Are you headed to the Smokies this summer? You're in for a treat! Exciting new attractions let you discover the saga of Dolly Parton's family before she was born, spot sharks through a glass-bottom boat at the aquarium, go snow tubing in summertime, and more. Here are some of the newest Smoky Mountain attractions that await you.
Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner and Show
Dolly Parton's latest storytelling masterpiece gives visitors a peek into Dolly's family life before she was born. This musical tale takes guests on a journey through the old-time Smoky Mountains life and culture. You'll learn the touching story of how Dolly's parents, Avie Lee Owens and Lee Parton, fell in love, and you'll witness the battle between the families for the Pigeon Forge mill. The dinner show takes place in the new Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner Theater, formerly the Lumberjack Adventure Theater.
Ripley's Glass Bottom Boat
Visit the Shark Lagoon at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and you'll delve into the experience in a whole new way. Board a pontoon-style boat with a three-inch-thick glass floor to view the fish and sharks that call the lagoon home. Be sure to keep a lookout for Sally the Sea Turtle, too!
Alcatraz East Crime Museum
If you like crime dramas, you'll love the new Alcatraz East Crime Museum. This interactive venue features five innovative galleries of stories and artifacts from the Alcatraz prison, famous crime scenes, and more. You'll also get a view of American history from the perspective of forensic scientists and law enforcement. This educational attraction is family friendly and has special exhibits and programs just for kids.
Pigeon Forge Snow
Opening in summer of 2017, Pigeon Forge Snow will offer indoor snow tubing all year 'round. The facility features 15 lanes for snow tubing, a snowman-building area, and an arena just for snowball fights. Pigeon Forge Snow is part of Ober Gatlinburg, and promises to be the perfect place to cool off in the heat of summer.
TopJump Trampoline Park
Need to burn off some energy? TopJump Trampoline Park is the place to do it. The facility offers open jump, basketball, dodge ball, a gladiator pit, ninja course, and air bag. The fun kid zone has trampolines designed for little ones, plus a foam pit and giant ball pit. The Clip 'n' Climb zone has 21 climbing lines for a variety of climbing levels. When you need a boost, visit the colorful Sugar Rush candy store to fuel up.
Country Cascades Water Park
Country Cascades Water Park is sure to be one of the most popular new attractions in the Smokies this year. The park has two enormous water slides, a water tube ride, a water activity center that includes a 350-gallon tipping bucket, and a leisure pool with a sun shelf for adults.
Mountain Mile Shopping Center
Shopaholics, rejoice. The new Mountain Mile & Tower Shops complex features over a million square feet of retail and restaurant choices, right in the heart of Pigeon Forge. The center is adjacent to the LeConte Center, The Island, and the Cal Ripken Experience baseball park. Construction continues on new shops, restaurants, and hotels on the Mountain Mile, so be sure to check out the progress during your visit.
Governor's Crossing Stadium 14
Rainy day? Need a little down time? Governor's Crossing 14 is a premium-format Cineplex with 46,000-watt stereo surround sound and 55-foot-wide screens. The theater complex has a state-of-the-art IMAX screen and comfy stadium seating.
VR Pigeon Forge
For something completely different, visit the new VR Pigeon Forge. This revolutionary attraction lets you explore new worlds via virtual reality. The technology allows you to go on adventures and play VR games with friends and family. Gamers can choose from genres such as Middle Earth, outer space, a fun house, and many, many more. Some games are serious, and some games, such as "Kittypocalypse" are just pure fun.
Rock Climbing Wall at Rafting in the Smokies
Now there's more than rafting at Rafting in the Smokies. In addition to whitewater rafting trips and horseback riding, this popular outfitter has a zipline canopy tour, a high elements ropes challenge, and a new rock-climbing wall. The rock wall is a four-sided structure that is designed for climbers of different ages and abilities.
Dubby's Xtreme Racing Center
If adrenaline is your thing, Dubby's Xtreme Racing Center has the fastest go-karts in Pigeon Forge. Take a spin around one of three tracks in a world-class Sodi high-speed racing kart. Racers can zoom around winding turns, speed down narrow straightaways, and even reverse the course in a professional RT-8 kart. If that isn't enough excitement, race your kart down the 1,500-foot elevated track.
Ready for some summer fun? Book your accommodations today and start planning your adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains.
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.