Family Adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee
Does your family prefer ‘fresh-air time’ to ‘TV air-time’ ? Then the Great Smoky Mountains are the place for your next vacation. Try some air-time from the tree-tops on a zip-line adventure for starters. There are several outfitters to choose from. Locations in Andrews, Bryson City, Murphy and Maggie Valley as well as the Nantahala Gorge, ensure there is one close to you. Soar over the tops of Hemlocks and Laurels at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Take in the magnificent views of majestic mountains. Feel the air take your breath away. For more breathtaking adventure, hike Mt. Mitchell or scream down the bike trails with the wind rushing in your ears.
Want something a little less ‘exciting’ for the smaller children? Head off to one of the many amusement parks made just for kids. Tweetsie Railroad will amaze train-loving boys and girls alike. Board a real steam engine and head off on a narrated adventure complete with bad guys and damsels in distress. Ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain. Feed deer, goats and other animals at the petting zoo. Rest your feet while you catch one of the old west shows. Santa’s Land in Cherokee offers fun rides for all ages in a holiday atmosphere. Ride the Rudolph roller coaster. Eat sweet treats and buy souvenirs for everyone. Ghost Town in Maggie Valley offers a live shoot-out with cowboys and villains drawing their guns daily. The chairlift up the side of the mountain will have you squeezing the bar and peeping down, way down, to the valley far below.
Looking for something wet, cold and fun? Grab an inner tube and head down a mountain stream. Several companies will equip you for the splashing fun of a ride. They will also pick you up and bring you back. Take the leisurely ride. Enjoy the song of the streams. For a little more lively action, rent kayaks or rafts and hit the rapids. Experienced guides will safely help you rush down the river, paddling and tossing up and down.
Be sure to take some time for a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Gorgeous vistas await. In some spots you can see three states at once. Look for wildlife including black bear, white-tailed deer and newly re-introduced red wolves. Get out and hike the trails. Or grab the horses and go exploring.
Fill up the cooler and grab the fly rods and hit the streams for some fresh mountain trout. Grill them over your fire pit while you watch the stars from your camping spot. Listen to the woods around you come alive as the ‘night shift’ comes on. Sleep to the sounds of gurgling brooks and waterfalls. Mornings with hot coffee will find you refreshed and ready for another adventure.
The only problem your family will have with a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee will be deciding where to start your adventure.