Cool Off This Summer in the Smokies

nextguest | 16th April 2021

Summer is fast approaching, and as the temperatures of eastern Tennessee rise, we love finding fun and creative activities that help us cool off. Read on for just a few of the exciting ways we’re looking forward to doing so, while taking advantage of the region’s unique culture and scenery.

Bathe Near a Waterfall

There are several spots in the Smokies where you can bathe and splash around a pool formed by a waterfall. (Swimming directly beneath the fall, where rocks are more slippery, is generally not advised.) These include the Sinks, near Gatlinburg, and the pool at Abrams Falls in Cades Cove.

Sip Local Beer

Excellent beer can be found at the four Smoky Mountain Brewery locations throughout the region. Sample the signature black Bear Ale or seasonal flavors, such as Raspberry Wheat, while attending karaoke parties, trivia, and other fun weekly programs in the brewery’s adjacent pub.

Hike Through a Valley

If heat rises and cold sinks, it follows that another great way for outdoorsy visitors to Pigeon Forge to cool off is trekking around a valley. Try Cataloochee, where you may experience elk sightings during certain times of day, or verdant Cades Cove, home to white-tailed deer and black bears.

Nibble Homemade Ice Cream

Summer is the perfect time to savor homemade ice cream. Try traditional flavors, as well as unexpected options such as banana pudding and whiskey. We recommend Marble Slab Creamery, the Old Mill Creamery, and Mad Dog’s Creamery, as  well as Island Creamery, located at The Island in Pigeon Forge.

Enjoy the Breeze on the Alpine Coaster

Where better to enjoy a refreshing breeze than a coaster car shooting down the mountains at high speed? Trying out the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, you’ll experience a one-mile, eight-minute journey down the longest downhill track in America.

Take on Class III and IV Rapids

There’s no place for whitewater rafting quite like the Smokies — so link up with suppliers like National Geographic Adventure-approved Natahala Outdoor Center and take on twelve Class III and IV rapids in Pigeon River.

Hit the Slopes

Yes, you read that right. If you need to cool down quickly, Pigeon Forge Snow, America’s first indoor snow park, is open year-round and offers a tubing course, plus a dedicated Snow Play area with snowmen and snow forts.

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