It may just barely be summer, but don’t tell that to Mother Nature. She already thinks it’s July or August, and it’s been showing lately in the form of daytime highs in the 90s and heat indexes reaching well over 100.
But that shouldn’t discourage you from making the most out of your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. This week, we’ve got some ideas for things to do and places to go that will help you stay cool while still having a lot of fun.
- Inner Tubing – Our Pigeon Forge cabin rentals are just a short drive from Townsend, TN, home of several different tubing attractions. Each of them offers trips of varying distances down the Little River, which runs the length of town. It’s a fun, lazy and – most importantly – cool way to spend a scorcher in the Smokies.
- National Park Swimming Holes – You can’t tube at these places, but favorite tourist spots like The Sinks and the Townsend Y are longtime popular swimming hole destinations. Just park your car, wade in and brace yourself for a blast of cold mountain water.
- Whitewater Rafting – You usually have to drive just across the Tennessee-North Carolina state line to reach the area’s many whitewater-rafting outfitters, but the drive is always worth it. They’ll provide you with all the gear and instruction you’ll need to spend a half-day or a day on one of the great whitewater rivers in the area, typically the Big Pigeon River. You’re guaranteed to get doused by rapids, and during the calm spells of the river, you might even get to take a cool dunk on your own.
- Dollywood’s Splash Country – This Pigeon Forge water park is the area’s premier water attraction each summer, offering dozens of slides and other water-filled activities that will definitely help you stay soaked and cool all day long. They have something to make everybody happy, from thrill seekers to tiny tots. Splash Country also has plenty of spots to soak in some rays, grab a bite to eat or replenish supplies for those fun-filled days.
- An Underground Cavern – You don’t always have to be wet to stay cool. Attractions like Forbidden Caverns and Tuckaleechee Caverns stay the same temperature all year long – around 57 degrees. That comes in mighty handy on a hot summer day when you’ve been out in the sun and are ready for a break.
- Any Air Conditioned Attraction – Whether you’re in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, you don’t have look far to find an indoor attraction where you can easily spend several hours, not only protected from the sun but also bathed in air-conditioned comfort. Music theaters are one great example of a cool zone that will entertain. And there are also all sorts of unique museums, animal attractions, arcades and more at which the price of admission is well worth the relief from the summer heat.