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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort: Live a Pioneer Overnight Adventure

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Want to sleep in a covered wagon or authentic tipi at a brand-new resort near Gatlinburg, TN? Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort is not even a three-hour drive from Greenville, SC. Your family won’t stop talking about what a cool place this is once you’ve visited! If you are looking for cozy camping in Sevierville, this is the place!

Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort covered wagons near Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Media accommodations were provided for this review. 

My kids, ages 10 and 7, are obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder and we have listened to every book in the series. They have asked to learn how to sew, to see where she lived, and what in the world her covered wagon looked like. So imagine their surprise when they got to sleep in an authentic Conestoga wagon, which was used in the late eighteenth century. It was a lot of fun to witness their enthusiasm. But really, I was just as excited because it is genuinely cool to sleep in such unique accommodations at the new Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort.


Amazing Vacation Rental Homes for the Best Family Vacations

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Are you looking for the perfect vacation home to rent for your next family vacation? No matter where you’re headed, whether it’s the mountains, the beach or somewhere in between, we’ve found some truly unique and stellar vacation homes you’ll want to check out. We have lists of homes that feature amenities we know families want. So get planning, and enjoy your next vacation!

Vacation homes throughout the Southeast

Fun Family Vacation Rentals

Whether you’re looking for a unique themed vacation rental or the perfect jumping-off spot for an epic adventure-filled vacation, these lists of family vacation rentals will have something awesome for you. We have rentals in beautiful scenery, rentals near theme parks and attractions, rentals with great hiking, amazing kid-friendly rentals, and lots more. So, make sure to grab a rental with plenty of bunk beds, and load up the kids, you’re going on an adventure!

Check out our vacation rental content below.

Explore the Titanic: Pigeon Forge, TN

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Planning a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? We sent KAG Contributor Kristina Hernandez to take a peak inside the Titanic Museum. In this review she’s telling us all about what you can expect to see at the Titanic Museum so you can add it to your list of things to do when you visit Pigeon Forge. Complimentary tickets were provided for this review.


Snow Tube Indoors at Pigeon Forge Snow: Pigeon Forge, TN

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Ready to do a little Pigeon Forge Snow Tubing? Did you know that you can snow tube inside? Snow tubing indoors is totally a thing at Pigeon Forge Snow in Pigeon Forge, TN and it’s really fun and fast!

Thanks to the City of Pigeon Forge for complimentary media tickets so we could do this review.

I had heard of Pigeon Forge Snow, the country’s first indoor snow park, for years before I got the chance to finally experience it and it did not disappoint. This is an entirely indoor snow tubing attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN, about a three-hour drive from Greenville, SC. And it’s really fun!

indoor snow tubing at Pigeon Forge Snow

Snow Tubing Indoors: Pigeon Forge Snow Review

The snow is real and the tubing is fast. This place is also incredibly efficient, aiming to help you make the most of your time snow tubing and get in as many runs as possible. The staff was great in moving things along safely and making sure all of us guests had a great time.

So, you first check-in, where you get a bracelet for your snow tubing experience. You can either sign a waiver online, which is what I did, or do it there. Do it online since it will save you time. and you won’t have to wait in line.

Once you get your bracelet, head on over to the tubing area, grab a tube and get on the magic carpet ride up to the top of the hill. There were seven lanes open for tubing when we were there and not too many people at first so my kids and I got in several runs before a big youth group showed up.

Even still, the line moved fast because the staff had the process down pat. They will get you moving through those lines and speeding down the hill quickly so you can do it all over again.

Indoor snow tubing at Pigeon Forge Snow

The runs were really fast on the snow-covered hill. There are mats to slow tubers down near the end and big bags that you’ll run into if needed at the end of the run. Some of us adults hit them since the runs were so fast. The tubes are exactly like the ones you use when outdoor snow tubing with hard bottoms.

Indoor SnowPlay Area

Pigeon Forge Snow has an indoor snow play area with real snow as well. You can build snowmen or snow forts or just play in the snow – all indoors. My youngest (8 years old) was hesitant at first, thinking that this was too young for her but once she tried it out, she didn’t want to leave. It was so cute to see kids of all ages enjoy playing in the snow.

The snow play area is available for use with your combo snow tubing ticket.

Play in the snow indoors at Pigeon Forge Snow

Observation Deck, Games & Candy Shop

There is a big upper level at Pigeon Forge Snow with tables and chairs for parents to watch the kids slide down the hill or just to take a break after all the fun you’re having. Plus, don’t forget the candy and other concessions available for purchase. There are also arcade games like Pac-Man available if you want to spend more time enjoying the indoor snow park.

There are massage chairs throughout Pigeon Forge Snow also, which I saw a few people taking advantage of. They looked pretty awesome honestly and if we had more time, I probably would have indulged.

Snow Tubing Birthday Party

If you really want to have a memorable birthday experience, Pigeon Forge Snow offers a big birthday party package, which includes 12 wristbands for tubing and snow play plus an hour in the birthday party room. This package is $350.

Prepping to Tube at Pigeon Forge Snow

To go tubing, participants must be at least 38 inches and 3 years old. Everyone can play in the SnowPlay area regardless of age or height.

You can snow tube indoors at Pigeon Forge Snow

You also don’t need to worry about dressing for the weather since it’s fairly warm inside the snow park. I was wearing a sweater with leggings and felt fine. Some people had jackets on but during the summer, when you typically wouldn’t pack your sweatshirts and long pants on a trip to Pigeon Forge, you should be okay wearing a t-shirt and shorts (at least that’s what the photos at the park showed!). If you play in the snow, since it is real snow, you’ll probably get your clothes and shoes wet so if it’s cold outside, a change of pants may be something to consider.

Pigeon Forge Snow is open year-round so you can come here on vacation even during the summer and go snow tubing, which I think is quite fun.

Tickets for one hour of tubing start at $29.99 for snow tubing and $36.99 for both snow tubing and the SnowPlay area. Tickets are more on holidays and weekends.


Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 10 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 10 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 8 pm

Pigeon Forge Snow
2533 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN

Best snow tubing, skiing, and tubing near Greenville, South Carolina

If you’d rather snow tube outdoors, we have that, too!

Where to Ski, Board, and Snow Tube near the Carolinas.

Go Old School and Play All Day: Asheville Retrocade

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In Asheville, NC you’ll find the Asheville Retrocade, a fantastic place to spend a few hours during rainy, cold, or hot weather. You can play all day for one price and it’s great for the whole family.

Need someplace in Asheville, NC to spend a few hours indoors during a rainy, cold, or hot day? We’ve got just the place: Asheville Retrocade, an old-school arcade that features two floors of games and is family-friendly.

Asheville Retrocade
Asheville Retrocade

Playing at Asheville Retrocade

I am always looking for fun, indoor things to do when the weather isn’t cooperating and found just the spot at Asheville Retrocade. For this trip, I was visiting with a friend and her young daughter staying in the area and thanks to Google, found this indoor mecca of Pac-Man and race car driving. Now you don’t even need Google to find cool places like this since you have this story!

So at Asheville Retrocade, you pay a flat fee of $10/person (kids under 5 are free) and that gives you access to two floors of pinball, Pac-Man, dance-off games, race car games, air hockey, skeeball, and tons more games. No quarters are needed here.

Asheville Retrocade
Pinball at Asheville Retrocade

They claim to have more than 5,000 games at the arcade. They do have a lot but I’m not sure it equals 5,000. That said, I totally lost track of time there and ended up spending about two-and-a-half hours at the arcade, which was such a fun way to spend time with my own kids and my friend.

Play All Day with Retro Games

When you get to Asheville Retrocade, you pay $10/person and get a wristband, which allows you to come and go all day. The arcade is truly like taking a step back in time. I didn’t play a lot of video games as a kid but the ones I did play, like Pac-Man, are ingrained in my childhood and I love them. It was a lot of fun to play those nostalgic games I did as a kid.

We went during Christmas Break and there was actually a line to get in. I was nervous that we wouldn’t be able to play many games because there were too many people. But I shouldn’t have been worried. We only ever had to wait maybe five minutes for a game and there were always spots open at other games that we could play.

The kids we had with us were ages 3, 9, and 12 and all of us had a blast. The place is truly family-friendly and welcoming. There were a lot of families when we went and it was so much fun to enjoy that time together and see other families doing the same.

Asheville Retrocade
Asheville Retrocade

Food and Drinks at Asheville Retrocade

The arcade has several options for drinks, including local craft beer, wine, and fountain drinks. They have free water available also.

They also have snack food available for purchase.

Things to Know When Visiting Asheville Retrocade

Here are a few tips when you visit:

  • There is free street parking, which is awesome.
  • After 9 pm, guests need to be ages 21+
  • If a game is occupied that you want, just be patient and wait or play something else. It will open up!
  • There are bathrooms and hand sanitizer available but still wash your hands during and after your visit.
  • Expect heavier crowds during school breaks, holidays, and rainy days.
  • You can book a private party at the arcade.

Heading to the Asheville Retrocade

The arcade is open daily Noon-2 am. After 9 pm, patrons need to be 21+. You can purchase your wristband when you get there.

Need more ideas for Asheville fun? Visit our Asheville Guide for ideas on how to enjoy the city with your family.

Asheville Retrocade
800 Haywood Road , West Asheville, NC
Asheville Retrocade Facebook | Asheville Retrocade Website

Plan a Trip to Stunning Blairsville, GA

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Thinking about planning a trip to Blairsville, GA? This small Georgia town is full of fun things to do, amazing restaurants, and beautiful scenery. Kidding Around team members have been to Blairsville, GA many times, and we’ve combined our experiences in this guide just for you. Check out all our recommendations for where to stay, what to eat and things to do in Blairsville, GA!

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination with the perfect mix of southern charm and amenities, this is it. At just about 3 hours from the South Carolina Upstate, Blairsville makes the perfect weekend destination from Greenville, SC and Atlanta, GA.

First Impressions of Blairsville, Georgia

The drive to Blairsville takes you through national forests and state parks. It was a peaceful, beautiful drive and if I’d been able to leave earlier in the day, a roadside picnic would have made a perfect lunch.

Once I arrived, the first thing I wanted to do was take photos of all the beautiful mountain views I saw while driving. You’ll be glad know I abstained, for safety reasons. Plus there would be plenty more opportunities for photos in the coming days.

Where To Stay in Blairsville, Georgia

This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Shady Rest

My accommodations for this trip were just outside of Blairsville in a neighboring town called Hiawassee. Shady Rest is a rental home on Chatuge Lake, owned Barry and Tricia White. The story behind this home and how this couple came to own it is a beautiful and touching tale of high school sweethearts who were blessed by the generosity of loving friends.

The house is beautifully decorated and has all the things you would need to be comfortable away from home. The rental has three bedrooms with three king size beds, each with their own master bathroom. The walkout basement floor-plan includes one of the bedroom/bathroom combos and a private living room area. This would be perfect for a multi-generational trip, when giving grandparents the privacy of the ground floor accommodations. Shady Rest also includes a fully equipped modern kitchen, dining room, washer and dryer and private boat dock. The views of the mountain of the back porch are incredible, no matter the time of day.

Shady Rest
50 Lakeview Circle
Hiawassee, Georgia 30546

The Ridges Resort

I also got to tour The Ridges Resort, located in Young Harris. The resort is located on Chatuge Lake, with boat rentals and an inflatable obstacle course located next to the resort. With an on site restaurant, saltwater pool, fire pits and nightly S’mores by the fire – this option is a better fit for when you want to kick back and let someone else do everything for you.

The Ridges Resort and Marina
3499 US-76
Young Harris, Georgia 30582

Places To Eat in Blairsville, GA

I was very pleasantly surprised to so many delicious and unique dining options in Blairsville. I definitely did not think that the options in this small town were typical. A BBQ place that could have very easily been part of this year’s Sunday Brunch at Euphoria, a home cooking restaurant that has a seasonal menu, and gets most if not all of its ingredients locally. I could go on and on, but I’ll just say this would definitely make for a fun foodie couples weekend get-away!

The Sawmill Place

The Sawmill Place

1150 Pat Haralson Drive

If I had to choose a favorite dining option in Blairsville, which would be no small feat, this would be it.

Owners Shawn and Amy Kight have created something really special here with The Sawmill Place. The way Chef Shawn Kight lovingly showed off the locally procured hydroponic lettuce they use, I thought he had gotten in his start in LA or Atlanta. The Sawmill Place takes pride in everything they send out of the kitchen, and it shows. I got a VIP tour of the walk in cooler, to see the fresh seasonal produce they receive and how it’s processed. It was impressive to see a farm to table restaurant like this thriving in such a small town.

Their menu offers salads, wraps, sandwiches, locally raised beef burgers, meat and three options, a kids menu and an extensive breakfast menu. They even have a coffee bar located in the attached market. I’d be doing readers a disfavor if I didn’t mention the morning glory muffins they make. They are freshly made and incredible, just like everything else served. Chef Shawn saw how much I liked them and ran back to throw some in a box for me take on the road.

Thought and concern even goes into the items offered that aren’t made in the kitchen, like the drink offerings. They serve Coke brand fountain drinks, for those that favor more traditional flavors. However, I discovered a craft brand of soda there, that I just realized, I never sought out once I returned to the Upstate (I need to get on that ASAP). Grape Waynesville Soda was the perfect thing to go along with my Southwestern salad at lunch. It was made from real grape juice and, there were also other seasonal flavors that looked interesting!

I can’t say enough good things about this restaurant, and I hope you decide to visit the Kights when you make your way to Blairsville.

Jim’s Smokin’ Que

4971 Gainsville Highway

People are always saying what a small world it is. I don’t think that ever felt more true until I met the owners of Jim’s Smokin’ Que. In talking to them while I was there, they mentioned they had moved to Blairsville from the same place in Florida that I grew up in. Ok, plenty of people have moved away from Florida, no big deal. The reason this is even noteworthy, is because Jim Guess worked about a mile from my childhood home and for a business that I would frequently ride my bicycle past. It has nothing to do with how the food tastes (Spoiler-it’s awesome!), but I think it’s a fun example of how funny the world works.

Back to the reason I was there, the food.

One of the first things the Guess’ will tell people is that things sell out, and you should call ahead to reserve what you want or risk not getting it. I’m here to tell you it’s true. But in my opinion, that’s just a testament to how well received the food is by guests, and that everything is fresh. Two hours before closing and all that we had left to order was the pulled pork. It was amazing, and only made me upset I couldn’t try everything else. The sides are all made in house, and I opted for the coleslaw. The macaroni salad looked really good, and I’m still lobbying for places to do side dish flights, so I can try a little of everything.

If you go during the warmer months, leave time to play mini golf across the street. Pigs Gone Amok is open May through October, and is $5 per person.

Jim’s Smokin Que

The View Grill

129 Union Co Recreation Road

Overlooking the beautiful Union County golf course, the View Grill offers everything from sandwiches to steaks on its menu, along with a full bar. We enjoyed a dinner at sunset on the outdoor patio and it was picture perfect. The chicken salad croissant sandwich with onion rings hit the spot, with a drink from the bar.

The desserts are made by a local bakery and the cake slices they brought out could easily be shared by two people. If you enjoy golf, this course should be on your itinerary. If not, it’s OK you can still enjoy a meal at The View Grill.

Hole In The Wall

12B Town Square

Wrapped around the historical society are a handful of restaurants and shops that make up the town square. One of the dining options with the most history is Hole In The Wall. There’s so much history, in fact, that a book has been written about it. Rumors of hauntings and more are included in the history of the nearly 100 year old building partially occupied by the restaurant.

While I do love myself a good ghost tale, do you know what I love more?

Cheesecake for breakfast.

Yup, you heard me correctly.

The Hole In The Wall serves up a stuffed french toast. They take two slices of bread and stuff it with fruit and cheesecake. It is glorious. If for some unknown reason cheesecake for breakfast isn’t your cup of tea, they have more traditional menu items, too. Eggs Benedict, banana nut pancakes and steak and eggs are just some of the savory options on the menu. But, I’m guessing you’ll just want the cheesecake for breakfast.

Cabin Coffee Company

44 Town Square

Located in the re-purposed Chevron gas station on the square, this coffee shop is where locals get the fuel they need to get through the day. Fresh roasted beans translate into some really great cups of coffee. They have all the traditional coffee drinks you are used to, along with frappes that are insanely good. Lets just be honest, they are more like a caffeinated dessert in a cup.

I enjoyed the most indulgent of the bunch, the Mississippi Mud Frappe.  A mixture of Chilled espresso, Ghiradelli dark chocolate, hazelnut flavor blended with ice, and topped with MORE chocolate and espresso powder.

You can pair one of their drink offerings with a breakfast sandwich, bakery item, sandwich or soup. I chose the breakfast bagel sandwich and enjoyed it a lot! You can even purchase the house roasted coffee to bring back home with you.

Michaelee’s Italian Life Caffe

6C Town Square

This mother and son run restaurant is the perfect place for a date night while in Blairsville.  Michaelee’s imports ingredients from Italy, like olive oil and coffee. The Isle of Capri appetizer included fresh burrata mozzarella and roma tomato slices on a bed of arugula with basil pesto. It is served with sliced warm crusty bread and an aged balsamic vinegar. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

A menu item that owner Lisa Collins said took locals a while to warm up to, is the Chocolate Shrimp appetizer. Pan sauteed shrimp are encrusted with shaved white chocolate, served with a chocolate balsamic sauce. My travel companions were raving about this dish!

That shrimp dish isn’t the only place that chocolate shows up on the menu! The chocolate chicken salad includes a chocolate encrusted chicken breast drizzled with the same chocolate balsamic sauce used on the shrimp.

I enjoyed Pasta Sorrento as my main course and it was so good, I continued to eat it way after I was full. Be sure to save room for the dessert, like the cheesecake we enjoyed.

Places to Grab a Drink in Blairsville, GA

Paradise Hills Winery, Resort and Spa

366 Paradise Road

Secluded on a mountainside sits the husband and wife-run Vineyard of Paradise Hills. Among the award winning varietals here is something unique that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else. “Jacked Up Red” is aged in barrels straight from the Jack Daniels Distillery after the whiskey has been emptied out.

You can visit the distillery and enjoy a tasting accompanied by live music on the weekends or have it shipped to your home via the website. Paradise Hills offers more than just a glass of wine to visitors. You can enjoy a relaxing spa treatment there, and even stay the night in one of their rental cabins.

Enjoying a glass of wine overlooking the vineyard was the first stop on our trip, and I highly recommend enjoying the view and a glass of wine there.

Grandaddy Mimm’s Moonshine Distillery

161 Pappy’s Plaza

Tommy Townsend, a Grandson of Grandaddy Mimm aka Jack McClure, began commercially producing corn whiskey in 2012. Jack McClure was a Moonshiner from 1930, until the day he succumbed to cancer in 1969. Not being raised in the deep south, Moonshine is a new experience for me. Nothing like jumping into the deep end of the pool right off the bat! My very first taste of moonshine was straight out of the still at Grandaddy Mimm’s. In retrospect, I probably should have worked my way up to the 160 something proof stuff that was dripping out of the still. But, you only live once right?

For the less adventurous drinker with $5 to spend, you can step up to the tasting bar and sample their retail offerings. The moonshine they offer ranges from stronger unflavored corn whiskeys (140 proof – 100 proof), to lower proof flavored moonshines in fruit flavors (96 proof – 40 proof).  That bar that your leaning on just happens to be from the movie “Coyote Ugly”, and no, sadly they don’t allow you to hop up and dance on it.

Grandaddy Mimm’s Moonshine Distillery

The Wine Shoppe

6 Town Square

The nice thing about shopping a small business, is that the people working there are very familiar with the items on the shelves. That’s important when you are looking at buying a bottle of wine. The Wine shoppe has a great selection of wines and the knowledge about each of them to help you find something you’re going to love.

We were treated to a wine tasting and I highly recommend it if you are making the trip to Blairsville sans kids. A wine tasting there and then dinner at Michalee’s Italian Life Caffe would make for a perfect date night. You can even purchase a bottle of your favorite to bring next door to Michaelee’s.

Places To Shop in Blairsville, GA

Sunrise Country Store

This little county store located on the side of the highway, has been there for almost a century. The owners keep it stocked with local produce, jam and more. Do yourself a favor and buy more than one of those locally made hand-pies located by the register. They are delicious and you’ll wish you had more when you come to the last bite.

I love bringing home a locally made item as a souvenir, and this trip I chose a bar from the Wick And Wash collection of handmade soaps in the store. Jessica Clemmon’s is one of the owners and her line of soaps greets customers as they enter the building.

Outside the store you will find huge bubbling pots full of peanuts for sale, along with fresh local produce.

From Me 2 U

This little shop is in the town square is chock full of cute souvenir options. They have a really nice selection of children’s books that would make the little person in your life very happy! Grab a piece of jewelry, a soy candle or home décor to remember your trip with.

Things To Do in Blairsville, GA

Lake Chatuge provides all different types of fun during the warmer months. Boat rentals, swimming, aquatic obstacle courses and more. Blairsville offers so much more than lake life for visitors though.

Vogel State Park

One of my family’s favorite stops, we love the easy hike around the lake and down to the waterfall at Vogel State Park. In the summer you can swim in the lake at the sandy swimming beach. The mountan views are magnificent. We make sure to stop here everytime we’re in the area and we think you’ll love the peaceful trails just as much as we do!

Pro-tip: Stop for a coffee at Cabin Coffee Company on your way to the park and enjoy it with your walk on the trail.

Trackrock Stables

I was excited and scared to see horse back riding on my itinerary this trip. It’s been more years than I care to admit since I regularly rode a horse. So long in fact that I checked off “novice” on the waiver form. I asked my horse to be “a good boy” and I climbed into the saddle. I immediately remembered what I loved about riding, and it was just like they say about riding a bicycle. It all came rushing back to me.

Trackrock Stables

Everyone at Trackrock was so patient and nice, it helped to ease everyone’s jitters about hopping on a horse. Our hour long ride stretched way longer than planned because we were just enjoying the view on the trail. At the point where you double back, the trail opens in to a field that overlooks the mountain range. It’s a breathtaking view and a great spot to stop for photos.  It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, you’ll have a great time at Trackrock Stables.

Trackrock Petroglyphs (temporarily closed)

The local national forest is home to more than just trees. Among the trees of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest hides the ancient Trackrock Petroglyphs. These patterns are carved into the soapstone. We passed this trailhead on the way to the stables and its definitely worth a stop when the site is open.

Lasso The Moon Alpaca Farm

Lasso The Moon is a unique experience where you can spend time with some cute and fluffy alpacas and see what artist Holly Williams does with the wool the alpacas provide.

If you are a regular fan of Kidding Around, you know we have a weakness for cute and fluffy animals. All these cute alpacas in one place was almost too much to handle! We got to spend time with, pet and feed the animals, then we headed upstairs to the artist workshop. Holly makes beautiful things from the wool, and you can even take a class to learn how to create things like she does.

Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm

Meeks Park and the Appalachian Sculpture Project

This small town is blessed to have such a beautiful park at it’s disposal. It has everything you could want in a park! Hiking trails, a playground, batting cages, skateboard park, swimming pool, tennis courts, a dog park and the beautiful Butternit Creek and Nottley River. This park is also host to the Scottish Festival in June and the Sorghum Festival in October.

Al Garnto, the artist responsible for the Appalachian Sculpture project chose Meeks park to place several of his kinetic sculptures. His sculptures are made from reclaimed and recycled materials, that he sources locally. His sculptures can be found all over town, and you can arrange a tour of his studio through his website contact info.

I can not wait to return to this unique little town in the North Georgia Mountains, to re-visit the places from this trip and explore new places. If you are looking for a place to escape and explore, this is it!

Georgia Travel Guide

You’re heading to Georgia?
We’ve got your planning covered.

The Kidding Around Travel Guide to Georgia

Looking for more places to spend the day with your family? Here’s our list of Day Trip Towns, just a short drive from the Upstate.

The Ultimate Guide to Day Trips Near Upstate, SC

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Are you looking for day trips near Greenville, SC? You have found our official Kidding Around Day Trip Headquarters! We have compiled our ever-expansive list of day trip offerings to one page, where you can easily find your desired trip, fuel your wanderlust, and still have the kiddos back by bedtime! Happy adventuring!

Kidding Around day trip guide

Where Would You Like to Take A Day Trip?

Kaboom awards

Best Day Trips: Who Has KABOOM?

The KABOOM Awards are Kidding Around’s annual best of contest. Readers say these are the TOP 5 Day Trips in Greenville, SC


A Travel Guide to Tennessee: Family-Friendly Vacations

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Looking to vacation in Tennessee? The beautiful backdrop of the Appalachians, southern charm, and unique vacation destinations make it an excellent choice for a family-friendly vacation. We’ve visited several cities throughout the state and collected dozens of reviews to help you plan your next trip. You’ll find unique places to lodge, dining options, adventure recommendations, and more for cities like Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Travel Guide to Tennessee, with information for family friendly vacations.

Where Would You Like to Explore?

A Family-Friendly Vacation to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

If you have never been to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, you are in for a treat! The area has grown rapidly over the last 50 years and includes some out-of-this-world attractions, is near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has a lot of great places to lodge.

Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Enjoy snow tubing all year round at Indoor Snow Tubing in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
See the magical Christmas lights at Winterfest, which starts in November and ends in February!
During Winterfest, you can enjoy the epic lights on the Wonder of Light Walking Trail
The Island at Pigeon Forge is a great one-stop for an amazing day of shopping, fun attractions, and food.
Ever seen the world from upside down? You can at Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge!
Soar over America in an immersive theatre at Skyfly at The Island at Pigeon Forge
Cruise around the Smoky Mountains with Smoky Mountain Pink Jeep.
The Titanic Museum is a truly immersive experience in a replica of the ship itself, right off the Boulevard!

Wildwood Grove at Dollywood


Homeschooling? These Homeschool days at Dollywood will save you some money on the theme park.
You’ll find a woodland-themed waterpark at Splash Country at Dollywood
Christmas at Dollywood is one of the most magical times of the year, with lights, crafters, and more!
Wildwood Grove at Dollywood is full of whimsy and rides.

Lodging in Pigeon Forge

The Inn on the River is a prime location on the river and is a great family-friendly place to stay.
If you are looking for an all-out resort, Margaritaville RV Resort and Lodge is the place!

Visit The Charming Mountain Town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg is one of the most popular travel destinations to take a vacation in Tennessee. With stunning mountain views and dozens of attractions that are unquestionably unique to the town, you could spend an entire weekend with a packed itinerary. There is an aquarium, mountain coasters, and even a sky-high bridge you have to see to believe!

Winter version of Galtlinburg, Pigeon Forge silo.

Our KA Ultimate Guide to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with reviews, lodging information, and places to eat.

Things to Do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

See ocean creatures and walk under sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Anakeesta is a sky-high destination that offers fantastic views, dining, and special attractions.
The Mirrormaze is a fun attraction for families to try and navigate the maze.
Get rocked while experiencing the 5D Theatre in downtown Gatlinburg!
Take the ski lift to the Skybridge, and you’re in for a real thrill as you walk the suspension bridge.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is an American treasure, you have to visit it at least once.
Elkmont Ghost Town is a ghost town that your family can explore! How neat!

Places to Stay Near Gatlinburg, TN

Enjoy a family-friendly stay at the Greystone Lodge, which has an excellent location!
The Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort has an indoor waterpark that the kids can play in.
If you are looking for luxury camping, Camp LeConte is a great option in Gatlinburg!
Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort has covered wagons you can camp in!
This 17 Room Gaming Mansion is a wonderful place to stay for larger groups!

Spend the Weekend in Sevierville, Tennessee

Do not overlook Sevierville while planning your vacation to Tennessee! Situated right next door to Pigeon Forge in Sevierville, Tennessee. If you didn’t know, Sevierville is the birthplace of America’s greatest gift, Dolly Parton! There are also a lot of fun things to do, and one of the most epic hotels in the area (it has an indoor and outdoor waterpark!)

These 23+ Special Things to Do in Sevierville, Tennesse will make for a memorable vacation.

Sevierville TN

Activities and Things to Do in Sevierville, Tennessee

You have to make a pit stop at Buc-ee’s Sevierville, where you will find everything you need and more!
There are coasters, chair lifts, cowboy demonstrations, and more at Skyland Ranch.
Soaky Mountain Water Park is THE BEST waterpark, with some epic slides to try out.

Glamping tent at the Ridge Outdoor Resort

Lodging in Sevierville, Tennessee

The Ridge Outdoor Resort in Sevierville offers glamping, RV camping, and amenities.
Wilderness at the Smokies is wonderful for families, with multiple waterparks and cozy hotel rooms.

Explore the Outdoors in Chattanooga, Tennessee

In the Southeastern part of Tennessee near the Georgia line, you will find an amazing city that has perfectly balanced city life with the outdoors, Chattanooga, Tennessee! The downtown area is bustling with art, interesting things to do, and exceptional dining. Plus, there is an aquarium, a zoo, a famous train hotel, and Rock City is just down the road.

The Ultimate Guide to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Check out our KA Ulitmate Guide to Chattanooga, Tennessee for ideas on places to stay, things to do, and our honest reviews of popular attractions!

Meercats at Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee.

Meercats at the Tennessee Zoo

The view from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.

Overlook at Lookout Mountain

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Chattanooga, TN

The iconic Rock City is just a few minutes drive from Downtown Chattanooga!
Big Soddy Creek Gulf Trail has a mesmerizing swimming hole that is crystal clear.
The Tennessee Aquarium has two buildings full of ocean creatures to visit.
You can feed giraffes and red pandas at the Chattanooga Zoo!

The Read House hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Where to Stay Near Chattanooga, Tennesse

The Read House Hotel is iconic and even has ghost stories to learn about.

More Tennessee Travel

Places to travel in the United States

Our Travel Page will give you tons of ideas for day trips, weekend getaways, or family vacations to destinations throughout the Southeast.

Lost Sea Adventure: Take a Boat Across an Unforgettable Underground Lake

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The Lost Sea Adventure in Sweetwater, TN is one experience you really won’t want to miss. This one is unforgettable. If a crystal clear lake, a glass bottom boat, cave flowers, and a guided tour through amazing geologic features sounds like your kind of adventure, then put America’s largest underground lake on your bucket list.

We visited the underground lake and caverns in Tennessee and it did not disappoint. So, get planning! Here’s everything you need to know about the Lost Sea Adventure!  

Lost Sea Adventure

Always looking for my next adventure, when I heard of the Lost Sea just outside Knoxville, Tennessee, I knew I had to go. I actually keep a running list of all the cool things I want to do and places to go and this one had been on my list for the past couple of years because it is legitimately a crystal clear, cold lake 150 feet underground amongst creepy and cool caverns. An underground lake. 

Did it live up to my expectations? Oh yeah, it did. 

Winter cabin rentals: Owl's Nest in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. VRBO photo credit

Traveling to nearby Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg? Here’s over 40 things to do in Gatlinburg, TN and Pigeon Forge, TN.