By Darryl Payne
Posted on June 6, 2010
There's nothing more fun when the weather heats up than to spend the day playing in the water. Everyone - from toddlers to seniors - enjoy cooling off as they splash around, and the Smoky Mountains have plenty of opportunities for you to do just that. There are water parks to visit as well as rivers to tube. If you're the more adventurous type, canoes, kayaks and rafts are there to whoosh you through rapids of many different levels. Just look at all that awaits you!
Wild Bear Falls Indoor Water Park
Was that indoor or outdoor? It could actually be either, because one of the unique features of Wild Bear Falls is its retractable roof! Whether it's open or closed, you're bound to enjoy a relaxing ride down the 900-foot Cades Cove Lazy River. There's also the excitement of Clingman's Dome, the 360-foot body slide as well as Laurel Falls, the 300-foot tube slide. If you have little ones you'll definitely want to check out Little Pigeon River with its toddler play area and “spray-ground.” Another must-see is the 15,000-foot wrap around mezzanine, which includes a restaurant, retail shop and electronic game room. It's a wonderful way to get a break from the water but still take in the scenery. With 60,000 square feet and 300,000 gallons of water, Wild Bear Falls is the largest indoor water park resort in the south, but also offers day passes for the general public.
Dollywood's Splash Country
Anyone who's been to the Smoky Mountains has heard of Dollywood. What you may not know is that, in addition to the amusement park, Dollywood's Splash Country has over 23 thrilling water slides and rides. Experience the excitement of whitewater rafting as you make your way through the turns and rapids of Big Bear Plunge. Fire Tower Falls is an unforgettable 280-foot water slide that starts 70 feet in the air. Sound too daring? Then try the Downbound Float Trip and spend your day floating down 1500 feet of water while you take in the beautiful scenery of the mountains. There is also The Cascades, an 8000-square-foot pool with geysers, slides, bubbles and misters. Whatever your level of bravery, there are plenty of rides for you.
Daredevils and rookies alike can find lots of choices when it comes to water sports in the Smokies. Enjoy nature's own amusement park as you go whitewater rafting down one of the many classes of rapids. If you're brave enough you can go it on your own, or you can ride with a professional.
Canoeing is also great in this area. Canoe rentals are a tranquil way to spend the day at your own pace. Other options include kayaks, jet skis, tubing and much more.
If you love the thrill of the water, then pack up your bathing suit and sunscreen and head to the Smoky Mountains. With so many ways to have fun getting wet, your only problem will be trying to fit them all in!
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.