By Leif Palmer
Posted on July 26, 2018
Kids throughout the country are heading back to the classroom, and within a couple of weeks, there will hardly be a school system within a day's drive of the Great Smoky Mountains that won't be back to school. For parents who have been tending to restless, squabbling kids during these last few weeks of summer break, the return to the school-year routine is a welcome event.
You might be able to take further advantage of the situation by planning some day trips to the Smokies while the young 'uns are getting back to the grind. Imagine dropping them off at school or seeing them onto the bus and then heading to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville for a day of play. You could start with breakfast at your favorite pancake restaurant before heading up into the national park for a hike.
Or maybe you want to see how much fun you pack into one day at Dollywood. Even Dollywood's Splash Country is open for another month. And there are dozens of other attractions throughout the Smokies promising hours of fun. Don't forget about hitting up one of the outlet malls or craft shops and doing some relaxed retailing without having to tend to the five-year-old who just decided to spread himself out in the middle of the floor because he couldn't take another second of parental shopping.
Or maybe you don't have kids in the mix at all. This could be a good time to plan a whole week in the Smokies, especially since visitation on weekdays will soon be dropping off noticeably now that schools are back in session. You can take advantage of smaller crowds, shorter lines and less traffic. If that's the case, you have days and days to try to fit in everything you'll want to do. And don't forget that there are always special events taking place throughout the region, so there will be unique things to experience that you can only find this time of year.
That means parking will be easier to find too. Of course, we have six lots in downtown Gatlinburg, and that has always made it easy to find a place to leave your car for the day while you go exploring. And our Gatlinburg parking rates sweeten the deal even more, making it a convenient and cost-effective way to park without the hassle of driving from point to point throughout the day.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. 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.