Whether you’re driving along scenic roads or relaxing on your Wears Valley cabin porch, the majestic mountain vistas make this one of the most beautiful places to stay in Tennessee. Along with special attractions found only here, your beautiful Wears Valley vacation rental makes the area an important part of your Smoky Mountains adventure. You’re at the back door of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can enjoy picnicking, fishing, tubing, and hiking. You can also ride zip lines or visit unique shops, including Goats on the Roof, an Amish store. When it’s time for more excitement, you’re just minutes away from famous attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. To help you with your vacation itinerary, here’s a list of the top 10 fun things to do with kids in Wears Valley, Tennessee.

1. Hike Metcalf Bottoms

There’s a secret entrance in Wears Valley to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Locals use the Wears Cove Entrance, and happily, share the location with visitors. Also in the valley, Metcalf Bottoms is one of the most popular hiking trails for beginners and families. The picnic area at the beginning of the trail includes a covered shelter, tables, and charcoal grills. It’s just over a mile down the trail to the Little Greenbrier School, which served local children from 1882 to 1936.

2. Enter the Tuckaleechee Caverns

The most fun your family can have underground awaits in Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, mere minutes to the northwest of Wear Valley. Well-lighted and colorful, these caverns deep inside the Smokies are estimated to be up to 30 million years old. The Big Room at one end of the tour is almost as big as a football stadium and features stalagmites up to 24 feet tall. Along the way, the tallest subterranean waterfall in America, the Silver Falls, rains down majestically from about 200 feet above.

3. Enter an Upside Down Amusement Park

WonderWorks Indoor Amusement Park draws your family into a world of amazement and discovery. The legend says that it was once a top-secret laboratory in the Bermuda Triangle, but a botched experiment propelled it to Pigeon Forge, where it landed upside down. When you enter, the ceiling is beneath you and the floor is above you. To realign yourselves, your family must pass through the inversion tunnel to begin the adventures awaiting in the six wonder zones. Natural Disasters allows visitors to experience hurricane-force winds, ride an earthquake, and become a human lightning rod. Physical Challenge, Light and Sound, Space Discovery, Imagination Lab, and the Far Out Art Gallery each present new and exciting opportunities to explore, experience, and learn beyond the capabilities of conventional museums and amusement parks.

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4. Operate an Alpine Coaster Sled

Smoky Mountains Alpine Coaster on Wears Valley Road is a downhill ride that features over a mile of track. Each sled accommodates two riders, with the one in front controlling the speed of the vehicle. The driver can allow the sled to reach up to a thrilling 27 mph for an exciting experience. The Alpine Coaster runs in the sunshine, rain, and snow for your convenience and enjoyment, and your child as young as age three can ride with you.

5. Float Down Little Pigeon River

For a tubing or kayaking adventure, you can drive about 30 minutes to Sevierville to River Romp. Kids as young as two years old can ride with you in your inner tube, and River Romp supplies life vests for everyone. The tubing float goes about two-and-a-half miles down the river to a pavilion, where you exit. When you use the phone there to call the office, a driver comes to pick you up and take you back to your starting place. You can ride over and over until the posted closing time, and stop to enjoy a picnic if you want to do so.

6. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

It’s a 30-minute scenic drive to Sevierville to take a hot air balloon ride with Smoky Mountains Balloons. Aloft, you and your family see the sights and landscape of the Smoky Mountains in a serene, quiet flight. As you float gently across the sky, you see rolling farmland, Cherokee Lake, Douglas Lake, and the majestic Smoky Mountains. The flights typically last about an hour and fly about 1,500 feet above the ground. The altitude varies based on the wind and your level of comfort.

7. Play Treasure Quest Indoor Mini Golf

Treasure Quest Golf in Gatlinburg is about 14 miles east of your vacation rental in Wears Valley. This indoor 18-hole miniature golf course includes surprising features and breathtaking scenery. An ancient jungle temple backdrop frames a treasure quest theme, and your party plays five holes in spectacular and amazing black light. The pirates and creatures you encounter help immerse your family in the fantasy that makes it more than just a game of putt-putt golf.

8. Enjoy Dinner and a Show

It’s about 10 miles from your Wears Valley vacation rental to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge for dinner and live theater to delight the entire family. The show features amazing stunt riding, special effects, musical production numbers, and a four-course dinner. Live animals, pyrotechnics, dramatic lighting, and sound come together to thrill the senses, entertain, and amuse.

9. See the Sights on Horseback

Walden Creek Stables offers year-round trail rides to give your family an exciting adventure no matter the season. Trail rides include easy-to-exhilarating rides over 500 acres where you may encounter birds, turtles, turkeys, deer, and chipmunks. You choose from several types of rides, including the Valley Hill ride that allows parents to double with small kids who weigh 20-to-40 pounds. This trail ride takes about an hour, crosses a couple of wooden bridges, and includes a splash through a creek. Experienced riders may choose more challenging trail rides.

10. Look for Treasure at a Gem Mine

Local tales say that before the Cherokee embarked on the Trail of Tears that led them from their homeland, they buried gold in Wears Valley. While they may not find the legendary Cherokee gold, your kids can enjoy mining for beautiful gems at Friendly Falls Gem Mine. With both dirt and water involved, all you need to do is stand back and watch your kids enjoy sifting through pails of soil to find real emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. The location includes a craft store, a restaurant, a waterfall, and a creek-side gem-mining flume.

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