Xplorie’s Top 5 Smoky Mountain Amusement Parks

July 14, 2021

Summer in the Smoky Mountains is not only for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers, the Smokies are home to some of the top theme parks and amusement parks in the US. The Tennessee mountain towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are top trending destinations for summer fun in the mountains with cool water attractions to beat the summer heat, one-of-a-kind water coasters, enchanting treetop theme parks, alpine adventures, and tiny-tot play zones.

From romantic log cabins nestled in the trees and pet-friendly hideaways to luxury Smoky mountain lodges for the long-awaited family reunion, our Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge vacation accommodations are all within easy driving distance to the top 5 amusement parks in the Smokies.

number 1

Anakeesta Mountaintop Park


Anakeesta is an award-winning, nature-themed, outdoor adventure park nestled in the treetops overlooking the scenic Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg. Take the Chondola lift or Ridge Rambler to the summit for all-day access to unlimited family fun. Walk America’s longest Treetop Skywalk, zipline through the trees, climb the Anavista Tower, explore the experiential sensory garden, take an interpretive walk through the forest, search for gemstones, race down Anakeesta Mountain on the rail runner mountain coaster, and cool off at the Splash Pad.

Firefly Village is an idyllic and whimsical setting to shop, dine, sip sundowners, savor slow-smoked southern barbecue, enjoy live music and take in the best views of downtown Gatlinburg. Gather with friends at the Infinity bar, get cozy around the outdoor fire pit, soak up the sounds of bluegrass surrounded by fairy lights and end your day with a nature-inspired night under the stars at Anakeesta.


Ober Gatlinburg


Ober Gatlinburg is Tennessee’s only ski and snowboard destination, but the fun doesn’t end there! Ober Gatlinburg offers four seasons of activities, adventures, and mountaintop fun. Take a scenic 2-mile ride on the aerial tram from the Parkway into the mountains above downtown Gatlinburg to a haven of family-friendly activities, wildlife encounters, street performers, seven unique eateries, and a fun range of shops.

Ober Gatlinburg’s top attractions include ice skating and ice bumper cars, an alpine slide and ski mountain coaster, kiddie rides, and a classic carousel, water raft rides to beat the summer heat, chair swings, summer tubing, mini-golf, and a 30-foot rock-climbing wall. The scenic chairlift is the longest of its kind in the US and takes you to the summit of Mount Harrison to enjoy live bluegrass music and spectacular views of Mount LeConte and the Smoky Mountains.



Pigeon Forge

Dollywood is one of the world’s best theme parks famous for its world-class shows and festivals, incredible roller coasters and amusements, and unique themed areas with rides and attractions for all ages. Consistently ranked the top attraction in Pigeon Forge, Dollywood boasts over 40 thrill rides, historic attractions and museums, wildlife encounters, country music shows and theater, train rides through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and good, old-fashioned carnival fun.

If thrilling coasters aren’t your thing, book a show or dinner attraction, take a tour of historic museums, attractions, and popular Craftsman’s Valley to learn about the culture and trades of the Appalachian people and enjoy Dollywood’s award-winning cuisine while people watching. Dollywood is the most ticketed attraction in Tennessee, so be sure to book your tickets in advance.


Dollywood’s Splash Country

Pigeon Forge

It’s summertime in the mountains and there’s only one way to cool off … Dollywood’s Splash Country! Voted a “Top 10 Outdoor Water Park” by USA Today readers, Splash Country is a mountain oasis with 35 acres of slides and attractions for every age (and energy level!), delicious dining options, souvenir shopping, and fun summer events.

Surrounded by lush trees, mountain views, and happy families making the most of the summer vacation in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Splash Country offers a world-class waterpark experience. Freefall on the park’s tallest and fastest slide, the thrilling Fire Tower Falls, take a leisurely float trip down the lazy river, relax at the Cascades while the kids play, and rides the waves to the tunes of a DJ at the wave pool. Dollywood’s Splash Country has something for every member of the family to make splashing good memories in the Smokies.


Soaky Mountain Water Park


Soaky Mountain Waterpark is Tennessee’s newest mountain-modern waterpark attraction with 50 acres of slides and attractions, food trucks and bars, kids play areas, and adrenaline-infused water adventures for all ages. The park has 19 attractions including the one-of-a-kind Avalaunch Water Coaster, a massive wave pool with 6-foot waves, state-of-the-art waterslides, a windy wave river, an adventure pool with a fun water obstacle course, a tube tower, and the ultimate kid play zone for the little ones at the Hive and Boomers Bay.

Soaky Mountain has fun, family-friendly food options with specialty cocktails and craft beer for mom and dad and two super cool food trucks, Tacolicious Taco Truck in a double-decker bus, and Rolly Macaroni for mac and cheese with a twist. The cabana rentals add a touch of luxury to relax, unwind and watch the kids enjoy cool summer adventures in the Smokies.

Whether you stay in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, our Xplorie partners offer the best places to stay in the Smoky Mountains with complimentary activities and attractions for each day of your stay.