There are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors in this incredible country as there are 61 national parks to choose from. However, it when comes down to the quintessential camping experience in the woods, there is really only one area of the country that has publicly captivated the heart of a sitting president. This area is, of course, the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee. If you’re thinking of taking an outdoorsy vacation with your family, here are a couple of ideas of things you can do.
Camping in the Woods
Breathing some of the purest air in America, roasting marshmallows by the campfire, singing songs, telling ghost stories, going for unforgettable hikes and drives along the misty mountain tops, sharing the bond of stream fishing and taking pictures of the incredible flowers are all experiences that are pretty hard to beat. There’s something entirely magical about the cool mountain air, the simplicity of packing a cooler and the connection with nature that feels right and reminds you that a connection with nature is like chicken soup for the soul.
Cabin in the Mountains
Renting a cabin in the mountains is a popular vacation option for so many families from across the country. There are several popular cities to stay at in the Smoky Mountains where you can spend time together surrounded by the beautiful forest and mountains. Hot tubs are nearly standard accommodations among rental cabins as are Wi-Fi, cable and great restaurants within driving distance. Cities with nearly every modern amenity close by are in Asheville, Maggie Valley, and Gatlinburg. Zipline tours, suspension bridge walks, cave tours, gem mining, aquariums, gondolas, and ski and boat rentals on the lake (depending on the season) are a few of the bountiful activities that the area has to offer.
Outdoor Recreation at the Biltmore Estate
For those who love the outdoors but are a bit more concerned about the bugs and wildlife, the Biltmore Estate offers a luxurious escape. Though many people first associate the Biltmore Estate with just the home, the entire estate consists of many acres of outdoor activities that take days to accomplish on their own. These activities, which include off-roading in Land Rovers, lazy river floating, horseback riding, golf and garden explorations, are very fun indeed. And the best part is, there are things kids can do as well! The kids’ audio guide can be especially fun for youngsters as they explore the house. As America’s largest private residence, the Biltmore Estate not only provides the opulence of Versailles without the hassle of physically going to France, it also provides memorable outdoor activities that feel nothing like France at all.
The Great Smoky Mountains very often beat expectations and preconceived notions. Once you’re there and experience the area for yourself, it becomes clear why so many people love it and have invested in their own little slice of heaven on Earth. Whether you enjoy the health benefits of hiking and camping, need a little R & R in the hot tub or would like a classy outdoor experience at the Biltmore, the Great Smoky Mountains area has it all.
If you’re having trouble with your kids while traveling, check out these tips!