long as you are able to secure them to you.

family walking across a skybridge at CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains
sign at an entry to smoky mountains national park

Safety Requirements

It is important to note that to zipline you must be at least 7 years of age. Weight limits cannot exceed 250 pounds or 270 pounds for guests over 5 ’10”. This is for the safety of yourself and the guides. Check the weather forecast ahead of time to make sure you dress appropriately for the weather, and do not wear open-toed shoes nor dangling jewelry. Our zipline tours operate rain or shine. It’s recommended to book in advance to ensure that you get a spot, as tours can sell out in the busy season.

The zipline tour at CLIMB Works offers not only thrills and memories that will last a lifetime, but also the flexibility to create your ideal Smoky Mountains adventure package with any or all of the following experiences!

River Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Smoky Mountain Outdoors is located 45 minutes outside of Gatlinburg and offers two different exciting and immersive white water rafting adventures suitable for different skill levels. Their lower Pigeon River rafting trip is a 5 ½-mile trip through the scenic Pigeon River Gorge that takes approximately 1-1 ½ hours to complete. Their upper river rafting trip is 6.5 miles long with class 3 and 4 rapids, and it takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours to complete. Although both are family friendly, the upper river rafting is for guests ages 8+ (or must weigh at least 70 pounds) and the lower river trip is ages 3+.

splashing water and people on a red raft with smoky mountain outdoors

Smoky Mountain Outdoors caters to families and groups of all sizes. They provide top-quality rafts, life jackets, and paddles that ensure your safety and comfort. Safety is a top priority at Smoky Mountain Outdoors, and you will be accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable rafting guide that will ensure your safety throughout the trip. Wear clothes that you are comfortable getting wet, as it is very possible that you will get splashed or even soaked with an opportunity to swim in the water on the trip. 

Rafting adventures typically run from spring through fall, with specific trip availability subject to seasonal variations and water levels. Expect to be surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains as you navigate the Pigeon River on your white water rafting adventure. While the sound of rushing water and fresh air relaxes you, take in the beauty of the trees towering above. You may even catch a glimpse of some wildlife, such as eagles and river otters.

Enjoy a Full Day at Anakeesta

Anakeesta is right on the main strip of Gatlinburg, which means there is so much to do around it. Anakeesta is, in short, a little village sitting at the top of the mountain. You even get up to it by an aerial chondola ride! The pass that you purchase for Anakeesta is a full-day pass, meaning you can leave and go back whenever you want, making it easy to explore at your own pace. Anakeesta has a treetop canopy walk, a four-line dual zipline, a mountain coaster, and many food, drink, and shopping options. They even have many activities for the little ones, including gem mining, a play area, and a challenge course.

tower at Anakeesta in front of blue sky

For the Adventure Seekers

For those looking for some adventure on their trip to Gatlinburg, Anakeesta has a mountain coaster, ziplines, and a treetop canopy walk. Anakeesta’s Rail Runner Mountain Coaster is a single rider attraction, so you can control your own speed as you descend the mountain. It combines the thrill of a rollercoaster with the stunning natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains— surrounding you with panoramic views of the forests and mountains. Before your ride, you will receive safety instructions on how to operate. Keep in mind that riders must be at least 48 inches tall to ride alone. Anakeesta’s zipline course features multiple lines of varying lengths and heights. Trained guides provide safety instructions, and participants must be seven years of age and weigh between 70 and 270 pounds to participate. Like CLIMB Works, you must wear closed-toed shoes, have no dangling jewelry, and you also do not need to worry about stopping yourself, as your guides will handle everything for you. Anakeesta’s canopy walk is another adventure to experience when visiting. It features a series of suspension bridges and elevated walkways that wind through the treetops. Spectacular views abound, including a great place to take photos. Pro tip: consider going through at sunset!

This New American restaurant has a scratch-made kitchen specializing in locally-sourced and sustainable menu items. Local Goat offers a wide array of appetizers, jumbo wings, awesome salads, hearty steaks, chops, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and outstanding desserts.

Relax & Explore

For those looking to relax, Anakeesta has an incredible mountaintop garden retreat called Vista Gardens, the perfect place to leisurely stroll and unwind while enjoying incredible views. The gardens change with the seasons, ensuring a unique experience no matter what time of year you choose to visit. Another relaxing option when visiting Anakeesta is their Firefly Village. In Firefly Village, you can shop for souvenirs, unique gifts, and other merchandise. It’s an ideal place to get a memento of your trip to the Smoky Mountains. Firefly Village also has some dining options, such as Smokehouse Southern BBQ and Pearl’s Pie in the Sky, a Treehouse Village Playground for the kids, and plenty of seating and gathering areas where you can relax and take in the surrounding mountain scenery.

treehouse at Anakeesta lit up at night

How to Choose the Ideal Adventure Package

Combining Pigeon Forge vacation packages will allow you to enjoy multiple experiences at a lower cost compared to purchasing each separately. It also streamlines the booking process into one, meaning you spend less time making phone calls or visiting multiple booking websites and more time enjoying your vacation! Each attraction offers a unique experience. Combining them will ensure that you get a diverse range of experiences, from ziplining at CLIMB Works, to exploring at Anakeesta, to rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors. 

To choose the right package, first consider what type of vacation you are planning and who is coming. If everyone is over the age of seven, then all three may be a great fit for your group. If you have children under seven, consider the lower river rafting and Anakeesta option. If you’re looking for a day of adventure but are not as interested in shopping and leisure, then ziplining at CLIMB Works and white water rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors would make for an awesome adventurous experience.

Sample Itinerary

Curious what a Smoky Mountains trip itinerary might look like? The perfect weekend getaway for your family could look a little something like this:

Day 1:

  • Morning: Start your day with a light breakfast, followed by a ziplining adventure at CLIMB Works.
  • Afternoon: Take a lunch break and then cool off with a rafting trip at Smoky Mountain Outdoors.
  • Evening: Grab dinner at the Old Mill and relax at your place of lodging.

Day 2:

  • Morning: Head to Gatlinburg for breakfast at Pancake Pantry. Take the chondola to Anakeesta to enjoy a morning treetop canopy walk, then stroll around and check out their shopping options.
  • Afternoon: After the mountain coaster at Anakeesta, explore downtown Gatlinburg.
  • Evening: Return to Anakeesta for dinner at one of their dining options, then watch the sunset from the mountaintop.

Tips for Planning Your Smoky Mountains Adventure

The most important tip to keep in mind when planning your adventure is to book in advance. Many popular attractions and accommodations in the Smoky Mountains can get booked up quickly, especially during peak seasons. Plan and book your accommodations and adventure packages well in advance to secure your desired times and dates. Depending on the season, it is also important to pack appropriate clothing, including layers for changing weather. Don’t forget comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, a water bottle, and a daypack for essentials while exploring. Make sure to check seasonal availability and weather forecasts for the attractions you are interested in when planning your trip.

Lodging, Dining, and More

The Smoky Mountains offer a range of lodging options, including cabins, resorts, and even campgrounds. Consider your preferences, group size, and budget when making this decision. Booking inside the national park, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge provides easy access to a lot of different attractions. Some nearby attractions include Dollywood (Dolly Parton’s popular theme park in Pigeon Forge), Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, and Cades Cove—a scenic valley within the national park.

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer a variety of dining options, from Southern cuisine to some international options. They also have a variety of local specialties, such as homemade fudge and fried catfish. Make sure to make reservations, if possible, during busy seasons. There are also many additional adventures to consider, such as horseback riding, ATV tours, and hiking around the area. 

aerial view of downtown Gatlinburg, TN at dusk

Plan Ahead

Make sure to stay informed on park alerts and trail closures along with other safety information on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website. It is important to be up to date on news and park regulations. It is also important to respect nature and follow the “Leave No Trace” principles to minimize your impact on the environment. This includes taking all trash you bring into the park back out with you and staying on designated trails.

Planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to plan ahead to ensure you make the most of your time there. By booking early, packing appropriately, and considering nearby dining options and attractions ahead of time, you will be able to enjoy a memorable adventure in the breathtaking natural wonder of The Great Smoky Mountains.

Book Your Smoky Mountain Adventure Package Today

From the adrenaline-pumping zipline canopy tour at CLIMB Works and the heart-pounding river rafting adventure with Smoky Mountain Outdoors to the all-day family fun at Anakeesta, these experiences promise a variety of adventures on your trip. The convenience, cost savings, and diverse experiences available make choosing a Gatlinburg attractions package the perfect way to maximize your visit. Whether you’re a family on vacation, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, a group of friends exploring together, or an adventurous solo traveler, these packages can cater to your unique interests and provide a tailored experience. Begin planning your Smoky Mountain adventure today, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

aerial view of a zipline tower in the smoky mountains
This image portrays The Best Attractions Packages for a Smoky Mountains Adventure by CLIMB Works.

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