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Staying Cool This Summer

Posted by Leif Palmer in Pigeon Forge Attractions

We're smack in the middle of the summer travel season, which is great for couples and families taking a little vacation time in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. But some days here in the South do get a tad warm, and when you add high levels of humidity to the equation, even leisurely days become less than comfortable, even if you're spending most of your time playing.

So this week, Smokies Travel Guide is tossing out some suggestions for places to go and things to do that will help you keep your cool this summer. In addition to these tips, remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially if you're planning to partake in outdoor activities like hiking.

Cool off at Splash Country next to Dollywood.

Dollywood's Splash Country – You could spend an entire day or more at this Pigeon Forge water park, which features dozens of wet-and-wild attractions, including water slides, wave pool, lazy river ride, kids' play areas and more. Slides range from single-person body slides to large, family raft rides, from slow and tame slides to high, steep, lightning-fast slides. The park also features plenty of places to lie in the sun (or to find shade) as well as eateries, merchandise stands, changing facilities and more.

Dollywood – Right across the road from Splash Country you'll find the original Dollywood theme park. You'll spend a lot of time outside here, but several of the rides-like Mountain Slidewinder, River Battle and Smoky Mountain River Rampage-are guaranteed to soak you to your bones. Fortunately, the park also has a number of water-misting fans set up to help cool guests down on warm days.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Yep, nothing beats a dip in a real-life swimmin' hole. Two of the more popular swimming destinations in the park are the Townsend Y (which is not too far a drive from most of our cabins) and The Sinks, both of which are formed from rivers. Note, however, that you swim at your own risk in the national park and that lifeguards are not on hand. But even in summer, that water sure is nice and cold!

Tubing – Townsend is also where you'll find several outfitters who can set you up with an inner tube and let you enjoy a cool, leisurely float down the Little River. Transportation from the take-out point to the outpost is included in the price. You can also do some tubing in Sevierville on the Little Pigeon River.

Whitewater rafting – You'll find multiple whitewater rafting companies in Hartford, TN, which is anywhere from a half-hour to an hour's drive away, depending on where you're staying in the Smokies. They'll provide all the equipment and instruction you need to take on rapids that are rated as high as Class III and IV.

Indoor attractions – You don't always have to get wet to stay cool. On hot days, you may want to steer your plans toward attractions that have plenty of air conditioning. Good options for this strategy include museums and music theaters. There are even a couple of underground cavern attractions in the area that keep guests a cool 57 degrees year round thanks to their subterranean location.

Leif Palmer - Smokies blogger

About Leif Palmer

Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.


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