Memorial Day is a special time when we pause and reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of all American veterans who have laid down their lives in service of our nation. We honor their memory and strive keep their legacy alive. But Memorial Day is not just about solemn reflection; it's also an unofficial kickoff to the summer season, and it typically involves at least one epic barbeque!
If you're looking for the perfect Memorial Day weekend getaway, we invite you to join us in the stunning Great Smoky Mountains. We've put together an ideal itinerary to help make your visit to Gatlinburg stress-free and enjoyable. You can choose to participate in as many (or as few) of the suggested activities as you wish; after all, this is your vacation and you're the boss!
Each of the attractions highlighted below is part of our Xplorie guest concierge program. This means you will receive a free ticket to each attraction for every day of your stay. Xplorie will also take care of making the additional reservations and ticket purchases for you, saving you both time and money. Remember to reach out to Xplorie directly to make arrangements; they'll then take care of all the details on your behalf!
Music On the Mountain (6:00-9:00pm, Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, Gatlinburg, TN)
After you make your way into town and get setttled into your Gatlinburg chalet, make a beeline for downtown Gatlinburg and hop in line to hitch a ride up to SkyLift Park via the historic (since 1954!) chairlift. Once you get to the top of the mountain, you'll have a variety of activities to choose from. Take a stroll across the SkyBridge, which CBS dubbed one of the top 10 scenic spots in the United States. Explore the broad mountain top via the SkyTrail, taking in Gatlinburg from multiple vantage points. Kick back and grab dinner in the SkyCenter, which offers "brews, views, and good food."
Once that's all said and done, head over to the SkyDeck for a live country/bluegrass concert, appropriately called "Music on the Mountain." The SkyDeck amphitheater offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Great Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg. The seating arrangement is complemented by a tiered waterfall and firepit. You can relish the unique vantage points and sweeping scenic views from this location while enjoying an incredible concert by world-class musicians. Music makes these Smoky Mountains come alive!
Soaky Mountain Waterpark (10:00am-7:00pm, Sevierville, TN)
Whether you're a child or simply a child at heart, waterparks provide the best refreshment during hot weather. Pack up your crew and take everyone to Soaky Mountain Waterpark, Sevier County's finest H2O experience. With over 20 high-adventure water attractions to choose from, there is truly something for everyone in the group. Small children will enjoy the kid zone, an area designed specifically with little ones in mind. Each ride and slide is scaled perfectly for the park's smallest visitors. More adventurous guests will enjoy body flumes, tube rides, and even surfing. Visitors looking to take a more restful approach should head over to Coyote Springs, a quieter, calmer pool area with in-pool lounge chairs. With plenty of restaurant and snack vendors available and unlimited water fun, a day at Soaky Mountain Waterpark will most definitely result in fun had by all!
The Comedy Barn Theater (7:00pm, Pigeon Forge, TN)
After an exhausting day of soaking up the sun, why not take refuge in the cool, air-conditioned indoors and experience a night of laughter that will leave you in stitches? The Comedy Barn is proud to present the most successful and uproarious clean comedy show on the planet. The entire family can enjoy side-splitting hilarity as they enjoy an array of talented performers such as magicians, jugglers, ventriloquists, animals, comedians, and live country and gospel music. It's a great way to end a fantastic day!
A Day at Dollywood (10:00am-8:00pm, Pigeon Forge, TN)
No trip to the Smokies is complete without a day at Dollywood. Boasting entertainment options for guests of all ages, there's a good reason TripAdvisor.com named it the #1 theme park in the United States in 2022. You'll encounter beautiful gardens, stunning art displays, world-class live music, and some of the most epic roller coasters on the planet...and did we mention a whole lot of Dolly? Guests who visit over Memorial Day weekend will have the privilege of being among the first to ride Dollywood's newest rollercoaster, Big Bear Mountain. This colossal coaster will feature 3,990 ft. of track that circles Wildwood Grove for nearly two minutes. Big Bear Mountain is unlike any other coaster at the park, in that it will offer onboard audio including music and announcements from Ned Oakley.
Take a Morning Hike to Rainbow Falls (Great Smoky Mountain National Park)
Rainbow Falls is an 80-foot high waterfall that creates a beautiful rainbow from its mist on sunny afternoons. In the winter, it transforms into an impressive ice formation. The roundtrip hike to the falls is 5.4 miles, gaining about 1,500' in elevation, and is typically moderate in difficulty. However, due to its length, elevation gain, and rocky terrain, some visitors may find it difficult. The hike takes 3-5 hours, and it's important to bring drinking water and wear sturdy hiking shoes since portions of the trail are very rocky. Please note that pets and bicycles are not allowed on the trail. It's important not to climb on rocks around the waterfall since they can be slippery due to mist and algae. After all, nobody has time for an E.R. visit on Memorial Day!
Stay In and Grill Out for Lunch at Your Chalet
Head home and rest your weary legs! Spend the afternoon at your chalet enjoying a leisurely lunch with friends and family. Most Mountain Laurel Chalet properties are outfitted with a grill (some gas, some charcoal). Even if your property doesn't have one on site, we're often able to bring a loaner to you for use during your stay, so please make us aware of your needs.
Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show (6:00pm, Pigeon Forge, TN)
Avast ye! Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show in Pigeon Forge be callin' ye to join the most notorious pirate of 'em all, Blackbeard, and his trusty quartermaster, Calico Jack, as they take charge o' the Crimson and Sapphire crews in a mighty battle on land, on deck, in water, and high above full-sized pirate ships in an indoor hideaway lagoon! Ye'll be dazzled by the beauty o' mermaids, tropical birds, and much more, all while feastin' on a fabulous four-course meal fit fer a true pirate! All pirate-ese aside, this dinner show is one of the best you'll ever enjoy. It's full of action and adventure, and the production quality is fantastic. It's a great way to end a long weekend in the Smokies. Mark me words, matey! This here treasure will leave ye begging for more!
After all is said and done, there's no bad way to spend a weekend in the Smokies as long as you're there with people you love, staying in a Mountain Laurel Chalets property. Browse our broad selection of properties now and book your stay; we can't wait to see you!