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Smoky Mountains Spring Break

Flowering rhododendron are hallmarks of spring in the Smokies

Have you been to the Great Smoky Mountains in the springtime yet?  Well, what are you waiting for?  The weather is lovely and unpredictable – sometimes there’s even a bit of all 4 seasons in one day, no joke.  The trees are greening, the wildflowers are blooming, the days are longer and sweeter.  And there is SO much to do!  If you’re planning a Smoky Mountains spring break, then here’s a list of some of the top family-friendly fun to get into while visiting.

The Mountains are Calling

For the outdoor adventure seekers, the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City actually offers Spring Break specific tours – whitewater rafting, mountain biking, kayaking courses, the Mountaintop Zipline tours, not to mention their 500-acre campus to explore and enjoy.  If you’re clan is more into equestrian activities, definitely check out Chunky Gal Stables in Hayesville, NC.  Offering training and knowledgeable trail guides, these 1-hour to half-day horseback rides will be a treat for all of the senses as your crew meanders through the Nantahala National Forest atop a trusty steed.


Sometimes it’s nice to slow it down during Spring Break and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will allow you to do just that.  Departing daily from Bryson City, this 4.5 hour train ride along the Nantahala River, including a hour-hour layover in the Nantahala Gorge for some land adventure before heading back to Bryson City.  The Waynesville Recreation Center in Haywood County can provide a full day of wearing out those kiddos, especially if the weather takes a turn.  This 64,000 sq ft center features a water play park, lap swimming pool, indoor walking track, basketball courts, even weight-lifting. 

Bryson city activities include the NOC and the Smoky Mountain Railroad

Critter Lovin’ Creatures

Maybe your crew loves the critters?  That’s terrific news because there are so many options for seeing wildlife here in the Great Smokies.  Pinnacle Park in Sylva is a 1,528-acre public park area that can give you a full day of hiking and wildlife discovery.  The Pinnacle Park Trail is a 3.4 mile out-and-back that rewards the 3000+ ft elevation gain with panoramic views of Sylva and Scotts Creek Valley, in addition to the flora and fauna all along the way.  It’s also the state’s first and only Certified Forest Therapy Trail.  Go get you some self care!

Another way to see and visit a tamer variety of critters is with a visit to the Winchester Creek Farm in Waynesville, NC.  This 20-acre family farm raises alpacas, mini-horses, mini-donkeys, mini-cows, sheep, Juliana pigs and more!  Cuteness overload warning!!!  Take a 45-minute educational tour and meet the sweet animals.  These are the memories that will last!

Cruisin on a Sunny Afternoon

And of course, the Great Smoky Mountains are famous for the epic drives where it’s extremely difficult to keep your eyes on the road because of the magnificent mountain and valley views.  This road, though, is one you will definitely want to keep your eyes ON.  The Tail of the Dragon is an 11-mile stretch of 318 curves bordered by both the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest, and is a “destination” for motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts from near and far. 

Diggin’ It

One more option that’s kid approved and could pay off big for the adults, as well, plus is a one-of-a-kind experience while in the Great Smoky Mountains is gem mining in Franklin, NC.  Franklin is known as the “Gem Capital of the World” with its gem and mineral heritage dating back to 1870. Whether you and fam want to pan for rubies and sapphires, or shop jewelry handmade with these native gems, you’re sure to walk away with treasure.