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Courtney P.
A Spring Break Vacation: We Planned Your Trip

Day 1:

Drive from Atlanta to Smoky Mountains - stop at the Visitor Center along the way.

Check the National Park newspaper/guide to see if there are any junior ranger programs.

Head to Clingmans Dome, a short but steep hike up to an observation tower.

The 7-mile road up to the parking lot is full of overlooks to pull over and take stunning photos (great for the teen daughter's Instagram).

Visitor Center (option 2): Clingmans Dome Visitor Center

Head to the campground, settle in, explore, and make a fire.


There is no shortage of RV campsites near the Smokies. This is a list of five potential options. However, please note if these are unavailable you have plenty to choose from..

  • Townsend/Great Smokies KOA

  • Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg KOA

  • Smoky Bear Campground & RV Park

  • Twin Creek RV Resort

  • Honeysuckle Meadows RV Park

$240-$280 for your campsite stay for four nights.

RV Rentals

  • Outdoorsy. Think Airbnb, but for RVs.

  • Lightnin RV

  • North Atlanta RV Rentals

$400-$1400 for an RV rental for four nights.

Day 2:

Wake up early, get to the trailhead at or before 8am.

Hike to Alum Cave Bluff (5 miles, great views)

Head to the Chimneys Picnic Area for lunch. It's a great place for the kids to play/explore with a creek and plenty of picnic tables.

Head to the Island at Pigeon Forge.

Ride the Ferris Wheel and enjoy some ice cream before heading back to camp for dinner.

Have dinner and create a fire at the campsite.

Day 3:

Enjoy the morning at your campsite, maybe even sleep in!

Head over to Anakeesta - Nature Theme Park featuring gondola rides, America's longest Treetop Skywalk, challenge courses, AnaVista Tower, and stunning views.

Have lunch at Anakeesta or downtown Gatlinburg.

Explore downtown Gatlinburg. The town features great shopping, whiskey and wine tastings, mini golf and museums for kids.

Head back to the campsite for dinner and a fire.

Day 4:

Wake up early, to get to trailhead at or before 8am.

Hike to Rainbow Falls (5 miles, relaxed trail, should take about 3 hours.)

Your choice! Head back into Gatlinburg for the Hollywood Cars Museum, mini golf or Ripley Museum (Aquarium, Believe it or Not, or Haunted Adventure).

Explore Pigeon Forge.

Hike Porters Creek Trail.

Or enjoy the pool or a final campfire at your campsite.

Day 5:

If you want to enjoy the last of your spring break, wake the kids up early and head to Foothills Parkway or Newfound Gap Parking area for a breath taking sunrise.

Enjoy breakfast and head home.

Courtney P. is an outdoor adventurer who writes a travel blog and loves planning trips for others. You can find her at

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