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Mountain vacations have an aura of mystery that can’t be found in any other kind of vacation. Whether you’re going to the Rocky Mountains, the Alps, or a smaller mountain range, it’s sure to be an adventure. From long strenuous trails that pass through rocky terrain to more strolls through lush valleys, there’s something for every kind of traveler.

Family Planning Tips For Trips to the Smoky Mountains

And if you plan a trip to the stunning Smokys, the outdoor opportunities are endless. There are various hiking trails, all surrounded by the majestic beauty of nature. 

However, your experience in the Smokys depends on how well you plan your trip. So, let’s get to business and discover these Family Planning Tips For Trips to the Smoky Mountains.

Decide Which Mountain Town to Visit

Which town do you plan on calling home? There are a few in the Smokys.

Gatlinburg is known for its charming downtown, while Pigeon Forge is known for its family-friendly attractions. Townsend and Sevierville are quaint and offer plenty of outdoor fun too. Whichever town you choose, ensure it has access to the trails, lakes, and rivers you would like to explore.

Families prefer Pigeon Forge for its thrilling outdoor activities and splendid beauty.

Choose the Right Lodging

The Smoky Mountains offer plenty of lodging options for travelers. But the surreal beauty of the area is best enjoyed from a cabin, secluded in a wooded area. Cabin rentals come with all amenities, so you can find a place with everything you need for your vacation.

You’ll be surprised by the variety, from rustic lodges to luxurious mountain chalets.

Since the Smokys are busy throughout the year, booking the stay in advance is best. Check out Pigeon Forge cabin deals to find the best one.

Pack the Right Gear

The gear list may vary depending on the activities you plan and who’s joining you. But here are some essentials that will come in handy.

  • Hiking boots: To keep your feet protected on the trails.
  • Camping supplies: A tent and sleeping bags if you plan to camp in the woods.
  • Waterproof clothing: To keep you dry in the rain and snow.
  • Jackets and sweaters: For chilly evenings around the campfire.

You must also carry a small (but loaded) first aid kit with you. And, of course, keep sunscreen and bug repellants to keep you safe from the sun and insects.

Always Plan Your itinerary

How many days will you be staying? What activities will you be doing? You need to list all the places, trails, and other attractions you would like to explore in the Smokys.

You could also talk to the locals to get recommendations and tips to make your trip more enjoyable.

We suggest dedicating a day to exploring each of the towns and attractions, so you can get the most out of your stay. And try to fit in some downtime as well – to relax, and take a break from the bustling streets and trails.

Eat Your Heart Out

The Smoky Mountains are home to some of the best restaurants, breweries, and cafes. From local barbeque to fine dining, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food.

Don’t forget to indulge in some of the area’s iconic food like moonshine and apple butter. You will also enjoy sampling the various beers and wines available here.

If you’re traveling with kids, look for restaurants with kid-friendly menus. The Peddler Steakhouse, Pancake Pantry, and Applewood Farmhouse are among the top choices.

Safety First

The great outdoors should be enjoyed with caution. Always make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and the potential risks.

Dress appropriately for the weather, and don’t forget to bring a few items that can be used in an emergency – like a whistle and a flashlight.

Also, always let someone know of your plans and give them an estimated return time. Some of the most dangerous areas in the Smokys are off-limits to visitors; be sure to stick to the designated trails.

Grab a Mountain Guide

Hiring a guide might be good if it’s your first time at the Smokys. Experienced guides will not only show you the best spots, but they can also provide valuable insights and tips on how to make your stay even more enjoyable.

Although it’s not necessary to hire a guide, they can be extremely helpful when it comes to navigating the region. If you aren’t ready for this expense, even a map can be helpful to give you an idea of what areas to explore.

Prepare for High-Altitude Sickness

Are you aware of the health hazards associated with a high-altitude environment?

The Smokys are between 2,000 and 6,643 feet above sea level, so there is a risk of altitude sickness. Symptoms include dizziness, dehydration, headaches, and nausea.

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To minimize the risks, make sure you stay hydrated and avoid overexertion. Deep breathing and resting can also help.

You must also practice safe hiking and camping habits.

Make a List of to-do Things

Most people tend to overlook small details when they’re planning a vacation.

But you can make the trip more memorable by adding a few extra activities and experiences to your agenda.

For starters, you can take a boat ride on Fontana Lake or take a guided tour of the Cataloochee Valley. Explore the Clingmans Dome or take advantage of the unique shopping opportunities in downtown Gatlinburg.

Visit some of the area’s historic sites, such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Museum, or take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.

Of course, hiking is a must-do activity when visiting the Smokys – with over 800 miles of trails, there’s no chance of getting bored.

Ready to Explore the Smokys?

Now that you know how to plan a trip to the mountains, you’re ready to take the plunge and begin planning your trip. Just remember to research thoroughly and keep an eye on the weather conditions. Mountain towns can be colder even during summertime owing to the higher altitude.

Pack light and plan, and you’ll surely have an unforgettable experience.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

Convenient Online Speech Therapy. At Home. On Your Schedule.

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