When you’re yearning a relaxing escape to spend some quality time with your family, then it’s time for a mountain vacation. Townsend is a quaint town tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains in northeastern Tennessee. Throughout this area, there are numerous mountain and resort towns home to an abundance of landmarks and attractions to enjoy. From Townsend, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance is just a short drive away, so you and your family can spend the day exploring the wilderness. Browse through plenty of unforgettable vacation rentals in Townsend and book a stay today. Check out a few of the most noteworthy places to visit in and around Townsend.

1. Townsend

mill at cades cove
Source: Flickr/Nikon Adventures

Settle into a hidden cabin in the woods or choose a luxury home closer to the downtown area to enjoy biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and shopping at the local stores and antique shops. Load everyone in the car and take the 11-mile scenic drive through Cades Cove in the National Park. Keep your eyes peeled to catch sight of the local wildlife, an old grist mill, waterfalls, and historic buildings. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of a black bear, but don’t try to get close.

2. Wears Valley

smoky mountains
Source: Flickr/Scott Oves

Travel northeast to arrive in Wears Valley for a low-key, relaxed vacation, where the days pass in a haze of hiking, biking, horseback riding, and spending time together. Stop by the Wears Valley Farmers Market to check out the offerings and pick up a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables to make a tasty dinner back at your vacation rental. For the daredevils in your family, take them to Wears Valley Ziplines to see the surrounding area from a new perspective.

3. Gatlinburg

Source: Pixabay/theSOARnet

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of a resort town in Gatlinburg, located just northeast of Townsend. See for miles around from the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle that rises 407 feet into the air, and feels your heart pounding as you zoom through the mountains on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster. The coaster features individual cars and a brake so you feel in control. You can spend a day on the banks of the Little Pigeon River casting your line to fish for dinner.

4. Ober Gatlinburg Area

ober gatlin burg
Source: Flickr/Patrick Chan

Nestle into a vacation rental close to the Ober Gatlinburg area when the weather cools off to enjoy the best of everything the Smoky Mountains have to offer. Spend your days skiing on the trails at this ski resort, shopping in town for unique items, ice skating, and enjoying hot chocolate beside a roaring fire. If you don’t have your own skis, you can rent equipment at Ober Gatlinburg and take ski or snowboarding lessons.

5. Pigeon Forge

stages west
Source: Flickr/robgsummers

Travel northeast from Townsend to choose the resort town of Pigeon Forge as your home base. You can enjoy all of the upscale shopping, fashion outlet mall, dinner theater, restaurants, and local attractions. At WonderWorks, your kids learn a lot of about science with the 100 hands-on experiments. Show off how smart you are at Headcase Escapes Adventures and solve riddles to escape a locked room, or learn about crime in America at Alcatraz East Museum.

6. Dollywood Area

dollywood area
Source: Flickr/Valerie Everett

Near the entrance of Dollywood, you can find a number of cozy vacation rentals to spend your holiday and have quick access to the park each day. Dollywood is an Appalachian-themed amusement park with all the rides and shows that get your family excited. If the weather becomes too warm, then take a break from the rides and make your way over to the attached water park to cool off.

7. Sevierville

sevierville
Source: Flickr/holga_new_orleans

Northeast of Townsend is the college town of Sevierville, and it offers the fun hip vibe that comes with have thousands of college students right around the corner. Check out the unique shops, restaurants, and evenings filled with live music at the local bars. For the kids, there is a NASCAR themed go-kart track, where your family can race each other. End the day with a friendly game of mini golf at the same facilities.

8. Williamsburg

great smoky mountains
Source: Flickr/Olin Gilbert

Escape the crowds in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg when you choose a cabin in the small town of Williamsburg. Find a place tucked away in the woods along a mountain ridge to enjoy the view each night as the sun sets from your deck or hot tub. Days including hiking, fishing, biking, and horseback riding. In the winter months, trade in your hiking boots for some cross country skis.

9. Zion Grove

laurel falls
Source: Flickr/Michael Hicks

In Zion Grove, your vacation is all about exploring the great outdoors. Situated close to the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this town makes it easy to fill your days with hiking, bird watching, biking, and fishing. Check out the Charlies Bunion and Chimney Tops hiking trails to find hidden bluffs, caves, and waterfalls.

10. Cherokee Hills

hiram caldwell barn
Source: Flickr/Nick Amoscato

In Cherokee Hills, the days blend together as you remember how to relax and take it easy with days that include fishing, biking, hiking, and spending quality time with your family. You’re close enough to spend a day in one of the resort towns and then retreat here at the end of the day. At the Douglas Lakeview Stables and Five Oaks Riding Stables, you can book a trail ride for your group.

11. Oldham

oldham
Source: Flickr/daveynin

Take time for frequents stops as you drive along the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to reach the town of Oldham. Friendly locals will happily tell you where to find the best fishing holes and a little local history if you stop in town. Each day, head into the national park for some hiking, biking, fishing, and rock climbing. Try to make it to the observation deck at Clingmans Dome for sweeping views of the entire national park. If you arrive at the right time, you can see a layer of mist covering the mountains, giving it a magical quality.